What’s next for the new normal for events – Forecast for 2021

What’s next for the new normal for events – Forecast for 2021

Events in 2021: What’s next for the new normal for events 

Events

 

The events in 2021 will be drastically different from that of last year, as the pandemic is successfully being suppressed. With the vaccines being said to reach people by mid-2021, the pandemic will recede. Most people are left wondering when things will return to the way they used to be and how that will affect event planning. For those planning events, it might seem confusing to choose between in-person events, hybrid events, and virtual events. This article aims to provide a guide to what events are going to look like this year.

 

Vaccination Plans 

According to experts, the vaccines should reach most people by mid-2021 which means that most events can start transitioning from completely virtual and include some remote elements but for this to work out certain precautions must be strictly implemented. We feel Local, national, and international Events in March of 2021 will still be virtual as the vaccination would not have reached the critical mass for herd immunity. 

In June of 2021 local and national events can be in person but international ones will be hybrid since vaccines will have been distributed to the general public and a large percentage of the population will have been vaccinated. 

In September of 2021, local and national events will be in-person but international events will be hybrid as although most people would be vaccinated or would have access to the vaccines, it will still take time to complete the process globally. 

The impact of the vaccines will not be observed until around June or September but since they will become more accessible in the summer, the chances of people having remote events and hybrid events will increase as they are safe for the attendees and easy to hold and manage. The vaccines also allow for relatively safe travel which means more attendees can attend remote events and hybrid events. 

Click here to learn more about vaccinations.

Precautions while conducting events in 2021

Even while carrying out remote events in 2021, the attendees need to test negative and adhere to the following principles:

  • Limit the Number Of Attendees with the 6ft rule in mind

It is essential to note that with an active pandemic, the people should maintain social distancing. Therefore, the ideal number of individuals should be chosen so that they can maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other. Fewer guests mean that it’s also easy to keep a track of their travel history to curtail the spread of the disease. Limiting and scaling down the number of people prevents crowding. The duration of the meetings also needs to be kept in mind and they need to be kept short.

  •  Make Sanitary Equipment Compulsory

The guests and organizers both need to have access to sanitary equipment at all times. The guests need to be provided with alcohol-based hand sanitizers immediately after registration. The event should also have appointed sanitation sites that have access to sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, tissues, gloves, and masks. Wearing gloves and masks should also be made compulsory. Technological equipment used to present such as microphones, tablets, and iPads also need to be disinfected after each use. Thermal scanning equipment can be installed at entry points to check for symptoms.

  • Addressing the Venue 

During such troubling times where we are required to stay 6 feet apart, the venue where the event takes place needs to be large because proximity would lead to the spread of the virus, this is also a reason why hybrid events would work best since it does not put a limit on the number of people who can attend the events.

  • Get Creative by transitioning to Hybrid Event

Just because an event is a hybrid event doesn’t mean limitations need to be forced upon it, in fact, hybrid events only increase the chances of networking. Attendees who are not free at the time-span can send recordings, the remote event can also be recorded and uploaded to virtual platforms. Hybrid events also allow more time to be devoted to Q&A sessions. Due to their nature, they also allow for more networking and engagement.

 

  • Sanitize the Venue

The venue determines the outcome of the event, to prevent crowding and contagion, a large venue is ideal so that the individuals can maintain 6 feet distance. Outdoor space or a place with several windows is also beneficial for airflow. A spacious venue ensures that there’s ample distance between each guest. Strict guidelines laid down by the CDC and WHO must be followed. It should also be ensured that enclosed spaces such as lavatories which are a haven for the spread of the virus are sanitized. The venue should also have closed dustbins to dispose of the waste.

  • Create a Precaution Plan

To have a successful event during a pandemic, there needs to be diligent planning. Establishing efficient communication channels is extremely important to keep track of all the guests and individuals in the event. If the monitoring is successful the information can also be shared with health officials. Creating a health policy before the event and mailing it to the attendees is also resourceful so that they are aware of the various rules and regulations in the event, for example, specifying before the event that the attendees should not shake hands or hug to greet is more helpful than letting them know during the event. Think about setting up a contact tracing log to examine if the guest has come in contact with the virus.

