Events could become a hybrid of physical and digital, says expert

Published: 21 September 2020 - 5:45 a.m.
Former exhibition manager for Arabian Travel Market (ATM), Nadege Noblet, has said the events industry could be heading to a hybrid system of physical and digital interaction.

As travel restrictions continue to linger and people question the safety of large-scale events, digitalisation has stepped in as a saving grace for many in the events sector. For the first time in its history, ATM went virtual this year and was met with great success.

Noblet explained: “ATM Virtual was very good. They've delivered an amazing event, especially keeping in mind the short time they had to put it together. It was phenomenal - the quality of speakers, the quality of topics, also there was a lot of meetings generated between buyers and and exhibitors.”

However, despite the positive reception for ATM Virtual, Noblet conceded that face-to-face is irreplaceable. “Yet the tourism and travel industry remains a face-to-face industry - people need to speak to one another and see one another.”

When asked whether digital events would stick around post-pandemic, Noblet suggested we could see the rise of ‘hybrid’ events: “Time will tell but it seems that the there's been such take to the virtual events yet you can see the demand as well for the face-to-face. So it could be a balance between virtual and face to face.”

Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) has now announced its ‘on the road concept’, combining digital and physical events.

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