We’ve been well served by the term “virtual events” and by its related siblings, “virtual trade shows”, “virtual career fairs”, “virtual sales kick-off meetings” and the like. The industry has been using these terms for the past 5+ years and we’ve seen gains in understanding, recognition and awareness (of the terms).
Time for a New Name?
I was happy to see that Virtual Edge Institute’s new certification is called Digital Event Strategist and not Virtual Event Strategist. I think it’s time to consider a shift in terminology, away from the adjective “virtual”.
Is this a virtual blog posting? Well, no, I hope not. I’d like for it to be real. According to the “virtual” entry on thesaurus.com, the antonyms for “virtual” include: actual, authentic and real.
Is the event running on a virtual platform? Well, no – the platform is real, or so I hope.
Need to have the on-site team coordinate with the virtual team? May not need to, if the virtual team isn’t real.
Want to create virtual experiences? I hope you’re creating real experiences, experienced digitally.
Having made my point, I understand that we can’t simply turn on a dime and change terminology right away. First, it would create confusion among prospects, as well as people who are newly considering “virtual” technologies. And while the term “digital events” seems on target, “digital trade shows”, “digital career fairs” and “digital sales kick-off meetings” don’t quite do it for me.
Leave a comment below to share your thoughts – should we keep the “virtual” terminology? If not, what new terminology would you suggest?
Related: A posting from Mike McCurry, “Meeting Attendees: It’s About My Experience, Not My Location!“