The Evolution of Virtual and Remote Events…

A look back at how virtual and remote events have changed, from the early aughts to recent innovations in 2020.

AT THE WEBBY AWARDS,  we’ve had a front-row seat to how technology has revolutionized our lives over the last two decades. Since we launched in 1997, the concept of a virtual event has evolved tremendously, before live performances or social networks or video chats were even seedlings of an idea, and even when creators looked to take an IRL experience and find a “virtual” angle it was never to replace what was happening in real life.

This year the global pandemic ushered in a wave of communities, artists, journalists, musicians, and brands coming together to fill a hole that was created when stay-at-home orders went into effect. With this, the creative community began rethinking what it means to craft a virtual experience. They created accessible, innovative experiences that were not enhancements to real life but allowed us to continue connecting, celebrating, and experiencing new things.

From the outset of creating virtual and remote projects, the hallmarks of standout work have been those that rethink how to offer people accessible, equitable and inclusive experiences from anywhere in the world. A need for that criteria has become even more prevalent this year. Early innovations in the Virtual and Remote space pushed  technology to new limits, and as 2020 has unfolded the space has been powered by these innovations, and celebrated by a collective change in culture that embraces the accessibility, equity and inclusivity that they offer.

FOR OUR 25TH ANNIVERSARY, we are looking back at some of the landmark projects that have won Webby Awards and show the evolution of how we got to where we are today which has led to the creation of a dedicated suite of Virtual & Remote categories which we are currently taking entries for and will honor in the Spring of 2021. Learn more about the new categories, and enter The Webby Awards before the Final Entry Deadline on Friday, December 18th

ALL VIRTUAL ALL THE TIME became the new norm weeks into the start of the  COVID-19  lockdown as we tuned in across platforms to hear from some of the biggest performers in the world with Global Citizen’s One World: Together At Home virtual concert, Artists entered new platforms also found ways to create merge gaming, music, and immersive experiences like Astronomical by Travis Scott and FORTNITE, Paris Fashion Week was brought online through the first-ever Circular Fashion Summit, and even business-focused efforts like Pivot Schooled allowed for community and networking in a time of lockdown with things like a five-part virtual series on how Covid-19 transformed the global economy.