Check Out the Most Anticipated Virtual Events of 2021

It’s no secret that 2020 was a year like no other. Across industries, event organizers took on the challenge of creating virtual events and experiences on par with in-person events. Event experts everywhere learned essential lessons that will help the industry move forward in 2021.

What we learned from the most successful virtual events in 2020

In 2020, brands across the world adapted quickly to the new normal of virtual events. Almost overnight, in-person events had to be converted into virtual or hybrid events. Throughout this monumental effort, event organizers and other stakeholders have identified best practices, overcome common challenges and developed roadmaps for future events.

Some of the top virtual events from 2020 included:

  • Salesforce World Tour:
    As one of the first events in the world to pivot from an in-person environment to a digital platform, Salesforce World Tour led the industry in uncovering innovative ways to keep audiences engaged. Participants could share their technology demonstrations in real time via an interactive showcase platform and audience members could vote for their favorites.
  • Tomorrowland Around the World:
    Event organizers took one of the largest European music festivals and turned it into a virtual event like none other. Major recording artists from around the globe recorded performances which were inserted into a stunning digital environment complete with cheering crowds and fireworks. The event organizers also added webinars and games to create a deeper sense of participation for all attendees.
  • Adobe MAX 2020:
    This free-for-all event reimagined the yearly Adobe conference by bringing together creative professionals from across the world. Attendees could visit virtual classrooms, watch webinars and take a digital stroll through virtual exhibitions. The event fostered a sense of community and collaboration by enabling audience members to chat and share videos with each other.

Each of these events shows the importance of audience engagement. Enchanting visual elements, interesting content and interactive activities were common themes witnessed across industries. Moving into 2021, technology will continue to play a central role in how people experience events from the comfort of their own homes.

The most anticipated virtual events of 2021

So, what is on the horizon for 2021? If you’re looking for events that showcase many of the lessons highlighted above, consider checking out the following:

  • AWS re:Invent (Jan):
    The annual conference for Amazon Web Services went virtual in 2020 and will do so again in 2021. Each session is available on-demand after it airs live, allowing audiences to enjoy the content on their own schedule. In addition, the event offers more than 50 content tracks and training opportunities.
  • CES (Jan):
    The Consumer Technology Association’s annual conference features thought leaders from some of the biggest tech companies in the world. Audiences can tune into speaking events and connect with industry experts via event-branded communication apps.
  • SXSW Online (March):
    This fully digital experience includes keynote speakers, music concerts, film screenings and networking opportunities. Attendees can watch sessions on-demand, so there’s no risk of missing out on the most anticipated sessions. When viewing live sessions, attendees can ask questions and chat with other attendees.

Thinking of hosting your own virtual event in 2021?

In 2021, hosting your own virtual event over Zoom just won’t be enough. To compete with high-profile events like those listed above, brands need to work with a partner that can bring together essential elements such as:

  • Technology platforms:
    Regardless of what platform a brand chooses, it needs to offer key functionalities such as audience engagement, analytics tracking and robust video streaming. Downtime can stop an event in its tracks, so platform stability is also important.
  • Entertainment:
    Whether showcasing pre-recorded entertainment or streaming live performances, an event partner can help brands create the most immersive experiences possible.
  • Remote speakers:
    Consumer video conferencing software may not offer the quality audience members expect. An event partner can ensure that event speakers have the right tools and technology for crystal-clear visuals and audio.
  • Networking opportunities:
    Secondary apps can offer attendees opportunities to network with each other, share information and engage in friendly conversations. An event partner can ensure that the technology supports an engaging audience experience.

It’s likely that more events will become hybridized in 2021. That means they will have digital and physical components. Event hosts will therefore need to appeal to in-person and remote audiences simultaneously. A knowledgeable travel and event partner can support both sets of audience members and develop enjoyable experiences for both.

Are you thinking about hosting an event in 2021? Get in touch with the experts at JTB USA to learn more.