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Battling The Second Covid Wave, How Event Industry Is Taking On The Challenge
21 April, 2021

While the pandemic has made the industry press pause on live events, it hasn’t stopped its drive to find a way to carry on.

The world of events and experiential industry has drastically changed due to the disruption caused by Covid-19. Sustaining with little or no income has proved to be a massive challenge for event agencies since the start of the pandemic and it has only worsened with lockdowns and night curfews being imposed leading to pushing of all on-ground activations to the later part of the year. Now the second covid wave has made the situation even worse.

While the pandemic has made the industry press pause on live events, it hasn’t stopped its drive to find a way to carry on. Here is what event professionals have to say about the resurgence of Covid-19 and their plans to battle the second wave:

Vidya Alva, Executive Vice President & Business Head, Percept ICE

The second wave of Covid across India is unprecedented, and its impact will be damaging on the Experiential business. With the roll out of the vaccines, we were really looking forward to getting back on the ground, but that seems a long way off now.

Fortunately Percept ICE was very quick to evolve into the Digital, Virtual and Hybrid event space with the launch of Percept digitICE last year. Clients had no choice but to move into the Virtual space given the lockdown, and our Digital events business leapfrogged in 2020-21. So far we have successfully managed hundreds of innovative Virtual events for a wide range of Clients, and we intend to strengthen this business portfolio until the pandemic subsides.

We are planning to introduce many more bespoke solutions for our clients in the virtual domain, while capitalizing on our strength in designing customized holistic Content options. We are also heavily investing in high-end Digital Technology Tools which will offer out-of-the-box Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) Events to scale up the end product and attain the desired impact / result for our clients.

Karan Singh, Chief Operating Officer, Percept Live

The resurgence of COVID-19 will make a huge dent in the Experiential and Live Music Festivals business. Millions of livelihoods in both the Events and allied industries will get impacted adversely.

Going virtual in 2020 was probably the safest and best strategy for Percept Live as it kept our business going and also created brand new revenue streams that remained unaffected by the social distancing rules. Transitioning to Digital rapidly proved to be a very viable option for us, and will continue to help us drive  revenues in the year ahead.

In 2021-22 we plan to keep incorporating and upgrading our range of Digital Platforms, Virtual Reality (VR), Digital Interactivity, Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) offerings to present new and memorable Digital Entertainment Events to our fans even while monetizing efficiently on these digital ventures.

Virtual events are not enough for businesses to drive audience engagement. On-ground events are an excellent channel for brands to create effective conversations and connections with their prospects, and gather relevant participant information leading to improved marketing communications. While Hybrid events will become more prevalent post Covid-19, technological innovations such as AI, AR, MR, Facial Recognition and Holograms powered by 5G will become vital to make digital brand experiences more immersive, impactful and memorable.

Till the pandemic subsides we will continue to use digital platforms for content and amplification. I personally believe that Experiential Marketing, Live Events and Festivals will rebound in a big way once we vaccinate 60% of our population to attain a certain threshold of herd immunity. The entire Events industry is eagerly waiting to reunite with their stakeholders on-ground again.