Let us try to look at the current situation and the prospects for holding mass events in the future.
What is happening now?
In many countries, the epidemic has passed its peak and quarantine measures are slowly beginning to weaken.
The Louvre in Paris has already begun preparations for its opening. It will take place on July 6, 2020. According to CNN, the museum is implementing a new system with "optimal security conditions". Visitors will have to book tickets in advance to enter - the number of people in the halls will be small and strictly regulated.
The President of the Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez, says: "Although we could show the treasures of the Louvre during the quarantine on the Internet, nothing can replace the emotions of a real encounter with works of art".
Most likely, after many canceled exhibitions, Geneva Watch Days will be held in August. Ahead of it is the "Golden Hand" award, traditionally held in November.
One of the first mass events in Moscow will be the Red Square Book Festival, which will be held in a week - from 6 to 8 June. The requirements to visitors are simple - to observe the distance and be wearing a medical mask.
Another Moscow event - the exhibition "Forever" telling about the era of stagnation, was to open in April, but will be held in July. This is a continuation of the trilogy, which began in 2017 with "Thaw", and the third part of the trilogy will be "Perestroika".
That is, some museums will open in July and September and the events postponed from spring will take place. And it is completely inappropriate to bury the industry of mass events. Although, of course, the pandemic and the crisis will have a certain impact on the format of exhibitions, concerts and conferences.
And what do exhibition industry representatives think about the future?
"Congress and exhibition industry is vitally important, this very industry will help to recover from the pandemic. We will help businesses to regain sales, establish contacts, create profits, and open jobs around the world. It is our activity, every euro, dollar, yen invested today in our industry, that will allow us to create market platforms and meeting places, which will help to support other industries," said in April Kai Hattendorf, General Director of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI).
Two months of quarantine showed that online with all technological capabilities is not capable of becoming a full-fledged analogue of offline and will never be able to replace a real, live dialogue. There is no live contact with the audience, the energy does not charge the room. Some registered participants are distracted by their own affairs.
What is the value of museums and exhibitions and why we cannot do without them:
- Atmosphere. One of the unique values of museums and exhibitions in comparison with online events is the atmosphere of creativity, creation and animation.
- Information and visibility. Exhibitions, whether they be an exhibition of paintings or an exhibition of technology, usually have a vibrant exchange of information.
- Communicativeness. An exhibition event assumes the role of a means of communication and a platform for communication between like-minded people.
Thus, online will never fully replace offline, moreover, the lack of personal communication will now form a large deferred demand for offline events. However, there is no doubt that more digital technologies will be added both in the process of preparation and in the process of holding public events.