On Virtual Meetings

Like many other companies serving associations and non-profits, we have been working out the details of providing virtual events. In only a few weeks it is interesting to observe the sudden shift from avoidance of virtual events to a complete embrace of technology as a viable alternative to in-person events.

While the technology is not new and some organizations have been engaged in this type of service for some time, the concepts remain largely unfamiliar to many in the non-profit and association world. Here are a couple of points we have gleaned from attending many many virtual events that addressed the subject of virtual events.

  • Be flexible – a virtual event is not going to be a direct virtual version of an in-person event. There will and should be some adjustments made for scheduling, concurrent load and other factors. Adjust in ways that make sense for content absorption and ease of participation by attendees
  • Think long-term – even though a virtual event is being used as a substitution for an in-person event this year, there is no reason it could not become a regular fixture that exists in parallel with physical events
  • Practice & prep – there is the same potential for disruption in a virtual conference as there is in person. Taking extra steps like recording sessions in advance and giving presenters a practice area are excellent ways to prepare and provides a way to provide an alternate means of connecting with the presenter in the event a live connection is lost.

There will be some trial and error as you figure out the best way to deliver educational content and networking opportunities to members. Just persist and look for good partners to help along the way. The value you create in the minds of members is worth the effort.