VEG’ers are not just sitting around twiddling their digits. The pandemic has not ended events. Instead, and very quickly, it has evolved them. Here is this week’s news in the world of events, brought to you by the VEG.
February 25 | 3PM EST
Next VEG Group Meetup

Pat yourselves on the back. The industry has done a great job of moving conferences and education online during the pandemic. But we get a “D” in delivering exhibitor ROI at digital trade shows, and bringing the serendipitous conversations that used to happen in the venue bar or lobby into the online world. Join Marian Bossard, EVP of Global Market Events for the Toy Association as she shares how to keep exhibitors in business during a pandemic. Lawrence Coburn will not just tell you but show you how to meet new contacts in the virtual world. We’ll be using Twine, Coburn’s one-to-one professional networking platform. Prepare for serendipitous encounters of the best kind. Last chance to register.

Another Trip Around the Sun
In early March 2020 my husband threatened to take my NYC MetroCard away if I didn’t join him and shelter in our upstate cabin until this “pandemic thing” blew over. Seriously, I thought he was overreacting but begrudgingly said I’d join him for a week or two until things sorted themselves out. That was 11 months ago. I know you have similar stories.

By February 2020 events were toppling like dominoes --- all over the world. One of the first to announce its cancellation was Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress. Scheduled for the end of February 2020, the event was canceled a mere 12 days before it was to start. The 2021 event has been postponed to be held in-person in Barcelona this June, but technically speaking MWC just passed the two years of cancellations.
As the largest producer of events, Freeman CEO Bob Priest-Heck saw the cancellation of MWC as the first sign of the devastation and disruption to the events industry.
Bob Priest-Heck will be the featured speaker at our March meetup. In this Ask Me Anything session Bob will share his insights, pivots, and thought about how events will look in the future.
What “Kids” Platforms Can Show Us about Next-Gen Events

If you’re not looking outside the box at platforms like TikTok, Roblox, Fortnite,and Discord as part of your roadmap for an events strategy, you’re not looking. They provide the best examples of digital engagement, creativity, and fun which translates to a win/win for creatives, sponsors, and attendees. 

In early February, TikTok held its #ForYou Partner Summit preaching the Tik Tok ethos to “make TikToks, not ads”. It’s only a matter of time before they’re hosting events. Anyone vying for sponsorship dollars needs to understand that TikTok has evolved into a competitive platform with some of the most engaged audiences on the planet. OBTW, a group called WOAHX just announced the first live TikTok influencer conference to be held in Vegas this May. 

The next generation of event-goers will be location-fluid, seeking both online and IRL experiences as the spirit moves them. You can smell what this feels like by reading kidscreen’s take on virtual events happening in these extraordinary new places. 

What’s Powering Clubhouse and Why It Matters

The Hustle introduced us to Agora this week. It’s the platform powering the social media darling of the moment, Clubhouse. Clubhouse relies on invitation only, real-time conversations, but Agora can embed video as well as voice-stressing real-time engagement.

On a related note if you’re dying to get your voice out there on Clubhouse, then check out this guide.

Surfacing Good Talent

Now that we’ve been at this for a few weeks we’re seeing that folks are just as interested in identifying talent as they are in identifying tools. That came as no surprise to Nathaniel Kanefield and Lorraine Ma, the founders of Minema which is sort of a Fivver for all your AV and video production needs. 

Department of Virtual Events

I remember when I worked for Disney and had to hire park employees by asking them questions like “So what did you learn in Goofy 101?” This was Disney’s internal certification program. The Virtual Events Institute is like the Goofy 101 of virtual events. A series of modules on monetizing events, choosing technologies, and measuring event success all lead to your accreditation. Informa recently partnered with Virtual Events Institute to help their staff “tech up” their events game. Have any of you used their courses? We haven’t yet so we’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • Losing sleep over your events lobby?
    Intrado’s Ben Chodor offered a sneak peek into the world of the lobby experience. You’ll need to register to watch. Hint go to the 11:40 time signature for the demo minus the chat. 

    Joe Pine, of Strategic Horizons, has been thinking long and hard about what post-COVID events will look like. He lays out a Thoughtful taxonomy and gives props to Marriott for this virtual wedding hybrid experience. 

  • Event Guide of the Week:
    Seems like every event platform now publishes its own how-to manual. This week’s selection comes courtesy of HubSpot

  • Post-Lockdown Helpers:
    We’re going to need all the help we can get. Neutigers CovidDeep uses AI and deep neural learning to detect COVID symptoms using the sensors in your smartphone or wearable. 
Ask Alfred
You don't have to watch another YouTube How To. Just Ask Alfred and he'll answer your virtual events questions.
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Send any tips and thoughts you have about virtual events. contact Robin Raskin,
Founder, Virtual Events Group
201.564.7900 | 917.215.3160 | @robinr