Chris Elwell has announced that the SMX conferences and events run by the parent company, Third Door Media, will remain virtual through 2022. “Unfortunately, crystal balls and intuition are notoriously unreliable. Predicting market movements has been compared to catching a falling knife… without being cut. That’s the analogy we’re using to guide a return to in-person events,” Elwell said.

Personally, I am sad to hear this, not because I don’t like the virtual events, I do. But more so that I think people really love our in person events and also because I hate what this pandemic is doing to our industry and the greater community on so many spectrums.

Here is why SMX is not happening in person any time soon according to Elwell:

  • No predicting the future of COVID with certainty
  • Travel will be disrupted
  • Lower attendance means lower ROI
  • Expenses will increase

Personally, I have no say in if SMX goes in person or not – but I commend conferences that are able to try smaller events. We’ve seen a number of them so far this year and it is amazing to see our industry together, sharing knowledge and laughs. It is also scary to see that with COVID spreading as it is now.

So for now, SMX will remain virtual and hopefully we will see an in-person event soon enough – but only when it is safe. As Elwell said:

We look forward to the day when we can gather in person to celebrate marketing professionals the way we did prior to COVID. Until then, we’ll provide education and high volume, cost effective lead generation opportunities virtually.

We’re going to let the knife fall on the floor. And pick it up when it’s safe to do so.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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