Submitted by Peter Åstedt
During COVID, we had to go over to online showcases and meeting points. It was interesting to make that experiment. We had heard that online will be the future. Now after two years of online events, we are getting the answer. And it’s so clear. No, online is not even close to doing what a real event is doing.
These are the usual comments on why you should do it online. The cost to be at an event is hundreds of dollars for registration and with the trend of inflation, flights and hotels the costs are high. Expenses besides the conference itself such as meals and other miscellaneous expenses.
This is totally wrong. Sure, it is more expensive, but if you decided to invest in your career, it’s nothing. The studies that we have seen is that the real event is up to 90% more efficient. Most of the business is happening outside the area during dinners and just random meet-ups. Things that you never see at an online event. This is the problem with online conferences, it attracts so many people that are insecure about investing in their career and not even worth talking to. The people that took the first chances when we opened after COVID are now the winners in the new market. If you still are online and think that you can make a career on it, you are doomed to die out. You can see this on all the conferences that are now dropping their online participation for the live part.
Another argument is that online is time efficient. You don’t need to travel, and you can easily switch over to your work. This is also totally untrue. The big problem when you do a conference in front of a computer is there are too many things that distract you. It pops ups messages about important emails, and conversations that need to be solved. When you go away people understand if you answer. If you sit in the office, they see you and they think you should handle the problem right now. In the end, you will do both tasks really badly. Too many times online meetings just get interrupted. If you go live you will be focused and the turnout will be so much better.
Sorry, this summer showed that COVID or not, to do business you need to meet people. Most people I have talked to said that many conferences that were online never led to anything. Since the personal touch is not there it was just strings of speed meetings of ten minutes that lead to nowhere. The quality of the meetings were very poor. At the end of COVID, we saw a very big decline of people even showing up at the event even if they were hired speakers. And it was not cost-efficient at all. The conference spent big money on technical stuff and services online that most of the time were not up to the task.
Just many of these platforms that you had to sign on and were very difficult to navigate that you now have no access to. Suddenly that conversation you had is lost forever because you don’t have access to the platform and your mail is full of spam from them who want you to pay to log on again.
The new world is for those that took the risk and now on their third event after COVID. The business is booming but the online presents are dropping. Even Tinder just dropped their virtual dating.
The online event has probably waited until the real meta-verse is here. But the increase in the economy will put that on hold for many years. And the development of that will be offline in the real world in real meetings. Right now it’s a lot of YCDBSOYA (You can’t do business sitting on your ass).
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 35 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.