There have been several events in our lifetimes that have changed the status quo for us in dramatic ways.
The effects of 9/11 are felt worldwide in how we changed things around travel, privacy and freedoms.
The effects of this novel-coronavirus pandemic and its effects are developing. Some of the first impacts we have seen have been on how we interact with each other in groups and individually; sporting events, parades, concerts, pubs, clubs and workplaces all closed. In some cases overnight.
We are adapting and adjusting quickly. You just have to note the switch that has happened, through necessity, with people working from home. For years remote working while easily achievable and practical has been resisted by the traditional view of office based work being the norm.
It is no longer the norm.
My own working environment has changed dramatically too. Working in the events industry has seen a rapid cancellation and postponement of the 2020 season. Like dominoes falling, our entire spring and summer season has been wiped out in a matter of weeks and the Autumn schedule looks in jeopardy too.
We have, however, been working from home without any restrictions on creativity which normally comes from being on site and dealing with ‘in the moment’ stuff. As a result we have been rethinking and adjusting the business model to see where we fit going forwards.
Among the ideas we developed initially as a direct COVID-19 response and to provide assistance to our government agencies was a field hospital system using our flexible build, yet rigid structures which are weather proof and customisable to meet any location restrictions or capacities:
By far the biggest challenge, though, will be sporting events. Traditionally our company would be at various golfing tournaments, soccer, rugby etc. Remember the Premiership and Six Nations were cancelled in the midst of this pandemic outbreak.
Rethinking the possibilities for this is going to require innovation and adaptive thinking.
We have already considered the EC-Build section of the website as a Virtual Studio option and feel this is very much going to be the way forward in conjunction with existing infrastructure from gaming and TV productions
The combination of games engines, powerful GPUs and high-fidelity LED video walls is altering the landscape of film and TV production.
Read more on this side of things: Live sports innovations on track | Industry Trends | IBC
What really is going to change things up is almost science fiction like when you consider that the sporting events of the future can all be attended from your living room.
Imaging booking your ticket to the world cup final, you get a front row seat. You have a virtual fly through of the stadium in the weeks before hand to choose your seat.
With your seat comes an access pass to attend the expo where you can visit the stalls and presentations, order your merchandise and have it delivered to your house.
On game day you enter the stadium by donning your VR glasses. Make your way to your seat, wearing the merchandise that arrived yesterday. You are fully immersed in the atmosphere of the stadium, can interact with the person (virtually) beside you, watch the game live and share all the highs and lows of your team.
From an events perspective the branding, merchandising, advertising etc possibilities are endless. Imagine watching the game and a button pop’s up:
Messi just scored wearing these boots. Order your pair now. [CLICK HERE]
Double and triple screening spectators all who paid an ‘attendance’ fee wearing event merchandise, sharing, tweeting and hashtagging your event globally.
Who needs spectator attendances at events when TV audiences are the largest portion of your audience?? Remember in world soccer, the big money only joined the game on the back of TV rights.
Add retail rights to that TV audience through VR studios and remote attendance and it will be huge.
Recently I attended a pre-launch of a system that enables a virtual office and conferencing environment. Think Second Life and you will be very close to the concept.
I think this virtual environment is going to be the blurring of the lines between what is now our current reality and what will be our virtual future reality.
We’re halfway there and the outcomes of this virus pandemic will be the catalyst to changing our futures.