Nearly 50% of the world is in some form of self-isolation and according to Julius Solaris, Editor of EventMB, as of March 2020, 90% of event professionals saw some or most of their business disappear and 2.75% were left unemployed globally. So how do we do events differently when live group gatherings are not an option? Give clients virtual options, and here are five of them to consider.
- Personalised Video Apps
This idea is based on the myFanPark app which is a platform where fans can be gifted with personalised video messages from their favourite celebrities. Taking the concept into the corporate world of employee engagement would be a great way for Leadership to communicate with staff working off site, sending them personalised messages. Plus, myFanPark has the added element of “doing good” as they support the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation - so important as we can’t forget the practical application of helping others as we go virtual.
While researching the Un-Conference app I discovered it’s actually an event genre with own Wikipedia page, including 10 different conference styles, including PechaKucha, Ignite and World Cafe. The definition is: “The term "un-conference" has been applied ... to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid hierarchical aspects of a conventional conference, such as sponsored presentations and top-down organisation.” The Un-Conference app itself is designed for event planners to customise it but the overall concept works work well for clients who’d prefer to hold more of a virtual group discussion instead of a seminar.
- Online “Open House”
This idea is taken from estate agents selling houses online, which would work just as well for businesses wanting to share their trade fair offerings. vFAIRS is a good example of the technology which can be used to do this. Where an experienced Event Manager is essential is on the design and production side, all the behind the scenes work we would normally do for a “real” trade event.
- Virtual Event Apps
There are so many awesome virtual event platforms, with no doubt many more in the pipeline, here are three we like:
- Virtway Events provide a virtual 3D platform able to connect 500 people, with individual avatars, while users “play or talk in groups” with interaction and voice communication happening in real time.
- Teooh has three virtual options, Meetups for up to 100 people, Mastermind Groups for up to 24 people hosting round table discussions and Fireside Chat also for 100 people. Their promise to eventors is to, “Scale events globally without scaling overhead costs.”
- Event Farm is an experiential marketing platform used by big guys like Panasonic and Microsoft. Additions to your virtual event include smart guest lists, attendee texting and wearable tech.
- Crafted Event Vignettes
This is something Dan Hilbert from EVP GES Events talks about, “crafting memorable yet short encounters for virtual attendees.” These are essentially pre-packaged videos which can be a series leading up to an online event, or stand alone communications which go out via email or Whatsapp to keep corporate communications fresh.
Lastly, I can’t close off without mentioning every Yoga instructor’s new best friend - ZOOM. Besides being used for small meetings, ZOOM can actually support up to 1000 video participants and 49 videos on screen with simultaneous screen sharing. If you feel video conferencing on ZOOM is exposing you in your pyjamas, make use of their “choose virtual background” setting, by clicking on the little arrow next to the "Stop Video" button in the lower left of the screen. Let’s keep creating innovative content and striving for enhanced group connection - whether real or virtual.
Kelly McGillivray, Squad Leader
About: theSQUAD Creative Event Management
Incredible challenges are what take us to the moon and back. theSQUAD Creative Event Management in Johannesburg work to outdo themselves with bigger, more authentic, lump-in-your-throat, goose-bump-inducing, pulse-raising, smile-widening, can't-believe-that-just-happened experiences. We look forward to you joining us for the ride.
Contact: Kelly McGillivray