This morning I decided to take part as an ‘attendee’ at a live business festival, basically a physical event moved online, to see how the experience was.
First of all there was no link to the web portal in the calendar appointment sent to me. After 5 minutes of scooting around the internet I managed to find a way to access the event.
After a quick look online at the agenda and topics I decided to visit the welcome introduction, a 30 minute introduction to the four days of online festival.
I was presented with a pixelated face of the presenter (I assume it was the presenter as nothing told me who it was) saying ‘why can’t I see anyone’….’bear with me while I work this out’.
While they were ‘working it out’ they managed to share their screen with me and from what I saw I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean to.
I left the session to look at other areas.
Networking……’please wait while we connect you with someone to network with’……rotating buffer icon for 4 minutes.
Expo….corporate video of sponsors…yawn.
Main stage…now this was a corker…see actual screenshot attached to this post.
And did I mention this was a ticketed event; people were paying for this privilege.
There are numerous debates about the online/virtual experience versus the f2f experience and that debate can rumble on and on; ultimately you need the right tool and tactic along with professional skillset to make it a success.
Just because your event is online doesn’t mean you do not need experienced event planners to make it a success.
If you are going to host an online event or experience, yes you can work direct with the supplier, but I would urge you to seriously invest in an event agency that knows how to create and produce an online experience that will achieve your objectives and engage in a meaningful way.
My experience today could easily have been avoided with professional planning. Rehearsals, training on the tech, testing of the user experience, broadcast options, best practice in presenting, data tracking; these are just a few areas where professional agencies can ensure your event user doesn’t hover of the ‘close’ button of their browser.
I can assure you that you won’t hear ‘bear with me while I work this out’ from any credible agency; there are plenty out there; use them.