  • Consult Public Health Officials

No matter how systematically things are planned, some things are beyond control and it is imperative to have medical professionals on board before planning an event in 2021. The local public officials must be consulted. Every individual attending the event must provide their contact details so they can be relayed to the health officials in case of emergencies. The attendees must also be provided with the contact details of the health officials and other health hotline numbers. It is resourceful to have an onsite crisis response team as well.

CONCLUSION

Physical events are advisable only if they are necessary, otherwise, people can migrate to virtual events or hybrid events. Hybrid events are the best of both worlds since the attendees can choose to attend remotely or virtually. The advantage of this approach is that it ensures more coverage. Hybrid events make in-person events safer as one can provide multiple options for the attendees to choose from to access the event remotely reducing in-person attendance.

Webmobi.com has a hybrid event platform where the events can be conducted with extreme simplicity, with a priority given to safety. Whilst planning and preparing events, the health, and well being of individuals must be prioritized and hybrid events make sure that’s the case. To learn more about hybrid events and the best practices surrounding them click here. To learn more about us, please visit our facebook page.

Virtual Event Logistics in 2021

Virtual Event Logistics in 2021

Virtual Event Logistics in 2021

Virtual Event

A crucial element of event management is managing logistics, it ensures competent management and also allows people do to multiple tasks, to come up with an effective event logistics plan, understanding the different components of it, is imperative.

A logistics plan aims to provide professional logistical support in preparation for the event to make sure the event runs seamlessly.  It requires integrated planning and includes merchandise, transport, and food. It also amplifies cost-effectiveness.

There are various aspects to logistics such as venue, transportation, and scheduling. They can be divided into:

Before the Virtual Event

  1. Registrations – This is a crucial element of roping in attendees and therefore a comfortable user experience should be a priority, it should not take more than 5 minutes for the users to share their contact information such as name, email address, phone number, etc. 
  2. Payment – Offering multiple payment options is not only convenient for the user but also acknowledges the legitimacy of the service; if there are multiple options, even international users can host an event using the service.
  3. Time zones – It is essential to keep time zones in mind while planning a virtual event since attendees can be from all over the world, arranging and hosting an event that is accessible and convenient for all is a key factor in event management. An easy way to ensure that the meeting hours of the attendees is convenient is to consult tools like the World Clock Meeting Planner.
  4. Invitations – Designing attention-seeking invitations is a very effective way to garner more attendance in the events, a well-designed invitation should contain relevant information but should also be easy on the eyes. It also helps promote the service as people are more likely to check out a service that has well-designed invitations to host their event rather than a service that designs dull invitations.
  5. Scheduling – Preparing a thorough schedule integrated with event strategies and mapping a direction for the event ensures that the event is fluid. Designing the structure includes allotting time for keynote speakers or guests, workshops, along with a Q&A session.

During the Virtual Event

  1. Equipment – Having appropriate and functioning gear and equipment is the foundation for a good virtual event, working cameras, and microphones for all the speakers, conducting trial runs to check if the equipment is functioning is also very important. Hybrid events will also require large speakers so that everyone present remotely can listen to the speakers.
  2. Virtual Lounge – Creating a virtual lounge also simulates an in-person event, attendees can connect using chat or video, this also diversifies the event and allows the participants to catch a breath of fresh air.
  3. Polls and Surveys – Integrating polls, quizzes, and surveys into the event make sure that the participants are involved in the meeting and it isn’t just a one-way street. This will require some analysis as to where to integrate it into the session.
  4. Pre-Recorded Sessions – This can be an efficient way to manage time and ensure smooth sailing of the event, the speakers can record footage before the event starts and integrate it into the event, it also provides an outline for the rest of the event.
  5. Engagement – Another way to simulate an in-person event is to make sure that the attendees are interacting with each other and sharing their thoughts in the event, the chat feature is a very simple way to maximize engagement. Attendees can also be encouraged to share their experiences of the event on social media and other platforms.

