Since the beginning of lockdown, we've been holding a weekly coffee club, inviting people to join us for informative lightning sessions based around a variety of subjects. This week it was the turn of PIVOT (nope, not the Ross quote from Friends), and the way in which events have had to transform very quickly due to the limits of in-person interaction.
- COVID-19 limited all in-person interaction
- Companies had to cancel in-person events
- Events had to either postpone until later in the year/next year or move online
- Loss of revenue (I.e. Informa reportedly lost +£400m)
Informa - https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/10/informa-delays-or-cancels-events-coronavirus-exhibition
- A need to replace this revenue
- Sponsors need to get what they also need from the events - i.e. leads, sales and brand awareness
We've seen lots of SaaS, news and media brands who had events planned, switch these to virtual only events - Adobe Summit, Zendesk Relate, NYT Events, Salesforce World Tour, Digiday Publishing Summit and more recently FIPP's World Congress.
There is still the standard considerations needed when planning a digital event including asking yourself: Why do consumers attend the event? What is the key content and takeaways? What's the best marketing distribution? What's the typical experience? What's the brand persona?
However, this now has a huge extra set of considerations to look at: Timely and relevant content (Changes daily!), challenges with childcare/length of sessions/recordings/blogs, ensuring sponsors are still happy despite digital presence, further engaging with audiences via live stream or twitter live-blogs.
On top of this there are some potential problems including which platform is the best to use? Is there webinar/zoom fatigue? People have less time, as 5 minute office conversations are becoming 30 minute zoom calls! What if people don't have great Wi-Fi? How are your presenters/keynotes going to present professionally? How are you going to drive engagement and interaction? How can you make a 'premium' event on a 'freemium' model?
Key Takeaways from the Coffee Club
- Consolidation of similar content? (Create fewer events and invite bigger, broader audiences._
- Identify what success looks like? (Is it different? What’s success look like? Attendance numbers? How long attendees stayed? Social media shares? Content downloads?)
- How you’re going to Video/Stream? (get speakers to video/stream, Good Microphone, Good Camera, Editing - all potential new costs)
- Driving a digital audience - what’s the value prop - this is key (Ensuring you know your Ideal Customer Profile, targeting them across your brands, content and publications - leveraging data driven decisioning)