The #WeMakeEvents trended over 126,000 times in 2020. The event industry suffered significantly during the pandemic and joined forces to create a voice for their brands and businesses. 2021 is the year we come together and amplify our strategies, strengthen our execution and create a bomb ass world of Virtual, Hybrid and Live events that surpass expectations.
While 2020 was yes, a huge year of pivoting, we grew in many ways. We worked, worked AND worked some more when it came to our strategy. We tested sites and vetted our vendors to ensure we were utilizing our resources to the best of our abilities. Have you or your company attended a virtual event, heck, even an in-person event with hundreds of people and wondered “How do they manage this many attendees?” The simple answer? COFFEE. Just kidding, kind of…
Our team, as do most, utilize registration platforms that help us stay organized and on track. Bizzabo is our platform of choice as they are becoming their own industry leaders. In 2021 Bizzabo committed to investing $138 million, yes, MILLION into the future of hybrid events. Their dedication to ensuring their platform is the one and only of its kind gave us that much more confidence to continue our ventures as thought leaders of our own industry. Consider what Account Manager, Katy Smith has to say about her experience thus far utilizing such platforms and how KM&A has kept our clients and audience top of mind over competition.
“Analytics and insights are key to knowing your audience and setting expectations for future events. Using a registration tool like Bizzabo helps us gain insights into what sessions people want to attend, who is engaging with our event communications and so much more. It allows us to keep improving each event.” – Katy Smith, Account Manager with KM&A
You’ve heard it once, twice, three thousand times by now. Nothing will ever take the place of live in-person events. BUT, consider this…the benefits of a virtual or hybrid event isn’t taking the place of a live event, but enhancing your company’s capability of thinking outside the box and reaching a larger audience.
Hosting a virtual and/or hybrid event allows for the diversity and inclusivity of consumers that can’t or won’t typically attend an in-person event. With so many unknowns in regard to travel circumstances as we move into the future, one thing to consider is the capabilities of applying virtual events. Take it from Steven Lefkovitz at FME studios as he shares why it was important to pivot their marketing strategy to incorporate a new approach.
“We had some live virtual streaming experience in the past, so the adjustment came more from the frequency of these types of projects than the events themselves. The biggest challenge for myself was adapting to doing more streaming events than traditional productions. Sometimes not getting a second take is a tough pill to swallow as a traditional non live video producer and requires a different type of focus. Both sides of the coin have value and both are fun for their own reasons. But comfort leads to stagnation, stagnation leads to disinterest, and disinterested customers do not engage. If companies don’t pivot to the changing times, whether that is due to the changing of style, society, or even a pandemic, they will be left behind and not grow as intended. The old adage if it’s not broke don’t fix it, doesn’t always apply from my perspective, you have to keep it fresh!” – Steven Lefkovitz, Creative Director with FME Studios
So, we don’t like to brag…okay, maybe a little. Something that our team at KM&A is proud of is the ability to take an idea from an initial concept all the way to the creation and implementation. We’re kind of a big deal, you know – being trend setters and all.
Hear us out, we promise we have a point. In 2020, we executed 29 virtual events with four national brands. As we move into 2021, our strategies have once again pivoted to align with goals, insights, educational pieces and so much more. Rachel Weise, Channel Marketing Manager with Delta Faucet Company shares what her take has been and the benefits they believe their customers have gained.
“Virtual events are just another way that we can show how we can effectively communicate and interact with our customers and audience. With our partnerships and loyalty to our brand, our customers can tell that we care about every aspect. Whether that be from answering all of their questions, to taking the time to create such an engaging and informative presentation. They feel valued and appreciate the time taken to put such an event together.” – Rachel Weise, Channel Marketing Manager with Delta Faucet Company
Days, upon days, upon days go into creating an in-person event. Months to be more exact. However, the statement is still true in relation to virtual and hybrid events. We have meeting after meeting to ensure our team is invested and is up for the challenge (fact: we always are.) Our team doesn’t just work on the registration platform and hand it off. No. Set design, email communication, creative narratives, video production and a whole hell of a lot more goes into the day to day to put on a successful event.
If you’ve put on an in-person event, consider how much time and effort went into that and multiply it. The good news is, you aren’t alone. Resources such as KM&A exist to make your life easier and allows us to do what we do best…be problem solvers! Debbie Zefting, Director of Shopping Strategy & Engagement with Barilla, shares what their biggest challenge was upon transitioning to virtual events and how virtual events have exceeded their expectations.
“The biggest challenge we endured was the question on how to keep our sales team engaged and motivated to absorb all the information we wanted them to take away. This sales event was fast moving and successful in getting the team interactive. Partnering with a resource such as KM&A allowed them to provide ideas and approaches, we otherwise would not have considered. It also provided extra “hands” which was invaluable. The team was very good at adjusting to the inevitable changes that happened along the way.” Debbie Zefting, Director of Shopping Strategy & Engagement with Barilla
We know, last year was a lot to digest. As we move into a new and what we hope is an improved future, one thing that is matter of fact is that events will never dissolve. You and your team don’t need to have all the answers, let us do the hard part while you sit back, relax and enjoy the success of your event.
Are you looking to host a virtual or hybrid event? We can help. Contact us here.