Why Online Events Remain Relevant Even to Workers Who Have Returned to the Office

When the COVID-19 pandemic started more than two years ago, forcing employers to impose work-from-home policies, it was widely expected that, at some point, we would all eventually return to our traditional offices and reprise our pre-pandemic work habits.

However, this scenario hasn’t quite materialised. “The return-to-office date has died,” Nicholas Bloom, professor of economics at Stanford University, told the BBC earlier this year. “Endless waves of COVID have led most CEOs to give up, and instead set up contingent policies: if, when and how to return to the office.”

Are There Some COVID-era Habits You Should Actually Keep?

“Habits are hard to break,” Almuth McDowall, professor of organisational psychology at London’s Birkbeck University, has also explained to the BBC, adding: “We’ve all harnessed more innovative, efficient ways of doing our jobs.”

So, even if you actually have returned to your pre-2020 office, the interim could have taught you a few things that would continue to hold you in good stead. This would be especially applicable if several of your co-workers are still working from home for one reason or another. 

After the (Online) Event, Should There Be… Another One?

Since these remote members of your team could continue to be relying on online tools to keep in touch with you, it’s not out of the question that you could have reached out to them through the use of webinars. You could, for example, have used webinars for training purposes. 

Webinars can also help you to forge relationships with new corporate contacts. Attendees of webinars can be given opportunities for virtual meet-and-greets, where people from different companies introduce themselves to each other and swap contact information — all remotely.  

Then there’s the potential for driving customer engagement with webinars, especially if you host them over a reliable platform. After all, if your webinar proceeds without any technical wrinkles, this could lead attendees to think especially positively of your company. 

What Is the Post-lockdown Picture for Online Events?

It does look like many companies are hedging their bets and not entirely relinquishing usage of online events any time soon. As reported in a LinkedIn article last year, 75% of event marketers worldwide said they intended to continue running virtual events over the long term. 

It was also found that a typical event marketer actually planned to run more online events (40%) than in-person ones (34%). One good reason why could be the relative ease of arranging guest speakers for a virtual session, as they would not have to travel long distances just to participate.

People interested in forming part of the audience for the event, too, would be able to do so from their own homes. With travelling time removed from the equation, guest speakers and other attendees could more easily find space in their schedule for participating.

Of course, the lack of travelling involved would also enable you to rein in carbon emissions your business, directly and indirectly, generates, meaning that your brand can also accurately portray itself as a sustainable and eco-conscious one.

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