Four trends to watch for this year at virtual events

BTS photo of the Covergalls set up at Booth 3, at the Northern ON Mining Showcase in 2016

Remember in-person conferences? The above is a behind-the-scenes snapshot of just that: Covergalls setting up our booth at the Northern ON Mining Showcase back in 2016. At this year's conference (May 3-6) we will have a virtual booth.

Many of us will miss seeing old colleagues and friends in-person, at conferences, concerts, research symposiums and more. In some ways these events have come to feel like strange relics of the past. Complaints over the loss of face-to-face meetings and personal interactions are now staple small talk. 

But as much as we bemoan the virtual shift, we're all discovering that there are some real advantages to virtual conferences. 

Here are four trends we've noticed and anticipate seeing more of this year: 

1. Cool Virtual Space Designs - Technology gives us amazing opportunities to be creative. Conferences now offer attendees 3D booths, breakout rooms, and advertising opportunities. Brands have embraced using visual tools such as augmented reality to help customers see what earrings may look like from their home. Some have even raised the question of whether Extended Reality is the future of virtual events. 


We are at a new level of #virtual. #fyp #foryou #conference #science #viral

♬ original sound - MyMy&B

 Design elements from games have even become applied to some conferences (example above). Definitely a fun alternative!

2. Sustainability - Gatherings are usually messy. Big ones can often leave trails of trash in their wake. According to a report from Birmingham University, a three-day physical event of 1,000 attendees can produce approximately six tonnes of waste, half of which would go straight to the landfill. Virtual events can help cut down on this waste - and that doesn't even take into consideration the benefits of reduced travel emissions from planes, trains, cars and other vehicles. 

3. New partnerships and collaborations - The pandemic has given organizations a bunch of new opportunities to collaborate with one another. Examples of local businesses, in cities and towns across Canada, teaming up to help promote and share their products in fun, new ways are numerous. Last year in Vancouver, for example, famed Granville Island shop Lee's Donut teamed up with popular Downlow Chicken Shack to make a unique foodie creation for their customers.

4. Changed social dynamics - We are no longer (for the most part) gathering in groups anymore to chat or hang out. It means that the way we interact with people has had to change too. Concerts and festivals are now held in virtual spaces. Research on public spaces and pseudo-public spaces suggests that urban planning for spaces, such as malls and big squares, will likely change; we've already seen it happen in offices that have returned to "normal," which often have plexiglass barriers.

On the topic of virtual events, some personal news: 

Catch our virtual booth set up for the Northern Ontario Mining Showcase's CIM Virtual Convention and Expo. You’ll get a chance to learn how Covergalls is helping equip amazing women with comfortable, safe, and empowering personal protective equipment all across the country.  

Virtual exhibitor booths at CIM 2021 will be in 3D and include information about the conference, attending organizations, web links and more.

If you are attending this year please stop by and chat with us! 

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