Under: Alicia Evanko
"The single most important thing [for a virtual event] is realistic expectations about what the sponsor and attendee can expect," said Brian Cuthbert, group vice president, Diversified Communications U.S., in a webinar held early in the pandemic. "You are not reimagining the show. How many leads can I expect? How will the learning be? Are you implementing video? Are there trainers or is there an audio webinar?"
"We've been pulling together, in the past five days, a virtual event for the same time that the live event was scheduled," Alicia Evanko, executive vice president, Travel Group Global Events, Northstar Travel Group, added. "We're just doing an appointment event so we're using Zoom. We're exploring other options for the content piece.
"The #1 priority is bringing those buyers and sellers together because we're already getting requests, 'Hey, can you get me the list? I'll set those appointments up myself.' Zoom will handle the appointments. We ...
I just heard Kathryn Hamilton, vice president for marketing and communication at NAIOP (the Commercial Real Estate Development Association), speaking about something common for publishers now—their COVID-19 website resource. She said their FAQ page has received a tremendous amount of traffic—and saved staff time—as have their webinar listings. What I found particularly informative is a call for speaker expertise they did.
"We wanted to hear from experts," Hamilton said. "So we went to our membership with a list of topics and said, 'If you are an expert on this topic, we want to hear from you,' and we've gotten a great response."
It was just one example this week of publishers (and entertainment entities) adapting content-wise to our new normal. Pretty much everyone is home. Besides the obvious, what that means is key people might be more available to speak and contribute who normally would not be.
What else might your aud ...
Whether you cancel or postpone an event should be "based on the information you have today. You have to look to your customers," said Alicia Evanko, executive vice president, Travel Group Global Events, Northstar Travel Group, during a webinar Thursday on Coronavirus and Your Events: How to Make Decisions that Protect Your Business and the Safety of Your Staff. (Members can watch the webinar or download a written transcript here.)
"For us our final decision to postpone our May event was customer feedback. You want to plan these things now. Because come the fall, everyone is moving their events. You want to get out ahead. Any event in May or June, it's a tough call... You have to consider who your audience is, how big your event is and if you want to keep it in the same calendar year. The sooner you get there the better."
Even in the couple days since that webinar, May events seem more fleeting. Evanko offered an example of an event that they wanted to m ...