How to keep your audience engaged at all times? Keeping attendees at an event be it a virtual conference or an in-person event engaged is a measurable element of event success. While event experience design provides event organizers with tools and tech to guide attendees throughout the event and achieve desired goals.
Event experience design helps create a common vision to guide event execution as well as attendee journey.
For our 5th episode of #EventTalks Podcast we had the honor of speaking with one of the talented eventprofs, Elizabeth Glau who excels in experience design and event integrity.
Elizabeth Glau has been recognized as 40 under 40 in 2017 by Connect Association. Her work in the field of engagement technology has been featured in publications ranging from The Meeting Professional — to — The San Diego Union Tribune.
Elizabeth is an advocate for integrity within the event industry and for the workforce across all industries. She regularly speaks at PCMA, Convention Industry Council, ©-Systems and many others. Elizabeth also co-hosted a podcast called Making a Marketer.
Our first question to Miss Elizabeth was,
If you can help create a distinction as to where event profs can use these technologies as a tool and where they need to take an active role while planning for online event engagement and experience?
Nowadays, events are highly focused on improving the attendee experience at events. But technology is not just about that. One must also see how efficient can technology make event planners by automating repetitive tasks and leveraging data.
So online events are all technology now, even the platform that we are delivering is a tool but the rules of engagement, they still apply same as they’d apply in a physical environment.
We tend to talk about the idea that physical events are more engaging but I think that they have to designed to be engaging and interactive and I think you can do that whether you are in a physical or virtual environment.
The bonus I think that online experiences have is you have a better chance at exceeding attendee goals and objectives and you use technology to automate that task and leverage that data.
2. What would you recommend to the enterprises who do a lot of heavy event marketing or retreats and other events in general with regards to their plans for 2021? How should they adapt or plan or change anything, if at all?
Talking about the pandemic, our industry has been behind in a lot of ways but if you did not adopt a digital mindset before COVID then now is the time to do it. the data we are able to generate by tracking customer interactions with us online is so much more valuable than the data that most of us generally generate from physical experience.
It’s not so much that the technology doesn’t exist, it’s whether or not you are choosing the right tools, tools that relies on your participants and they use it for networking.
Physical events may still be an important part of your overall event strategy but the events need to better integrated so that the data is flowing throughout.
3. Any tips to young event planners/companies about gaining back some of the lost business? What all changes or updates would you want these EMCs to bring in their contracts to safeguard their team and existence?
Talking about getting back to work, I’m a little concerned about us trying to get events back. because I think when COVID 19 was spreading initially it was clear that travel and gathering of people in large groups escalated it.
Travel is our greatest strength, it’s what helps us keep connected to the world in addition to technology but it can also be our weakness People need to get their jobs and business back but it seems like we are risking into this which will make our industry look unprofessional. But for the future and looking at a long term strategy, what I feel like that event design and experience can be utilized in any medium.
The beauty of virtual is right now you can find a ton of different topics and people online talking about certain subjects and become an expert in these circles on experience design. So then you’ll be a person to go to when talking about experience design.
I think virtual events will be here for a long time because attendees no longer assume that they have to leave their homes and offices for multiple days and go through the hassle of travel to attend or to connect.
Attendees have far greater access to a diverse range of people and ideas now that these events are online. Learn how data can be shared between those online and offline experiences and campaigns and how all of this gets integrated.
So if you are a young event planner and if you are really passionate about experience design I would recommend learning about a concept called Design Thinking or otherwise known as human-centered design. Another famous concept is Service Delivery. Many product companies in current times are starting to make this shift into thinking about their company as a service.
The next set of questions were on the topic of Event Integrity!
4. What is Event Integrity and how did this idea come to your mind?
Event Integrity’s original vision was to create a place where an event could find vendors who wouldn’t take advantage of them. The mission is to make transparency a more commonplace for the event organizers and event suppliers. Get in connection with the vendors who share my company’s value
5. Event Coordination is one of the top 5 stressful jobs in the world, as we know it, how can this status quo improve? What roles do each and every stakeholder need to play?
Event coordinators are problem solvers that’s why their jobs are more stressful as they have to prepare all the time. Being prepared for everything that could go wrong in your event is literally the most stressful part of the job
6. What impact would Virtual or Hybrid events play should they continue with regards to making it really lucrative as well as a delightful task to do?
A good reason to have a hybrid event from before: For those event organizers, if you were not doing a hybrid event before COVID, you were not protecting yourself from major destruction like the one we are facing today and you weren’t tapping into the potential audience who weren’t able to attend your live event and secondly, you could get a lot more reach by broadcasting the live event to the potential audience for free
Whether or not you charge for a virtual event, shouldn’t come down to whether or not you need to make the money it’s whether or not someone is going to pay that money. If they are receiving some knowledge then they would pay for it happily.
Events should be largely seen as a cost and not a revenue generator because they are servicing some larger goal and not just hosting it to make money.
The reason why hybrid didn’t take off years ago was large because of the cost. The cost of having proper AV equipment, the staff that can run it properly, and so on.
In the last few years, we really have advanced technologically in tools like Facebook Live, Instagram lives which can largely contribute in live streaming to your audiences. I’ve had quite moving and transformational experiences through online events.
7. Virtual Tech is a villain for the lovers of in-person events — Misconception or Reality?
What people like to say is the magic of in-person events is that you may run into someone in a hallway or a bar and strike a conversation. You can do that online as well.
Online networking is a skillset which you should learn and now is the time to learn how to do that. There are so many benefits of virtual meetings like being more accessible, being more inclusive, reaching out and connecting with more people and being less damaging to the climate.
This is the perfect time to dig deep into experience design and learn the tactics and skillsets one much has to create a more engaging and energizing event experience whether they are in-person or virtual.
These were quite unexplored and interesting facts about experience design and how the future of the virtual and hybrid event tech industry looks like.
Stay tuned with us for more such informational and educative episodes with industry experts.
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