Recently I was a panellist in a hybrid event to discuss the impacts of Covid-19 on the Meeting Industry. One of the questions I was asked was how things would be in the Industry once the pandemic was over and what the new “normal” would look like.
Well, futurology is a hard task, but also fun. And in one of my statements, I said that I believed that the agencies would possibly have to add different kinds of professionals to their payroll. But now, rethinking my answer, I could add that current professionals should also acquire new skills and knowledge. After all, Covid-19 has forced agencies, clients and audiences to new event formats: the so-called digital events (hybrid, virtual, webinar, streaming and all its variations).
But hold your horses, under no circumstances, am I predicting the end of face-to-face. On the contrary, the desire to meet and socialise is inherent to human beings. Nothing will replace the impact of face-to-face events. My point is that we will see an escalation of digital events, since only the advantages of onsite events were crystal clear, and now, so are the advantages of digital events. It seems simple but let’s go back to the hybrid event I participated in. A “one-hour meeting”, launched only one week prior to the event gathered more than 1300 participants - which is unthinkable for a face-to-face event in a large and crowded city like São Paulo. The same event would have had a much smaller audience impact if it had only been on-site and now this truth came to light. This is one of the changes that has come to stay.
But what are these new professions in the event industry? Which professionals would the agencies be looking for? Or at least, what skills should technical producers, project managers, meeting planners and event designers learn?
You want to discover more about our services? Discover our services
Community managers are already a reality in some companies, but this position is surely going to be huge in the near future. These guys will be responsible for collecting data, analysing trends and keeping the target audience as active as possible around a product, a company or an association. A thoughtful and inspiring community professional influences the behaviour of an entire value chain.
Data professionals – imagine thousands of people attending a hybrid meeting. They would be choosing panels, reading speaker's resumes, chatting, posting insights on social media, rating themes. Inside the platform, we would have detailed information on content consumption and behaviour of each participant. If we read this data correctly, we would have valuable information to determine Meetings ROI as precise as digital marketing and connect brands and people much more efficiently.
If the UX Designer is already a reality in the IT industry, we will need these professionals to develop a much nicer journey for virtual attendees. Most digital events platforms available lack interactivity and so far, don't offer the expected ownership for the participants to design their own experience.
Digital Education Experts became a career when online education boomed. These professionals might take us to the next level in terms of retaining audience attention and online learning.
Also, it's easy to state that we will see event content creators, web presentation designers, content curators, speaking for the webcam coaches (and tutorials), all digital marketing expertise and so many others amazing opportunities. And yes, tech skills will dominate the jobs of tomorrow in our industry as well, but soft skills will be equally important.
If you lost your job or had your working hours reduced, take advantage to learn and develop new skills. Embrace the change and make no mistake, we will meet again!
This story was originally published on LinkedIn.