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Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

  • 1.  Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Cvent Staff
    Posted 19 days ago

    Happy New Year and welcome back, Community members!

    We hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and are ready to start the year strong. At the end of the year, we asked you what your top lessons learned were from 2020. Many of you mentioned being flexible, having consistent communication, and supporting one another. Taking all of your great contributions into consideration, our first huddle discussion of 2021 is geared towards your annual event program planning. We imagine you spent the latter half of 2020 planning your 2021 event schedule, virtual vs. hybrid options, virtual event platform, and more, and we would love to hear your preparations. Read on and respond below:

    • Going into a new year, how are you preparing your event program for the unique environment we face today?

    As always, please share any insights and questions below. We look forward to hearing your 2021 approaches and hope everyone can learn from each other to have a robust and successful year. #HuddleoftheWeek #VoiceIt


    #Flex-Creating/ManagingEvents
    #ManagingVirtualEvents
    #ExecutingStrategicMeetingsManagement

    ------------------------------
    Danni Czark
    Senior Associate, Online Community Marketing
    Cvent
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 19 days ago
    Hi Danni,

    Happy New Year! Nice to see your posts in the Community. 
    We're planning all our event activities online for 2021. If we're able to get back to in-person, we will simply add in-person events.
    Planning this way enables us to establish a schedule for the year regardless of the uncertainties surrounding in-person events. 

    We're keeping an eye on things and training ourselves for hybrid events (thanks Cvent for all the free training and certification - we made the most of these!). 

    All the best!

    ------------------------------
    Sophie Pierronnet
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 18 days ago
    Happy New Year!

    Our fiscal year doesn't start until April so we're doing budgeting and planning now. Unfortunately lots of extra work cause we're essentially making 3 budgets (in person returns fully, mix of both, or strictly virtual).

    Certainly a challenge just understanding the costs because when we'd normally plan to increase budgets 2-3% YoY we're now needing to figure how much additional cost is needed for PPE, sanitation stations, plexi for registration counters, technology for live streaming, etc,

    ------------------------------
    Rachel Sigley
    Sr. Brand Marketing Manager
    Tata America International Corporation
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  • 4.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 17 days ago
    We are not considering any in person events for the first half of 2021 and strategizing on how we will approach events from a hybrid perspective once we resume in person events. To that end, we are building out a custom virtual event platform to suit our needs as there is no platform on the market that is flexible enough for our requirements and branding needs. The simple interface will allow us to embed live streams, Zoom and a host of functionality, such as moderated Chat and Q&A. Gated entry will validate against registration, which we hope to eventually integrate. This will provide us with a very low cost solution that is able to be customized to our exact needs, which will be many as we enter into a world of hybrid events.

    ------------------------------
    Davi Ellis
    CIO
    The Jewish Federations of North America (Previously - United Jewish Communities)
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 17 days ago
    In March 2020, we quickly pivoted our remaining events to virtual. In addition, we ended up with easily 5X the number of virtual events because of the barriers removed (staff and attendee travel time, expense, etc.).

    We have planned an all-virtual events program for 2021, with the exception of just two events that we hope to hold in person (but can flip to virtual or may try a hybrid approach). Our SMEs, sales and support teams are happy to reach a larger audience virtually than we ever could in person; however, I think most of us are hopeful we'll be able to hold those two events in person simply for the need for human connection.

    ------------------------------
    Lori Wildman
    Senior Marketing Manager
    DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, Inc.
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 16 days ago
    The biggest change might just be in that short term is the new norm. When cancellations first started happening last year, we thought, well surely we'll be out of this by the fall, and then by the winter... and vaccines are still a ways out for many. We're not booking so far in advance anymore, simply to avoid wracking up more cancellation fees from not knowing what the world will look like at any given time frame.

    ------------------------------
    Kelly Ohlert
    Manager of Operations Groups
    Stryker
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  • 7.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 16 days ago
    We are bracing for impact and preparing to use various platforms for enrollment engagement for youth programs and camps.

