The future of events
# WhyWeMissFace2Face reflects this global feeling and it is one of the most shared hashtags on social media by different players in the industry. Only with the face-to-face component is it possible to respect our essence and the need we have to relate and create bonds and empathies that favour the environment for business. Only in this way can we reach the global goals of events be, be they economic, scientific or socio-cultural. Of course, some of these components are also present in virtual events, although differently because they are different realities, and this is a learning experience that will remain from this period.
After losses of billions of dollars, reported globally by the main associations, the future will necessarily be challenging. But this reality cannot remove the realistic optimism, which should guide us all.
Despite the present difficulties, shared by all sectors of society, our industry and our business will not end. And this is the basic thinking to start taking action, with the certainty that the essence of our sector is still active - human nature.
After several months in which we have witnessed countless online events, which were extremely important to keep us active and connected, it is certain that the virtual will never replace the face-to-face, but it can increasingly be an essential tool for a certain type of events and communication needs, as well as an important complement to the face-to-face event, allowing to expand the reach of the audience, which under normal conditions could not be present even in a post-pandemic period.
All this digital urgency has brought new potential to the industry and opened more opportunities for future formats and new perspectives, mainly in the area of Business Tourism and corporate events.
But none of this overturns or replaces the need for involvement, for sharing experiences and emotions, for joining physically in a space. Face-to-face will always be the cornerstone of our industry.
Over the months, I believe that we are entering a new phase, in which hybrid events will be a solution that will allow us to achieve other objectives and bring both realities – face to face and virtual – closer, allowing us to progressively move towards a new normal similar to that one we were used to.
Altice Arena has recently introduced its new model of private events to the market which, we believe, will prevail in the near future - a hybrid model that we have called Magic Meetings because it contains numerous possibilities, combining the benefits of proximity and human contact with an audience, which physically joins in the same space, to the experience of remote participation of a virtually infinite number of participants, thanks to the latest technologies and quality of streaming. This model offers an innovative experience using the most modern tools in the digital world, such as augmented reality, avatars and much more.
In addition to the design of new event models, I believe that the future will necessarily involve building strong pillars of trust with decision makers and participants, highlighting the differentiating factors of our destiny, of our venues, which includes health security in terms of the entire value chain. Only then will it be possible to overcome fear and grow confidence progressively. This is a key success factor.
It is very important to focus on the idea that we will all have to adapt and reconvert the business model and be aware that, at least until a solution to the pandemic is found, some activity is better than the total absence of it if we stick to models from the past.
It is our job, therefore, to be active and resilient, acting together for the good of the sector, keeping a positive spirit, of mutual aid and action that will enable the tourism and events ecosystem - our ecosystem - to find its balance again.
Jorge Vinha da Silva, Altice Arena CEO