Resources for Community & Virtual Event Success
Forj Survey of Virtual Event Attendees Reveals Actionable Priorities for Associations and Event Managers
In the past, associations have relied on traditional, tried-and-true methods to deliver member value—quarterly magazines, requisite workshops, annual conferences. Today, you have an opportunity to transform your approach and elevate the future member experience.
When you develop a virtual conference or event, you always have high hopes that your keynote speakers and panelists will excite your audience members and leave them with wonderful insights and ideas. You also want your speakers to attract a high number of attendees to their sessions, keep them engaged throughout the presentation and get rave reviews in satisfaction surveys. But, what percentage of your speakers are actually living up to those high expectations? If you’re like most event planners, you have had more than a few underperforming speakers, as well as a few no-shows. This guide will help you make your next event speaker a star.
Recent surveys of meeting and event planners consistently show that about 80 percent will hold their next in-person event in the second half of this year, with a recent uptick in event planning in the U.S. due mostly to progress in COVID-19 immunizations. While this is great news for associations that rely on event marketing for revenue generation and member engagement, it comes with many risks as well as opportunities.
In 2021 and beyond, virtual events will grow in importance as part of our digital marketing mix, and we'll need to create more value for our associations, our members and our sponsors.
BBI International is the world leader in biofuels/biomass publishing and events, including the Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW), which is the largest gathering of ethanol producers in the world every year. It is a trade show, as well as an education and networking event for production/operations managers, leadership/financial professionals, product management and infrastructure/market development leaders. It is also an important annual event for sponsors/exhibitors to engage with current and prospective customers.
The big trend for 2021 conferences and conventions is to develop hybrid experiences that enable attendees to participate either in-person or virtually, depending upon their preference, budget and schedule limitations. After the abrupt shift to virtual events during the pandemic, event managers have now experienced the pros and cons of both live and online events, and we’re seeing the potential to merge the best of both worlds to create more sophisticated events this year.