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

The program features Marian Bossard, EVP Global Market Events at the Toy Association

Marion talks about how the Toy Association focused on servicing their members during the pandemic As she aptly puts it, "You Know What's Really Fun? Selling!" We’ll also feature Lawrence Coburn of twine. Lawrence previously founded DoubleDutch to bolster engagement at corporate events. Now he's doing it again with twine, a platform to create meaningful one-on-one conversations.


Mi Website es Su Website

To list is to be human. We’ve been busy building a comprehensive repository of all of the things that anyone involved in virtual events needs to find. To date, we’re featuring 150 platform reviews (we promise we’ll let the best surface to the top), 100 tools to add oomph to your virtual meetings, a list of talent and production resources (coming soon), and an archive of all of our newsletters and events to date. If we’ve missed your product or service, just fill out the Technology Providers questionnaire and we’ll get you up on the big board.


Your Voice Counts

We’re going to be having this discussion often in 2021, so why not use Harvard Business Review as fodder for the conversation about why and when face-to-face is necessary?


CES 2021  
Students of events will be analyzing CES 2021, its first all-digital event, forever. It went off without a hitch and with no egg on its face, but the warmth, serendipitous moments, and shared experiences were few and far between. One of the highlights (self-promotion) was Last Gadget Standing, an event I created for CES 21 years ago. This year, I co-hosted the competition with Jennifer Jolly. Translating it to a digital event with a real-time audience poll was great fun, but our proudest moment was to poke a little fun at the online medium with this opening video. 

What would I like to see at CES in 2022?

  • small group, guided virtual tours of the exhibit spaces based on themes like robotics, smart home, AR, etc. 
  • open chat room comments for all sessions
  • dedicated meeting/match software
  • special buyer’s programs for large customers like Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy
  • showcase exhibitors on the main stage
  • leader boards and gamification to encourage visits to exhibitors
  • polling questions throughout
  • And of course, a special press afterparty! 

We’d love to hear your thoughts. 


There’s a Dummy Born Every Minute

It’s happened. Here’s a Virtual Event Strategy for Dummies. It’s free, compliments of Cvent. I haven’t read one of these since MS-DOS, but I’m in. 

You Don’t Need a Weatherman
To know which way the wind blows, just look at the American Hotel and Lodging Association forecast for 2021. Full-scale business meetings won’t look anything like pre-pandemic normal until 2024. Business travel is forecasted to be down 85% compared to 2019 through April 2021, and then will only begin ticking up slightly.
This chart from the AHLA report shows that for frequent business travelers, 33% reported taking 7+ business trips per year prior to the pandemic. In 2020, 26% reported taking no business trips, and another 21% reported only taking only one. Read the full report for additional insights into the steep reductions in the hotel and lodging sector before the pandemic.


  • Dating style apps that introduce you to like-minded strangers are finding their way to the virtual world's space. Four that we like (two have presented at our VEG meetings) are 30Friends, twine, BrainDate, and Donut.
  • Artistic types will want to look at these free tools for editing video and audio. 
  • Zapier seriously automates your workflow by integrating your productivity apps (no coding required). Integrate your Zoom meeting attendee list with your MailChimp or EventBrite lists so you’re not uploading and downloading manually. Caveat: you’ll need to figure out which apps integrate with others and tweak the templates to customize. 
  • GoPassage Easy way to handle ticketing and payments. 
  • Gamipress Love this app that lets you gamify (rankings, leaderboards, points) your WordPress site. We’re about to use it to reward visitors who upload information on their tools. 
  • Silliest fun ever. This is the Wheel of Fortune for virtual events. 

Sage Advice

I sat in on a fun evening moderated by Bari and Blue, a married couple with a unique training program for getting up to speed on virtual events. The down-home style takeaway was to be proud, not ashamed that you had to go virtual and to always reinforce the great advantages of virtual, subtly, but often. A few tips from Bari and Blue:

  1. Don’t make the live recording of the session available immediately. Why would you attend if you can just watch later? 
  2. Send a small swag box -- it’s a great reminder to show up and instills a sense of obligation (I call it guilt) that you got something special, so the least you could do is show up.
  3. Offer some level of VIP service. Make it up--an after-party, special prize, etc., We all want to feel special.
  4. Gamification -- Blue defined gamification as “getting people to do what you want them to do by rewarding them.” I like that definition.

People Watch

Alfred Poor, one of our Advisory Board Members, shares his "must know" knowledge about virtual events. And Jim Louderback, another VEG advisor and our first speakers at VEG events, shares his take on virtual engagement with the editors of BizBash. 


Did you miss the “agenda math” presentation by Fintech Agenda’s Andrew Morris last month, or want to learn about Amit Bhambi’s social network? Recapture the moments here. 

Feel the need to stay up on the virtual events scene but have a few other to-dos on your list?
Sign up for our newsletter
About Us
Send any tips and thoughts you have about virtual events. contact Robin Raskin,
Founder, Solving For Tech
201.564.7900 | 917.215.3160 | @robinr