Insight: Issue 23 (2nd December)
The last month of 2020 is here.
We always knew it would end in tiers.
Okay, in all seriousness, this is what we have for you today: a new interactive site planning platform in full 3D; the ultimate FREE guide to hybrid events (did we mention it’s free?); the latest scientific thinking on COVID-safe event spaces; 10 tips to improve your non-verbal communication in virtual meetings; a record-breaking team-building activity; and some steal-worthy campaign ideas for 2021 (spoiler alert: expect cookies).
A first for the industry: 3D/3D+ site planning
First up, a first for the events industry! Following a successful first year in business, software start-up OnePlan is launching a ground-breaking new product: a fully interactive event planning platform in 3D and 3D+.
This platform will enable event planners to collaborate in full 3D, in real time. It offers incredibly realistic representations of how sites and stadiums will actually look on the day, providing access to aerial imagery up to 16x higher res than standard maps. Major associations like the World Triathlon, and big festivals like Glastonbury, are already on board and will use OnePlan’s innovative technology to bring their 2021 events to life.
Since site visits are a no-go right now, the timing of this new venture couldn’t be better. So much so, that OnePlan’s CEO Paul Foster reckons: “Event site planning will never be the same again’.
The ultimate FREE guide to hybrid events
As Event Manager Blog rightly points out, the one silver lining for the events industry in 2020 is that 7 years’ worth of virtual event progress was accomplished in just 7 months. You can’t say event profs don’t know how to hustle.
And what’s one of the biggest lessons learned?…That there will be a return to physical events and in-person audiences (of course!) but hybrid is undoubtedly the future. With that in mind, online events platform Hopin has compiled an extensive report on the key benefits of converting to hybrid. Some of the key takeaways are:
- Social virtues—hybrid formats make events more inclusive, accessible, sustainable, and flexible; especially to a new generation of young work-at-home professionals.
- Content—taking advantage of virtual connections means you can showcase content from more speakers, anywhere in the world.
- Economics—hybrid events enjoy a much larger reach, giving you access to more customers and more sponsorship-based revenue.
- Logistics—a hybrid format does not require you to plan two events (a common misconception!); the virtual experience underscores and supplements the on-site experience.
New thinking on COVID-safe spaces
Speaking of non-stop hustle, the scientific advice on COVID is ever-changing (in fact, guidance has probably changed since we started that sentence). But we’re all doing our best to keep up, and this is the latest thinking on COVID-safe spaces.
In a slightly terrifying development, infection specialists are now more concerned about airborne spread of coronavirus than surface-based spread. Venues will have to adapt their measures accordingly, by turning their efforts towards improving the filtering of indoor air. Dr. Kevin P. Fennelly, a respiratory infection specialist with the US National Institutes of Health, comments:
“In my opinion, a lot of time, energy, and money is being wasted on surface disinfection and, more importantly, diverting attention and resources away from preventing airborne transmission.”
Even so, it’s important to remember that washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser if you’re out and about) is still encouraged by doctors and scientists to minimise the spread of the virus. WASH YOUR HANDS PEOPLE.
10 tips to improve non-verbal communication in virtual meetings
There’s been a lot of chatter among event profs this year about boosting engagement with your online audience—but how many of us have actually reflected on *our own* engagement in virtual meetings? MeetingsNet has 10 top tips for improving your non-verbal communication on screen, which is just as important as your message. Actions really do speak louder than words.
Now, some of these might seem obvious—but you’d be surprised how often we let them slip…
- Maintain eye contact. Look directly at the webcam, NOT at your own face on the screen.
- Perfect your posture. Slouching gives the impression that you’re bored. Sit up straight and lean into the camera.
- Smile and nod. These polite, positive signals show you’re listening and engaged.
- Don’t touch your face. It’s distracting and it makes you look nervous. (And it’s not great in a pandemic.)
- Look at ease. Relax your face and…dare we say it…smile!
- Uncross your arms. This is a literal barrier between yourself and the speaker.
- Set the stage. A clean, uncluttered background is important (but some personal touches are nice too).
- Remember to breathe. Take 5 deep breaths to calm your nerves and help you feel (and look) relaxed.
- Dress for success. Plaid patterns on screen = a guaranteed headache. Also, no PJs.
- Resist the urge to search. In other words…DO. NOT. SCROLL.
A record-breaking team-building activity
Did you know, record-breaking virtual team-building is a thing now?…Yeah, us neither.
When The Guardian Life Insurance Company embarked on a team-building project as part of its internal Career Development Month back in August, the firm went all in. Its HR team enlisted Guinness World Records to help them make an impression, but without any employees coming together in person. They succeeded in creating the world’s largest online video chain of people waving; which required 359 separate videos, lasting for 17 and a half minutes in total. So, if you fancy having a go, that’s the number to beat.
That’s just one example of Guinness World Records’ recently expanded portfolio of record-breaker-themed team-building experiences, delivered entirely online—it’s well worth a nosy.
Steal-worthy campaign ideas for 2021
As we count down the days to 2021, brands are pondering how to make their mark in the year ahead. The bizarre circumstances we’ve been living have, at least, forced event profs to think outside of their comfort zones—and Event Marketer has rounded up some of the most steal-worthy campaign ideas to fuel your inspiration. Our personal favourite? Oreo’s doomsday cookie vault…Because you can’t survive the apocalypse without snacks.
How ‘bout that?