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The Future of Virtual Events

“Hey Jeff, what’s the deal with live or virtual events? Should my event be virtual or in-person?” If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me these questions during the pandemic, I could have probably retired already! All jokes aside, the past few months have been quite confusing for the audience, talent and event planners alike.

As a professional emcee, it’s typically my job to give corporate clients the reassurance they need to move forward with a future event. However, I’m personally witnessing friends and clients shift upcoming events from fall to winter or early 2022. Some are even totally canceling due to frustration with the unknown. And truthfully, I can’t say I blame them!

We’re all ultimately caught in the middle: Do we move forward with a virtual event and if so, what will that virtual event look like? While I don’t have a crystal ball to know what’s happening next, I can offer a few predictions as a virtual emcee. Despite the murkiness of the past few months, the future of virtual events looks bright—with more possibilities for everyone involved.

More Opportunities for Talent

If you’re one of the many people who are ready to simply throw their laptops out the window and rush to the closest ballroom for your next event, trust and believe that you’re not alone! After a few months of in-person events, returning to the comfort of your own home might not seem so appealing. But what if I told you that virtual events actually give you more opportunities for talent?

Now that I’ve served as virtual emcee for nearly 300 events since the start of the pandemic, I’ve realized something incredibly interesting. Virtual events give you access to talent who typically aren’t on the speaking circuit. By this, I mean that the convenience and flexibility of virtual events bring more performers, entertainers, celebrities, and athletes to the digital stage.

In terms of what the future of virtual events will hold, a professional emcee like myself can predict that more talent will be available to serve as a panelist or keynote speaker. Likewise, fellow professional emcees can testify that we’ve established quite a robust home studio or external production facility that will allow us to bring our talent to more events than ever before.

More Options for Planners and Producers 

Right now, my event planner and producer friends are stuck in a jam—do they risk trying to plan a physical event, put their efforts behind a virtual event, or give up altogether? Well, friends, I’m here to tell you not to throw in the towel quite yet! Virtual events give everyone more options, including planners and producers.

As I mentioned, virtual events widen your potential talent pool. From the hottest athletes to more low-key celebrities, virtual events make it easy for entertainers to feature in your event. This ease of opportunity also means that planners and producers have access to a different type of speaker who typically wouldn’t have the bandwidth or resources to travel to a conference.

From executives who are typically tied up in work to specialists who can’t leave a family behind, virtual events give planners and producers tons of options. Not to mention, the concept of virtual means more people can attend your event due to no travel or safety concerns. Technically speaking, this means that a local event can seamlessly become an international event overnight.

More Flexibility with Professional Emcees

No one has been prepared to tackle the future of virtual events more than a professional emcee. Personally, I’ve built an impressive home studio where I can go through practice runs, serve as a virtual emcee, and even pre-record upcoming segments. I also have access to my own virtual event production company that makes it a breeze to film high-quality, professional events.

The future of virtual events has opened up even more opportunities for virtual emcees to remain nimble and flexible in the face of pandemic shifts. A virtual emcee like myself can now pre-record segments, like intros and outros or interviews with key individuals in an organization, and leave items like keynotes or team-building workshops for the live portion of the virtual event.

This adaptability allows for endless possibilities for my clients, both in terms of flexibility in pricing for virtual events and almost immediate turnaround for promotional material like promo videos or blooper reels. For professional emcees, this adaptability means we’re prepared for the remainder of the pandemic, no matter what the future holds.

More Expectations for an Awesome Event 

Though I can’t predict the future of virtual events, I know one thing for sure: the bar has been raised. So, any upcoming digital conference must be done well. While not every event will require the razzle-dazzle of confetti cannons, each virtual event will require attention to detail that considers the needs of the audience first and foremost.

The truth is, Zoom fatigue is real. For your attendees or employees to feel genuinely excited about a virtual event, you must hire a professional whose job it is to engage, entertain, and glue people to their screen because they’re actually having a great time. Rather than skip through a slideshow or play a non-interactive video, find an entertainer who can bring your event to life.

At the core, the job of a virtual emcee is to lift company morale with humor and interaction. A virtual emcee is beneficial when breaking the routine of a standard video call and elevating your digital event into something one-of-a-kind. Rest assured you can garner the same reach, impact, and engagement as a live event when you bring a trusted professional onboard.

This article originally appeared on jeffcivillico.com.

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