Virtual meeting platforms have always been there, but it’s only during the pandemic that many industries view them as a pressing necessity. With remote working being the world’s new greatest challenge, we have turned to innovative solutions to keep us all connected. Even businesses have relied on professional online video production solutions for their website and social media ads.
The most common virtual meeting platform is Zoom, which became a household name right away when COVID-19 was yet fresh on the loose. Whereas there were reportedly only 10 million Zoom users in December 2019, the number has skyrocketed to 200 million in 2021.
Skype losing users from Zoom is a different topic, but how the platform lost its crown to the other company sheds some light on how much we value shifting comfortably to the virtual world, the new norm. The main reason behind the loss is that Skype has compromised the quality of its online video calls over updating its many other features. But Zoom remains simple yet with high-quality video calls, the very thing that appeals to users.
Overall, the whooping number of virtual meetings held since the pandemic raised this year’s sales expectations for video conferencing companies to more than 40%—a win-win situation for all industries. We all benefit from these virtual meeting platforms now that health and safety should be put above anything else.
Virtual Meeting Trends That May Shape the Future of Event Planning
We all want the pandemic to end and finally meet people in real life, but we can’t deny this is becoming the new normal, so many of us have started to embrace, appreciate, and perhaps even prefer virtual platforms in the future. These solutions may remain and integrate into how future events will take place. Here are some virtual meeting trends you should know:
If you’re looking for an event that works for those who can show up in person and those who can’t for safety or some other reasons, then you have the hybrid solution. And hybrid events are predicted to not just work this 2021 but stay just as well after COVID-19. These events can cater to both the live and online audience, which increases presenter-audience engagement. Live attendees see presentations in person while online attendees experience them digitally.
This is somehow a combination of traditional and modern event planning. Both live and virtual participants get to share experiences, allowing them to share their thoughts no matter where they are. Even smaller events can adopt a hybrid setting, all the more strengthening the participants’ connections. Lastly, flexibility is there. Participants can just choose where to attend the meetings—virtual or IRL. They may even want to attend both alternately.
Augmented reality and virtual reality
Being stuck at home for so long, people now want more than a video display but a real experience. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are the solutions. Augmented reality provides users with an enhanced, immersive experience as it mimics or simulates the real world with virtual, sound, and sensory components. And it’s not just for businesses. It applies to all industries, from live entertainment and education to meetings.
AR and VR differ because AR uses the real physical world, while VR only enhances the fictional dimension. But these devices are already there, so it’s a matter of when it’s going to be used on a large scale. Could these gadgets be the next big-time event preference in the future? It could be when more event planners realize how using these devices can significantly increase engagement and entertainment in their events.
Facial recognition has always existed for security and other purposes, but it has become much of a preference for events’ joining credentials. Nobody wants to join events with complicated log-in processes, so passwordless log-ins arise, the most convenient of which is facial recognition. With facial recognition, attendees are quickly verified and recorded, saving their time and streamlining their check-in.
Even with evolving virtual meeting alternatives, in-person events will always remain. This calls for innovative technologies and a change in the approach, especially regarding the people’s safety from the coronavirus. Even in the future, health and safety will be prioritized, and it just happened that it starts from 2020.
To heighten safety, on-site rapid testing is now slowly implemented, testing large gatherings and producing results in as quick as 10 minutes. Before entering the venue, health screenings will need to be done first, all-digital. And lastly, we have wearable gadgets for contactless payment, contact tracing, digital lead retrieval, and controlling crowds instead of a touchscreen registration.
Virtual vs. In-person Meetings
Some have developed a liking and preference for virtual setup while others remain adamant about choosing in-person events. Which do you prefer? Both have pros and cons, but whatever your choice is, make sure that you open your mind to the next trends that may soon change the game.