Five tips to navigate events in a post-pandemic world
On 10 June, Natalie Jackson, head of events at APL Media, took part in Best of Both Worlds: How Event Creators are Preparing for a Hybrid Future, a webinar organised by Eventbrite. Here are five takeaways she shared during the discussion:
- You can include hybrid elements in virtual events. In early June, APL Media arranged for the panellists of a wine-tasting event to meet in person in a Covid-compliant studio. “In terms of hybrid, it’s bordering on that idea: the panel is together, so you’ve got that great interaction, but it was broadcast to a virtual audience, which was massive,” said Natalie.
- Find creative ways to make people engage virtually. “One of the things we do, for example, is we have surveys that go out [during events], but they’re turned into a competition, so people can win things if they enter,” said Natalie. “It’s right at the end of the event, too, to keep people on.”
- Add paid-for layers to free digital events. “We’ve added on a VIP experience to [some of] our events,” said Natalie. “We take viewers from a webinar to a [different] Zoom meeting, where you have all the people on camera, to give that face to face time… and [where] they can ask questions directly to our panel.”
- Marketing hasn’t changed, but the budget has. “We still find the best way to get the messages out there is through digital advertising, whether it be a newsletter or social media,” said Natalie. “What’s important to recognise is that our clients won’t spend the same sort of money as they would for a live event at the moment, and that’s going to affect our marketing spend.”
- The future is hybrid. “We’ve been doing surveys: 60% of our viewers said they’ll continue to watch virtual events, while 25% of them would go to live events,” said Natalie. “It’s a scary time… because we don’t know if people will feel comfortable going back out. I think we’ll have a combination, people will like to do both.”
Head here to watch the whole event.