Pushing the right button

Date: 11/02/2021


Like many of you, I had my share of digital experiences over the last 12 months – both as participant and organizer. And systematically, the experience improved. Evolving technology definitely played a role, but even more important was the fact that we recognize this new world for what it is and not for what we wish it to be. Digital cannot replace face-to-face, so it needs to be used for what it can do.

Technology, geopolitics, changing member behavior, new business models, climate change … all of these have an impact on the way organized events will evolve. As a result, we will need to be very agile as an industry and use our different platform – digital and physical – in a way they enrich each other and provide a richer outcome to both the organizer and the participant.

Digital definitely has its role to play, even when physical events are possible again, and it’s important to prepare for this reality. The starting point for successfully using technology is to carefully look at the organiser’s objectives. If you look at associations, for example, this is often linked to the mission or the purpose. And despite all the disruptions faced, the purpose of the associations is the one thing that did not change. Medical associations still want to improve the lives of patients, technology associations still want to create a smarter world, and business associations still want to stimulate trade. What is up for change is how this is done – the buttons to be pushed.

Digital allows for connectivity in a world where travel will remain challenging for some time. And although Zoom does not come close to a face-to-face experience, it does enable you to talk to peers, share knowledge, and take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in facing the challenges ahead. This is really the moment to carefully look at the different audiences and distinguish their varying needs.

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