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The future of the events industry

The future of the events industry

Vlachos, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-4870-9006 (2023) The future of the events industry. In: Drakeley, Claire and Brown, Tim, (eds.) Virtual Events Management. Goodfellow Publishers Limited, Oxford, pp. 209-217. ISBN 978-1915097033; 978-1915097040; 978-1915097576; 1915097576; 1915097045 (doi:

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Future-gazing in the business world is always a potentially hazardous endeavour. Until recently, the events industry had been developing at a rigorous pace all around the world, with an annual value estimated in the $ trillions (Brown, 2021), and anticipated to continue growing exponentially. However, who could have predicted the tumultuous challenges that would soon face the events industry in the UK, across Europe, and around the world? The global events industry of the future will need to respond to the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit, economic decline, political unrest, and the ubiquitous, ever-advancing march of digital and telecommunications technology. These deep changes to local and global business conditions have forced event professionals to rethink the most fundamental concepts and processes of live event production and consumption. In the new, hyper-connected, digitised world, what will it even mean to ‘attend’ an event in the coming century? The aim of this chapter is to consider the future of virtual, hybrid, and in-person events in the coming century in the face of these continuous evolving global conditions. The chapter discusses and reflects on three key perspectives. First, how will the development and availability of emerging event technologies affect attendees’ experience of events through the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, new event platforms, and immersive technologies? Second, what is the potential for virtual and hybrid events in the future? How will virtual realities and hybrid events of the future affect event marketing, event attendance, event experience, and event industry revenue models? And finally, which skills will event professionals of the future need to evolve in order to survive and thrive in the new events industry environment? Two case studies are used to illustrate recent developments and the potential future direction of virtual events. The first of these is the multi-media ‘concert’ experience called ‘Abba Voyage’, and the second case considers a small independent theatre venue in east London and its technical adaptations during and post Covid. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the future fluidity of in-person, hybrid, and virtual events.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: virtual reality; live events; authenticity; digital marketing; business ethics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 09:47

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