The State of Conventions and Conferences in 2021

The year 2020 changed life the way we know it. The Covid-19 pandemic brought many industries to a screeching halt. With the cancellation of thousands of in-person events, organizations were forced to pivot on how to reach their clients and customers.

To stay connected, we observed many industries using virtual solutions to help weather the storm. For example, the Forcura Connect Summit was created as an immersive digital experience to connect leaders across the healthcare industry to collaboratively look at the continuum of care and connect with their peers. Another example of adapting to the circumstances was Rapha Clinic’s Sound of Medicine, which took the organization’s annual fundraiser and hosted a live web-based concert to fill the fundraising gap.

2021 will see the return of in-person conventions and conferences with a full return to normalcy expected by the first quarter of 2022. We reached out to experts in the events industry to get their outlook on what we can expect to see moving forward. The main takeaway is that you’ll start seeing many of the big events returning in the late third quarter or the early fourth. For example, Twitter recently signed a contract to have their major convention here in Atlanta late in the third quarter. Big companies and organizations, like Twitter, will want to be leaders in bringing back live events, but you will still see many health and safety precautions (including proof of vaccination / negative covid tests).

With organizations finding creative virtual ways to stay connected over the course of 2020 and the return of in-person events in 2021, there are reasons to be optimistic. As organizations plan for their conference or convention, 2020 taught us how to engage with our audience online. Now, events can be larger and cater to in-person and online audiences for an even greater impact than ever before.

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