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Online conferences are having a moment... how long will it last?

Photo credit: Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

We’ve all seen the headlines about providers like Zoom and Run the World experiencing record subscription and usage rates. In trying times like the present, they are providing a much-needed alternative platform for people to gather and collaborate. It’s also enabling the remote work option that’s currently keeping many businesses alive.

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the events industry and its effects will probably continue to be felt long after the virus has been contained. Whilst event organisers, brands and associations grapple with event cancellations, mass withdrawal of participants and seemingly endless meetings with their lawyers, everyone is left wondering, “what now?” and “what next?”.

We believe the online conference world is an excellent answer to “what now?” - they have an established infrastructure ready for customers to take advantage of and have probably activated additional support teams to respond to the demand. If you had planned a conference with a pressing business challenge that is time-sensitive and needs solving, this is your answer.

As for “what next?”, our hot take is that live conferences are going to come back stronger than ever. We’ve previously written about the innately human need for connection and interaction. After this extended period of travel bans and event cancellations that have prevented people from meeting and connecting, we are convinced they will want to come together and re-build, complete with handshakes and hugs.

If there’s anything the outbreak of COVID-19 has taught us, it’s that we’re more inter-connected than ever - so while we are currently experiencing the downsides of this phenomenon, we are confident we’ll soon get to come together and benefit from the upside.

So to our friends at Zoom and other online conferencing platforms, we say, enjoy your moment... but it isn’t going to last forever!

Let’s inspire your community

- Team UC


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