Latest News: COVID-19 and the events industry (17 April)
TGIF. . .that’s still a thing, right?
You’ve probably seen your fair share of graphs over the past few weeks, courtesy of COVID-19. Predictions and curves and all sorts of scary statistics. Well, as we head into yet another weekend on lockdown, this one’s hitting a bit close to home…
Too real…Way too real…
We’re rounding off this week’s news with: a Go Fund Me page raising money for the production of PPE; the healing power of the doughnut model; tips for online meetings, including a Zoom makeover; ideas for monetising your virtual event; and, last but not least, an introduction to ‘zumping’. Just you wait.
Fundraiser: emergency PPE for the NHS
Our friends at SWG3 have set up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the production of emergency PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which is in critical shortage at the moment. All funds will go directly to the supply of materials for visors, which will then be produced by independent printers, and distributed to front-line NHS staff and health care workers across the country.
The project, called ‘ViseUp’, has already smashed its original target—but they’ve now raised the stakes to £75k as demand for PPE continues to grow. Please donate if you can; and if you can’t spare much, know that a visor costs only £2 to make.
Can a doughnut save the world?
According to the brainiacs at Oxford, it can…and they’re starting with Amsterdam.
In our last briefing, we talked about the positive effect that widespread lockdown is having on the environment—and how the challenge will be keeping it that way when life returns to normal. In the Dutch capital, government officials and British economist Kate Raworth from Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute are plotting to use the so-called ‘doughnut model’ to rebuild the city in a post-COVID world. This model is designed to help countries, cities, and people thrive within the means of the planet.
Allow us to explain. The inner ring of Raworth’s doughnut sets out the minimum we need for a good life (food, clean water, that sort of thing). Anyone not attaining these minimum standards is living in the doughnut’s hole, so to speak. The outer ring of the doughnut (the bit with the sprinkles) represents the boundaries humans should not pass in order to avoid damaging the climate. Between the two rings is the good stuff: the dough, where everyone’s needs AND that of the planet are being met.
Make sense?…No?…Well, we did our best—Raworth herself does a much better job.
The DOs and DON’Ts of online meetings
We’re a few weeks into this lockdown business now, so we’re basically WFH pros at this point. But one thing you may not have mastered yet is maximising productivity in virtual meetings. Because, as event profs know all too well, online just isn’t the same as face to face.
M&IT are here to help with the DOs and DON’Ts of online meetings—covering everything from the initial agenda, to the logistics of the call. As an example, they suggest summarising the purpose of the meeting in max. 15 words, then sharing it with your colleagues beforehand so everyone’s on the same page. And another gem—try scheduling your meeting for an unusual time, like 7 minutes past the hour. Not only will this focus your attendees’ minds (who knew?) but you’ll also avoid the *huge* spike in traffic which video-conferencing platforms experience on the hour…Genius.
Sponsorship ideas for virtual events
Of course, you may be reading this and thinking “but I know all this, I’m a virtual event pro”. Well then, you’re ready for the next step in your virtual-event education…and that’s sponsorship. This is an indispensable part of live events—but it works differently online. Without physical spaces to brand, and without the ability to hand out the all-important conference swag, what does that leave?
The Event Manager Blog has some words of wisdom on the topic, with their 18 virtual event sponsorship ideas. Things like: selling banner ad space in your live-stream; running sponsored intro vids and slide transitions; or setting up a sponsored quiz through an event app to entertain your online delegates. There’s plenty in there to get the creative juices flowing.
Customise the look of your Zoom event
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of monthly Zoom users has soared from 10 million to *200* million. That’s a hell of a lot of Zoom calls—and, chances are, you’re probably sick of the sight of it by now. So…why not change how it looks?
ZmURL is a free tool that lets you customise your Zoom invitations and meeting pages with images, headlines, and descriptions—so when you share them on social media, they won’t look just like everyone else’s. It also offers built-in privacy features (and we’ve already established how important those are!).
According to the ZmURL site, this all takes only 2 minutes to do. You can investigate here.
Fed up of lockdown? At least you haven’t been ‘zumped’
And last for today—if you read Wednesday’s briefing, you were probably horrified to discover the term ‘zoombombing’. Well, we’ve got another cracker for you…Nothing takes its toll on a relationship quite like a global pandemic, or so @juliamoserrrr discovered when she was ‘zumped’—aka, dumped on zoom. She turned to Twitter in search of solidarity, and plenty of others chimed in with their own zumping woes.
So yeah, that’s a thing now. A new low for humanity?
. . .Happy Friday, all!
*Changes from work sweatpants, to weekend sweatpants*