Association events may not be in-person for the foreseeable future, but don’t cancel your event.
Reinvent your event to drive profits, education, and member value.
Eliz Greene and Thom Singer are no strangers to virtual events. They have the experience to advise, “Don’t cancel your event!” For more than six years they’ve presented at and emceed countless events. In fact, since COVID19 hit they’ve conducted more than 100 interviews.
Also, they host an online talk show on Monday and Wednesday mornings and have worked with organizations including the National Speakers Association to take their in-person event into the virtual work successfully. (By successful, they mean fun, insightful, educational, engaging, AND profitable)
Here are four reasons to reinvent your event rather than cancel it:
Don’t Cancel Your Event and Support Your Bottomline.
Virtual events can be profitable. Most organizations look to their in-person meetings as a profit center. Here is the good news: organizations are seeing an increase in attendance and revenue from well-executed virtual events. Eliz and Thom interviewed Jim Parker and Brian Zambotti from Digitell, Inc.
As a premier live stream provider, Digitell offers a platform to enable organizations to allow audience members to network, engage, listen to speakers, and access resources from anywhere by hosting an online conference, town hall, virtual summit, or live forum. They are seeing tremendous growth in their business and incredible success for their clients.
“Thousands of members are now being re-engaged worldwide by attending the live stream. Associations are reporting a 20-40% conversion rate of virtual attendees becoming physical attendees. Many Associations have reported generating $500,000 to $1,000,000 in new revenue from their live streaming efforts of just a single event. This kind of revenue generation is a “Game Changer” for those Associations.”Read more of the Game Changer article
Don’t Cancel Your Event and Stay Relevant.
Conditions and challenges are changing at a remarkable speed. By providing essential educational content, updates on industry trends, and strategies for weathering these uncertain times, organizations demonstrate the continuity of relevant service.
For example, many organizations have held annual conferences and other conventions for customers, employees, or association members for decades. While some might argue that an online event cannot replace the face-to-face gathering, not holding any type of gathering for a year or two could create a gap in their habit of being part of your “family.” Your people need to be reminded of why their participation in your organization matters.
Thom and Eliz interviewed Mary Lue Peck, CEO, and President of the National Speakers Association (NSA). NSA was one of the first national associations to reinvent their event in the virtual environment.
Not only did NSA respond immediately to member needs through virtual town hall meetings and webinars on financial strategies and shifting to presenting virtually, but they also began offering the breakout sessions planned for their in-person event in August over three months. Eliz and Thom emceed these sessions.
Don’t Cancel Your Event Because Virtual Education Can Be Awesome.
Virtual events should be more than a watered-down version of the in-person event. Eliz and Thom interviewed virtual education expert Dr. Amy Climer who works with teams to help them be more innovative, and in this new world of online events and online schooling… she has many ideas to help meeting planners, speakers, trainers, teachers, students, and parents.
In addition, she contends that in many ways virtual education can be better than in-person events. When used well, virtual education allows presenters to quickly customize to the audience and respond in real-time to questions and concerns.
Don’t Cancel Your Event and Provide Community and Networking.
Your people need each other. Long before COVID-19, there was an epidemic of loneliness in our global societies. In-person industry meetings filled a gap for many people who might not otherwise have access to engage with other people who share common interests. In all surveys, a top reason cited for attending meetings is always the “networking opportunities.” When done right, online meetings can provide a feeling of community participation and the chance to connect with others.
Without your event, people may look to other options to provide them with community. As part of their service to NSA, Thom demonstrated his Social Tightening expertise by hosting “the lobby bar” during the main stage portion of NSA’s Influence 2020 Mainstage sessions. Thom and Eliz hosted a special fancy happy hour with fellow members to discuss the value of connection through virtual tools. They are joined by professional speakers Sam Silverstein, Crystal Washington, Terry Brock, Tony Chatman, Gina Carr, Laurie Guest, and Jon Petz.
Don’t stress! We’ve got this
Events may look different – but the future of events is bright if we all invest in what is possible. Reinventing your in-person event doesn’t have to mean reinventing the wheel!
Eliz Greene and Thom Singer have worked in the hybrid and virtual environment for more than six years. Using adult education best-practices, savvy technology options, and an eye for television-style production, they know how to create community and FOMO for an at-home audience.
From planning through execution and evaluation, they work with organizations to create a memorable and valuable experience for members. Eliz and Thom offer no-obligation consultation calls — contact us today to start the conversation.
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