It has been over two months since our world was turned upside down. Many of us spent the first weeks in disbelief, then shifted to getting through the third quarter, which then transformed to exploring the effects on 2021.
The word pivot has been used more than I could ever have imagined! But that is what we have done – pivot. Our teams focused on the ins and outs of platforms and apps that transform and reimagine meetings from face to face (F2F) to digital and hybrid experiences.
The most important first step in transformation is to re-evaluate your original goals and objectives and understand what is required to best achieve them. Once this is established, proceed with planning as usual – or almost. The same level of planning and effort is required with a focus on digital and hybrid:
- Dates and times reflect the time zones of your audience
- Reshape communications and content for digital platforms
- Orchestrate and emphasize attendee engagement
It is more important than ever to stay relevant and in front of your entire audience – customers, employees, press/analysts – they need to hear you, understand your goals and objectives, and hear about your achievements and progress.
Here are some tips to start:
1. Executive Buy-In
Meet with your executive team. With F2F events on pause, understand how this affects your overall business. Strategize the path back to F2F. Embrace digital/hybrid formats, with options for regional F2F meetings in 2021. Leave with an understanding of how your department budget is affected through 2021. Communicate a digital/hybrid meetings strategy that supports business goals and outline financial investments of any current F2F event contracts.
2. Evaluate Events Through Q2 2021
Evaluate your meetings calendar through 2021 – which events can pivot to hybrid? And which should migrate to digital? Meet your internal stakeholders and outline your plan. Communicate early and often with your attendees and sponsors. Negotiate and mitigate cancellation fees for cancelled events.
3. Create a Solid Digital Experience
Work with your agency and in-house event team to create a unique and valuable experience – one your attendees haven’t yet experienced. Choose the right platform & technology. Considerations include livestream vs pre-recorded content, real time interaction (Q&A, moderation and audience interaction), and ability to repurpose content for viewing and marketing.
4. Attendee Engagement
Focus on quality engagement – factor in short attention spans and screen fatigue. Keep attendees tuned-in and anxious for more with virtual networking, Braindates, 1:1 meetings, gamification, and personalized experiences.
While we chart the return to F2F meetings, hybrid and digital events are an essential part of a successful meetings strategy. Streamlinevents is here to help navigate this landscape.
Want to discuss pivoting your next meeting to digital or a hybrid? Send me an email or give me a call! And when you have a moment, download our helpful guide to the ins and outs of planning digital meetings.
— Tracy DeMario