If 2020 has taught us one thing, it’s been the value of human contact—a hug, a smile, the incredible treasure of being able to gather and share an experience, together.
While the pandemic has necessitated virtual meetings, even after vaccines are fully rolled out, industry observers predict that hybrid and virtual meetings will be the norm.
From awkward Zooming, to technical glitches, mind-numbing hours of boring content and turned off cameras, we all experienced our share of virtual connections gone wrong in 2020. So why would anyone want more of that once we’re post-Covid?
Because the meetings industry learned a lot about virtual meetings in 2020 and 2021 is the year to do things differently.
Here’s a closer look at the good stuff and why hybrid and even full-on virtual meetings aren’t likely to go away anytime soon:
We’ve become more tech-savvy
The learning curve has been agonizing and steep for sure. But ultimately, most of us are more tech literate today than we were just a year ago. 2020 got many of us – from grandparents, to elementary students to office veterans alike – to figure out applications like Zoom, Google Classroom and FaceTime out of sheer necessity.
What does this mean for event planners and sponsors? Many more touch points to engage attendees leading up to and following the conference. Platforms remain open for up to 90 days (or more) post-conference. There are more opportunities to engage attendees with enduring education content up to 12 months after the event.
ROI: Virtual can boost your bottom line
From budgetary savings to reducing carbon footprints, to increased inclusion and involvement of global audiences, there are many compelling benefits to be had from virtual and hybrid events.
One compelling benefit is accessibility. Many more people can access a meeting online than in-person: people with caregiving responsibilities, disabilities, travel restrictions, scheduling conflicts, or limited funds.
In cold, hard financial times, many event planners have been pleasantly surprised to see a big boost to the bottom line, with virtual elements. For example, Jennifer Kingen Kush of Kingen Kush Solutions told Northstar Meetings Group about an ROI report she produced for two PCMA events:
"Rather than cannibalizing in-person events, digital meetings can actually enhance them" Kush said.
We’re learning how to design better virtual events and do it right:
Less information, more inspiration and transformation.
Conference attendee Chrissie Kenaston visited my Virtual Wellness Lounge and was amazed at the transformation. “All of the stretches and exercises she demonstrated were easy to follow and exactly what my body needed after sitting for long hours during the event. Even my kids joined in on the exercises after they’d been sitting all day for virtual school!”
If virtual meetings still feel daunting, the good news is you don’t have to do this all on your own.
Need help engaging attendees with virtual wellness experiences for your next virtual event? Click HERE to schedule a free wellness consultation with me.