Posts Under: virtual events

Coffee Mugs for Speakers, Year-Round Platforms Highlight New Ideas

Necessity is proving to be the mother of invention once again, when it comes to events.  At the recent ASAE Virtual Annual Meeting, a big takeaway was to keep putting members/subscribers first. BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization) Digital took place in June with more than 7,000 participants from 64 countries and 28 time zones—“no small feat,” writes Associations Now. “To foster a spirit of connectedness, BIO changed the meeting’s tagline from ‘Beyond’ to ‘Nothing stops innovation.’ Then, in advance of the conference, the group mailed all speakers a custom mug with the new tagline.” What a great idea! Then speakers could have that mug visible when speaking at that event—and maybe other events. It was an added expense, but worth it because it gave speakers brand recognition onscreen that reflected togetherness, said Erin Lee, VP of marketing operations and customer experience a ...

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'Help Your Audience Have the Best Experience' - Event Engagement Tips

If you’ve ever been to a live talk show—or even a taping—you might recall that they usually have a person come out to warm up the crowd. She or he might tell a few jokes and let you know how to engage and get involved—applause signs, audience participation cues. I recall this from attending The Late Show With David Letterman once—that and how cold the Ed Sullivan Theater was. Apparently David liked it chilly. I read something this week in Associations Now that reminded me of that, in respect to virtual events, including webinars. “It’s very important to bring a specific level of intention to your virtual event to help your audience understand how they can have the best experience,” said Beth Surmont, 360 Live media director of experience design, in a recent ASAE webcast. “Tell them how to engage. For example, submit your questions here. Raise your hand this way.” Surmont offered four dime ...

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Two Event Pros Have Done the Virtual Trial and Error to Help You Succeed

On an American Society of Business Publication Editors webinar last week focusing on virtual events, Christine Weiser, content/brand director, Tech & Learning, a Future plc division, posted a sample agenda from one of the first virtual events they hosted this year. The agenda makes a chemical engineering flow chart look simple.   “I share this to say we did this, we survived, but don’t do this.” And she laughed. The “conference had 7 tracks [and went] for 10 hours—exactly 10 hours, you can ask my colleagues—and it was very well-received. We had over 1,300 attendees. But this is not the place to start. This is where you learn your lessons.”   After learning their lessons, their events have been worthwhile. Since launching a series of virtual events in March, they’ve had over 4,100 registrants. “Events have been great to introduce our content and brand to a whole new audience,” Weiser said. ...

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Virtual Event Benchmarks Call for a Clear Strategy and On-Demand Push

I mentioned this briefly yesterday, but a company called Nucleus has taken data from three virtual event benchmark reports to create some insightful infographics. Here are a few of their findings with comments:   58% of virtual events include some form of interactivity; the average attendee watches 68% of a session. With all the distractions that we have working from home, some form of interactivity seems key to at least reaching that 68%. "Polling is the most interactive of the various Zoom features," said American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Executive Director Bob Moore. "The chat function works well, but since not everyone has a question, polling is a nice way to keep all engaged." People like polls, especially if they're relevant and one-button easy.    59.8% have no specific virtual event strategy. I thought BVR’s event strategy outline in my post yesterday is worth noting—a three-day event in September su ...

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BVR's Virtual Pivot Offers 'More Value' and May Yield More Profit

According to new virtual conference benchmarks from Nuclear Analytics, the average daily view time for a live virtual conference is 2 hours, 10 minutes and 56 seconds. In scheduling their upcoming Virtual Divorce Conference Sept. 9-11, Business Valuation Resources has scheduled days of 2 hours five minutes, two hours 10 minutes and 3 hours 20 minutes.   To add even more value to their event and keep within a reasonable daily view time, BVR has added bonus sessions both before and after the main event. So there’s a 50-minute conference preview on Aug. 27, and then three 100-minute, follow-up programs Sept. 17, 24 and 30.    It's a great idea. There are no ground rules to virtual events. As has often been said, we are all wading in uncharted waters. These sessions allow BVR to showcase even more good speakers and then also does something many experts recommend—keep the engagement and community atmosphere going.    “We f ...

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More Data, Global Access; Embrace Virtual Events for Their Virtues

"There's definitely more data that we were able to collect with the virtual event than with an in-person event," Enit Nichani, vice president of marketing for North America at IGEL, told TechTarget this week. The article said that a reporting feature in vFairs—their digital platform of choice—enabled their marketing team “to see how many times a user visited a particular booth, what sessions they attended and how long they stayed for those sessions.”   "That's a lot easier than trying to take a physical or even a digital form, and uploading the data into those systems," said Laura Ramos, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. "Half the time, none of that ever happens."   There's no doubt that there are some drawbacks to virtual events. After all, we are social creatures. But there's also a lot to embrace. Here are other ways to take advantage of virtual events.   Go global. There should be no bar ...

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How to Best Help Sponsors and Attendees Succeed at Virtual Events

“The more interactivity you put into any of these [virtual events], the better and the more effective it’s going to be,” said Ben Hindman, CEO of events marketing platform Splash. The Atlantic Festival, their big event of the year, will try to accomplish this by including smaller breakout sessions and 20-person roundtables during the daytime portions of the festival to give attendees the chance to speak directly to the presenters and the editors, according to Digiday.   But that interactivity is crucial for exhibitors and vendors as well. A new report from Tradeshow Logic titled Redefining Value for Today’s Exhibitors & Sponsors (download free here) suggests that organizations need to help their exhibitors and vendors to succeed. “Even though virtual platforms are touted as ‘turnkey,’ they still require significant marketing and promotion investment from your exhibitors and sponsors [and you] in order to ...

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In Creating Virtual Events, Best to Look for 'Sustainable Models'

I saw two industry quotes today that both pointed in the same direction.   “What can you create now that will become a product forever?” a media company revenue officer asked.   “We were looking to build a sustainable model for a relevant digital program, not a one-and-done,” said Rochelle Richardson, senior VP of expositions and events, AVIXA, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, commenting on their pivot in June to a virtual InfoComm 2020 Connected event. “We wanted to build a model we could continue to tweak and enhance for our other events around the world.”   Last week, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released the results of its latest poll tracking the impact COVID-19 is having on the B2B exhibition industry. One of the numbers is that 81% of companies cancelling in-person events are pivoting to virtual events. Since ...

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For VentureBeat, a Profitable Pivot Means Meeting Audience Needs

"Bringing that human connection back to [events in] the digital world really comes down to personalization. How do you feel connected with other attendees, and speakers and the organization hosting this event? Creating opportunities for them to participate and not just be behind a screen. Being thoughtful about what their day looks like. Actively reach out to attendees asking for their participation and input is really important. 'What do I want to get out of it?' It's not just about the content."   That comes from Gina Joseph, VP of strategy & partnerships for VentureBeat—which covers transformative technology—speaking to Digiday in an excellent webinar on Friday about the April pivoting of their annual GameBeat Summit 2020. (Watch it here.)   VentureBeat was able to successfully pivot and keep their 120-plus speakers, the 50 sessions and even more incredibly all of the sponsors for the GameBeat virtual event. The sales team even brought in ...

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