Holding an event is so different these days following the seemingly inexorable rise of the online event. In the good old days, if indeed they were, holding an event took planning, coordination and a lot of effort. Not that they don’t these days yet the bar to entry has been set low.
Where once you would need to coordinate an easy to get to location, sufficient refershements, working and reliable audio-visual equipment, competent speakers and an interested audience, these days it is so much simpler. All you need is to set the date, line up the speaker content and set up a link to your favourite online platform. You might wish to record it yet thai is something you may have wanted to do for an in person event.
Holding events is in many ways so much easier yet this has led to two very real downsides. Firstly, as they are easier to set up, there is so much more competition for the same audience. There are events nearly all the time and so it is much harder to make your own stand out from the crowd. The purpose of your event must be clearer, more focussed and better presented. Not that these are bad things, just harder to achieve.
Secondly, it is much easier for the audience not to turn up. With in person events you would usually have to leave early to get there in time for it to start. Such events also come with the added pressure of not being seen when you said that you would go. Peer pressure means you are much more likely to apologise for having to drop out.
With an online event however, you can leave your attendance literally right up to the point that it starts. It’s much easier to convince yourself that it’s no longer worth attending. Indeed many people are overcommitting to events, registering attendance with little intention of turning up. Any shame you may feel for dropping out is significantly less, who is going to see you anyway and, as you will be working right up to the start there is more opportunity for alternative distractions to turn up. Getting 50% of those who registered to attend is an achievement now.
Whilst physical events are gradually creeping back into the calendar they are going to have a hard job in competing with the convenience and ease of their online cousins. This is a shema s humans need social and physical contact. As with all things a blended or hybrid approach is needed combining the best of online and in person events.