Digital Leaders Week 2021 is virtual — is this the new normal?

Written by Robin Knowles, CEO, Digital Leaders

We opened registration for Digital Leaders Week 14–18 June 2021 this week. With 200+ events and counting, across 15 topics and from the whole UK offering 30,000 free places, we are still continuing to receive more talks and registrations each day. See more here .

I find myself wondering if this virtual version of Digital Leaders Week is the new normal. Will we go back to events as they were before COVID-19, or will virtual online events remain a major part of professional events in the UK and beyond?

This is the second time since lockdown we are running the week entirely online, and you can attend a talk, conference or session that will help you and your network to transform their organisation without having to leave your home desk.

After more than a year, we can list the clear benefits of running virtual events:

  1. Access to experts — most of us organising events virtually know we have access to a lot more speakers, who are busier and from further away than when meeting face to face. The ask is 30–60 minutes of their day, from their chosen location — versus a half day or whole day travelling to a venue to speak from a stage.

So it’s a good list of benefits, but will they be outweighed by the benefits of a move back to face to face events?

Well, I suspect there will be an initial moment when those who are part of and heavily invested in the pre-covid style events industry will try and convince us of the benefits of being face to face again. However, like going out to dinner, hugging friends and returning to our offices, we will all be keen to give it a go again.

I do believe that after that initial period of elation and novelty in doing what we used to do, that a more analytical appraisal of the costs and benefits of face to face as opposed to virtual events will come into play.

Where networking is the focus or where celebration is the goal, as at awards, that these will return to being face to face again, as will events where the topic is hyper local and meant for a local audience.

However, I do believe that for the vast majority of events, that the organiser, whether for in-house or external events, will be expected to clearly demonstrate that the value of an event being face to face outweighs the benefits of and large savings associated with running that event online.

So in a year’s time will DLWeek be online? Well I would say not entirely, but I do believe that online will form the far largest proportion of the types of events taking place in 2022.

I would like to know what are your experiences of the benefits of online events? What are your thoughts on returning to face to face events? Please let me know in the comments section below and I hope to meet you taking part at #DLWeek 2021 online .

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Originally published at on May 13, 2021.

Informing and inspiring innovative digital transformation

Informing and inspiring innovative digital transformation