So I was talking with another domainer yesterday about acquisitions and aftermarket prices. He shifted the conversation with the following statement, “Boy guess I have attended my last Namescon.” I asked him forever? He said yes and that his wife drove home the point by telling him if he ever thought about attending a large conference he would be hit with divorce papers.
The live events landscape has been changed forever. Of course no one is holding conferences during the pandemic. But what about when the world moves to a time that is deemed, “after covid”?
In the tech industry a lot of companies and event organizers are looking at virtual conference far into the future. Some companies have exited the business forever.
NiemanLab referenced O’Reilly Media who is getting out of the business entirely.
Laura Baldwin writes on Twitter
The virus has had a material impact on O’Reilly’s in-person Events division as well. We previously made the painful decision to cancel our Strata California and Strata London events. Today, we’re sharing the news that we’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel all future O’Reilly in-person conferences and close down this portion of our business.
The author Joshua Benton wrote, “In other words, they’re not postponing events or canceling a few conferences — they’re getting out of the in-person events business altogether. Because they believe the “new normal” for meetings and conferences post-COVID-19 will be a business they’re not interested in being in.”
Craig Roth at Gartner wrote an excellent piece on how to think about holding a virtual conference.
Now all shows will certainly try not to be virtual forever. Jon Swartz over at MarketWatch wrote an article a few weeks back and highlighted some opinions.
Major events like the Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress, CES in Las Vegas, San Francisco’s RSA and SXSW in Austin, Texas, each gather tens of thousands of people and companies, many of them startups and small businesses, that “all depend on networking and the ability to form partnerships with vendors and suppliers,” Beth Kindig, an independent tech analyst in San Francisco, told MarketWatch in a phone interview. “I can’t see them being online-only in the future. Maybe some of the smaller shows, but it depends on how these virtual events go.”
Another strategy might be to employ smaller local events. Could NamesCon for example put on a series of smaller events where people did not have to travel as far as they would for one big show.
So has the pandemic forever changed your desire to attend a conference or will you be back to attending once it is deemed safe?