Skip to navigationSkip to content
Maya Ish-Shalom for Quartz
STATE OF PLAY

The new experimental landscape of virtual conferences

Spring is a particularly busy time for professional conferences. TED, Google I/O, IBM Think, and Milan’s Salone di Mobile are just some of the major annual gatherings scheduled for this time of year. Under normal circumstances, many of us would be polishing pitches, confirming travel logistics, and packing business cards for professional gatherings.

A global pandemic has vexed all plans. Many events foiled by Covid-19 are included on a dedicated Wikipedia page which reads as a memoriam to the best-laid plans of 2020. This disruption is more than a logistical nuisance—it equates to billions of dollars in losses. The decline in business air travel alone represents an estimated $809 billion hit to the US economy.

While many organizers opted to cancel or postpone events, many more plunged into the world of virtual conferencing. They’re realizing that hosting a good virtual conference isn’t simply a matter of transposing stage content and broadcasting it on the internet.

You are reading a Quartz member exclusive.

Become a member to keep reading this story and the rest of our expert analyses on the changing global economy.

Why we think you’ll like it:

The rest of our guide to The virtual conference reboot

News of the moment that’s contextualized, digestible, and always global in perspective

Exclusive, deeply researched guides on what the economy’s next normal will look like

Master this transition in your work and personal life through direct access to our journalists and the rest of our community