Conference and Events have been among the industries most severely impacted by COVID-19 – with travel bans and restrictions against public gatherings, an entire industry found itself at a standstill. Yet the importance of events – the sharing of ideas and the cultivation of meaningful connections – has never been more needed.
The pandemic has required event planners and sponsors to shift the way they look at events and to find innovative ways to adapt to the “new normal”. Virtual events have now become the norm, but with it comes its own challenges. In support of everyone in the industry, we’re extending a partner hand with our industry colleagues in order to provide content and information to help event professionals push forward during these challenging times – for live, hybrid and virtual events.
Events industry associations such as MPI, CSAE, and PCMA are connecting members through online conferences and events to provide business professionals the necessary tools to excel. We at National Speakers Bureau & Global Speakers Agency are proud to be a sponsor for these events.
Listed are just a few events that we have sponsored through our speakers:
CSAE adapted their approach to their annual conference (Nov 2nd-6th) with an extended series of monthly sessions. NSB proudly sponsored their opening keynote, Gabrielle Scrimshaw, Indigenous Leadership & Education Expert. Gabrielle used this virtual platform to speak to associations across the country about reconciliation, leadership, and making a difference in your industry.
Takeaway idea: Redesign your annual conference to break it into smaller sessions throughout the year for maximum longevity and impact.
MPI’s Grapevine in November was an early adopter of showing how a large hybrid event could be done, with hundreds of attendees in person and a thousand more online. Great care was taken to adhere to safety protocols, and weeks after the event, MPI was proud to share no cases of COVID were reported from the conference.
Our speaker David Allison, creator of Valuegraphics, flew down to be with the audience in person and deliver his custom research (“Focusing on the Things that Bring Us Together“) to help the meetings industry in a keynote and 2 MasterClass sessions. Valuegraphics helps organizations understand what their members, customers and teams care about and value most… and then tailor your offerings to your end user.
Takeaway idea: Prioritize health and safety, for live events where protocol allows, and give attendees the option to participate in person or virtually.
SITE, the Society for Incentive Travel Executives, understood the need for a quality Host/MC to take their virtual audience on a journey to discover how to reimagine the industry. Tony Chapman’s a pro at not just reading a session-by-session script, but engaging the heads, hearts & hands of his audience, and bringing out the best in the speakers featured. And SITE tested a new format of health breaks in the day, featuring legendary duo Hal & Joanne of BodyBreak who helped the audience get up from their computers and move, all while creating positive health habits. Hal & Joanne’s clips are excellent interstitials to keep your audience involved.
Takeaway idea: An experienced host can ensure your virtual event runs smoothly, and intermittent surprises that incorporate movement or delight, keep your audience engaged.
Host Andrea Bain kept the awards show running smoothly while adding some glamour on the live stage, to the virtual audience. Award envelopes were sent earlier to be opened and read by hospitality industry front line workers and accepted by recipients in a live video. Audience members had access to a virtual networking lounge and a partner library, powered by Encore.
Takeaway idea: Run your program virtually, but include one element of live engagement, like your host/MC on an studio stage, to bring a sense of grandeur to your event. Use a platform that goes beyond Zoom, for a better attendee experience.
IMEX, the Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events, turned it’s flagship event into a 3D virtual island experience which encouraged community and learning. Keynoter David Allison extended the nature theme to Human Nature and shared that the secret to engaging and influencing your target audience relies on certain key secrets of human nature, including the significance of our values system. We learned the most up-to-date methods for earning attention: creating keen interest and converting your audience from curious prospects to confirmed clients and customers.
Takeaway idea: Get creative!! Planet IMEX turned their annual conference into a unique virtual experience with a sense of wonder and exploration built into the learning. Encourage your speakers to build on your theme.
The events industry may never look the same as pre-COVID, but together as a community we will not only survive, but thrive.
Looking for speakers for your next virtual conference or event?
Contact us and we’ll be happy to recommend speakers we’re confident are effective both live and on virtual platforms.