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The Future of Events Is #Live and #Hybrid — Here’s What to Do Projection mapping, trade shows, roadshows, experiential marketing and events were some of the fastest-growing parts of AV, while 2020 was predicted, by all accounts, to be the biggest year in AV history. Then, COVID. Not only did live events get canceled almost daily, but the corporate AV market — meeting rooms, boardrooms and huddle spaces — seemed to disappear in a matter of weeks. Ironically, though, the very thing that was driving the meeting room market, UCC, exploded!
Suddenly, Zoom shot to #1. Cisco dropped to #2. Microsoft Teams launched a free version of its platform nearly overnight. And the world discovered what we knew all along: that videoconferencing is virtually the same as being in a live meeting.
But not for every meeting…
You can’t simply replace the world’s classrooms with Zoom. Concerts can’t just jump on over to Teams. When thrown online, conferences and trade shows lose nearly all the personalization that still drives them to grow in the internet age. The AV industry not only owns the solution to all these problems; we have the opportunity of a lifetime to drive a hybrid existence — forever.
How? We need to reengineer the way we set up every AV system. We’re going to need larger viewing areas, as people will be spread out. Classrooms need to accommodate live, online, hybrid and HyFlex instruction simultaneously. Meeting rooms need to empower true collaboration for everyone connected to a meeting, wherever they are (not just via video). And every live event — whether conference, concert or product launch — needs to be accessible and engaging for both live and remote attendees. We have the tech to do that.