Jul 26, 2021
I think I speak for most of us when I say that in-person events are one of those things we didn’t realize we loved until they were gone. And when events and other face-to-face gatherings started shutting down over the last year, an incredibly important channel for personalized conversations and relationship-deepening evaporated.  Since then, businesses have given their best college try to replace this lost value, with mixed results. While virtual events in and of themselves have largely done well, there’s a major missed opportunity that’s consistently overlooked: post-event content. Here’s… more
Jul 22, 2021
Nobody can predict the future, but I keep getting asked what the world of events is going to look like after COVID. After speaking with hundreds of individuals responsible for booking, planning and coordinating company events, here are the common themes I hear people reflect on. These insights come from doing hundreds of events during the pandemic and speaking to leaders in human resources, client engagement teams and event planners about how they are planning on returning to a world where we can do business in person once again. The new normal doesn’t mean we won’t have in-person events,… more
Jul 14, 2021
Recently, Zoom announced the release of a new events platform that will let organizers monetize and promote their events. Zoom Events is packaged as an “all-in-one” platform that can build event hubs, provide customizable ticketing and registration options, integrate networking for attendees, track event statistics and more. While the new Zoom Events platform holds benefits for the future of virtual event planning, what does it mean for event management companies? Can more sophisticated event platforms displace traditional firms that provide event management and planning services? Zoom Is a… more
Jul 06, 2021
One of my few joys of lockdown began when my state allowed limited re-opening of our local health club, and with it, the pool where I can swim laps in the morning. I had not been a regular visitor to the lap pool back in the “before times,” but I knew that the virus couldn’t thrive in chlorinated water, so it seemed safe to return. There were a number of changes to my routine visit. I now scheduled my swim times in advance, and upon arrival, I had to hold my forehead in front of a digital thermometer, and then scan my membership key tag to record my visit. I have gone through this process… more
Jul 01, 2021
COVID-19 changed how people interact with one another, but it could not squash the need for in-person connections that engage audiences. In-person events are coming back because people crave face-to-face interactions and experiences. For example, Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference was virtual in 2020 but the company plans on welcoming more than 170,000 attendees to its 2021 event in San Francisco. And Salesforce is not alone, with a PULSE Survey from leading events media company Northstar Meetings Group noting that 81% of surveyed meeting planners plan on holding in-person events in 2021.… more
Jun 22, 2021
As meetings and events continue to evolve in 2021, planners and venues are finding unique and inventive ways to connect during this time. One trend I anticipate is here to stay is that of hybrid meetings and events. Although nothing can replace in-person connection, the emergence of hybrid events has given planners the opportunity to expand their audience on a global level. Not only do hybrid events provide limitless opportunities to connect with people around the world, they also offer cost-effective meeting options. I’ve included suggested tips below on how to plan a seamless and… more
Jun 18, 2021
While creating true digital engagement has become critical to our success, we find ourselves in 2021 facing real digital fatigue. We see it reflected in our audiences’ faces and in our attendance stats: registrations and dwell times are down and no-shows are up.  I recently hosted a CEMA webinar with Jay Acunzo and Shane Snow, two of my favorite speakers who shared insights and practical, innovative approaches to making virtual presentations, roundtables and webinars more meaningful, engaging and valuable.   The idea of High Fidelity seems an appropriate way to capture the essence of Jay… more
Jun 08, 2021
Water station, pads, pens, candies.... hand sanitizer? Meeting planner “specs” are looking a whole lot different these days. I’m honored to have reentered the workforce after being furloughed and laid off for over a year. I am now spearheading the event management department at the DoubleTree by SeaWorld Orlando convention resort. The enthusiasm that our operations team has to push forward with rebuilding and preparing the property to welcome meeting planners and convention attendees back is incredibly contagious. It’s exciting to be a part of the momentum.  However, I have officially found… more
Jun 01, 2021
As of late May, the U.S. adult population was inching toward herd immunity, with an abundance of vaccines available in all 50 states. However, it’s estimated that roughly 45% of the population is still not vaccinated, and there were 22,500 new COVID-19 cases just before Memorial Day. The CDC guidelines state that fully vaccinated people (1-2 doses, depending on the shot, plus an additional 14 days) can return to pre-pandemic activities, including hugging. Now comes the potentially hard part for meeting planners. How do you know who has received their shots, and without knowing this… more
May 28, 2021
With the advent of COVID-19, 2020 was definitely “the year of virtual events.” Not only did it evolve the event industry as a whole, but also opened up options of carrying out events in different ways. Now that people have gotten used to virtual events, 2021 should be spent on making them better. For event production companies, the transition from in-person to online requires them to understand how they can measure their success or ROI. It won’t be the exact same way that success was measured in 2020. Therefore, virtual event companies must ensure how they make virtual events a success.… more