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  • 1.  What do you wish you'd known going virtual?

    Posted 01-25-2021 11:27
    Edited by Danielle Czark 02-01-2021 11:09

    Hello, all! We're kicking off our next Huddle of the Week discussion. At the end of 2020, we asked you all what your top lessons learned from 2020 were. In this discussion, we focused on key points such as communication and flexibility.

    We'd like to dig a bit deeper and now focus on your virtual event programs. We have learned a ton about virtual events in 2020 and hope you feel much more prepared going into virtual events this year. So, looking back, we pose this one simple question to you:

    • Hindsight is 2020 – what do you wish you'd known when going virtual?

    As always, let us know your thoughts, feedback, and questions below! #HuddleoftheWeek #VoiceIt

    Looking to take in some extra info on virtual events and beyond? Register for our 7-part webinar series on your guide to Virtual, Hybrid, and In-Person Events - kicking off this Thursday, January 28th and wrapping up in March! 


    Danni Czark
    Senior Associate, Online Community Marketing

  • 2.  RE: What do you wish you'd known going virtual?

    Posted 01-27-2021 12:36
    How to better write a MRO so whomever was managing the slide transitions on the backend knew when to advance or move slides during the session when it wasnt the speaker doing so.

    Rachel Sigley
    Sr. Brand Marketing Manager
    Tata America International Corporation

  • 3.  RE: What do you wish you'd known going virtual?

    Posted 01-27-2021 15:11
    We had mulltiple sessions that were the same name but for different attendance groups or different geographies. For easiler post event reporting I wish I would have known to better and more clearly lable the sesisons by attenace group or Geo even though the session titles were the same.

    Scott Sward
    Global Travel and Events Manager
    Viewpoint, Inc.

  • 4.  RE: What do you wish you'd known going virtual?

    Posted 01-27-2021 16:22
    This is great.  I really wish I had known more about the software out there and how to maximize our events on a budget. I found we were able to do this but I often found myself at a loss of do we use Zoom, MSTeams, WebEx etc.  What is the best and why.  We often had to try things out on the fly only to realize we were not maximizing our event options and technology.

    Lesley Irminger
    University Events and Office of Communication Events Coordinator
    George Mason - Office Of University Events

  • 5.  RE: What do you wish you'd known going virtual?

    Posted 01-28-2021 13:06
    Wished we would have added individual sessions to calendars and not just blocked the start and end times on our attendee calendars.
    And wish we have pre-recorded more sessions.

    Maribeth Bluyus
    Edelman Financial Engines

  • 6.  RE: What do you wish you'd known going virtual?

    Posted 01-28-2021 14:26
    Wish I had known how long it took to pull of a virtual event...the contracting, the IT audits and recording sessions in advance is MUCH more involved than I anticipated...the technical side of it all is just a matter of practice but seriously - for our first event we were behind the 8 ball the ENTIRE time...we are getting much better at it now but wow - it was a huge stressor for us!

    Shelley Gabel
    Operations Coordinator – Meetings & Travel
    ZS Associates, Inc.

  • 7.  RE: What do you wish you'd known going virtual?

    Posted 01-28-2021 15:43
    A couple of things: 

    1. To block time immediately after the session ends because all of our speakers seemed to want to de-brief afterward and then we were trying to scramble to start a new Zoom link and get it over to them. 
    2. To build in more interactivity into the sessions. People seem to love polls,  games, and anything else that keeps them from staring at the screen. 
    3. To create the expectation that way more people will register than attend the live event but that doesn't mean they don't get value of out of it. We've seen lots more people experience content "on-demand" than at the live event. 

    Nicole Hayes
    Director of Product Marketing and Customer Insights
    ESO Solutions

  • 8.  RE: What do you wish you'd known going virtual?

    Posted 01-29-2021 10:41
    So, so many things πŸ™ˆ

    • How long it takes! Seriously, I think if in January of 2020 you'd asked me what was easier a live event or a virtual one I would have said "virtual" with full confidence... excuse me while I go kick past me. I've run one large event and assisted in another and for both, it's felt like we're just barely keeping up; it's been a struggle explaining to stakeholders that last-minute changes/additions are not as easy to pull off as they were with live. 
    • The amount of staff - a virtual event is not a one-person gig. We had four people on the back end running the event (the planner calling the show, two people pushing video, and one manning the events inbox registering last minute people/answering questions and assisting anyone having trouble joining) and we could have easily used at least two more. 
    • After hosting my first virtual event for international markets - I wish I would have added a time zone conversion link right off the bat to our email communications. There was so much confusion from attendees on start times (this is also where we learned we'd need someone manning the events inbox during the event) 

    But so far I think my biggest takeaway is coming to terms that I can't control it all with virtual. Presenters won't always be tech-savvy, they might experience challenges sharing presentation or video (even with the rehearsals and cheat sheets we send!), technical challenges will happen, zoom might even kick you out mid-event (πŸ™ƒ), there is only so much we can do and we have to give ourselves a little grace in the end.

    Natalia Ramirez
    Trade Show & Events Planner
    Visit Orlando

  • 9.  RE: What do you wish you'd known going virtual?

    Posted 02-02-2021 08:49
    I wish I'd known how valuable teaching attendees about transitioning to virtual would be (learned that lesson after the first event!) I assumed that it would be relatively easy for attendees to use technology (isn't everyone mobile-phone savvy? lol) but there was a lot of pre-event training that needed to happen to make sure everyone was comfortable accessing the platform of choice and using the different features and functions.

    Bouran Qaddumi
    National Field Trainer
    Cajun Operating Company d/b/a Church's Chicken

  • 10.  RE: What do you wish you'd known going virtual?

    Posted 02-04-2021 07:40

    I wish I knew then what I know now! 

    Having a FAQ page is something we just added to all of our webinars. I have it noted and hyperlinked on the confirmation page, registration confirmation email, reminder emails, thank you for attending email and also mentioning where to find it when discussing the housekeeping rules/expectations at the beginning of the webinar. I do hope that will help attendees know what to expect such as how to log in to the webinar, what the CPE requirements are, and when the event evaluations, CPE certificates, and presentations will be sent out.

    Have a designated person who is not involved with the live webinar to handle all the questions. It is really hard to be the MC or running the webinar while also dealing with "I can't find my confirmation email." or "How do I log in?!" questions.  

    I also wish I knew that I could edit the text in the calendar reminder by going to the "Add to Calendar" button and adding text such as:
    When saving this appointment, make sure you update the reminder time.
    Please go back to your reminder email & click "Join Webinar" to enter, so that you do not have to re-register in Zoom.
    Should you have any login issues, please reach out to:
    Unfortunately you cannot add data tags to this, which is definitely on my wish list!

    Another item we changed was our registration deadline to the end of the time of the webinar so that attendees can join up to the last minute. 

    Michele Gebrayel
    Corporate Event Manager
    DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, Inc.