With publishers and media organizations still wary of charging too much for their virtual events—and some like this week’s Atlantic Festival charging nothing at all—sponsorships become that much more important to financial success. But should we be approaching sponsorships in the same way that we have for in-person events?
Two groups, Ricochet Advice and Bruce Rosenthal Associates, have partnered on a white paper to say no. Titled The New Sponsorship Model for Virtual Events, the report offers a new blueprint for recruiting your virtual event sponsors.
“During the pandemic, the traditional benefits offerings repurposed for virtual events are not likely to be of interest. The old way of courting sponsors has likely come to an end for most events and [organizations],” states the report. “An enhanced sponsorship approach that takes advantage of the unique characteristics of digital events to create better engagement between [ ...
Cue the up-tempo music. “Welcome to ASME TechCast, bringing you the innovators, the innovations and the issues that push the envelope of engineering.”
Then we hear John Kennedy’s iconic, New England-tinged voice. “We choose to go to the moon and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they were hard.” Then we hear more famous space voices—“one small step…”; “the eagle has landed…,” and then some not-so-famous ones. Because this stirring podcast—titled Engineering the Apollo 11 Lunar Module—spotlights the engineers who made the1969 moon landing happen.
That episode won ASME a 2020 Gold EXCEL Award (from another division here), and they just started the podcast in 2018—showing that you can achieve high quality in a short time. (And the podcast doesn't have to be long—more below.)
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 ...
Not that they ever went out of style, but newsletters and subscriptions seem to be peaking again. Bloomberg Media’s Justin Smith has talked about their stickiness and comfort at a time like this. Industry Dive is up to about 22 different newsletters now in 19 industries. And Digiday ran an article last week titled How Substack Has Spawned a New Class of Newsletter Entrepreneurs.
“We’re coming in with an opportunity-focused mindset,’ said Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie [whom I interviewed three years ago], fresh off raising $15.3 million last summer. “‘During the first 20-30 years of the internet, in terms of information distribution and media, the innovation has mostly come around an ad-supported model. There’s a whole 20-30 years of innovation to come that more fully innovates around a subscription model.’”
Here are some ideas on keeping the new readership—newsletters ...
"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 ...
Pride 50th anniversary: Five ways you can be a better ally dentist
Q&A: Discussing protests, supporting black community as dentists
Those are two June headlines from a new blog on the American Dental Association site called New Dentist Now. The days of blogs simply conveying an opinion or delivering information have passed. Blogs still do that but they can be so much more. Especially in these difficult times, blogs can give your organization a place to air more diverse voices, offer resources to your community and establish ties with new communities.
"Here are five ways you can become a better ally and ensure your office is welcoming for LGBTQ+ community," writes Dr. Alex Barrera, who practices general dentistry in Houston. "Be visible as an ally... Little things such as decorating your office for pride month (June), making a post on social media, or advertising in an LGBTQ+ magazine will show your s ...
Putting COVID-19 resource sections prominently on your site and in front of any paywall you might have seems to be a win-win-win proposition at this point. On Saturday Stephanie Williford, CEO of SIPA member EB Medicine, posted this on the Discussion Forum in response to an article about a subscription jump at Wired.
"We put our COVID content in front of the paywall on March 3rd and have seen an explosion in website traffic (153% increase) and a modest increase in subscriptions (9%) since the same time period last year," wrote Williford. "We're pretty happy with that all things considered—particularly since our customers (emergency physicians) are the ones on the frontlines managing this crisis. (They certainly have much bigger things to worry about right now than subscribing!) We also think the goodwill and brand awareness we're generating now will pay off in the long run. Plus, like the article below says, it was the right thing to do."
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 ...
I just listened to an excellent webinar from a company called MCI USA titled "COVID-19: Communicate Empathically, Plan Strategically," with Brittany Shoul speaking from a sales and partnerships viewpoint, and Rachel Dillion on member services.
It was fairly basic but in a good way—meaning that they clearly laid out positive strategies for working with your audiences at this special time. Here are some key takeaways.
Focus on the gap methodology. The plans that we all put in place two weeks ago aren't the plans today. And who knows what the future will bring. Focus on the middle. Our key stakeholders are experiencing a level of uncertainty that we're all experiencing. There's a place now between the current state (unarguably not great) and the future state. Make the most of the time now.
Have conversations with your customers. Shoul and Dillon said that the natural inclination at this time might be to withdraw, but ...
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 ...