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Our world is changing, and we are currently in the midst of a massive shift in the way we connect with one another on a global scale. This interconnectedness is something we have only begun to see in recent years. As technology advances, there is no doubt that our ability to connect virtually will advance as well. When the whole world is connected by the internet, physical boundaries are no match for the power of the digital world. As our society becomes increasingly reliant on social media and the internet, multiple industries have started to use this to their advantage. Specifically, we have seen a major shift towards virtual events in the entertainment industry.
The Constraints of In-Person Events
In-person events are fun. They give attendees the opportunity to leave the house, be social, meet new people, and can even be adrenaline-inducing. Nevertheless, one thing holds these events back from reaching their full potential: limited accessibility.
Say you want to go to a conference in your niche but it’s in another state. Or, say you want to see your favorite musician in concert but it’s taking place in another country. Going to these events would be like taking a vacation – you would have to book a flight, find a place to stay, eat out for every meal, and learn to navigate a new place. In most cases, you would probably decide to stay home and miss out on the event rather than spend both time and money to go.
In the past year, the entertainment industry has almost been forced to shift to virtual events. As a result of the outbreak of COVID-19, events all around the world were either cancelled or carried out remotely. At first, this was a difficult transition. But COVID-19 has opened the world’s eyes to the limitless possibilities within the digital world. Now, experts are realizing that virtual events may be a new normal within the entertainment industry – which is not necessarily a bad thing.
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Embracing the Digital Age
Virtual events have what in-person events lack: accessibility. In the digital world, distance and exclusivity are not limiting factors. Through the internet, an individual can connect with someone on the opposite side of the globe easily. If someone based in Asia would like to attend a virtual event held by someone in North America, then they have the opportunity to do so. If that specific event were being held in-person, it would be extremely difficult for that person to attend (especially in the midst of a global pandemic). This allows creators, brands, and other event-holders to expand their reach outside of their physical area and interact with a much wider audience.
Here are a few more benefits of holding virtual events rather than in-person ones:
- They typically cost much less than in-person events (no venue, catering, etc.)
- Although many virtual events are free, those that cost money usually cost less than in-person ones. This, in turn, gives more people the opportunity to attend.
- They allow for more creative freedom and experimentation regarding content and the overall experience.
These are a few examples of notable brands and creators who have successfully adapted their content to the digital world through virtual events:
1. Travis Scott
This past summer, Travis Scott hosted a virtual event on the game Fortnite. It included a short concert and world premiere of his new song, “Astronomical.” The event pictured Scott, ten times his actual size and animated to look like a character in the game, performing for the players of the game. It was completely free to anyone on the game, it lasted around 15 minutes, and over 12 million people attended.
2. Marc Jacobs
In August, Marc Jacobs held a virtual launch party for their newest fragrance, “Perfect.” The beauty brand held the event over zoom and opened it to the public. Even though launch parties are usually very exclusive events, this one was open to the world. The audience had the opportunity to view live performances, enter giveaways, and participate in a Q&A.
3. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
In October, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined multiple gaming influencers to play the game “Among Us” on a Twitch livestream. The Congresswoman played the game, which recently became very popular among the younger generation, to encourage viewers of the stream to vote in the 2020 election. The livestream was discussed greatly across social media platforms and ultimately amassed over 400k viewers.
Creator Connections 2020
Here at NeoReach, we held our own virtual event on November 17th – Creator Connections 2020. It was a one-day only, 4-hour long conference that brought together brands, influencers, and industry experts in an engaging discussion about the future of influencer marketing. Attendees around the world had the opportunity to ask questions to the panelists and interact with experts during the event. In the past, conferences like this one may have been limited to established industry professionals and the press. But, because of the digital format, anyone with even a remote interest in influencer marketing had the opportunity to attend the event.
This shift to virtual events within the entertainment industry gives creators, brands, industry professionals, and their audiences the opportunity to be a part of something bigger. As moguls within the entertainment industry prove their ability to adapt to the advancements in society and technology, they are establishing a system of global interconnectedness that will forever impact the industry as a whole.