Insight: Issue 38 (31st March)
Happy Easter when it comes, event profs!
And in the meantime, have some news: are COVID ‘passports’ the key to fast-tracking live events?; why hybrid venues are the best of both worlds (real and virtual); how to make a well-crafted virtual event programme; the 4 kinds of event prof you meet in heaven (not as morbid as it sounds); AVIXA Women’s Council UK has launched a new survey for women in AV; and introducing…a robot barista called Ella!
Will COVID ‘passports’ save live events?
First up, you’ve probably seen a lot of debate online about whether COVID passports are the key to the return of live events. Some people see this as the only way to ensure a safe reopening of events (and society in general) but many are still skeptical.
The EU is already leading the way with a Digital Green Certificate – which will act as proof that a person has either been vaccinated, has received a negative test result, or has recovered from COVID-19 – and it’s looking likely that the UK will follow suit with a similar system. Israel has also been using a Green Pass for the past month, tracking the vaccine status of its citizens. But are these measures really a practical solution for events?
New York has become the first US state to launch a digital Excelsior Pass that stores vaccination status and test results, in a conscious effort to help event venues welcome larger groups. Each pass will have a QR code that can be scanned using a companion app to show proof of vaccination/a negative test result (and this private info is secured using blockchain technology).
Time will tell whether these measures (a) work and (b) warrant the enormous logistical burden on event profs… *shudders*
Hybrid venues: the best of both worlds
If there’s one positive of lockdown for the events industry, it’s that it forced us to capitalise on virtual tech to broaden our horizons and widen our reach – and there’s no going back now. When live events do resume, event companies that continue to embrace these virtual elements can expect bigger audiences than their competitors.
Many venues have been quick to react to these changing needs – building designer studios, equipping new tech, and completely redefining ‘the new normal’. Event Industry News has put together a showcase of some of the most well-prepared venues, all of which are working towards accommodating large in-person groups *while also* catering for a virtual crowd through livestream and catch up. Check out the list here.
How to create a virtual event programme
In the spirit of continuing the virtual love, let’s talk about virtual event programmes.
Just like with live events, these can make or break the whole thing – while a well-organised programme will keep your audience interested and inspired; a lacklustre one will lose their attention before you know it.
As Event Planner points out, a successful event program (virtual or otherwise) goes beyond the format and ordering of the content. It will also…
- Define your goals and KPIs. Are you aiming for brand awareness, customer conversion, or customer retention? And what metrics will you use to measure progress towards that goal?
- Identify your ideal attendee persona. Really think about who will be attending your event (and who you *want* to attend your event) then consider their specific needs and interests.
- Cover one overarching topic. Brainstorm topics based on the challenges your attendees face; then break your chosen topic down into relevant sub-topics and identify the best speakers for the job.
4 kinds of event prof you meet in heaven
Obviously all event profs are going to heaven – but what are the key characteristics of a true event angel? According to Conferences That Work, these 4 characteristics are absolutely essential to thrive in our industry (and beyond the grave, apparently):
- Attention to detail. Event profs have to spin a lot of plates without letting anything slip. You can create the most original event in the world, but if there’s no coffee you’ll have a riot on your hands.
- Creativity. Especially when things don’t go according to plan…So you can consider the whole of 2020 as a crash-course in this particular skill. If you’ve made it this far, you’re doing pretty well.
- Top-notch communication skills. Not just speaking – but listening and having empathy for everyone that you deal with. These skills are crucial in event planning, just as they are in life.
- A love of people. And they mean *all people*. People can be amazing, fascinating, challenging and, once in a while, downright frightful. But a really good event prof can deal with the whole lot.
New survey for women in AV
You know we can’t resist an industry survey! The AVIXA Women’s Council UK wants to find out what women in AV would like to see from the organisation, including the type of content and events that should be offered – to better support, promote, and champion women in the AV sector. Those who take part also have the chance to win a free coaching session from Monique Wintle-Camp, MD of Wintle-Camp Coaching – so that’s a win-win right there!
And now for some tech geekery!
Last for today, a very strange and specific question – how would you feel about being served a hot drink by a robot barista called Ella?…An LG transparent OLED display has been installed in a coffee kiosk in Singapore, revealing robotic arms that can prepare 200 cups of coffee every hour.
Two important things to note about this kind of innovation: (1) crucially, it will reduce physical interaction as the pandemic rages on, and (2) it’s very cool.
Here’s to the long weekend!