2021 event planning. What does connected mean in an unconnected world?

How should you approach your 2021 event planning?

In some ways, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a digital paradox. Before, many people were looking to reduce their time online with a digital detox. Now, many of us are online more than ever 

Real people are at the key to authentic relationships, but much of that connection has to be delivered online – at least for the short term. This year has been spent rediscovering social ties -with people participating in virtual gigs, drinks, dinner parties and video calls to friends and family. 

With screen fatigue though, 2021 isn’t just a case of more virtual events for brands. People are suffering from burnout as they spend 45 hours of screen time each week on phones, TVs and laptops. 

But despite all of this, there is a great opportunity to engage with your audience. Here are the things you need to consider for your 2021 event planning.

You need to be purposeful  

Connection is sill about emotion, interaction, and intimacy. Our research from The Future of Connected Brand Experience 2021, has shown that the number one factor people look for in a brand’s digital experience is personality and entertainment. 

When planning for next year, think of how you are going to create meaningful interactions with people, in a balanced and thought out way.  

So, what should your approach be? 

Flexibility and managing risk will be the watch words for next year. Brands need to think about how they will use experiential and live events that offer a hybrid portfolio engagement. 

Experiences will need to use whatever channel(s) are most relevant to their audience rather than requiring them to fit into a predetermined box. Brands running experiential and live events will have to open up other channels as required. 

It’s been a big learning curve for us all 

While as an agency we like to think we are future looking, we didn’t see this one coming! Initially this year there were a huge number of brands that flipped their live events to being virtual as they looked to stay connected with their audience. There were varying degrees of success with this, and no doubt some lessons learned along the way.  

We took a step back and took time to find the best partners who could help us to continue to deliver flawlessly for clients this year, and into next. It’s been a steep learning curve for us, but we’re now able to advise on the right approach for you to smash your objectives.  

The fundamentals stay the same 

The core thinking that made an event work before the pandemic still holds true, even in an unconnected world – what are you trying to achieve, and what is the best and most effective way to make that happen? You still need to approach it with your objectives, audiences and KPIs. 

By approaching your 2021 event planning with flexibility and mitigating risk in mind, a blend of virtual, live and hybrid events could give you some amazing opportunities to give consumers exactly what they want.  

Need help with your next live, virtual or hybrid experience? 

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at hello@acalive.co.uk to talk. There is a path for the event industry to come back strongly and you’ll want your brand to be at the forefront.