When the words ‘virtual’ and ‘digital’ started floating around the meetings world, many worried that the need for live interaction would soon be greatly reduced.
Others gravely predicted that face-to-face events would become a thing of the past entirely, destined to the same fate as the fax machine or the once-loved mixtape. Then there were the technophobes. They buried their heads in the sand, prayed that the new tech tools were just a gimmick and hoped that ‘going hybrid’ (whatever that meant) would never really catch on. Of course, those new technologies did catch on – and they caught on quickly.
For the past decade, technology and the internet have been reshaping the events industry in dramatic ways and the technophobes have been left playing catch up.
But the pessimists who worried that live events were on their way out were also way off the mark. In 2016, it’s clear that face-to-face engagement still matters. And it matters more than ever.
While virtual meetings and digital touchpoints are becoming more and more important, they’re not replacing face-to-face events; they’re complementing them.
In fact, increased digital engagement is actually fuelling the desire for us to meet face to face, and online communities are being taken offline with great momentum.