Great Use of Virtual Events: Testing Event Concepts at a Lower Cost, Minimizing Risk

Nancy Drapeau shares what you need to know about CEIR’s Virtual Event Case Studies and the virtual event movement.

By: Nancy Drapeau, PRC, VP of Research, CEIR

First of all, congratulations to #SISO for successfully running the Summer Conference in Louisville, Kentucky along with its Women’s Leadership Forum that preceded it.  Attended primarily by independent show organizers, lectures covered a range of subjects on considerations for  in-person events and positioning of virtual events in the mix, among other topics. There was extensive peer-to-peer sharing on the outcome of events that have happened, revisiting some of the case studies that have been published by #SISO on live events that have happened in 2021.

Am glad I attended, learned a lot and LOVED being back in-person. Nothing can replace the chance to connect with colleagues, new and old, in a face-to-face setting. Much can be shared between session breaks and while having a meal or tasty beverage.

Though face-to-face events have powerful, unique benefits that assure they will come back as COVID-19 recedes, experimentation with virtual events during the COVID-19 era has uncovered activities that will likely continue post COVID-19. One activity likely to continue is using virtual events as a proof of concept tool. Organizers looking to grow their event portfolio and minimize costs and risks to do so should take heed. CEIR’s Virtual Event Study Case studies have uncovered successful use of virtual events for this very purpose.

In the case study report with Tom Kemp, Chairman and CEO of Northstar Travel Group, Mr. Kemp explains why they chose to do a test launch using a virtual event platform: “We have a show based in London, the Business Travel Show in Europe. We have been wanting to bring that to the United States. If we launch a physical event and hold it in Moscone in San Francisco or McCormick in Chicago, there’s a huge commitment in time, resources, energy, hotel attrition rates and all the contracts. And if you’re not sure it’s going to be successful, that it will resonate, particularly if you have to go up against a major association.”

To find out the outcome of this initiative, as well as other virtual event initiatives shared by Mr. Kemp, go to: https://store.ceir.org/global-virtual-event-trends-case-study-northstar-travel-group/

Bob MacGregor, President & CEO at Macgregor Communications, a Canadian Business-to-Business exhibition and event producer tells of using virtual events successfully for this same purpose. He tells the story of launching one of their flagship events in Asia. To read this organization’s story on using virtual events to test concepts and for other purposes, go here:

https://store.ceir.org/global-virtual-event-trends-case-study-macgregor-communications/

On the topic of in-person events, readers who are C-suite executives at organizations that run or manage trade shows are encouraged to join CEIR at CEIR Predict, scheduled to take place September 13 to 14 at the MGM National Harbor Hotel in the Greater Washington, DC area. This event aims to help executives look forward, beyond what is happening today, so that event organizers can direct strategic planning and business development efforts in a way that positions their organizations for success. It is worth the trip, join us! FMI https://www.ceir.org/2021-predict/agenda/

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