Well that was fun! In our last newsletter, we were just about to launch the Flock Knowledge Series, and so far we’ve done two webinars which were filled with insight from our guest speakers and discussions with guests. Our first webinar on 13 May had guest speaker Steve Pinto, CEO of New Reality and the second webinar on 27 May had Co-founder of Still Human, Andy Golding, sharing tips for speakers and maintaining a human connection online.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve found that there’s been so much information provided on the wide variety of virtual and online platforms, all with different pros and cons, and applicable to certain events and not others – making it a challenge for event planners (in amongst everything else that requires planning and co-ordination) to become event tech gurus by knowing which options are best for which types of events.
Understanding this scenario, we strategised how to provide valuable information to event planners on virtual events, and thus the Virtual Event Knowledge Series was born.
Mike Lysko, Calley Hayward and Veronica Botes from the Flock Team hosted guests at the first and second episode and provided a series of engagement tools, polls and jam-packed content covering:
- The various types of events held (conferences, networking events, exhibitions, product showcases, open days, awards ceremonies, seminars, training workshops and others)
- Some available platforms for life-like meetings and events with in-person meetups and collaboration from anywhere in the world
- Important preparation tactics for event planners and their suppliers
- Tips and tricks for audience engagement to accommodate different distractions and ensure the guests attention is kept
- How to monetise your online events and add value to your sponsors
- The importance of analytics and surveys for consistent improvement
- And giving thought to planning for 5 years from now with the potential for more global pandemics.
Feedback from the webinars has been incredibly positive so far, and got the wheels turning for many event planners, with the possibility for bringing events that may once have been considered strictly in-person events, to the virtual environment – and making it a potential global success with increased audience reach.
The full event series will cover various topics linking to the success of Virtual Events, with focus points such as Life After Lockdown from world-renowned speaker, Michael Jackson; Monetizing your Virtual Event; Virtual Event Engagement; Sponsorship in Virtual Events, and more. They‘ll continue to run every 2 weeks in June, with the next episode being held on the 10th.
The aim for the series is to provide event planners with sought-after knowledge to equip them to plan, coordinate and create immersive virtual experiences for their guests going forward. Just like with physical events where the industry evolved substantially over many years with improvements in, for example, production capabilities, event registration enhancements, or Event Apps becoming a standard for better interactivity, engagement and information, we can expect the same with the Virtual Event revolution where the capabilities will improve and attendees will have higher expectations for their online experiences going forward.
The future will consist of varying degrees of Hybrid events (a mix of digital and physical elements in one event), with potential for better attendee experiences and improvements in networking as audiences are no longer bound by logistics and geography.
Events providing a physical and virtual platform simultaneously will need to ensure that the experience is similar for both, particularly when attendee access is monetized. The Virtual Event Knowledge Series aims to provide guidance & insights to the events industry, making it easier for event planners to provide the same memorable experiences that audiences have grown to expect from the South African events industry, and globally.