Most event professionals believe 1-2 years is a realistic timeframe to recover from COVID-19 following widespread disruption to face-to-face gatherings.
A recent poll from leading event technology supplier EventsCase on nearly 500 participants found that 52% cannot envisage a recovery happening before at least the end of 2021. Only 28% voted for the next popular choice, 6-12 months, adding to the belief that event organisers are prepared to sit tight as winter approaches.
A total of 14% predict an even longer recovery period of three years, with only 6% envisaging a rapid turnaround of 1-6 months. The survey closed just prior to the UK government’s announcement that conferences and exhibitions would be allowed to take place from October 1, 2020. However, this is dependent on successful “pilots” referenced in the Prime Minister’s announcement.
Commenting on the poll’s findings, Jose Bort, CEO and Co-Founder of EventsCase, said: “It is understandable that many feel it will take us up to two years to repair the damage inflicted by COVID-19. Many events simply cannot happen with the current restrictions, and that has a big impact on the scale that we are trying to recoup.
“That being said, we are taking great positivity from all the virtual and hybrid events that could bridge the gap between a pre and post-COVID world. Organisers now have the time and inclination to road-test new formats which make it easy for people to join in remotely. While we don’t expect digital experiences to replace physical gatherings, a combination of the two might help organisers grow their geographical reach and potential audience.”
Another poll from EventsCase supported the idea that virtual events will maintain their place in the industry once normal service is resumed. Just over half of the respondents (56%) expected them to evolve “parallel to physical events”, with 34% believing they have the power to become formats in their own right.
EventsCase is one of the latest technology suppliers to roll out a series of tools for hosting online-only experiences. After reaching tens of thousands of visitors through a number of successful events, the platform announced its integration with Zoom to facilitate a more seamless user journey for attendees.