An idea about the Events industry
When you refer the term ‘Events,’ it can be any small-scale or large-scale corporate or personal event. It can be a festival, a gathering, meeting, trade fair, exhibition, or a formal party. On a day-to-day basis, each of us attends either small or large events. Before the pandemic, we have been to in-person events. We have been widely attending virtual events during the pandemic, and these virtual events slowly transformed into hybrid events. The hybrid component is here to stay, but we are moving forward to participate in conventional events again. A decade worth of transformation in the Events industry just happened in months because of the pandemic.
A successful event requires arduous planning. There are several challenges that each event planner faces when hosting an event. You need to devise fresh and new strategies, from event promotional activities to event sponsorship or audience engagement. Each of us hold unique experiences in the event we were part of, maybe face-to-face, virtual, or hybrid. Here we have a few insights from various pros in the Events industry who were recently a part of the event. We have consolidated them, so that you can consider before organizing your next event.
Insights from VP of Marketing
Our recent discussion with an expert, the VP of Marketing Strategy at a top Event Management platform, was back from SXSW 2022. The event was running at 30% capacity that year. It was much lower than other large events experience owing to factors like international travel, tech-prone audience, and others who value in-person experiences.
The allocated budget was way less than that used for other industries. A few exhibitors were considered boring as they felt that was a safe strategy. A few booths did not scan the walk-ins.
He also mentioned that it was torture to be on ‘the mute’ mantra while your speaker presents. The pain point here is audience engagement.
It was a one-hour session. But the sessions were long, which was not required. Recommended running Q&A in separate breakout sessions.
As a first-time attendee, he did not know what to attend and whom to meet. He pointed out the inadequate technology around the show. The technology could have been better here.
Though considering it a hybrid event, there was exclusivity for online. A few sessions were only online, and the film festival audience could access the movie only for a limited time. Thus providing on-demand content in a time window creates scarcity and is a great marketing tactic.
He loved the real-time display of the session capacity, which was the prime example of real-time data crucial for large events.
To summarize, laser-focus on your events, be creative, plan your budget, shorten session times, offer good technology, and help the audience with real-time data. These are a few things that can engage your audience better in an event.
Insights from Global Head of Event Services
This is feedback from the Global Head of Event Services, a widely used video conferencing platform. This event was mentioned exciting as the speakers were remote and the attendees were in-person. Such setups are rare.
Here we need to understand the importance of their unified communication tools connecting these audiences. Thus the power of technology has made their connection seamless.
Delivering content to a group of in-person attendees by remote speakers is challenging. You need sophisticated technology to keep them wholly connected. Thus, providing on-site management and virtual event support is at the highest level of these events. You need a variety of on-site management tools to include all your attendees.
Also, the quality of content delivered matters here. Participants will easily get bored if speakers at remote are unable to deliver the core content. The reason behind conducting such events should be clearly defined before organizing.
Insights from Event Influencer
Here we have the suggestions from an Event Influencer and also the Program Manager of an Event Management Platform. She recalls the keynote speaker was an executive for an NBA team, and it was an online global meeting. Despite calling them a perennially bad team, she admits that there was an increase in ticket sales and credits it to their obsession with the fan experience and the way they craved for some sort of feedback. They were happy with any sort of feedback- positive, negative, or irrelevant to improve themselves.
A part of your post-event survey is getting feedback from your attendees. That does not stop with only getting them, but the due course is to analyze the inputs and consider the assets to leverage changes with your stakeholders.
Digest it completely and convince the management to make changes according to the responses from your audiences. Even the smallest change can bring in new audiences to your next event. Get the assistance of other industry experts if you have a tough time interpreting your events feedback.
Remember, the worst thing than a bad feedback, is definitely ignored feedback.
Insights from the Director of Accessibility
This is an amazing blurb of information from the Director of Accessibility, a company that offers end-to-end accessibility services for events. For years they have been providing accessible content to audiences worldwide. He feels that the audience engagement was inadequate. The hybrid event had almost equal number of onsite and offline attendees.
There were some background disturbances making the speaker’s voice unclear. The attendees online had captions flowing to compensate the voice disruption, but the in-person attendees had a hard time following the content. Despite fixing this issue, it was tough for the in-person attendees to connect with the speaker and other attendees.
A digital screen with live captions for the in-person attendees would have been a great choice to bring people together around a common purpose. Unlike the virtual participants, the in-person attendees would have followed the content despite distractions. Inclusivity is a hindrance when focussing on the spirit of connection and connectedness.
When being a part of something bigger and sharing ideas in the same sphere make space for event planners to host accessible events. Include Live captions, Subtitles, Language interpretations for international audiences, and ASL interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Come out strong and create spaces to reconnect.
This consolidation of advice on several events are from influential industry experts. Considering their privacy, we have neither tagged them nor included their images.