Looking to the future 2021 and beyond
Programming your future event
Conferences and events do not need to be reinvented, but there are some different ways of adapting them to the changing circumstances, and inevitably this will be the hybrid event. Many participants will continue to meet at a selected location, while another portion will participate in the conference digitally.
In a knowledge-driven world where personal exchange is more important than ever, Katrin Suchi, Director of Sales & Marketing, CPO HANSER SERVICE outlines the requirements and challenges of the virtual element of managing the hybrid event.
Since long before COVID-19, the rapid progress of communication technology has been influencing meetings, conferences and congresses. COVID-19 is more than just a catalyst to the digitalization of events. It will be an evolutionary development combining the merging worlds of the physical and virtual events: The hybrid conference is born.
Gathering and meeting with each other is human nature. Over the past decades people from all over the globe have been brought together physically. Now global changes are forcing us to revise our thinking while technological progress provides new opportunities. The participation of remote speakers in local physical events and broadcasting to a wider global audience will be a standard for future events.
The programme in all its variants remains king, with expert speakers continuing to play the key role.
Overcoming the limitations of physical distance with remote speakers is of course paramount. Today, compromises do not need to be made any more than physical distance is not a reason for having to replace a speaker you wanted. Potential speakers need to be impressed with flexible options of contribution, ones that are capable of complying with their personal needs and situations.
Having everyone on board is vital, only achieved with excellent digital speaker management. Managing speakers who participate in an event virtually is no easier than for speakers attending physically.
Managing also means caring, by preparing them properly before their remote sessions. This ensures quality, reduces unpleasant surprises and makes speakers feel more comfortable. Never forget that speakers are the event’s (and organization’s/association’s) most valuable marketing multipliers.
Participants also need careful attention and to be brought on board. Attending events is not just visiting the site – interaction, community and commitment are required. Virtual events need to provide a high level of interactivity. Using modern communication platforms, such as webinars, discussion forums, social media groups and one-on-one chats is vital for success.
E-learning courses and Content Libraries are a means of extending the experience. Larger events are an excellent opportunity to both start and maintain a deep relationship with the audience. Setting up libraries and creating e-learning courses out of recorded event materials provides the opportunity to offer education throughout a longer period and create even more valuable content for the community.
Turn participants into satisfied customers, transform customers into loyal followers, multipliers or members.