Is Event Education Ready to Embrace Hybrid Reality?

Industry Watch | July 31, 2020 | Feature

Aarti Manocha Oum Pradutt Tabassum Modi Navneeth Mohan Milestones to Memories

The Covid-19 pandemic has likely given rise to a new phenomenon wherein many more have become reliant on technology to work in today’s hybrid reality. With these changes, it is necessary for students looking to enter the event industry to adapt to a new norm of functioning.

EVENTFAQS Media reached out to industry leaders for their views on what changes should be implemented in event education to get future professionals ready for the hybrid/virtual reality.

Aarti Manocha, Founder, Milestones to Memories, believes that ‘Adversity is the mother of innovation’ and thus reasons event industry players turning to technology to overcome two main challenges. The first being mitigating the losses wrought by the pandemic, and the second being meeting event management needs of business stakeholders while complying with social distancing protocols.

“By initiating their journey towards agility, physical event players are increasingly integrating cutting-edge tech to facilitate virtual solutions for event stakeholders including organizers, planners, attendees, etc. With technology functioning as the event industry’s lifeline under the given circumstances, it will likely continue to be a mainstay in the event management paradigm in the post-pandemic world as well. While some organizers have proactively begun their journey towards the tech-led transformation, some are just waking up to the possibilities. Industry players can consider adopting the hybrid model to tide through the pandemic. At the same time, when the crisis is over and physical events are back on track, the added virtual dimension can function as a critical revenue generation supplement. With this transformation, I think event management education should for sure launch comprehensive courses and have a focussed approach to teaching hybrid models in their curriculums,” she adds.

Oum Pradutt, Founder and Managing Director, Phase 1 Events and Experiences, enlists the following:

- Hybrid approach - visualizing physical spaces with online engagement and journey.

- Understanding audience behavior, in both online and offline mediums.

- Production knowledge of physical event set-up along with technology, TV production, and broadcasting.

- Understand the dynamism of a digital world and possibilities along with limitations.

- Skill up to guide the client to choose the right medium for engagement (online vs physical), be a consultant, and a guide. Don’t be a ‘fetch and carry’ person. Be a strategist.

- Digital knowhow should be added in the curriculum.

- Forward integration into advertising, PR and offer 360 degrees solutions, not just events.

“Event education needs to train students to be multi-dimensional and multi-taskers, in our agency we call them floaters - who are good with many functions and can adapt to multiple roles as and when requirements arise. Like a client servicing person who can manage logistics, design creatives, run a show, etc. Future courses need to focus on developing such talent in the changing world where knowledge of technology will also play a key role,” says Navneeth Mohan, Director, and CEO, Laqshya Live Experiences.

Tabassum Modi, Founder Director, Victor Tango, reminds us that the core skills of an event manager will not be rendered irrelevant. 

She explains, “Event education must focus on the core skills of the person (event manager) – creativity, content, planning, foresight, crisis management, attention to detail, understanding of client objective, ability to engage the audience and make them feel special, etc. It doesn’t matter what the medium is – whether physical or digital or something else in the future, these skills will hold event managers in good stead and make them irreplaceable, no matter what the situation. Event managers need to give themselves credit and value these skills which are very often taken for granted. Regardless of what software, machine or automated system comes up in the future, an event manager is required to ‘manage’ it and make the event a memorable experience for all stakeholders.”

EVENTFAQS Media reached out to industry leaders for their views on what changes should be implemented in event education to get future professionals ready for the hybrid/virtual reality.

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