Human connections and events are taking on a new shape in NYC. This year, we’re not just talking about shifting fashion and food trends or uncanny changes in the weather. The recent past has been wrought with unexpected changes and challenges, silencing our bustling streets and forcing face-to-face events into a virtual environment that, at first, seemed surreally distant.
Coffee dates, budget meetings, and art exposés have all found new homes on virtual platforms. We connect over Zoom, Facetime, and countless other mediums that deliver an abstract connection to life while still allowing the show to go on.
With looming uncertainty clouding the future of in-person events, New Yorkers continue to adapt the way they come together to celebrate, collaborate and consume culture. Now that we’ve (mostly) overcome the initial unease of remote connection, virtual events have become an expected and often welcome gathering space that isn’t going anywhere.
Virtual events in NYC began as an emergency intervention to allow life to continue in the face of the unexpected. Now, they not only provide a safe space for us to come together, but they are also expanding the reach of innovation and cultural display further than ever before.
With widespread virtual rendezvous taking place daily, we’re less limited by the boundaries of geography and gripping schedules. It’s now fully acceptable to attend most meetings through a screen, with or without pants. You can dial into a board meeting in San Francisco at lunchtime and still catch the opening notes of the Carnegie Hall concerto you’ve been looking forward to later that evening.
Although Americans, and worldwide citizens, hope to leave the effects of the pandemic in the past sooner than later, the virtual event race may linger on a lasting note indefinitely. Virtual gathering spaces are staking more than a temporary claim on event real estate. Since 2019, the global virtual events industry has experienced an atomic boom that will likely continue blooming for the foreseeable future.
Versatile Virtual Events in NYC
Even with pandemic-era cautions in place, the cultural events that make NYC buzz have again taken to the stage thanks to virtual attendance. With online happenings now being held from Broadway to breweries, NYC residents and netizens alike can participate in virtual events from beer tastings and botanical garden tours to operas and play readings. You can even take a virtual stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge while you enjoy your morning coffee in a quiet kitchen.
Though the theater industry was crippled during the pandemic, Broadway and other theater productions are gearing up for a comeback. As companies prepare for a cautious jumpstart to rehearsals and productions, they’ll also supplement theater ticket sales with virtual broadcasts. Virtual meet-and-greets, lessons, and classrooms are also available to patrons worldwide, creating exciting behind-the-scenes opportunities for theater hopefuls and admirers alike.
It’s not unreasonable to predict that the rush of virtual events will forever change the way NYC culture is viewed and absorbed worldwide. Even as the human race eases back into “normal,” you can expect virtual event options to remain a staple. Aside from the worldwide reach they provide, virtual attendance also stands to supplement a significant economic boost to the companies that provide both the technology and the content.
Here (and There) to Stay
Though we’ve lost some of the social stimulation that in-person interaction provides, we stand to gain so much more in the wake of the virtual event revolution in NYC. As we work, play, and connect at our own pace, we can engage with exciting new ideas and missions at a quicker rate.
Change will always bring highs, lows, and silver linings. The pandemic-inflicted culture of NYC may have slowed, stopped, and forever changed, but it’s preparing for a comeback like none other. One thing NYC always gets right is the will to press on. To take a challenge and use it as an opportunity to make something new, to make something better. The future of virtual events in NYC is bright, and we’re all here for it.