3 min read
The simplest thing that I love about virtual events, comes from my story. As a nerdy kid who didn't always have a lot of friends, the way that I found a connection in the world wasn't with the people at my school. It wasn’t in my neighborhood. It was with people all around the country. I found the people that I grew closest to on one social platform called MySpace. And I found people who loved the same weird passions as I did: reality competition shows like Big Brother and Survivor. And I remember thinking how rare it was for me to connect with someone in person who had those same interests.
That’s when I, personally, realized the power of meeting people virtually. It opens up infinite possibilities for communities to thrive. And virtual events are a way of bringing these communities together.
So, what’s up with virtual events that make them a trend worth keeping?
Virtual events are super important to people and communities that are not central to one location. One of my clients (a firm with 200 consultant customers) shared with me that booking flights and taking a week off work for everyone was going to be really tricky. And we can easily understand why. We are so remarkably lucky that we can bring clients in Germany and Canada together to interact with each other today.
Virtual events make the far away seem closer. They help people connect with each other. They are proof of human resilience. And they open doors to a real-world of magic and endless possibilities.
There are many reasons why someone can’t make it to an in-person conference or meetup: they lack the money, have disabilities, or need to take care of someone, among others. Virtual events tear down barriers and walls that the physical world puts on people and communities. They make experiences accessible for those who otherwise would miss them entirely.
We need Virtual events. Now that we’ve been exposed to them so much, we’ve realized that people need virtual interactions to stay connected - and comfortable.
At online events, you never know if someone has a blanket on their lap (GUILTY! 🤷♀️) or their pet at their feet. They allow people to be at home, eat their favorite snacks, and do whatever they need to do. And they give you more privacy - something all of us are craving more and more due to the always-on-digital world.
In real-life events, you are forced to be extroverted, which I am. But not everyone is like me. Virtual events are a safe space for many people, they give you the chance to trust your gut and present yourself and your space however you’d like.
Some events take more or less one hour. And you cannot fly people someplace for an hour-long affair. It’s simply not viable. But with virtual events, you can make sure that people can meet up all the time. Every week, every month, every year. And the repetition, the habit, will bring people together and create a strong sense of community.
Online events are here to stay because they bring us closer to the people that we might not have the chance to interact with in-person. They bring us to the people with shared interests anywhere in the world.
And that’s why they are here to stay.
Shaily is one of our Toucan Producers. That means that she’s available to help you execute your upcoming Toucan event. She’ll take everything stressful off your plate, so you can enjoy your event and focus on your community. Just send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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