It is difficult to predict what large event gatherings will look like in upcoming years. Many are hoping that once the pandemic passes, tradeshows and job fairs will return to normal. However, its unknown when exactly the pandemic will end, and there are some benefits to virtual events that might prompt more of them even after COVID-19 ceases to be a worldwide concern.
While there seems to be a good deal of variance about how comfortable individuals feel at large events, most people agree that overall, they prefer in-person events to virtual ones. Attendees and exhibitors are more likely to rate in-person events more highly than virtual ones, usually because the opportunities to network and connect are so much greater than what virtual events have to offer.
However, virtual events come with their own host of advantages. They cost significantly less money (no show booth required), which opens up much more opportunity for introducing new audiences to established events. When it comes to events that people have never attended, individuals are much more likely to attend virtually than they would in person. This gives virtual events a greater chance of reaching a wider variety of attendees than live events.
So what will happen to in-person tradeshows and job fairs in the future? Their ability to foster excellent networking opportunities means they are unlikely to disappear forever, but its highly likely that virtual and online offerings will act as an important complement to live events. This hybrid between live and virtual events gives exhibitors an opportunity to show and newcomers a chance to explore at less expense. In-person events may still be the favored approach to tradeshows and job fairs, but forcing the staffing industry to go virtual with such events has expanded what they can become in the upcoming years.