When Face-to-Face Events are no Longer a Good Choice, Going Virtual is a Solid Alternative.
As events cancel by the handful amidst Coronavirus concerns, our team advocates for meetings to go virtual. A webcast may be the best way for the show to go on as the Coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world. Our savviest clients are ready to adapt to this climate of concern over face-to-face meetings and pivot toward virtual learning. So, firstly how to decide if your event should go online?
1. Events That Have an International Audience
Event planners with programs that host a large percentage of international attendees need to consider the cancel thoughtfully as airlines limit flights, travel bans are issues and even border closures go into effect.
2. Programs With Target Demographics Over Age 60
Due to the nature of the Coronavirus outbreak and the increased mortality rate in people over the age of sixty, it may be irresponsible to proceed with programs that entice more mature audiences.
3. Large Gatherings Within The Most Affected Major Metropolitan Spaces
Certain counties, like Santa Clara are beginning to ban gatherings of more than 1000. Regions hit hard by the Coronavirus outbreak are seeing major events like Emerald City Comic Con cancel or delay. There is a tremendous amount of pressure put on event organizers to do the right thing to both keep attendees safe and avoid taking part in further spread of the virus.
Meet the criteria listed above, then it may be a good time to consider how to take the entire program that was meant to be live and make it dynamic and digital. As easy as one, two, three, here are a few tips for how to successfully make the transition online.
1. How Much Lead Time is There
First, take into account how much lead time there is for this pivot from a live event to a virtual program. For planners whose shows are two weeks out, for example, the conversation should be around procuring a webcast partner to broadcast keynotes and sessions, as the primary program offering, or simply as backup to accommodate attendees who are unable to travel.
If a show is six weeks out or more, there is more time to think about how to distribute the full program digitally and develop a more interactive online experience.
2. Program Goals Drive Platform Choice
Next, it is important to keep program goals in mind when selecting a digital platform. What should the experience be? Is it a straightforward live stream? Should there be one-way or two-way interaction? Does there need to be accommodation for multiple languages? What does the registration platform need to look like? What type of data needs to be collected, for example, event survey, broadcast view reports etc. There are many platforms to choose from, and new consumers to this event technology should think about their functional needs before they sign a vendor contract.
3. Seize The Opportunity With a Clear Message
Going from a live event to a virtual event on a dime is a major pivot, but it does not need to look like a last minute add-on. When sourcing a broadcast partner, look for a partner that allows platform customization to match core messages and company branding. Cohesive branding will ensure seamless integration as organizers begin to promote the digital program in place of the live event.
Event planners are masters of adaptation and decision making. The current circumstances of the Coronavirus will certainly test those skills, but we are confident savvy organizers will prevail by seeking alternative ways to meet. Contact our team to discuss how to easily take a program from live on-site to online and virtual.