Late spring and early summer conferences quickly became the guinea pigs of the events industry – organizers had to quickly learn as much as they could about virtual conferences, from what platform to use and how to structure, to how to promote and what to charge. Now, the conversation shifts to events scheduled for the fall of 2020.
We’ve already seen many announce a move to a virtual platform, as there are just too many variables to consider. Others are holding out hope that live events will be possibly by October, and are planning to offer a hybrid component for those unable to attend.
Here’s a look at how print or digital publishing tools will support these different scenarios:
- Live Event: Will attendance be lower? Publishing a digital daily publication will share conference content and highlights with a large audience. Do you typically produce a printed program? With many more moving parts, consider replacing your program book with a show daily.
- Live Event with a Hybrid Component: Don’t just hit record and stream sessions – your virtual audience needs to feel included. Create exclusive video content. Create a separate digital daily newspaper for your hybrid audience. Consider creating a print program/newspaper publication that exhibitors can advertise in, and send it to your virtual attendees.
- Virtual Event: Maintain attendee engagement by publishing a digital daily newspaper. Remind them about upcoming sessions, and to visit the virtual exhibit hall and poster hall. Include session recaps from prior sessions – it will encourage them to watch a session they may have missed.
- Postpone: Postponements are unfortunate, but they happen. The key is to keeping attendees and sponsors updated. Create a series of digital preview issues that shares updates, maintains interest in content and programs and addresses necessary changes. Exhibitors will be interested in budget-friendly advertising placements to stay top-of-mind.
- Cancel: When an event is canceled, everyone suffers: attendees, exhibitors, speakers and the host organization. Create a digital publication, shared as a series to focus on content. It would also maintain engagement between your stakeholders.
Try Something New
This is the time to try something new – it may be the time to implement a new idea. Anything that could add value or generate revenue should be considered – you have no idea what may work!