The Lookout #4: On preparing your speakers, virtual trade fairs and other event news
Happy Friday and back to another installment of The Lookout! I hope you have been having a great week! Here are some of the things we’ve been excited about in the online event world this week, including a little something about virtual trade fairs.
Online event takeaway of the week: An ounce of speaker preparation = a pound of cure for your online event ills
Content is king when it comes to online events. Top notch speakers bring your attendees in the (virtual) door, but they aren’t going to make the impact they might have if they are not prepared well. Great presentations and talks begin far before the event starts, with adequate speaker preparation. Before the event, prepare speakers with clear expectations, as well as making a test run on their home technology far in advance of the event itself. Check everything, from sound quality, to speaking cadence, to bandwidth. Be clear about technology requirements, and how multimedia elements in presentations will be handled. At every opportunity, try to reduce friction for speakers, and remove ambiguity. It can be helpful to ensure each speaker has a designated contact person from your staff that will be able to answer questions and handle any last minute requests as they arise.
Recent happenings in the event world:
The Future of Events is Perpendicular?. I’ve been enjoying this new series by Ben Hindman on the intersection of events and the tech stack. In this conversation with Jason Lemkin, they explore the concept that the future of events will not be hybrid– but rather that in-person events will offer a different virtual experience for their attendees watching at home– not just a livestream. They envision the rest of their community and audience will be taking part in a different event, something that’s been reformatted especially for the home viewing experience. This is something that Manuel, Pirate’s co-founder has been talking about for some time now, so, no matter what terminology is used, I think it’s fair to say that the future of events will have lots more incredible experiences designed for the remote attendee, rather than just a replication of the in-person event.
Eventbrite: 30% of ticket sales still for virtual events: A glimpse of the future from Eventbrite’s Q3 earnings call to shareholders. While the events company lost a lot of revenue this year, they are seeing rebounds in Asia and Australia, where events are returning in person. But most interestingly, even where live events have returned, online events continue to have a strong showing. According to Eventbrite, this is from new entrants to the event space, organizations that would never have thought about doing an event in person, but see the possibility now that online tools are more ubiquitous and available to do so. At PIRATEx, this is something we’ve been seeing as well, so it’s exciting to see how this future is unfolding.
Web Summit returns as a Hybrid event in 2021: Hybrid might be the “new normal” as Europe’s largest tech conference returns in 2021 as both an in-person and digital event. The Web Summit aims to welcome 70,000 attendees in person in Lisbon (roughly the same numbers as they had before 2020) and up to 80,000 online, mixing in-person and virtual experiences. The hybrid format hopes to attract more people, from more places, especially as Web Summit looks to expand further internationally in 2022.
Elsewhere in the PIRATEx Universe:
I hope you’ve been having a great week. Here at PIRATEx, we’ve been busy working on two productions offsite, first, Ultimate Demo Day in Munich and secondly, parts of The Marketplace Conference in Berlin. Our production teams have been having a great time putting these together and it’s great to deliver to the client a successful event. Elsewhere, Fred, PIRATEx’s Head of New Business was featured on the Userlike blog speaking about virtual trade shows (check out the article here). We have had the opportunity to produce a few of these for clients this year, and it has been a great experience translating the familiar, in-person experience of a tradeshow to a remote audience. We look forward to producing a lot more of these next year!
Our PIRATE team also took in some strategy and planning days to prepare for 2021. We’ve had a ton of changes this year, and have taken on some new challenges in the event space. It has been an incredible ride. Looking forward to next year, we are fully planning on embracing the online event future, and pushing the concepts of what is possible with technology to deliver an even better experience for our audiences and clients.
My top event reads this week:
- Could I have attended this virtually? Events in the age of new protocols, cool tech and changed expectations: Web in Travel
- Europe’s Largest Tech Conference to Return as In-Person Event in 2021: U.S. News and World Report
- Pinterest tests online events with dedicated ‘class communities’: TechCrunch
- EventMobi Joins Zoom App Marketplace, Enabling Interactive Sessions for Virtual Event Experiences: PR Web
- Higher Logic Announces New Product Offering to Support Engagement for Virtual Events: Martech Series
- Fi Europe Connect reports strong response to revamped virtual event format: Confectionery Production
- Six Planning Tips to Engage Your Virtual Audience: TSNN
- No, Ticketmaster won’t force you to have a Covid vaccine: BBC
- Hacker leaks the user data of event management app Peatix: ZDnet
- Party online: Adapting festivalistion to a virtual audience | Digital: Campaign Asia
- Publishers are testing hybrid approaches to keep their events engaging: Digiday
- Pandemic office holiday party ideas.: Slate
That’s it for this edition of the Remote Events insider! In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our Guidebook and stay subscribed to catch all of the updates. 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!