JOB TITLE – CRM Administrator
TOPIC OF SHARE & TELL - Hosting our first Hybrid Event
SPECIFIC EVENTS/INSTANCES – Annual Meeting 2021
TYPE OF EVENT/PLANNER SUPPORTED - Hybrid event (started as in-person and then we added the virtual component to it a month out)
TOOLS/TECHNOLOGIES LEVERAGED - Zoom Meeting, pre-recorded videos of our partners
To keep everyone up to date, a lot of meetings happen. This year, due to COVID19, we resorted to electronic communications (emails, checklists), virtual meetings (not everyone had to attend all meetings, so there had been staggered times/days) – senior team, internal department meetings, main "players" responsible for different stages/sections of the meeting.
Not being able to just pop into someone's office this past year made us come up with alternative communication options – Zoom Meetings, Microsoft TEAMs, etc.
There are checklists, guidelines, and notes from previous years on what worked/what didn't work, and meeting notes were taken and distributed to everyone involved. Follow-up emails to discuss the progress. We created a website that outlined rules, shared them through emails and on social media to keep everyone informed.
We usually start planning during the Spring/Summertime of the current year (deciding on the theme and graphics and slogan, who our guest speaker(s) should be, who will be the award recipients, the host location). The nitty-gritty starts with tagging attendees in our CRM system, sending out invitations (via email or mail); working with the host location on the layout of the room, and with the Audio Visual company to ensure all is good to go.
Not knowing how the COVID situation was going, we considered it an in-person event on a much smaller scale to ensure we comply with all health and safety regulations and make our attendees, staff, and guests feel comfortable.
Bi-weekly meetings to discuss regulations, monitor COVID numbers, discuss floor plans, determine food distribution, discuss ticket sales, and weighed the benefits of an in-person versus a hybrid meeting. The virtual part was added towards the later planning stages when in-person ticket sales neared capacity.
WHAT TO AVOID (DON'TS - write at least 2) –
We had a great system in place to communicate, so we did not run into the problem of not being able to adapt to last-minute changes (adding a virtual part to the conference added more planning and work, but was thought about throughout the whole planning process).
Our audiovisual partners quickly added the virtual component and booked even musical entertainment to welcome the online group, so no matter where guests were viewing from, the experience remained the same