Will tomorrow’s event sector be digital?
4 February 2021
At a time when COVID exists, technology is the hope that has saved – or at least curbed – the event industry from the effects of the pandemic.
Faced with the physical limitations of product launches, from conferences to musical performances and even trade shows, the event sector has had to embrace change faster than ever before. With agility and creativity being part of the DNA of the actors in this sector, it is therefore clear that digital formats have emerged.
Festivities at home
In a context eaten away by anxiety and doubts, music helps to soften morals and hearts. If the simple act of listening to music manages to combine the pleasure of the ears with the well-being of the soul, the concert experience should multiply these effects a thousandfold. However, these events were often postponed, or even worse, cancelled. What are the solutions to remedy this?
Travis Scott and Lady Gaga found an alternative by recreating these events in live-streaming. While the rapper favored the Fortnite game, the pop singer organized the big solidarity concert “One World: Together At Home” on TV and social networks.
While others, like Madison Beer, have opted for a virtual reality event! Hosted by Sony, viewers from all over the world were able to watch the concert using PlayStation VR and Oculus VR. Today, many event organizers are looking for innovative ways to offer their audiences an experience as close to real life as possible. Music needs to be “lived” and not just “listened to”, and VR can be a great alternative to meet this need! Furthermore, following the success of the show, Sony plans to expand its efforts to offer artists the opportunity to create immersive experiences in the future.
Festivals are not to be outdone: The Sundance Film Festival, which normally takes place from January 28th to February 3rd, now offers a replica of the event in VR. By logging on with their virtual headsets, participants will be able to take part in a “futuristic parallel reality” experience. The VR version goes beyond a simple live replica of the festival, it will be an entirely different experience for the spectators.
VR has not only given the artists a new way to connect with their fans, but also to expand the size of their audience.
Offices in the bedroom
In our article dedicated to trade shows that have gone virtual, we outlined their benefits and the success of such an event. Whether digital or physical, trade fairs share the same business and marketing objectives.
But trade shows are not the only events that have gone digital. Product launch campaigns or even team building events have found their way to online video conferencing platforms.
For example, while some car manufacturers have decided to delay new launches, others have chosen virtual launches. Lamborghini took a bold step by unveiling its Huracán EVO RWD Spyder in augmented reality. Users could see the virtual model of the car directly in the living room with a high level of photorealism.
Teleworking has proven to be very effective for some, painful for others, and can lead to social and relational isolation. Team buildings, which have become virtual, are then encouraged to maintain the bond and social cohesion within the team.
Platan, a workshop specialized in plants, has been organizing creative plant workshops from a distance since the pandemic. Each employee receives at home a kit with the necessary material to create his plant creation (terrarium, frame, kokedama) and a link to participate in the workshop by videoconference. A presenter explains step by step to the participants how to make their plant composition and offers advice on maintenance, all in a good mood! Of course, the object of creation belongs to them and they will be able to decorate their interior.
Towards a total virtualization of the event sector?
Clearly, the pandemic has accelerated the process towards digitalization. However, we tend to move towards a more hybrid form, mixing physical and digital events. The two formats are thus complementary.
Although virtual events offer significant advantages (time saving, budget savings, reduction of the carbon footprint, etc.), there are still areas for improvement. Today, interactivity, emotion and above all the human aspect are still elements that do not yet meet the expectations for the world to really witness the digitalisation of the events sector.
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Luxury carries a creative heritage, an ancestral history and traditional know-how, while technology is associated with modernity, digitalization and innovation.
Beyond the conventional belief, it is however still possible to reconcile luxury and technology. The brands in this sector are based on the exceptional and the rarity, so why not build exceptional experiences for these exceptional brands through innovation levers?
If at the beginning leaders of the luxury industry seemed reluctant, today this industry is constantly evolving since it has embraced the opportunities of digital, without losing its values and its DNA. Better yet, these efforts to be at the forefront of trends make them even more desirable.
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