Determined To Deliver First-Class Education To Our Members, We’ve Made Our Events LIVE, INTERACTIVE, and VIRTUAL
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One of the principle services we provide for our Members is our live events, held in cities such as Toronto, London, Brussels, Paris, Edinburgh, and Amsterdam. Suddenly there was a ‘lock-down’ and we could not hold events any longer.
Last year we had looked at how to create virtual events, and we had tried various pieces of technology to see if it was possible. With this knowledge, we knew it was possible, but there was more to be done.
We identified that three things needed to be done to get ourselves operational:
We defined the quality standards that were paramount to us. Firstly, we knew everyone was suddenly doing webinars, and the feedback from our Members and customers was that they were largely badly done and they were being inundated with webinars. We banned the word “webinars” and decided we were doing our normal day, or half day, sessions that our Members always liked…and it was going to be ‘live’ and ‘interactive’.
That led us on to whether the faculty could deliver their sessions in this way. We chose two faculty members and asked them if they would work with us. They were wonderful and were keen to be involved and discover what could work. They saw this as the future and a chance to be in at the beginning was a big opportunity. We worked through everything from ensuring their material was in bite size chunks, to helping them set up in their home with good lighting and camera.
Finally, we spoke to our customers. We asked them what they felt was a reasonable price for a virtual event. Our Members were very fair and open with us and shared their thoughts and perspectives, based on what they were seeing in the market and on what they felt was suitable.
In six weeks we went from providing physical events, live in conference rooms, to providing the same quality, live and virtually. We were overwhelmed by the feedback we got from attendees.
Be prepared to adapt: If you have been thinking about changes in advance and experimented, you can hit the ground running. Our experimentation, the previous year, gave us a great advantage when we needed to look at the technology.
Work with suppliers and customers: Involve them and take them on the journey with you. The more minds applying their thinking, the more ideas are forthcoming. Survey your customers and listen to their feedback
Don’t copy, or be sidetracked, by what others are doing: Stick to what you want to achieve and make it happen.
Be bold: Many people said that nobody would watch a session for a whole day. We still went for full-day sessions and we had 100% attendance right to the end, with amazing feedback.
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