After the Virtual Event

  1. Feedback – Asking the participants for their feedback in various areas such as speakers, topics, and other technical elements showcases not only the room for improvement but also the concern the company has towards organizing the event.
  2. Access to the Content – The organizers should have other amenities after the event is over, for example, they need to access the event and the contents of the event. They should also be allowed to repurpose the content.

In order to navigate the logistics of the event, every intricate detail needs to be carefully curated. Specifically with virtual and hybrid events, while planning the logistics one must have a good understanding of technology. To learn more about us, please visit out facebook page.

Hybrid Event checklist: Boost your success rate of your event in 2021

Hybrid Event checklist: Boost your success rate of your event in 2021

Keep Your Event on Track with the webMOBI Hybrid Event Checklist 

Hybrid Event Checklist

Download the hybrid event checklist from here

Creating a virtual or hybrid event is a challenging endeavor, it requires fierce dedication. There are different aspects to organizing a virtual event, especially during a pandemic. This includes the visual design of the event portal, setting-up live streaming, online engagement, deciding session types, i.e., whether it is a meeting, a webinar, a pre-recorded video followed by a live stream,  or external integrations with popular streaming services. This includes services like Zoom, Vimeo, Cisco, and WebEx.  

To ease your planning process—and boost the success of your event—we’ve created the Hybrid Event checklist with templates for every major virtual event element.

We’ve divided the checklist into 3 major sections: 

Hybrid Event Checklist

BEFORE THE EVENT 

  1. Event format planning and Choosing elements of virtual element

This includes live-streaming and recording videos before the event and also choosing between virtual and hybrid events. To know more about hybrid events check the blog post here on hybrid events. 

It also includes the duration of the event. For example, if attendees are situated in different geographical regions, due to the difference in time-zones the attendees might be unable to join the event so pre-recorded content can be arranged. This also includes selecting the elements of the meeting and in what format it can be conducted, which includes webinars, meeting sessions, meeting with moderation, automation videos, pre-recorded videos,  live polls, surveys, Q&A format, events analytics.

  1. Target Audience and key selling points

It’s important to keep the target audience in mind while planning any event, especially a virtual or hybrid one. The important part of the event planning process is the type of event and audience. If it is an international audience then it might be more appropriate to have a hybrid event. For localized events, the events can even be planned in in-person later this year. Check out our blog post around vaccination plans and our predictions for events this year. 

  1. Event Modules

It’s important to identify the modules to be used for deployment as well as the type of sessions for the event and the planning of the concurrent sessions.  To be clear on the types of sessions, there areMeetings, Meetings with Moderations, Webinars and there are pre-recorded sessions followed by live sessions. For mobile apps, all modules can lead to more engagement like activity feeds or public-private groups on specific topics for engagement amongst the audience. 

  1. Content Distribution Strategy 

Content can be chosen to be made public or can be transformed into gated content and it can be restricted to all except registered users, the clients will be given the freedom to select between those options. Different content can be added for different types of tickets and the attendees have an option to procure content from the event portal. 

  1. Choice of event type – Virtual, Hybrid, or In-person 

Before organizing an event, the type of event that is best suitable should be finalized, an event can be virtual, that is completely online and hybrid which has both elements of hybrid and virtual, in-person events are remote events. webMOBI offers a platform for both virtual and hybrid events.

  1. Selection of an immersive platform with 3D experience

For larger events, the organizers can choose to conduct an immersive 3D event. It can contain exhibitors, an auditorium, and different rooms similar to a 3D environment. The system is a customized solution, and it gives you a lot of control over content dissemination. Speaker booths can be held in a 3D environment where content can be showcased, this can offer a lot of engagement for beginners. 

The list of features that could be included in the same are: having a 3D avatar for each of the attendees and the speakers to create a more engaging platform

7. Budget Planning

The checklist also provides a list of costs that are to be associated with the event planning side. These costs include live podcast costs, speaker costs, or any promotional costs. Covering the in-person particulars; the costs included are the on-site costs, venue costs, and many more mentioned in the checklist which could be marked before the event. 

