The future of live events is here and depends on these 4 factors

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The future of live events is here and depends on these 4 factors

 When it comes to reimagining what the events industry will look like in the near future, these are the four things we should all be thinking about.

If there was ever a catalyst to reimagine the events space, the coronavirus is it.

Over the years, corporate live events have transformed to include celebrity speakers, VIP access, exclusive private dinners, mobile-first ticketing, and a wide assortment of high production value add-ons—one of which being a film recording or, more recently, live streaming capabilities. But it wasn’t until the majority of the world went into quarantine that the concept of digital broadcasting went from being a cool addition to an in-person event to becoming its central focus.

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The Event Industry is being confronted by its Napster moment

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All types of business events are in danger of their revenue streams of tickets, sponsorships, memberships, and other types of fees being eroded. This is happening as the world gets used to digital formats and alternatives emerge to physical networking, matchmaking, and other tasks we get out of these events. The threat sounds familiar?

 

I won’t bury the headline: the vast, global events industry is going through its Napster moment through this pandemic, and is in denial on what this will do to it.

Everything about the underlying economics of this sprawling, diverse, chaotic and highly profitable sector is being undercut by the move to virtual, and 2019 may be the year where the industry’s revenues peaked. This year could be the event industry’s 2000 moment à la what happened to the music industry.

I was there during the music industry’s Napster moment in late ’90s, a cub reporter covering the vast promise of early internet, and wrote hundreds of stories about what happened to labels and the economic structure of music industry and music acts. I wrote about the atomization of the album into singles and the download boom with rise of Apple’s iTunes, and then the start of the streaming boom that led to Spotify and others since.

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