Insight: Issue 39 (7th April)
Scottish govt: you can now meet people outside!
In today’s news: the UK government has released more details of their upcoming live event trials taking place in England this spring; the Dutch government is letting 3.5k fans watch The Eurovision Song Contest live (or subjecting them to it, depending on your viewpoint); introducing *yet another* virtual event buzzword…’365 engagement’; 3 innovative ideas for virtual sponsor interaction; 5 top tips for monetising your virtual event; and a scary summary of how working life has changed a year into the pandemic.
Details for UK govt’s live event trials confirmed
Since announcing their plans to trial live events throughout England in the spring, the UK government has released more details of the pilots that will be held in Liverpool. This includes a business event as part of the Events Research Programme (ERP)—‘The Good Business Festival Presents: Change Business for Good’ will take place on 28 April at ACC Liverpool.
These pilots will be used to provide insight into how events could be permitted to safely resume as part of step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown (beginning no earlier than 21 June in England). They will explore how different approaches to social distancing, ventilation, and testing protocols could ease opening—but the so-called ‘vaccine passports’ are a notable omission from the study. You can get all the details here.
Dutch govt to let 3.5k fans watch Eurovision
Speaking of testing the waters… The Eurovision Song Contest has been given the go-ahead to let 3.5k fans watch in-person as part of a trial by the Dutch government. The annual musical extravaganza will be staged at Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena from 18-22 May, after being cancelled last year. Under the new plan, the venue would be half full, and fans would need to test negative before entry.
Eurovision organisers said they welcomed the decision and would “consider the options now available” before announcing more details in the coming weeks. That said, Dutch PM Mark Rutte has just extended the nationwide curfew and other coronavirus restrictions for 3 weeks until late April—so final arrangements for Eurovision could still be scaled back if there is a new peak in infections. TBD.
Not another buzzword. . .wtf is 365 engagement?
Just when you thought you couldn’t stand to read *yet another* article about boosting engagement at virtual events, we’ve got a whole new buzzword for you—‘365 engagement’. But don’t panic! EventMB walks us through it.
The ultimate goal of 365 engagement is to interact with a community—whether that’s customers, staff, or stakeholders—on a continuous basis. That means event profs will have to start looking past traditional place-and-date event limitations in favour of long-term, ongoing engagement. This could be through a series of smaller, more frequent virtual events; or it could be an ongoing content delivery strategy on social media. Whatever floats your boat. The important thing is, it has to promise a better experience for event goers; creating a rich community where they can access all content and networking opportunities.
If you’re still scratching your head, you’ll find everything you need to know here.
3 innovative ideas for virtual sponsor interaction
It’s not just the delegates who are demanding a better virtual experience—sponsors want want a more meaningful connection with virtual attendees, too. Lucky for us, MeetingsNet has some suggestions for making that happen.
They spoke with SCTE-ISBE, an association for the cable-telecommunications industry, about how they prioritised sponsor ROI at their annual expo. Their 3 must-haves were:
- A targeted sponsor showcase. Using keywords that attendees provided at registration, the system promoted on-the-spot interactions; whenever an attendee entered the showcase area, sponsors with matching keywords in their profiles received an alert and could invite them to a 1-on-1 chat.
- Virtual small-group tours. This involved short 20-minute demos of new products, previews of upcoming products, and small-group discussions of technology-related issues and challenges; building camaraderie and encouraging deeper dialogue.
- Designated discussion hosts. To connect sponsors with attendees through thought leadership, they invited their top speakers to host 30-minute panel discussions that were only available at a specific dates and times; creating a sense of exclusivity and encouraging real-time participation.
5 top tips for monetising your virtual event
Okay. Now that you’ve got yourself an ultra-engaging virtual event with lots of happy sponsors—let’s talk about the money. The event experts over on The Bizzabo Blog have shared 5 top tips for monetising virtual events. Here’s a whistle-stop tour of what they had to say:
- Don’t treat virtual as a replacement for in-person. A valuable virtual event will reflect the medium through which it’s being delivered. AKA, it won’t be a low-effort ‘copy and paste’ of your last live event.
- Think outside the box with sponsors. Expand the parameters of how a sponsor can interact with your audience, and tailor it to their needs. (Refer back to the Bizzabo article for tips!)
- Entice more attendees with lower price points. The more flexible you’re able to be for your audience, the better chance you’ll have of attracting the right people to your brand.
- Create tiered experience packages. In a similar vein, another way to engage a reluctant virtual attendee is with different levels of ticket. E.g. consider making certain aspects of your content available to digital subscribers only.
- Extend your virtual event timeline. Building an extended campaign around your event can maximise audience engagement before and after the big day. (Refer back to the EventMB article for tips! It’s almost like we planned this!)
How has a year of COVID changed working life?
Last for today—a year into the pandemic, Quartz has shared their summary of working life. It’s better (in some ways) and harder (in most ways)…but what does it all mean for the future? Your guess is as good as ours, but here are some quick stats to give you an idea:
- People are working on average 2.5 additional hours per week during the pandemic (that’s conservative, we reckon).
- 6.9% of jobs posted on Indeed in February 2021 were for remote positions (vs. 2.9% in January 2020).
- 79% of respondents in a global survey said “the ability to live anywhere” would be important to them.
A sign of things to come, perhaps?