    ------------------------------
    Deedee Southerlin
    Program Manager
    Georgia Southern University Division of Continuing Education
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  • 8.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 16 days ago

    Hello Danielle and Happy 2021 Everyone!

    We've scheduled in-person meetings beginning Q2 2021, but if necessary, we are ready to pivot to a virtual format to keep our staff and meeting attendees safe.  To stay agile, we plan to learn about planning hybrid events.  I've registered for Cvent's free Hybrid Events Training this month.  I would be remiss if I did not say that Cvent's commitment to events professionals and the industry overall during these most challenging times has been T-R-E-M-E-N-D-O-U-S (hand claps)!!!  So grateful.  

    Be safe, be well, be kind. 



     



    ------------------------------
    Gladys Ward
    Executive Assistant
    The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 15 days ago
    This pandemic has been a "disrupter" force and when it comes to events, the benefit is that we are seeing a meteoric rise in virtual events. Companies can now host safe virtual events, broaden their reach, and we are bringing technology to bear in ways that authentically engage people and help them form connections with other "real humans" despite being physically separated. 

    The virtual component is here to stay and I think that with the cost savings (F&B, travel) that virtual events offer to attendees, having at least a virtual option to even an onsite event will be part of the normal going forward.

    While the value of onsite in-person events unarguably high, there are segments of my attendees that often are not allowed to attend (their company won't pay for their travel and hotel room) because they aren't "revenue earners" although they are essential to the business. I look forward to offering a virtual experience to these attendees that have in the past been left out of the experience. With Cvent's engagement and content delivery technology, I know my team can provide both great content AND that human connection to make the virtual attendees feel just as valued as the in-person attendees.

    ------------------------------
    Brenda Ainsburg
    Channel Program Manager
    brenda.ainsburg@siemens.com
    Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    United States
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  • 10.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 15 days ago
    Great response!

    ------------------------------
    Lori Wildman
    Senior Marketing Manager
    DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, Inc.
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 13 days ago
    Happy New Year!

    We are currently planning two in-person events, in Q2 and in Q4.  We will be building both out as hybrid events, but keeping an eye out for the need to go completely virtual (especially that Q2 event).  Our members really enjoyed the level of engagement with our virtual events last year and have now learned that they actually enjoy online conferences.  My goal is to be able to create a hybrid event that meets our members needs at every level.

    Looking forward to a brighter 2021!

    ------------------------------
    Jenn Dooley
    Executive Director
    AFELA
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  • 12.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 13 days ago

    Our quarterly Board of Directors meetings have all be virtual. The cost savings has been significant. Normally 30-40 room nights. Dinners and transportation. All for a one day meeting that accomplishes nothing.:)

    Our first event is late January. Only 100 or so attendees and they will only be gathering for meals.

    We have an event in California in August, still tentative. And another in South Carolina early November.

    Last year we opened our registration but did not collect any fees to avoid all the credit card fees and refund if cancelled. Which it was.
    We are being much more cautious in 2021.



    ------------------------------
    Steven Schlossman
    Jack of all trades. Master of none.
    BMW Car Club of America
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  • 13.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 12 days ago
    Happy New Year!

    We had to rethink our events strategy and scheduling altogether, but are looking to go virtual or hybrid, but heavy lean on virtual content and setup. Given this, the focus will be on how to deliver effectively and keep attendee interest and engagement high. We were able to successfully pivot our smaller meetings and events to virtual in 2020, so optimistic that we'll be able to do so with a larger event and event tech integration.

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    Bouran Qaddumi
    National Field Trainer
    Cajun Operating Company d/b/a Church's Chicken
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  • 14.  RE: Huddle of the Week #14: Kicking Off 2021 Event Programs

    Posted 12 days ago
    Happy New Year to everyone!

    As far as preparing for our event program for 2021, we've committed to sticking with virtual events for Q1/Q2. We were hoping to hold a hybrid event for our annual user conference, but as a company, we wanted to ensure the safety of not just our employees, but our customers as well. We plan on re-evaluating in the next few months. As we learned last year, a lot can change very quickly.

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    Melisa Arpa
    Sr. Events Specialist
    Bluebeam, Inc.
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