  1. Miscellaneous – 

Email marketing software, interpreter services to show translation across different languages, captions generation, speaker and attendee interaction tools like slack or audience engagement tools, and a speaker presentation. 

To develop familiarity with the platform and interface, multiple dry runs can be conducted for the speaker before the event. This can troubleshoot bugs and detect them before the event which will further smoothen the handling of the event. The speaker can make any changes and adjustments as per their requirement in the dry run.

DURING THE EVENT

  1. Streaming platform

Depending on the type of session and the type of audience you should connect to different streaming services such as Zoom, Vimeo, Cisco, and Webex or webMOBI native streaming services.

  1. Audience Engagement 

Make sure the attendees stay engaged by making use of engagement tools like Live Polls, Q&A’s, Survey, gamification, and social media. The attendees must have a way to interact with each other during a session.  The audience can plan out Gamification strategies like photo contest or department based competition for the most engaged audience. Attendees can ask questions and others upvote so it can enable more focused discussions and speakers will know which questions to focus on in a limited time.  Conduct live polls and surveys to capture feedback during the event. 

  1. Networking and Lead Generation for Exhibitors and Sponsors

It is important from the exhibitors’ perspective to define the live feeds and in case the live feeds are done there is backup recorded information that can be added for the audience to preview.  Also, register interest to capture leads for the event and check-in reports gauging interest 

  1. Concurrent Sessions

The checklist also provides some of the requisites for concurrent sessions which could be organized during the main event. The requirement of a moderator is at the discretion of the organizer. The checklist also provides information about how the attendees could be managed during these concurrent sessions.

  1. Mute/unmute and disable/enable video of participants accordingly

A virtual event can lead to a lot of commotion, but with our platform, there is a smooth transition and flow in the events as the organizers can mute and unmute the audio of the speakers and disable and enable the video of participants. 

  1. Collect and moderate online Q&A

webMOBI can collect engagement and analyze data such as attendance per session, duration of their attendance, and more. This can help build the profile of an attendee, the Q&A data also helps understand the overall agenda of the event.

  1.   Early Start and Communication Planning 

It is important to have a communication channel for the speakers and event moderators to connect via tools like Slack for real-time communication. Additionally, it’s good to have 5-minute breaks after each session for enabling a smoother transition from one session to the other. 

  1. Manage Logistics 

The checklist also provides updates on all the behind-the-scenes action for the event which includes leveraging analytics for managing registration forms/number of leads generated, referrals tracked, sorting the attendee details, filtering FAQs, or solving queries through the chatbot. It also shows how the exhibitor wants to present the event, i.e., audio-only/video only, virtual maps for attendees, etc

  1. Help-Source 

Attendees will also be provided with guides to browse through the interface to ensure they’re familiar with the same. The checklist hence provides a list of sources that could be helpful to the audience. 

  1. Online Support 

To ease the experience of the event, speakers can go through a help desk or live support to test their audio and video connections. The attendees can also navigate through the event with the help of a live text chat. 

AFTER THE EVENT

  1. Feedback Surveys

One of the most important post-event activities is collecting feedback, this helps understand the response to the event and the success rate of the event, it also helps the organizer learn from their mistakes. The checklist thus offers a feedback template that could be helpful for the event organizer. 

  1. Reporting and Analytics

Get all the analytics and reporting from all the tools to check which sessions were more popular than others, overall feedback, and speaker feedback. Getting the right kind of analytics, which metrics to be tracked are important to enhance the experience further. 

  1.   Remember to show gratitude

After the event, follow up with the speakers, moderators, and volunteers and express your gratitude and thank them for the efforts they dedicated to the event. Also, check up on sponsors and thank them for their support.

  1. Post-Event Activity

The checklist consists of post-event activities that are beneficial in the long run. The checklist also covers how the users experienced the interface and their feedback given in the forms, we analyze the data that is gathered to enrich the experience with every session.

