In mid-February, we began to see the cancellation of large-scale industry events such as Mobile World Congress, Facebook’s F8 conference, Google I/O, and IBM’s Think. Smaller industry events followed suit closely, and now that much of the world’s workforce has transitioned to remote and home working, every meeting has become a virtual event.
The question soon became – can virtual meetings and events be as effective as in person?
We just need to consider how humans want to engage, how we can creatively address solutions to replace face to face contact, and how we can use technology to support groups with a more interactive approach.
If we want virtual events and meetings to really engage, consistency is important. Whether we’re delivering large scale virtual conferences, webinars with sizeable audiences, or weekly team calls, having a consistent virtual style can really help.
Having speakers in well-lit rooms with minimal background noise is essential. For large scale events, consider the costs you have saved in terms of venue space and facilities, and whether any of these can be allocated to better technology to support a more professional looking outcome.
Keeping presentations to a consistent length is also a great way to keep attendees engaged and for virtual events, shorter is always better. Remember the ‘standing’ meeting theme of years ago, where companies claimed that by not using chairs, they were able to drastically shorten meeting times? Consider whether are able to apply time reducing measures to your virtual meeting, and you may find that people are better engaged.
Consider a long-term virtual event strategy
Worldwide, businesses are doing their best to maintain business continuity and all businesses hope to re-open offices as soon as they can safely do so. However, as we use technology to bridge the challenges we’re currently faced with, most of us have come to the same conclusion: that many of the new technology workarounds deserve a permanent place in our ‘business as usual’ lives.
We are likely to see more virtual events being held in the future, long after the necessity to work remotely is complete. While we may be navigating the challenges of holding engaging virtual events for the time being, it’s likely that most business will become much better at producing compelling events in the future.
So, set yourself a challenge. If you are a vendor, how can you use virtual events to engage with your customers in a better, more streamlined way? How can use virtual technology to relay product and service information? If you are a service provider, how can you use technology to drive better client communication so that your clients feel engaged, taken care of and inspired?
When it comes to virtual events, there’s still a lot of untapped opportunity, and as we maintain business continuity, we’re set to see them become a permanent fixture completely capable of fuelling business growth.
There is no need for any accountancy firm to take the journey to remote working alone. Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK can share many success stories of firms that encourage remote working. If you would like to find out more, email [email protected] or talk to your account manager.