Events, lectures and trade fairs have so far been for many People integral part of Business-everyday. But the circumstances could force us to rethink events. Some suggestions.

The future of mobile work: Are events still in keeping with the times?

Events - an integral part of everyday business life?

For many people, events, conferences, trade fairs and similar events are an integral part of their everyday business life and the prospect of exciting lectures and Networking with colleagues often offers real cause for anticipation. For me it's a little different.

I remember mine last panel discussion in Munich: I rushed hectically through the fairly noisy, narrow and dark exhibition hall because I had drastically underestimated the way to the venue and was too late. I was also battling a severe sinus infection and on the way back I had to tremble to catch my train due to a subway congestion. A fairly stressful matter, which made me decide even then to hold events in Future clear to visit more sparingly.

Small private meetings instead of business meetings

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That's what I've done since then: From then on I refrained from meeting people in stuffy exhibition halls without daylight, with whom only a superficial conversation was anyway Conversation was possible and I probably caught something in the air-conditioned air. In any case, the mass of events has increased inflationary for me in recent years.

Instead, I preferred small, more private meetings with selected contacts, for example for lunch, and otherwise preferred to exercise in the fresh air rather than open events. A Concept, which worked for me and mine creativity inspired. My personal lack of understanding of the usefulness of anonymous major events has grown even further as a result.

How Corona changed the event culture

And then Corona came. The tourism and events industry was hit hardest financially. And the penalties won't look that way fast let it be brought back in. The first trade fairs and events with a reduced number of participants are hesitantly taking place again, but at the same time many are asking the question: do we actually need events of the same scope as before?

In fact, I've been asking myself this question since the beginning of the pandemic, when I was able to observe how quickly various organizers were able to switch to digital events and how quickly the usual lunchMeetings to walking meetings, mine Opinions after being more productive and concentrated in many cases - it's not for nothing that I've been overwriting for years Hiking meetings among others of the LinkedIn founder Konstantin Guericke. And now Marcus Albers has Founder by Rethink, dared to ask the question about the end of the events:

"So could it be that the format of physical live events is ending up in the dustbin of history - not because of Corona, but because Corona has shown that nobody really misses them? Just between us: Do you get nostalgic when you think of a day full of 45-minute expert talks where everyone feels like a TED speaker, clicking through endless charts of large format images? Or would you like to sit in the Audience one of those standardized panel discussions in which the same minds are always pompous about the same topics? Such formats already felt before Corona light musty on.”

Classic events - history's garbage dump or hybrid solutions?

But even for Albers, classic events will not just disappear like that. In his opinion, the future belongs much more to blended and hybrid event formats, i.e. a mixture of digital elements and those on site. However, according to Albers, savings can and must be made in the budgets for hotels, travel, transport, accommodation and catering. The Money It would then be better to invest elsewhere, namely directly for the content and its technical preparation, because according to Albers it is not enough to simply film speakers and put them on the Internet:

“Virtual events are not just that Online-Utilization of existing formats. You have to completely rethink the content for them, true to Marshall McLuhan's insight: "The medium is the message". In the future, the capacity and location of the event venue will be less important than good technical equipment and a fast internet connection. The role of the moderator is also changing: they have to handle tools confidently and produce dynamics without applause. Online participants and – in the case of hybrid events – those in the room must be cleverly connected. It's a bit like at the beginning of the last century, when theater actors had to learn how to act in front of the camera."

New event forms: This is where the challenges lie

For me, this is where the big challenge lies, especially with the hybrid events – and the big one Problem, because the local people who also with body language and able to communicate with all senses will always have an advantage over those who are only connected digitally.

Event organizers, locations and even entire communities have long since jumped on this digital train. A trick, because the capacities for meetings and congresses have been greatly minimized by the hygiene regulations, so that the people have to be distributed over several rooms. In addition, foreign participants are often unable to travel due to entry regulations.

In Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which I visited some time ago, they want to help the organizers with a hybrid event concept, for example, to digitally connect the participants, who are spread out in different locations, with technical means. So everyone can do the same thing together Lecture and then meet up later for networking and joint activities in the fresh air - the location with its mountain backdrop also offers the ideal conditions for such activities.

Conclusion: Rethink events, but don't forget networking

Because, one must not forget, the networking and chance encounters of different participants or, in the increasewhich Teambuilding, is the important and real purpose of such events. And in contrast to Markus Albers, I am of the opinion that it cannot and should not be dispensed with, because the shared experience, feel, taste of people will continue to be important in addition to pure knowledge transfer - and cannot be replaced digitally so quickly.

Perhaps events need to be rethought not only in the digital direction, but also in the other direction: create more community experiences with movement and fresh air that inspire the creativity of teams and are therefore particularly remembered.

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