The most successful digital event of 2021 hasn’t happened yet, but if this were December 31, 2021, here’s what we would have heard said about the VERY best event that was recognized by an elite panel of event, trade show, and annual meeting judges.
They would say...
“... the designer of this event really had the ambition, vision, passion, and determination to create a digital experience that was second to none. She put everything she had into making this an exceptional opportunity for the guests, the sponsors, and her organization to achieve their goals in one of the most demanding years of our lives. This event designer did the three things that all of our judges said set her apart. She had the full backing of her CEO and board of directors to make the necessary changes, AND she asked for and got the right level of funding to invest. Second, she asked to be appointed CEO of the event, enabling her to make the tough decisions, allocate the right resources, and break the mold of most digital events. And she created a made-for-TV experience that was more Hollywood than conventional convention center conference and trade show. And, wisely, she assembled a dream team of talent from the right departments within her organization and supplemented it with expert outside advice and expertise.”
“It’s remarkable how profitable this event was; we haven’t seen anything like it. Every sponsor reported having meetings with the right prospects, great discussions with loyal customers, and amazing brand awareness across the entire community attending the event, and the majority of these sponsors exceeded their expectations for the ROI goals they set. By establishing a simple but effective hosted-buyer program, allowing buyers and sellers to come together in a highly efficient fashion and making it so easy, it’s no wonder this event was so profitable. And, offering sample boxes of customized products, SWAG, and new, featured items delivered right to the target audience’s home, it was a win–win for everyone.”
“It’s hard for us to describe how passionate the audience’s responses were to this event. Almost to a person, the real-time feedback during the event made it clear that this was an event designed with the audience in mind by a team who knew what job this audience hired the event to do. The overwhelming feedback was “they read my mind... I met exactly the people I’ve always wanted to connect with at an event; the topics and the format through which they were delivered were spot-on. By eliminating the old format of a general session that had keynotes give a speech that I can watch on YouTube and then sending me into breakout rooms with strangers without any context or real chance to address my specific issues, they finally found the formula for an event that works for me. I can’t wait to see how they apply the same ideas to the next in-person event I attend.”
OK. Breaking the fourth wall here, let’s step back and ask: If your 2021 event were judged by a panel of experts (and, yes, that’s your audience, your sponsors, and your boss), would they be able to say the same about your event as this fictional 2021 event? Of course. We have all learned so much in the past 12 months – mostly, what NOT to do – and now you’re ready to take on the job of creating and delivering a world-class digital experience that gets the same rave reviews as the award-winning event I just described.
Everything you need to create a profitable, engaging, enjoyable, flawlessly executed, digital event is now known, proven to work, and waiting to be adopted by you and your team. Digital events are here to stay and will be just as important as your in-person event.
Just as TV didn’t eliminate the radio, and the Web and mobile devices didn’t eliminate TV, digital events won’t replace in-person... but they will coexist, evolve, and become the omnichannel event model of the future, just as e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores, pop-up maker festivals, and online product activations all coexist in our daily consumer and business shopping lives.
What an exciting time to be in the event business!
Founder & CEO
360 Live Media
P.S. My team and I are working on a few updates to enhance your experience with this blog in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!