  1.     Permanent Access to the Event

After the event is completed, the organizers will be furnished with a recording of the event which can be sent to the attendees who were unable to attend the event, it can also be used as a benchmark and the organizers can incorporate elements from this event into other events they organize in the future.

Other than these features, the checklist offers several other features which include payment activities, live polls. surveys as well as promotional activities. 

The option for streaming through RTMP is also attached, making the checklist more diverse and convenient, since the organizers could map their requirements of RTMP encoder – whether hardware or software.

The checklist is extremely user-friendly and easy to manage by cross-functional teams along with checklists of each task, metrics gathered, event details, among other things. If you want to learn more about hybrid events, please visit our facebook page.

Keep a lookout for webMOBI and hybrid events in 2021!

 

Organizing Safe Events During a Pandemic: 5 Precautions to Take

Organizing Safe Events During a Pandemic: 5 Precautions to Take

5 precautions to take while organizing events during a pandemic

Organizing Events During A Pandemic

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered all of our lives, as we are required to adhere to strict social distancing measures and remain indoors. Conducting an event when there are such rigid measures is challenging but not impossible.

Organizing events during a pandemic is something that needs to be dealt with, with utmost vigilance and responsibility. Although the events cannot be conducted with the same zeal as before due to the restrictions, following these precautions would still make a viable event.

1)  Limit the Number Of Attendees 

It is essential to note that with an active pandemic, the people should maintain social distancing. Therefore, the ideal number of individuals should be chosen so that they can maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other. Fewer guests mean that it’s also easy to keep a track of their travel history to curtail the spread of the disease. Limiting and scaling down the number of people prevents crowding. The duration of the meetings also needs to be kept in mind and they need to be kept short.

2)  Make Sanitary Equipment Compulsory

The guests and organizers, both need to have access to sanitary equipment at all times. The guests need to be provided with alcohol-based hand sanitizers immediately after registration. The event should also have appointed sanitation sites that have access to sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, tissues, gloves, and masks. Wearing gloves and masks should also be made compulsory. Technological equipment used to present such as microphones, tablets, and iPads also need to be disinfected after each use. Thermal scanning equipment can be installed at entry points to check for symptoms.

3)  Sanitize the Venue

The venue determines the outcome of the event, to prevent crowding and contagion, a large venue is ideal so that the individuals can maintain 6 feet distance. Outdoor space or a place with several windows is also beneficial for airflow. A spacious venue ensures that there’s ample distance between each guest. Strict guidelines laid down by the CDC and WHO need to be followed. It should also be ensured that enclosed spaces such as lavatories which are a haven for the spread of the virus are sanitized. The venue should also have closed dustbins to dispose of the waste.

4)  Create a Precaution Plan

To have a successful event during a pandemic, there needs to be diligent planning. Establishing efficient communication channels is extremely important to keep track of all the guests and individuals in the event. If the monitoring is successful the information can also be shared with health officials. Creating a health policy before the event and mailing it to the attendees is also resourceful so that they are aware of the various rules and regulations in the event, for example, specifying before the event that the attendees should not shake hands or hug to greet is more helpful than letting them know during the event. Think about setting up a contact tracing log to examine if the guest has come in contact with the virus.

5)  Consult Public Health Officials

No matter how systematically things are planned, some things are beyond control and it is imperative to have medical professionals on board before planning an event. The local public officials must be consulted. Every individual attending the event must provide their contact details so they can be relayed to the health officials in case of emergencies. The attendees must also be provided with the contact details of the health officials and other health hotline numbers. It is resourceful to have an onsite crisis response team as well.

CONCLUSION

Physical events are advisable only if they are necessary, otherwise, people can migrate to virtual events or hybrid events. Hybrid events are the best of both worlds since the attendees can choose to attend remotely or virtually. The advantage of this approach is that it ensures more coverage. Hybrid events make in-person events safer as one can provide multiple options for the attendees to choose from to access the event remotely reducing in-person attendance.

