Experimental Event Strategy is Everything!
One week to go.
For event organizers, you’ll know what this moment feels like.
The anticipation that’s been building, the tasks, to-do lists, and checks and the rechecks. The entire process to get to this point, and the seemingly zillion things left still to do.
And there’s this thing with events, that no matter how much you plan, that there’s still things that come up, changes to be made, and crises to be averted. And for some maybe, the second-guessing. Did I make the right choice with the platform? Does this agenda sequence make sense? Should we order another camera?
But you have one week, there’s time.
This is the feeling that I find myself in now, as our event PIRATE Live kicks off August 30th.
It’s been a massive undertaking, right at the time of the calendar year most of us are taking a bit of a break before the fall events season kicks in.
Even though it’s tough, there wasn’t a question of not doing the event. Even though it doesn’t contribute to our bottom line. We don’t do PIRATE Live to make money. Instead, it’s our chance to give back to the entrepreneurial community, to push ourselves and experiment. It also gives us the chance to walk in our client’s shoes, as an organizer. This is worth more than anything to us.
As an agency, you don’t always have the opportunity to be experimental. You want to meet the client’s needs and propose a concept with as few risks and unknowns involved as possible. Especially when it comes to an online or hybrid event– for many– doing an event this way might already feel like a risk.
Doing this event for ourselves (and all the crazy concepts we’ve developed for it) helps us to stay at the top of our game. The successes we’ll apply to our events going forward. And the failures, nothing’s really a failure if you learn something from it. We don’t expect everything to work out. But we certainly expect to learn a lot. And we’ll have a good time doing it!
Have you tried out any experimental event strategies lately? Pushed outside your comfort zone?
I hope you’re having a great week. Here are my top reads:
- CES 2022 to require proof of vaccination for attendees, exhibitors [The Verge] The Consumer Electronics Show will require a proof of vaccination for attendees and visitors for their 2022 show. The hybrid show opens January 5th.
- Intrado Acquires Hubb, Transforming the Future of Global Events [Newswire] Another big acquisition for the eventtech industry– as Intrado acquires Hubb. Intrado currently operates its own eventtech platform and this new acquisition will offer “a single source for unified onsite and online event data and analytics across the entire event portfolio”.
- Edinburgh book festival chief suggests ‘hybrid’ events are the future for city’s culture status [The Scotsman] “We were all thinking hybrid events would happen in 2025 or 2030 at the earliest. The pandemic has brought it all forward.” The festival city has adopted a hybrid model for many of it’s summer and fall events this year, including the Edinburgh Fringe and International festivals.
- Explainer: Are physical events making a comeback in the GCC? [Gulf Business] I think it’s important to take a global perspective when it comes to looking at the event industry, as oftentimes different geographies set the tone for what your attendees expect in events moving forward.
Trade Fairs eager to move forward in person
- Sicam, the first in-person trade fair for the furniture industry to go ahead [F&J Production] In-person trade fairs move forward in Europe after a long delay from the pandemic. This show, held in Italy welcomes over 500 exhibitors from 30 countries and will ensure specific safety measures and increased distancing.
- Interpack organisers confirm 2023 packaging and processing event nearing capacity [Confectionery Production] This trade show, after being cancelled in 2020, and in 2021 shows a strong demand by exhibitors to return to normal in 2023. Despite being quite a long time away, 85% of exhibition space is already sold, suggesting a enthusiasm to return to in-person concepts.
- Cat pulls out of Bauma [Construction Index] One of the biggest exhibitors at Bauma, the world’s biggest machinery trade fairs has chosen to skip the 2022 fair, held next October. Instead of exhibiting, the firm says it is “focused on delivering ongoing interactions with customers by expanding its marketing engagements across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Eurasia, using multiple channels.” Does it say anything about the willingness for corporate exhibitors to return to fairs?
How to do it:
- 5 things to consider when choosing a venue for your hybrid event [Business Matters] Choosing a venue for your hybrid event involves a few new elements that we didn’t have to think about back then when everything was in-person. The biggest one– how much bandwidth does the venue have? –is a big reason why some of our favorite venues of the past have unfortunately not followed us into our hybrid future.
- How to Make Your Event Last for Months, Not Days [Successful Meetings] The pivot to community, or 365 event models, is something that we think will really characterize the future of events. I really like the suggestions here to get your started– especially the “3 month review” to serve as a reminder of some of the great topics from past events.
- Virtuelle Showrooms und Messestände im Marketingmix [Event Partner] How to incorporate a virtual showroom or trade fair booth into your marketing strategy? The technology has improved by leaps and bounds– it’s now possible to completely replicate many of the offline experience, online.
- 5 Basic Tenets Of Producing Virtual Events [Forbes] Here, some key things to keep in mind to ensure your virtual event stays fresh. Something we like? Instead of filming in a generic boardroom or lobby, consider filming on location at the office, or a location your attendees will be familiar with– to convey a sense of authenticity and provide connection. Filming on location for your event helps make the experience memorable for your audience.
- Event Tech Check: 6 Smart New Tech Tools for Virtual, Live or Hybrid Events [BizBash] I’m beginning to really like this regular piece by BizBash on the updates to the latest eventtech platforms. There’s always a lot to keep track of! This week– don’t miss the new mobile app tool from MeetingPlay, to bridge the gap between your virtual and IRL attendees, as well as the additional networking features from 6Connex.
Don’t Miss it:
- Meeting Technologies: Should You Be Building or Buying? [MeetingsNet] An important question here and its one we’ve wrestled with ourselves at the agency. Sometimes an off-the-shelf product is the right choice, other times though, it makes sense to build something bespoke.
- Measuring Event ROI Is More Than a Revenue Game [Entrepreneur] I really like this opinion piece that encourages organizers to consider more than just the financials when it comes to online and hybrid events. There’s a lot more to consider when it comes to the response of your attendees, and we should look at it from a holistic perspective. Experience, time, reach and community are all things that we should consider measuring and including in how we calculate our ROI.
- AVL Creative Building 22 virtual event studio gets Elation touch [Entertainment Technology News] The pandemic caused Detroit agency AVL’s live event business to dry up. But after encouraging an existing client to try a virtual event, AVL became sold on virtual. The non profit client “had a fundraising goal of $100,000. Within an hour the company had raised $285,000.” Here’s how AVL has built their broadcast studio for the future.
That’s all for this week’s edition of The Lookout!
ICYMI: You can pick up the PIRATEx free guide,“Exhibiting with Excellence” for trade show exhibitors attending this fall’s online and hybrid events. You’ll find it for free, here.
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The Lookout Newsletter #38
PIRATEx Managing Director