SOLVING FOR TECH
 
VIRTUAL EVENTS GROUP
 
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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 22 | 3:00pm-5:00pm
 
VEG Celebrates Community Building
 
In a year when Holiday Parties struggle to take meaning, we’ve got one for you. Join us at for a look at how artists are creating community in the virtual world.
 
RSVP to Attend
 
 
 
Virtual Events Outlook 2021
 
On the eve of the vaccine, the events industry proceeds with caution. It’s a big game of whack-a-mole. Contingency plans, creative thinking, prescience, and the ability to perform in two spaces - real and virtual - are paramount.

When you’re not whacking moles, think dodging bullets. No one wants to risk being the Biogen conference of 2021. This Boston based medical conference (yes, a medical conference) held last February, may have led to more than 300,000 COVID infections.
 
 
 
Julian Solaris, Editor in Chief at EventMB, convened a bunch of savvy industry folks to prep for events in 2021. Some of the themes that emerged.
 
 
The Rise of the MicroEvent
Even if the vaccine is better than a Chanukah miracle, planners are thinking about gathering in small, tightly focused groups and putting on an online event for those who chose to stay home. (Yes, that means doubling down on your efforts producing two shows for every one.)

At Splash, Ben Hindman, a past VEG guest speaker, concurs. Small events are eating the world.
 
 
Passport Please
Everyone’s (and America’s) top infectious disease expert (and best selling Christmas ornament) Dr. Fauci says we won’t be able to have normal lives until at least 75% of Americans are vaccinated. But, in a recent NY Deal Book, Andrew Ross Sorkin, looks at the large swaths of folks who are uninterested in getting the shot. Should (and can) employers step in? Will hotels, airlines and industry gatherings require proof of a vaccine? It’s being debated in boardrooms as we type.

Brian Labus, a PHD and public health researcher in Las Vegas, the event capital of the world, said that the vaccine is a game changer but not an overnight one. “Expect a portion of the population to show their vaccine hesitancy,” he said.
 
 
Covid Compliance Officers are now a thing. You can grab a free certification for the right people on your events staff here.
 
 
Marriott’s Expensive Thought Leadership
 
Doreen Burse of Marriott Bonvoy described its new program, Connect with Confidence, as a set of practices designed to make people comfortable with getting into the meeting rooms again. And boy, does it sound like an expensive undertaking. Sanctuary Seats, pre-reserved tiny desk cocoons, decked out with meeting trappings, single-serve coffee breaks, contactless signins, and an abundance of sanitizer are all part of the plan.
 
 
 
Tech and the Live Event
Wellness kiosks, temperature checking stations, seating placeholders … Here are 15 ways that tech can help resuscitate live events.
 
 
Your Footprint is Showing
Did you know that attending a conference measures as a 10,000 kg carbon footprint for a live attendee and only in the single digits for a virtual event?
 
 
This Ship Has Sailed:
It’s no secret that Webex and Skype both missed an opportunity to seize the pandemic’s video conferencing moment. Now, Webex, once king of video conferencing, is hoping to regain “once and future” status. Cisco also bought Slido to round out it’s presentation prowess and is upping its ailing game by adding new features like noise cancellation and transcription services. Meanwhile, Bizzabo, one of the “cooler” online platforms for event organizers, has raised $138 million in a Series E funding. Another splashy contender replete with 360 immersive experiences is Illumeet. See what they built for Paypal’s annual meeting. Brian Morrissey stepped down from DigiDay. Listen to his podcast on the commoditization of the virtual events industry on Beet.tv.
 
 
 
Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me
 
According to Pollstar, the live events industry lost a mind numbing $30 billion dollars this year summed up by this tumultuous graphic. .
 
 
Digitally Native
You never know where you’re going to find your next competitor, but we’d start here. There’s a strong case being made for the argument that if you’re going for a virtual experience you might as well do it in a digitally native land. That’s why Fornite, Pokemon, Roblox, and Twitch , to name a are quickly becoming homes to a variety of high profile events.

Have you missed our events? Jim Louderback and Ben Hindman are just two of the thoughtful leaders steering us to the new world of events. Listen to them here.
 
 
 
Feel the need to stay up on the virtual events scene but have a few other to-dos on your list?
 
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Send any tips and thoughts you have about virtual events. contact Robin Raskin,
Founder, Solving For Tech
201.564.7900 | 917.215.3160
robin@robinraskin.com | @robinr