Webmobi.com has a hybrid event platform where the events can be conducted with extreme simplicity, with a priority given to safety. Whilst planning and preparing events, the health, and wellbeing of individuals must be prioritized and hybrid events make sure that’s the case. To learn more about hybrid events and the best practices surrounding them click here. If you want to learn more about us, please visit our facebook page.

 

 

 

How to Plan Virtual Events: 10 Elements of Event Planning That will Make your Virtual Events Successful

How to Plan Virtual Events: 10 Elements of Event Planning That will Make your Virtual Events Successful

Planning Virtual Events

When planning an event or a virtual event and for it to be successful, it needs proper execution, so the organizers need to thoroughly plan, prepare, and coordinate various elements. Due to the pandemic, organizers should plan both virtual and remote events, to broaden their potential attendees.

While hosting virtual elements, video production quality and connectivity are essential for the event to flow smoothly, If you are looking forward to turning your online event ideas into reality, paying some attention to these 10 elements will definitely help you. 

Virtual Events

10 of the most important elements of event planning that will make your virtual events successful are:

  •  Event Website

An event website is a crucial tool since it maintains a uniform purpose no matter what format the event is in, be it a hybrid, remote, or a virtual event, a website is a tool that can promote the event and it can lead them to register to the event. The website should contain details such as the value of the event, schedule, speakers, and FAQ. It should also allow the attendees to register easily. This is one of the most important elements when it comes to organizing successful virtual events or an event.

  • Event Registration

Registration is essential as this collects the data of the attendees, the attendees can also put up their preferences, submit their personal information, and also provide payment if needed. Making the registration process simple will garner more attendees and will also provide the organizers and sponsors, if any, with data to plan a successful event.

  • Feedback Surveys

This is a very important factor for all events, specifically virtual or hybrid events. Event Feedback tools can be used to collect feedback from the attendees after the event and post-event surveys can also be held to make your events or virtual events more engaging.

  • Live Polling

To increase audience engagement, live polling can be introduced with dynamic speaker content. The organizers of the event and sponsors can have access to the data even after the event as well.

  • Interactive Video Conferencing

We know that interaction makes an event more informative and fun. Along with online virtual events, there has been a rise in virtual networking and an uptick in video conferencing because of the pandemic. Virtual networking and video conferencing increase engagement and interaction as people tend to interact more when they see the other person. 

  • Live Presentation Content

Whether you are planning to organize your event online or remotely. The event will be more engaging if there are live speakers and audience members, not only are the speakers and presenters more motivated to present but the attendees are also more likely to be engaged and pay attention if the speakers are live, this can also prompt them to ask questions. This makes the event more interesting.

  • Live One Way Audio/Video

During virtual events, having audio and video one way is a good measure to prevent the speakers and presenters from being interrupted by the attendees. This prevents unmuted audio, unscheduled questions, disturbing sounds, and other interruptions. 

  • Question and Answer

One of the privileges of having an online virtual event is that all the attendees can ask questions to the speakers using the chat feature, this allows all the audience members to participate and makes the event more interactive. 

  • Recorded Content

This is an essential feature of online events as it will give organizers and attendees the chance to review the entire event, this can help in gaining or noting information they missed out on, it can also help people who were unable to attend the event. Organizers who’re looking to correct mistakes they made can also access the content later. 

  • Note-taking/favorite slides

Online events allow attendees to take frequent notes, screenshots, or favorite the slides they found helpful making it an effective learning tool. Archived footage, i.e., previously recorded content can also be accessed.

Ever since the world became different from how we knew it to be, “The new normal for events” is something we wouldn’t have thought about 5 years ago. Online and hybrid events have also been on the rise. Hybrid and virtual events will remain viable options until the social distancing measures are dismissed and the travel restrictions are eased. The results of these events can be overwhelmingly positive and can still provide several prospects for potential event planners. There were 10 of the most important event planning elements that deserve your attention. So, when you are planning an event. Following these elements will no doubt ensure your grand success in turning your event or virtual event ideas into a reality. If you want to learn more about virtual events, please visit our Facebook page.