Happy New Year, folks!
We're all kinda happy that 2020 is behind us. At the same time, nobody should believe that 2021 will be so much different. My birthday is coming up in a few days, and if anyone would have told me in March 2020 that I'd be celebrating via Zoom, I would have declared that person insane. We all are dealing with this pandemic in our own individual ways, but for our industry as a whole, I do not see light at the end of the tunnel before the late summer 2021. Vaccinations have to reach critical mass, then we can get back together.
We have been helping our clients for almost 10 years now with all things streaming and digital, way before it became a COVID necessity. We will continue to focus on communicating digitally. That's also what our subtly updated website is all about: Video might have killed the radio star; and 2020 surely has at least seriously injured (not quite killed) the standard virtual event format.
Every time I saw someone call a Teams, Zoom, WebEx, <insert any other collaboration platform> session, actually a "virtual event", I cringed. I guess that technically you can call anything a (virtual) event; but really?
In my opinion and experience, the format and the delivery of a message are not necessarily more important than the message itself, but at least as important. Now, if no attention is being paid to the format and the delivery, then (for me at least) I'm not even interested in listening to the message anymore. Just ask yourself: How motivated are you to attend yet another boring virtual event?
It all has to come together: The message needs to be translated into a story, which people remember and can relate to. It needs to be wrapped into an appropriate delivery mechanism (that is mostly not a video collaboration platform) and potentially be enhanced by engagement features on a case-by-case basis. Less is more, trust me :)
Then, all of this needs be embedded into an end-to-end event management approach, which starts with promoting the event, getting people to attend, the production itself, all the way to post-event reporting. None of that is obsolete simply because we've gone from offline to online. Ok, catering and wardrobe services are really not needed right now!
If you remember anything from this post, then this:
Video collaboration tools have their rightful place in day-to-day operations, yet they're mostly not adequate for professional delivery of important events and messages
Every event needs a storyboard, an appropriate creative approach, and a team of professionals to make it happen
All the things which are true in standard end-to-end event management, are at least as true in the digital world
And most importantly, stay safe, healthy and don't forget to smile along the way!
Best of luck y'all!