COVID-19 has made it hard for large or small events to go on as they normally would. This does not mean they have not been able to go on, however. By hosting events online through Facebook Live, several groups have been able to get together virtually and enjoy the company of other people.
These fully online events are hosted either through Facebook Live or by giving anyone interested in a certain event a private Zoom link. These types of events allow for participants to socialize and to learn from the comfort of their own home.
After various stay-at-home orders were announced, Facebook added a new section in the events tab for people to search for online events, which can range from livestreams of hot air balloon races to virtual auctions. With required social distancing guidelines either preventing or restricting events and gatherings, virtual events are a perfect alternative.
One example of a recent event that occurred was a Zoom meeting with George H. W. Bush’s White House photographer David Valdez. It occurred on Sept. 8 and allowed for more people to experience the talk than previously thought. Event-goers were able to join a Zoom meeting instead of having to miss out because the event was being held states away. It also allowed for more people to ask questions and understand Valdez’s answers, as the room around them would not be too loud to talk over him.
Another example of a virtual event being held recently was the Southern Miss Alumni Mixer, which was held on Sept. 10. The event allowed for alumni to learn how to make Southern Miss inspired drinks, such as the Black-Eyed Susan, as well as Felipe’s Famous Margarita. Attendees were given a list of ingredients before the event so they could follow along and make the drinks themselves. Being held virtually allowed alumni from the school to socialize and meet other alumni even if they were no longer living in Mississippi. It also allowed for alumni who would otherwise be stuck out of state to still be included with Southern Miss.
Hopefully after things return to normal and events are allowed to be held in-person with full capacity, Facebook Live or Zoom will be used to allow for a bigger audience. It allows for people interested in a topic or fans of a certain event to experience the event. Even if it requires a ticket, it would be nice to virtually attend an event that might be located states away.
People who cannot leave the house will be able to experience events through the use of Facebook Live and Zoom. This includes older individuals and people who are in the hospital. These people will be able to attend events that they might otherwise not be able to see and stay entertained beyond the world of their beds.
While it will be nice to return to in-person events, it is also good to know there is a potential alternative for events that might not occur close by. It can only be hoped that broadcasted events will still be common in a post-social distancing world to keep people connected as they are now.