Online or offline events?
Since March of 2020, world has changed a lot. Literally nobody has not been affected by this unfortunate situation. One of the first businesses affected by the pandemic were travel and event industries – and that’s logical! Traveling brings people together from across the globe, allowing them to discover new cultures, habits, cities and nature... all things that we could not do for so long!
One thing was always certain during my experience in the events industry, and that is how well it brought people together! They could be from various cities, countries or parts of the world we didn’t even know about, but they would all enjoy a special occasion or event together. The COVID-19 pandemic restricted many things, but the tourism/event planning industry was certainly among the hardest hit.
Changes caused by the covid-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic quickly started to be part of our lives. This topic became the most discovered and read theme on the internet, newspapers, magazines and TV channels. Any company would love to have such media attention, but instead they had to deal with rapid changes to their daily business routines. The major change started with employee safety. Distances between employees were a must where possible. Face masks, disinfection and travel restrictions were quickly implemented. Home office was privilege for a small number of employees and rarely allowed or even recommended prior the pandemic. Now ‘home office’ is a new workplace standard.
Events in pandemic time
One of the changes companies were facing, was the way to continue organizing various events such as company meetings, trainings, presentations, tradeshows or team buildings. Such events used to be a staple of corporate culture. Thanks to modern technologies, everything turned into an online environment; companies quickly discovered online platforms that allowed for a large number of people to connect. Corporate teams were able to quickly communicate and make collective decisions, although working remotely from home. Trainings continued in an online environment and company celebrations were also all moved to an online world. Even online team building activities were organised. Many employees became very happy that they could comfortably work from home and didn’t have to travel to the office on daily basis, but could still chat or remotely cheer with their colleagues and friends.
Benefits and negatives of online and real (offline) events
The new online world became a new standard very quickly. Many people spoke about online environments as the future of all kinds of events. It was very logical: Online events are COVID-safe (people keep distances), they are easy to organize (many online apps are available, such as Teams, ZOOM, Meet, Hangouts, etc.), they can connect a huge amount of people and they are cheaper to organise (no travel costs involved, venue rental not needed, printed materials are moved to digital, catering is not required). Some of the companies even tuned up their online events and make them more enjoyable to their audiences. Funny event topics were involved and various online games were added to the agendas to keep people interested. Food boxes with delicious food ready to be heat up and eaten were delivered to every event participant. Luxury wine bottles were distributed. DJ was mixing music online, and even bartenders were teaching guests how to mix their own cocktails from a bartender box couriered to their door.
Why are companies doing all these additional services during their online events? It’s very simple: They need to keep their audience online, interested and even absorbing the information provided.
Since beginning of 2020, everything turned into an online event. Employees spent their full day in front of their computers, doing their standard work. They didn’t leave their computer even during one-on-one meetings, presentations, team buildings and company presentations or celebrations. It’s too much time for everyone to be looking at the computer screen!
At first instance, working from home was a huge and positive change in daily working routines. But employees shortly discovered that being locked home is not always a benefit. Many employees don’t have a proper working environment at home. Many of them have children at home – either they are still too small, or they can’t go to school, because schools are closed. Husbands and wives are also working from home and need their own private, quiet office space. After all of this, employees can’t go out to a restaurant or bar and unwind over a chat and glass of wine or beer with a friend.
People very quickly found out that they miss personal contact. They want to at least a change in the working/living environment, to get out and get some fresh air, since they don’t travel to their offices. Companies also found out that online events are great when a pandemic restricts offline events, but there is no online event that can fully replace an offline event!
Real offline events are based on personal contact, feelings and emotions. Personal contact during an event can create new deals, new friendships, improve relationships among employees and empower teams to better performance. Trainings can be done with emotions supported by venue style, AV effects and delicious catering. Speakers can immediately react to unexpected situations or refresh the attention and focus on a conference content or meeting topic. Team building is enjoyed in full, discovering how individual team members interact, help each other and co-work.
The golden reasons for real (offline) events
We all still have a long journey until we can return back to real events. But there is no doubt that real events will be highly demanded once the pandemic situation allows them. We are all humans, and humans want to see each other, chat, express emotions, share stories and enjoy each other’s company. Individual work can easily be done remotely from home, but for a team to properly work together and come up with creative ideas, they need to be together. Working alongside someone creates a special chemistry that moves teams further and leads to company success. The same applies to all kinds of events and conferences.
The future of real (offline) events
Most of the new real offline events will be hybrid. Not everyone will feel safe to meet other people, not everyone will be ready to travel across states or continents, especially not right away. Hybrid events will connect real offline events to an online environment. Hybrid events will also save companies a lot of money. Imagine that corporate meetings were always attended by 300 employees from around the world; the new hybrid event will be attended only by 200 employees, and the remaining 100 will connect from office or home. The hybrid events will even bring higher attendance, because more employees or customers can join for minimal extra costs.
Future events with Prague Events
Whatever the future will bring, an offline event will be a new company benefit and advantage. Many teams are broken up due to a long online presence. The faster companies re-connect and weld teams together, the faster they will succeed in the new post-pandemic business era.
We at Prague Events, are well prepared to make your team properly function again! We constantly monitor the local market and will provide you the best and most attractive services for your corporate meeting, trade show, gala dinner or team building in Prague.
Don’t miss this unique upcoming chance to re-unite your employees in Prague with Prague Events.