"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 ...
Who doesn't like swag? In the past, we've only gotten these exhibitor and vendor gifts mostly at conferences and trade shows we attend. But, of course, that's now gone away.
Or has it?
Subscription boxes are the latest publishing trend. FIPP, the international trade group, just did a whole special report on them, complete with case studies. Basically, publishers send subscribers and would-be subscribers physical boxes of cool items. Yes, it's mostly been consumer up to this point, but it doesn't really have to be.
The idea has proven an effective one for our homebound times. A month ago, I wrote about a new online show called The Present starring magician Heider Guimaraes, where ticket holders are mailed a box with surprise contents that they are directed not to open until their Zoom show starts.
"How do you reach out of the computer and into the audience?" asked Matt Shakman, artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse in ...
Earlier this month, Questex announced the creation of a “modern” information services model that leverages audience data to tie content and events closer together to create a year-round customer engagement framework.
"Tomorrow's going to be different. I have no idea how. If you've never embraced that before, embrace it now." That quote comes from Eric Yaverbaum, CEO of Ericho Communications and author of PR for Dummies, in part of a video series called Lockdown Life presented by Connectiv member Haymarket Media's PRWeek brand.
This moving video features three PR pros who came down with COVID-19—they're better now—and talk briefly about what it was like, how their agencies dealt with it and the lessons learned.
Sometimes we see a big company doing cool and innovative things, and we say, "I don't have the resources to do that." But in the case of PRWeek—which has turned our current disruption into a virtual smorgasbord of creative content, diverse and engaging videos and lively awards shows—smaller companies can definitely take a page or chapter even.
With books aplenty ...
The hope that live events would return in the fall is increasingly being replaced with the realization that many (if not most) conferences and trade shows in the U.S. will continue to be virtual or hybrids of online and in-person for the remainder of 2020 (last week Informa saw an 8 percent stock jump when it said select trade shows would resume in Asia but warned that live events in the U.S. won’t return until at least September).
The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt the U.S and world economies a series of often unprecedented shocks—the “Great Lockdown” as economists refer to it, basically closed a wide-ranging sectors of the economy including service, travel, tourism and entertainment and many more, resulting in unemployment rates in the U.S. of more than 20 percent as of June 2020 and drastic revisions of worldwide economic growth for 2020 and 2021.
There will be other coverage that people will need. "So what we're trying to do [is show that] our arts writers and critics, our sports writers and critics, our food writers and critics can feel relevant now but also signal to our audience that after the COVID crisis, we'll have different kinds of coverage that they will still need," Gilbert said. "So that's really what we're trying to do to combat that challenge. But I absolutely feel that imperative every bit as much as your members do, and we're thinking very deeply about what are the things, the products, the tools that we can offer our audience and how can we bridge [new subscribers] from caring about the news in the time of the virus to caring about the news when things are going better."
"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 ...
Offer content—video, gamification, polling—and then bring people together around that. Speaking at the ongoing-through-May CES Deconstructed Jesse Serventi, founding partner, Renovus Capital, said (in a virtual discussion) today that we're really just starting to learn how to "have a keen understanding of how to engage an audience virtually. A lot of it is asynchronous. You're on an island. You're going through it by yourself. It's tough to engage. But then it's also synchronous where you might be watching many hours of content. That's tough too. The companies doing the best job are bringing in both. They might be starting off with prerecorded asynchronous content, watching video, doing a multiple choice quiz, and then coming together to do a group exercise around that and developing relationships—reaching you through multiple modalities. That's just a great way to engage the customer or get customers hooked in an even better way than live in-person training ...
When offices open up again, what will make employees comfortable to go back in? In an engaging and revenue-focused CES Deconstructed session last Thursday titled CEO Power Panel: How Leading Companies Are Planning to Not Just Survive But Thrive, Arizent CEO Gemma Postlethwaite offered one answer that resonated with her colleagues.