Ignite

June Special Mini Edition 2021

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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Attending virtual conferences on multiple platforms will help you narrow down your options and refi ne your wishlist. Most platforms offer webinars and how-to videos to give you further insights. It's also important to understand your audience: Do they attend a lot of virtual conferences? Are they likely to be frustrated by glitches? Are they intimidated by technology? "I have found that if it gets to be a little too complicated, people just sign off," says Zandboer. "It has to be user-friendly for the user and the organizer." Beaune agrees: "You have to reimagine the attendee journey. Are they going to be able to navigate it? Is it intuitive? Are they going to be able to fi nd where they need to go next? What is the support like? Is there a chat bot or a help desk?" Norris also canvassed some of her attendees and her program committee for feedback on the virtual medical conferences they've attended. "I'm a very right-brained creative individual but I need to know what my target audience wants. What do my surgeons like? What do they hate?" One of the fi rst things Norris did was reach out to her planner network. "There are some people who have planned more virtual conferences, especially independent planners who have a bunch of clients on the go. There are so many lessons learned. They helped with questions to ask platform companies and the ones to avoid and ones to meet with." It's also useful to ask prospective platforms for references, as well as asking your network for their experiences with the provider. A virtual event platform is simply a vehicle to achieve the objective of the event and your client. Is it education? Networking? Brand awareness? Membership retention? Once you've nailed that down, you can determine the platform features that will achieve those goals. "Always begin with the end in mind. Know your limitations and communicate this frankly with your entire team, supplier partners included," says Deslauriers. Last year, when Kimberly Beaune, CMP, CSEP, event storyteller with Creative Twist, was shopping for platforms for a networking event that was forced to go virtual, she was armed with a wishlist. "We broke it down into the must-haves to make the event successful and then the nice-to-haves, which we could work around. No platform is going to check every box so you need to understand what your priorities are. What experiences do you want to create? How are you going to create that experience with the platform?" LEVERAGE YOUR COLLEAGUES' EXPERIENCES IMMERSE IN THE EXPERIENCE MAKE A LIST And just like fi nding a venue, research and due diligence is required. "I truly believe if you do your homework in choosing the right platform for your delegates and your target audience, you will be able to deliver on your objectives and your goals. If you build it, they will come," says Karen Norris, CMP, manager of the Canadian Surgery Forum, who is in the midst of planning the fi rst virtual version of the forum, running in September. With that in mind, we've gathered insights and tips from industry pros to help you choose the platform that will work for your event, and most importantly, your attendees. the organizer." Beaune agrees: "You have to reimagine the attendee journey. Are they going to be able to navigate it? Is it intuitive? Are they going to be able to fi nd where they need to go next? What is the support like? Is there a chat bot or a help desk?" Norris also canvassed some of her attendees and her program committee for feedback on the virtual medical conferences they've attended. "I'm a very right-brained creative individual but I need to know what my target audience wants. What do my surgeons like? What do they hate?" then the nice-to-haves, which we could work around. No platform is going to check every box so you need to understand what your priorities are. What experiences do you want to create? How are you going to create that experience with the platform?" " I truly believe if you do your homework in choosing the right platform for your delegates and your target audience, you will be able to deliver on your objectives and your goals." Attending virtual conferences on multiple platforms will help you One of the fi rst things Norris did was reach out to her planner network. "There are some people who have planned more virtual conferences, especially independent planners who have a bunch of clients on the go. There are so many lessons learned. They helped with questions to ask platform companies and the ones to avoid It's also useful to ask prospective platforms for references, as well as asking your network for their experiences with the provider. LEVERAGE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN IN THE EXPERIENCE PHOTO: CONNECT EVENT HUB 16 | Ignitemag.ca | June 2021

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