The virtual world of events is without doubt suffering from digital fatigue. When the world shuts down and the only shop window becomes a PC monitor, it is inevitable that genuine focus is going to wane. In most cases virtual events have been our saviour, they have equally stretched the virtual stage well beyond anything we would have considered tolerable under normal circumstances.
Like live events, the virtual world has some hideous executions that should have never made it to the tiny screen. On the flipside, there are virtual events that have provided a eureka moment, leaving me wondering why we needed a pandemic to realise that this is a medium that should co-exist as a support to a live delivery.
Regardless of being live or virtual, it comes down to the experience. Our audiences rightly expect a seamless journey, they should be stimulated and come away feeling like they have spent their time wisely. As a brand we need to set out our stall in such a way that it is self-navigating and the users get to the content they want without a marathon of clicks, all of which is wrapped into an engaging experience.
The producers of Printing-Expo have come from the expo world, they have successfully morphed the trade show experience into a virtual environment which is believable. Something I think is only possible by implementing a wealth of boots on the ground experience. We have had some stunning results from HP’s Digital Pouch Factory and thankfully in this case, we absolutely made the right investment.
My crystal ball is suggesting that the future will see similar virtual replications of the real trade shows, designed to support the real thing, acting as a reference site for those who do attend and an alternative to those that couldn’t make it.
Virtual is with us and will undoubtably stay with is in one form or another. We may as well stop thinking of it as a stop gap and start embracing it as a (not so new) new member of the family who has a seat at the table.
HP Inc Limited
Graphic Solutions Business
Global Content and Creative Team