Virtual events are not new but converting onsite events into remote events, within hours or days in some cases, is something unusual for some organizers. Even though onsite events provide unique advantages such as face-to-face interactions, the demand for virtual events continues to increase, especially nowadays. From live-streaming to pre-recorded sessions, more companies are restructuring their events to offer engagement-driving experiences that extend beyond a computer screen.
This has opened the door to new ways to connect people online while reducing costs and carbon footprints. However, without that face-to-face aspect, the question on how to design event experiences for the virtual event attendees is crucial. Students from the Bachelor of International Tourism Management (Hons.) programme who had registered for Trends and Issues in International Event Management had the opportunity to virtually meet Professor David Hind, President of Asia Pacific Institute for Event Management (APIEM) who shared his ideas and thoughts about this issue.
Professor David Hind is an Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Business and Management & Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia; Distinguished Professor Chung Hua University, Taiwan; Managing Editor of the Asia Pacific International Events Management Journal; Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Event Industry Academy; Chief Executive of the Travel Industry Academy Ltd; over 30 years’ experience working in the tourism, events and hospitality industries in the UK and overseas and networking with senior industry and education executives in particular extensive events, tourism, and hospitality experience in S.E. Asia.
The webinar discussed the trends and issues in virtual events, live events, and hybrid events. Using the successful 1st Asia Virtual Event Conference (AVEC) as an example, Prof. David shared valuable tips on how to organize successful online events, emphasizing the elements to focus when designing the event experiences for virtual audience, the importance of event technology, the challenges faced by virtual events and how virtual events can never replace live (physical events). Prof. David also shared his thoughts on the expected trends of virtual events for some types of events that will be continued and the future of live events (post Covid-19). Prof. David believes that there will still be a demand for live events in the future. The webinar was a very insightful session for the students based on the positive feedback received from the students.