“New offices will be meeting places, not work spaces…” Early 2017 our own Ester de Graaf was interviewed for Dutch IT Channel. Looking back on that article, she had some rather accurate predictions. “Future generations will experience that learning and working will evolve into a series of meetings, that collaborations will be event-driven.”
For the event industry this means that smaller gatherings and larger meetups are not just a marketing tool, but often also a platform to promote corporate values and give direction to collective efforts. Events are occasions to meet and greet, to have real face-time with colleagues that might be talking heads on a screen most of the time. Connections with colleagues and clients, but also suppliers and developers, will be part of digital ecosystems that exist mainly in corporate clouds.
Clouds are thin air, that is why larger IT companies organized huge events in the pre-corona days. Corporate leaders would make world tours and climb on their soapbox at big regional gatherings. De Graaf mentioned Brian Chesky of AirBnB as example. But the live concerts and jam sessions at Spotify HQ in New York are also inspiring gatherings that empower corporate culture. Or look at the Click and Elevate events where Booking.com in Amsterdam connects with partners.
In 2017 Ester also pointed at the resonance events could have when broadcasted online. Meet-ups and conferences are part of a corporate content carrousel that should be refreshed and updated constantly, so stakeholders can choose what to watch when they want. That is why we at DDG Europe ensure that the events we help organize are embedded in those digital ecosystems. But nobody would have predicted how important online events would be in 2020. The soapbox is now a virtual one.