A study that OneMulti and InsightOut Lab conducted with Press-Service and the Ariadna panel showed that journalists miss in-person conferences. Nearly half are even here and now, in the midst of pandemonium, able to show up at a traditional conference. This is probably not surprising - we all long for normalcy.
But what kind of normalcy will there be when the dust of the virus settles? Probably not entirely offline, though. We have too many good experiences from the organization of virtual meetings. Saving time or the ability to view the material at a time that suits you are one of them.
Agencies and clients have realized and executed tons of online events, some have invested in their own technologies. Such capital does not get rid of. So the question "do we do online or offline" will remain. Probably the answer to it will often be one of the first tasks of the brief.
One thing is sure to change. Online versions of conferences will shorten dramatically. They are already too long. Just watch the companies' presentations at this year's CES (most are on YouTube). The run-up, the beginning, the presentation usually lasts so long that you feel like turning off the video or at least rewinding it.
In our survey, we asked how long an online conference should last. More than a third of the responses indicate a maximum of 30 minutes. What does this teach us? In our next survey, we'll add two more ranges - up to 10 minutes and up to 20 minutes. We'll see how the responses stack up then.
Selected slides from InsightOut Lab's presentation on the "Journalists and virtual conferences" report
Take it easy, take it easy - the traditional ones will be back for sure. Humans are herd beasts. We want to meet, talk, and see what others are up to. Nearly 70% of journalists now miss these very opportunities. The brave ones who will be the first to organize traditional conferences will surely have a huge turnout.
And the hybrids? Yes, they will be organized. But event planners will have to clash with different expectations of the audience on-site and the ones watching the event on a laptop or smartphone screen. When organizing such an event, you will need to think carefully about the user experience of each of these groups.
Read the report and already think about whether and how to organize conferences online or offline.
Here you will find a link to our sample online conference.