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What Has Back to Live Looked Like?

When live events were made impossible due to pandemic restrictions, virtual events stepped forward – and although many businesses have been extremely keen to ‘revive live’, this wasn’t an elastic process. The industry hasn’t sprung back to the exact size and shape that it was before.

At UKSV, we’ll always be advocates of well-curated, exciting and informative live events – but there’s no denying that we learned some valuable lessons during this historic period for our sector (and, of course, the wider world!). To this end, the influence of virtual and indeed hybrid events is here to stay – and for good reason.

So, what exactly has the journey back to live events looked like – and how has it evolved?



When rolled out for the right reason and backed by the right skill set, live events are unparalleled in their ability to captivate their audience; and to this end, virtual events aren’t always a suitable substitute.

However, virtual events aren’t ‘new’. They existed long before COVID, albeit with less prevalence – so we’ve known for many years that they’re a shoo-in for instances where the scale of a live event simply isn’t necessary.

However, not all delegates would have been used to navigating a virtual event – and that’s something which has drastically changed since the pandemic hit. You’d now be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t been to a virtual event of some kind.

With familiarity and expectations firmly in place, we can look critically at whether a live or virtual event is most suitable for a given objective.

The same can be said of hybrid events, which have grown in prominence for obvious reasons. As the name suggests, these cleverly combine aspects of live and virtual into one compelling package. In many ways they bridge the gap between the two.

There are some scenarios where in-person can’t be easily replicated – award shows and networking, for example. For others, though, a hybrid or virtual event may be exactly what’s required to complete the task effectively, efficiently and within budget.

This new-found flexibility adds new levels of choice for your business, bringing plenty of opportunity with it.


There is no ‘default’ option for events. When you plan from the ground up, the world’s your oyster and its’ entirely up to you to decide whether a virtual, hybrid or live event will give the most bang for your buck.

This doesn’t mean you need to ‘pick a side’. If the journey back to live has taught us anything, it’s that we have the power to diversify. Events can be entirely modular, allowing us to choose the ripest elements of both virtual and live to create a project that’s bespoke to your precise needs.

For example, virtual events with wider digital creative will often hold their value, as the content produced can be re-purposed for other means. Whether it’s creating footage to show at live events or recording the event to live-stream or re-use, you can build a diverse content archive which is a huge asset to your business.

So, if feedback declares that virtual events are working for your business, there’s no reason to hold back. They can readily supplement and even expand your live offerings.



COVID-19 made us think about the environment in ways that we hadn’t previously. For example, we thought that pollution from commuting was a necessary evil – but lo and behold, many people who started working from home during the pandemic are still doing so, to some capacity (and at the very least, we know the infrastructure exists for many businesses to support it).

In the same vein, virtual and hybrid events allowed us to recognise that local events could still have a global reach – with little environmental impact. With this change of thinking and acknowledgement of practicality, the pandemic has helped to accelerate the event industry’s focus on improving sustainability.

Work, Event & Social Culture

There’s no doubt about it – attendees no longer see in-person activities as essential for getting the job done.

Of course, there are countless circumstances where there’s no substitute for a live event, but we know this isn’t always the case – and attendees have become more sensitive to time and cost expectations. Attendees don’t want to spend time and money travelling to a venue ‘just because’.

‘Could this event have been virtual’ will be a constant consideration for event planners and attendees alike – so, in many ways, the stakes for live events are higher. They need to be truly worthwhile and wow their audience, every time.

An events management agency can help you to bring the most incredible ideas to life, without risk or wasted budget.

At UKSV, we believe that all events should be captivating, and it is our mission to make yours truly unforgettable.

Keep your eyes peeled (and your ears tuned) for our upcoming podcast discussing what live has looked like in more detail.

We are:

  • An award-winning events agency
  • Specialists in live, virtual and hybrid events
  • Experts in every stage of events management, from concept to delivery
  • Well-established, with over 150 years collective industry experience.

So, why not talk to us about what you have planned for your next event? We can help you to make sure it’s the best yet!

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