We sat down with our CEO, Bjørn Christian Nørbech, to discuss the future of online events, remote working, and the growth trajectory in a post-pandemic world. We are happy to share with you the second part of the interview with Bjørn Christian, in which we discuss and delve into each of these topics in detail.
And if you haven’t read the first part of the interview about myOnvent’s origins and values yet, check it out here!
In 2015, myOnvent was the first proper online event platform in the Nordic area. “No one else had done this before us. As far as I know, we were pioneers, and that was fun. I think it’s fun to be first,” said CEO Bjørn Christian Nørbech.
myOnvent had hosted several online events by the end of 2019, with online events becoming increasingly important and attention even before the pandemic. But COVID-19 did, of course, bring about an unprecedented need for online events, increasing the momentum significantly. “Despite our remarkably fast growth in the past two years, it is always important to look ahead and ask ourselves what will happen to online events after the pandemic is over,” noted Bjørn Christian. He firmly believes that the benefits offered by online events platforms are here to stay, regardless of the pandemic, as organizers and participants from all around the world have come to appreciate the numerous benefits of meeting online.
To support his prediction, Bjørn Christian gave an unambiguous and important statistic: In a post-event study following the Cerebral Palsy Association of Norway’s annual conference, which took place on the myOnvent platform, participants of the conference were asked whether they would prefer an online or in-person format for the following year’s annual conference. 93% of the survey participants responded that they would prefer to attend the event online, 5% of the respondents were neutral, and only 2% said they would like to attend in person. For the online events industry the implication of this is huge: the reality is that even when people have the option to choose between online and in-person events, they still opt for online meetings.
However, as with many pandemic superstars, the current market has seen a significant dip with companies such as Zoom, Peloton and Netflix taking huge hits and falling down to lower than their 2019 market valuations. “Everyone predicted that there would be a slowdown in the market after the pandemic, but the current conditions showcases what a historic market this truly was.” When asked about the new realities of the post-pandemic world, Nørbech still remains optimistic: “Luckily, we have many strengths at myOnvent that will allow us to adapt to the market realities.We’re agile and have a strong team culture, and there is no doubt that while there is a slowdown right now, the online and hybrid events market is here to stay and will continue to grow in years to come.”
When asked about the diverse and remote team at myOnvent, Bjørn Christian explains that he wanted to recreate the magic of international collaboration that he had experienced since his youth. From the age of 12, he lived in seven countries and attended an international school in Austria for four years when he was 13. “There was something unique and remarkable about the intercultural relationships that I truly admired and appreciated from back then, something spectacular about working in an international setting where everything is very flexible and mobile.”
Because myOnvent is not limited by geographic borders and boundaries, this spirit of international cooperation is a core value of myOnvent’s team setup. The myOnvent team welcomes the smartest and most talented people from all over the world, a great advantage in the market that enables gifted professionals to join the company regardless of geographic limitations. “We believe this is the future of work,” said Bjørn Christian. Currently, myOnvent has team members across Romania, Lithuania, Norway, the UAE, the UK, and many more – check out our recent article to read a few tips from our team’s experiences of remote working. Several team members based in Ukraine who are able to continue work despite the ongoing invasion. Read more about their stories here.
Currently, about two thirds of myOnvent’s customers are in Norway, with the rest of their clients coming from around the world. “We’ve had people contacting us from pretty much all over the world. We welcome and cherish these collaborations, and we also do our part to initiate these partnerships through outreach marketing and by making our product the best it can be.”
The company is already working with the Middle East, the UK, and many German speaking markets, while also aiming to expand to other Nordic countries, Southeast Asia, Spain, and Latin America. “We’re working with all kinds of initiatives in this direction and we are always looking to expand further and beyond. This international-oriented approach has been at the heart of our company since day one.” This internationalism is part of our DNA – online events were, at their very core, made with the intention to break borders and surpass physical boundaries. When speaking of myOnvent’s values and origins, Nørbech put a particular emphasis on the concept of inclusivity, and on the idea that anyone should be able to attend the events from anywhere in the world at any time. “Whether the person is in a wheelchair, has an impairment, or is thousands of miles away from Norway (or any other physical location).” Den, our Design Lead, wrote this article on myOnvent’s inclusive and accessible design.
For Bjørn Christian, online events are only at the beginning of their bloom. “We are in the Meta era, and the market of online events is a huge and growing one. It is a fantastic market opportunity for those who joined and those who will be joining us in the near future.” Now that the COVID-19 tsunami is over in myOnvent’s core markets, online events are still growing in importance very rapidly and the myOnvent team is incredibly excited for what the future may bring. “We know there will soon be many new online events platform providers, with fresh and creative offerings, and it’s fun to be part of this dynamic, constantly evolving and growing environment. And what is even more exciting about the field of online events is that there is no one winner; the winners are numerous and they are in constant change.”
As online event communities continue to grow both in numbers and in importance, myOnvent has the unique potential and the numerous advantages to be an important provider of those event communities going forward. “myOnvent is a very young company, and we have many opportunities and great partnerships to look forward to. As there will be many winners in this space, I think the ambition is to be a leader, a pioneer, an innovator and work very strongly with our purpose and our mission,” concluded Bjørn Christian.
To find our more about our origins, check out the first part of our interview with CEO Bjørn Christian Nørbech in our “myOnvent: The Beginnings” piece. If you’re interested in getting a detailed insight into our platform, check out our Solutions page or get in touch and we’ll set up a demo!
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