The Lookout #10: The hybrid event arena, crashing virtual events, and some mixed feelings about Clubhouse
Welcome back to The Lookout! I hope you’re having a great week. We’ve been busy at PIRATEx putting together our first client events for the year, as well as taking the chance to do a very thorough overview of the entire ecosystem of event technology. We have put together over 140 different top tools for online event creation and production, and our team is working to develop a comprehensive landscape map to see them all at a glance. Stay tuned for this very soon! Some tools are also great for an hybrid event!
I’ve also been inspired by some of the feedback from last week’s Lookout on Clubhouse. This week, I’ve done a test drive of a few sessions on the platform, and joined in as a moderator as well. The experience was generally really positive! It was incredible to connect with many readers here, and make new connections. There are still a number of reservations I have with the platform, in terms of accessibility, inclusion, and the relative hit or miss of the sessions. But if you have the chance, you should have a look!
Now, let’s have a look at what happened this week.
Online event takeaway of the week: Don’t let distractions steal the show!
One of the best things about online events is the potentially limitless attendee list. While 2x, or 3x, online registrations for your online event (as compared to the in person one) can be great for lead generation, a larger, and more generalized audience can present challenges for engagement. You might have event crashers, or spammers, or confused attendees creating many queries for support staff, or bogging down panel q&a.
Plan ahead to ensure that you can manage these potential distractions appropriately:
- Remove ambiguity about event sessions by using comprehensive agendas to communicate session topics and objectives clearly.
- Set clear expectations for attendees. Communicate these in different formats, so they can’t be missed.
- Use event personnel effectively. Review session attendees and message those that look suspicious. Don’t be afraid to remove someone from a session if they are not responding, or if you think they may be there to spam.
- Industry revenues set to double in 2021 from 2020 low base as confidence returns [Exhibition World] Some incredible projections on the expected impact of events this year, including the magnitude of online events.
- The scale of virtual events is exciting – here’s how they can create exclusivity too [Campaign Live] With online events– the attendee list can be nearly limitless. But should it? What happens when you build in some exclusivity to the event? Is it worth it? Some really good food for thought here.
- Gothenburg launches new hybrid events arena [Exhibition World] “This type of solution is here to stay.” The next generation of hybrid events spaces takes shape in Sweden. This first look of Gothenburg’s hybrid event studio is a compelling glimpse into how much the event industry has changed over the last 10 months. Hybrid event definitely is the future.
- North America-Focused Event-Tech Show to Debut in June [Meetings Net] Event Tech Live USA & Canada will run as a fully virtual event June 8 & 9th, showcasing all the latest when it comes to event technology. The Flagship Event Tech Live, aims to return in a hybrid format, both online and in London this November.
- Why the business events community needs open innovation now [Matthias Schultze] The German Convention Bureau launches “Response Room” a new open-innovation space for the events industry. A really impressive new initiative.
How to do it:
- How Uber Freight’s Virtual Conference Brought the IRL Venue to Attendees [BizBash] The future of virtual events is now with this beautiful example designed by MoonLab Productions for Uber Freight. They set a pretty high bar for a truly immersive experience!
- How to Build Community around Virtual Events [Virtual Events Institute] Events have already begun to “pivot” to community. Organizers who are not optimizing the community are already missing out on potential. Here are 13 takes from organizers who have made it work.
- How to plan a diverse and inclusive virtual event: 4 tips [Enterprisers Project] Inclusion is a huge benefit of online events. But that doesn’t mean it happens automatically. Here’s how you can design for it.
- GCB FutureTalks #20 with Tom Renneberg, CEO of esanum GmbH [GCB] This enlightening interview demonstrates how one of the largest digital communities of medical professionals was able to successfully shift to digital by bringing their events online. Some key takeaways about how they optimized and prioritized online events for their community, and what it took to make it happen.
- Why You Should Consider Clubhouse to Enhance Virtual Events [All Seated] You might be tired of hearing about Clubhouse, but it makes sense to understand how it can help support the work you’re doing.
- Festivalisation and the ‘New Normal’: Creating multi-sensory event experiences both off and online [Event Industry] I’ve shared about festivalisation before, but here’s another take. I really think that it’s one of the best ways to engage audiences, and will leave them with those warm feelings after the event itself.
- Three Ways Communications Can Adapt With Virtual Events [Forbes] This piece really makes me think a lot about how organizers can maximize communication with attendees before, during and after the event for maximum engagement. There’s a lot to optimize.
Not to be missed:
- The Online Event Organizers [Entrepreneur] Interview with the founders of Hubilo, the event tech platform that nearly closed in early 2020, but then rose to some incredible heights last year. This detailed piece takes you inside the thrilling ride.
- At CES And Beyond, CMOs See Potential With New Kinds Of Virtual Events [Forbes] One of the best pieces I’ve seen on the real impact that’s possible with online events, taking CES as a test case. You can make true connection. But you have to design it.
- Event trends that businesses should use in your event strategy this 2021 [e27] As in-person events return in 2021, hybrid events have the chance to enter a new frontier. Their only limit is an organizer’s imagination.
- 5 Strategies for Hosting a Successful Virtual Event [Newsweek] A lot of tips and suggestions event organizers have heard before, but a concise overview of the key elements that make online event experiences different from those in person. It’s nice to see a big brand like Newsweek covering this space.
- Concert venues ‘not places of infection’ according to German study [Access All Areas] A return to live music might not be that far off, according to this study testing infection rates inside the Konzerthaus in Dortmund. The researchers found that the rate of transmission was very reduced in the hall at 50% capacity. While online events are infinitely safer, it might not be long before we can enjoy live music in the halls again.
That’s it for this edition of The Lookout!
In the meantime, let’s stay connected if we’re not already on Linkedin or follow the PIRATEx team on Twitter. If there’s anything you would like to read about when it comes to remote, or digital events, let me know! I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.
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Thanks for reading!