It was 26 years ago (1994) when the first documented online retail purchase was made. Since then, online shopping has grown from being a novel concept to a multi-trillion dollar industry. We have to wonder if the events industry is also witnessing the birth of something just as impactful as retailers did during 1994. Are we in for a seismic shift from what we have known and experienced with in-person events to online virtual ones? Only time will tell, but our bet is that both will exist side by side – similar to the retail industry – and each experience will be equally as unique.
In most industries when disruption hits – whether due to new technologies, human behaviors or unavoidable crisis such as a global pandemic - there needs to be time to assess and determine how to move forward and adjust.
Many associations and brands have been struggling with how to move their in-person event to an online event and experience. And, it isn’t that easy to just take what you do in person- and move it to an online platform. There is all sorts new thinking that goes into how to make an online event worth the time of the attendee as well as interesting and exciting. After all, the average attention span of most people these days for an online event is only 10 minutes!
As part of this thinking, T3 Expo, Agency EA and Studio Sage hosted a webinar to discuss online events, the overall experience and how to successfully incorporate their exhibitors and sponsors at their event in the new virtual event landscape we are all living in right now.
The session focused on how to build exhibitor and sponsorship packages in a way that fits current platforms and how to design templates that can be used again and again in a virtual, hybrid or physical environment.
We also discussed how bonus or premium offerings such as happy hours, live music, swag bags and game show set ups can create even more excitement for an event and sponsorship offerings.
The expert panel discussion included a focus on the state of virtual and what to expect in the future, including some of the most pressing issues facing associations today:
There is certainly interest in how to move to an interesting online virtual event, and we were happy to see over 150 attendees on the webinar during the session with 120 association / customer audience members from 72 different organizations, associations, and customers!
And while "virtual and Zoom fatigue" may be a real phenomenon, it's hard to tell by looking at the events industry – especially this recent webinar. According to Fergus Rooney, a member of the expert panel, we must lean into good content. “People want concise content with great videos that they can digest, that is why YouTube exists.”
The pandemic has forced all of us to navigate and create a new normal in our personal lives and in our work life. The events and associations industry has especially had to figure out how to survive in this new world. We are constantly thinking and asking, “How do you provide value – virtually? How do you create shareable and memorable events - virtually?”
We are happy to share with you the webinar if you missed it and answer any questions you might have about taking advantage of this unique point in time for our industry. Will you be a part of the shift? Will you join the movement? We hope so because we don’t think there is any going back!
Download the link and happy viewing!