Once live events resume will there be a larger more concerted effort to achieve sustainability targets?
Will we use this a an opportunity to rethink how events are planned? With the media reports of cleaner waters, the ozone layer hole closing etc. Will there be more eyes on us to change how we work industry wide upon our return?
As an industry that doesn't have the best track record of sustainability will we use this as an opportunity for change or fall back into old habits?
Will there be more of a push to stage hybrid events mixing the live and the digital realms? Reducing numbers of attendees, materials used, less travelling, is there a best of both worlds option?
Is the future hybrid and sustainable?
I also think that we are heading that way, especially if cities are now contemplating of not opening their centers back up to cars at all and giving them back to cyclists and people on foot. Reduction of travel will have large impact and people might look at other options to travel that might be more suitable for social distancing (i.e. trains vs. planes...)
I think hybrid will still be necessary especially for the events coming up after the lockdown, however after this time people are fed up with videos, streams and i think will be searching for actual human interactions...
You are right though Paul, with technologies all being all over the place in terms of quality and what they can offer a lot of work still needs to be done to make sure they can cope and serve the right purpose for the individual events.
Sustainability and events were always two words somewhat at odds, and whilst there are much more innovative and sustainable ways of hosting events in 2020 (or more like 2021!), there is still an environmental impact.
So, yes, I do wonder whether the next normal is an event structure that is more simplified, blends virtual and physical worlds together, and is much more premium than the typical event series suggests.
I fundamentally believe that technology will need to catch up fast, whilst some of the platforms out there today to hold virtual events are adequate, we need to move away from bland top down messaging and webinars, to something a lot more immersive, participative and experiential if the future lays down that path!