Inês Carvalho, Eventual 24th Nov 2021

Eventual at Web Summit 2021: How tech can improve the way we experience live events?

After an intense week in Lisbon, we are back in Helsinki, inspired by the latest trends in tech that can help develop a more sustainable and thriving ecosystem for the live events industry.

Last week, the Eventual team landed in Lisbon to participate for the first time in Web Summit, as one of the ALPHA and Impact selected startups. We arrived full of questions and only one certainty: we were going to discover some of the latest trends that are reshaping the ecosystem of technology. After all, this is Europe’s biggest tech conference, with over 42 thousand participants from 128 countries. Since tech and society can never be disconnected, and topics such as sustainability, gender and racial equality were also part of the highlights of this year’s edition. We were particularly excited about insights on how the entertainment industry is recovering from Covid-19.

Indeed, the cultural sector was one of the most affected by the pandemic. The restrictions opened up the scene for new opportunities in the digital world, such as live streaming, virtual reality or even new interactive experiences between artists and fans. The case of pop artist Zara Larsson, one of this year’s speakers, proves that the metaverse is here to stay. Earlier this year, she hosted a virtual dance party on the gaming platform Roblox, allowing fans to hang out, watch her perform and buy merchandise for their avatars. As we are stepping into a hybrid world for shows, there is a question remaining: what is the future of live events?

For speaker Keyvan Peymani, from Cirque du Soleil, the hybrid model can democratize culture and make it more accessible for everyone. However, he also reinforced that it cannot entirely put back the live experience; people are keen to get together and experience live music and performances. If tech can make our lives easier, there is one thing it cannot replace: authentic human interaction. But is the way we consume live entertainment changing after the pandemic? The current consumers’ behaviour is pointing out that way. Consumers are now at the centre of the stage, getting more power to decide how they want to interact with a product, a service or an experience. Being closer, real and meaningful are essential values for businesses in the new landscape – principles that Eventual is constantly pursuing by giving audiences the power to democratize and diversify the live event scene.

Finding people passionate about what you do and building up your community are also other thoughts to keep in mind. For Wolfgang Moeller from Jägermeister, the “Save the Night” initiative manifests the power of bringing like-minded people together for a common goal. In our current fragmented world, communities can be the driving force to rebuild society. Ayo Tometi, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter, presented a powerful speech reinforcing that we need to use our platforms to raise awareness about issues while rooting our digital voice in human values.

After four intense days of Web Summit, we are excited about the future. The current cultural ecosystem demands more power from people and enriching experiences. Technology can provide the right tools to make the work of artists, producers and venues more sustainable and thriving – and we are here to keep working on that mission.


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