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Virtual vs Physical – Why We Still Need Face to Face Events

April 7, 2020

Constellation towards stage speaker panel

The last few weeks have thrown the event industry into unchartered territory. With events being cancelled and re-arranged across the board many eventprofs have been looking at the possibility of holding virtual events and engaging with their stakeholders while they work from home.

While we remain on lockdown, virtual events are a great way of sharing knowledge and keeping communities together but will they become the norm? Will delegates prefer to communicate remotely when businesses return to normal after the current pandemic? We don’t think so.

There are three key reasons why physical events will always be important to both businesses and delegates:

Networking

We are used to keeping in touch with our contacts and growing our networks online with LinkedIn but there is no substitute for meeting with people and building relationships face to face. When you attend an event or a conference there are normally several opportunities built-in throughout the day to mingle with you fellow delegates from hospitality breaks and breakout sessions through to exploring exhibition space. Swapping businesses cards, sharing stories and learning more about people helps to establish trust and paves the way for successful business relationships. This is hard to achieve when simply attending an online gathering in isolation.

Atmosphere

We love the buzz that can be felt in the conference centre on a busy event day. When we’re welcoming attendees through our doors we can feel the anticipation build. Our Constellation Suite is our main conference room that can hold up to 300 delegates. When the audience is really engaged with the speakers and healthy debates are taking place there’s no online replacement for this type of interaction. Delegates can see who agrees with their point of view, assess where their allies are and decide on who to connect with from there.

Important Time Out

It can be difficult to take a whole day out of your work schedule to attend a conference or event but the time is well spent and can give you room to think, to learn and to bring back new knowledge to your workplace. Virtual events may be shorter and won’t interrupt your working day quite as much, but they are unlikely to inspire you in the same way as a physical event will. By meeting in person, you’ll benefit from bouncing ideas off your fellow delegates and sharing experiences that might result in you thinking differently about your own role.

We are re-booking events at 99 City Road Conference Centre from September onwards. If you would like to book your next event or rearrange an event with us then please contact Jake Orme via email Jake.Orme@inmarsat.com

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