The entire world is presently engaged in a battle with Covid-19 that is unlikely to end in the short term. Like many other industries, the events sector has been deeply affected. Meeting planners have had to adapt rapidly to a world transformed overnight, and are actively seeking innovative solutions to meet the needs of businesses amidst unforeseen and ongoing constraints.

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While virtual gatherings have filled the gap to some extent, event planners and large venues know that these alternatives cannot match the primacy and richness of face-to-face experiences. In addition to contributing over $1 trillion in revenues and millions of jobs to the global economy, in-person events deliver real value for attendees. Virtual platforms do not come close to live events when it comes to situations like sensitive negotiations, and in-person events allow unexpected opportunities to emerge as attendees interact at banquets, in exhibit halls, and at entertainment venues. In addition, the growing investment in “experiential design” is evidence that the atmosphere and creativity around live events are crucial to their appeal and effectiveness.

Since it is difficult to gauge exactly when live events will make a permanent comeback, industry executives are currently trying to ascertain the best mix of in-person, hybrid, and virtual events on a case by case basis. At the same time, they are looking for ways to make in-person events safer and virtual events more effective.

In this report, Skift and The Venetian Resort Las Vegas reveal how industry stakeholders are dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. They share learnings, best practices, and innovations that can enlighten businesses, meeting planners, and venues alike. The report covers key topics such as the short-and long-term economic forecast, evolving health and safety protocols, and new technologies that promise to enhance the virtual experience, offering a helpful guide for industry leaders seeking direction in these unprecedented times.

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In this report:

  • Laying out the case for the long-term staying power of live events
  • In-depth interviews with experts from across the meetings and events sector about how to navigate the logistical challenges of hosting events in the era of Covid-19
  • How event organizers around the world are addressing issues such as attendee health and safety and hybrid events
  • An assessment of how live events may evolve in the future