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Olympics, WEF and more: how large events are dealing with the pandemic in 2021

Posted on 01/27/2021

Do you know how large events are dealing with the pandemic in 2021? It’s like a replay. With the second wave of COVID-19 showing to be even stronger than the first one, the events industry is facing the same situation it has in the same period of last year: events having to be cancelled, postponed or digitized.

In addition, some of the main entertainment events of the year have already announced new dates, like the Grammy Awards and the Oscars.

Likewise, major sports event organizers are monitoring the situation carefully – being the Superbowl, the Tokyo Olympics and UEFA Euro the main ones.

Let’s understand how exactly these events are dealing or planning to deal with the pandemic and how that can give us a glance at what 2021 can look like.

Olympics

After rumours that the Japanese federal government had decided to cancel the event, the International Olympic Committee denied the claim with an official statement.

Grammy

The 63rd edition of the Grammy Awards was supposed to be broadcasted from Staples Center, in Los Angeles, on Jan 31. However, due to the growing cases of COVID-19, it’s been delayed to March 14.


There are still not too many details on how the ceremony will be conducted, besides that it will have a limited number of in-person guests.

Oscars (Academy Awards)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Oscars, says it is studying how to hold a face-to-face ceremony in Los Angeles on April 25, 2021, two months later than usual.

SuperBowl

Super Bowl LV will have an audience of 22,000 people. Among them, 7500 vaccinated health professionals that participated in the front line.

To sum up, the game that marks the ending of the 2020/2021 NFL season is scheduled for February 7th. It will take place at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida.

SXSW

SXSW has officially pivoted to a digital format. Scheduled for March 16-20, the wide known event has made a decision much earlier than other large festivals.

Since September 2020, the organizers knew that the priority for 2021 would virtual.

An in-person was also being considered to be held in Austin, where the festival usually takes place. But the second wave of COVID-19 made it a quite remote possibility.

Therefore, as the main topics of the conference revolve around technology and entertainment, there’s a huge expectation to see what kind of innovation SXSW will bring this year.

World Economic Forum

The Davos Agenda was completely online and broadcast live, between the 24th to the 29th of January. The main theme, as it could not be wrong, revolved around the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Another change from 2019, when the event was held face-to-face in Davos, Switzerland, was the transfer of headquarters to a state city in Singapore.

In conclusion

There’s no 100% safe events to attend yet. The shift to virtual events seems to be the best move that the industry could have done last year.

Thus, in the long-term, most of the events will be hybrid, with a large virtual and technological component.

But in 2021, while we still don’t have a mass vaccination concluded, we can still expect lots of events still happening 100% virtual.

Virtual Event Trends 2021

Keep learning! Check out our blog resources to keep updated on the latest trends regarding virtual events across the world:

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