Event professionals regularly study the ins and outs of creating successful face-to-face environments, but there’s a whole other aspect of “face time” — digital ways to engage your audience — that savvy business-events organizers need to embrace. As more members of your audience grow accustomed to spending large chunks of screen time with their laptops, tablets, and smartphones it’s crucial to understand how to navigate the digital landscape. Consider these three signs of the importance of expanding your digital knowledge.
1) Live-Streaming Is Going Mainstream.
Remember when your friends used to send you links to videos that were already recorded on YouTube? That’s so 2015. Now, the biggest brands want you to tune in as the program is happening. Twitter recently announced a new partnership with music giant Live Nation to live-stream concerts, and Amazon just launched Prime Live Events to stream its own musical productions. Live-streaming isn’t limited to big-name bands or sporting events, though. Yahoo is live-streaming business events such as Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting and a JPMorgan Chase investor conference. No matter where you turn on the web, there’s a digital program waiting to be watched.
2) Your Competitors Recognize the Value of Remote Attendees.
Brands with deep pockets and massive social-media followings aren’t the only names diving into digital. As the costs of streaming come down, your competition will aim to create connections with attendees who are sitting at home. In a survey commissioned by the PCMA Education Foundation, 67 percent of event professionals expect to be using technology to enable remote participation within the next three years. (Stay tuned to pcma.org and pcmaconvene.org for complete insights when the research is revealed in June.) The data point underscores a key lesson: Staying ahead of the digital curve helps you outsmart competitors who want to steal your attendees’ attention.
3) Your Colleagues Will Be Speaking in Digital Terms.
As more of your competitors jump on the digital bandwagon, the coworkers in your office and on your events team will be embracing a new vocabulary to discuss technical requirements and emerging technologies. Michael Sullivan, MBA, director of client services at Vector Health, recently earned the Digital Experience Institute’s (DEI) Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification, and he believes the program gave him a well-rounded understanding that will empower his future conversations. “I don’t do video production, but the DES program gave me a perspective of the entire digital spectrum,” Sullivan said. “As we explore more digital opportunities at Vector, the lessons will help me understand the role that everyone on the team plays.”
Sullivan completed the DES program thanks to a scholarship from Meetings + Conventions Calgary — and that same opportunity is now open to you. Meetings + Conventions Calgary is sponsoring more event professionals for the DES summer course, which starts on June 21 and can be completed live or on demand. Click here to complete your application to elevate your knowledge and add “DES” to your signature.