Wed Jan 2023

Have you missed face-to-face events?


Written by:
Michelle Smith,
Marketing Director

Have you missed face-to-face events? 

At Panoramic Associates, we run regular meetups and events. Due to the COVID crisis, we have not been able to network and attend events in person. As such, we have adapted to ‘the new norm’ and have been hosting these virtually over the last year and a half.

And while most of us have missed face-to-face interaction, no doubt some will still be hesitant.

As we continue to organise and host meetups, this got us thinking: what is your preference, virtual or face-to-face?

We recently conducted a poll asking our network just that. As we emerge from the pandemic, a hybrid model has overtaken solely virtual and office-based working as companies adapt to flexible working. In this notion, 64% of our voters maintained that hybrid events were here to stay.

With a hybrid event, you essentially lower the barrier for entry for both demographics; those who want to attend, but can’t, and those who are unsure if your event if relevant to them. This in turn increases your reach, as you can promote your event to a larger audience than ever could be possible in person.

However, 29% of our voters are still in support of face-to-face events, and we cannot simply disregard the benefits. Face-to-face networking feels more personal and allows attendees to build stronger relationships. Furthermore, you can gauge interest engagement through dialogue, body language and non-verbal cues. Importantly, it is what we’re used to. Virtual or hybrid events can be daunting to those who prefer ‘the personal touch’ of a face-to-face meeting, as this can be a determining factor in forging strong business relationships.

Regardless of this, virtual events have led to a paradigm shift in the organisation and carrying out of corporate events. Virtual activities add extraordinary value, but only 7% of our poll participants prefer virtual events over hybrid or face-to-face. This may be due to the recently coined term ‘Zoom fatigue’, or the desire to reconnect with those we haven’t seen throughout the pandemic.

Still, virtual events allow to not only connect hundreds of people simultaneously from their homes but also attract successful speakers and are more cost effective as they spare expenses such as venue hire, for example.

As our poll results reflect, a hybrid model is somewhat the best of both worlds. There is a good possibility that the future of events will forever be changed. The pandemic has changed our approach to technology, and events are growing alongside this accordingly. While face-to-face events can never be replaced, it appears virtual elements in partnership will now be in the forefront of corporate events.

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