Canceled conferences and travel bans?

  • 6 March 2020
  • 7 replies
  • 831 views

Userlevel 3

We’ve been tracking all the canceled in-person conferences. What’re your thoughts on event organizers pivoting to virtual conferences? 
 

We did this last year with Distributed 2019 and wrote up some of our learnings here: https://miro.com/blog/remote-conferences/

 

Has your company instituted any new work from home policies or travel bans? 


7 replies

I’m sitting on a Zoom roundtable panel today - rescheduled at the last minute from an in-person meeting in London.

It feels like people are ready for a shift to virtual meetings by default. I think physical conference producers like me are going to need to make the business case more strongly for meeting in person, whereas until this year it was for virtual events to make the case for themselves. I’m comfortable with that - in fact I’ve been waiting for this shift a long time and feel well prepared.

Userlevel 1

Could we have the best of both worlds? :relaxed: In-person conferences are great because you can interact and exchange ideas with new peers. But virtual conferenecs are easier to attend. Our company has travel bans throughout the year based on quarterly performances. Sometimes, it’s hard to know if we’ll be able to attend an in-person conference. Plus, it’s hard for management to say no to free virtual conferences. A day of work “attending” a virtual conference is less expensive than traveling to a conference.   

Hi Melissa, thanks for starting this discussion and for the links. We are looking into how best to virtualize some of our conferences here at Salesforce due to the travel bans. Look forward to hearing more thoughts.

 

Userlevel 4

Hi Melissa,

I think one of the biggest problems in-person conference organizers have right now is figuring out how to monetize the online model of their in-person offering.

The second biggest challenge are the logistics with running the event.  If you’ve never done them before for 500+ people, the amount of coordination, planning and technical know-how can be a massive operation to undertake.

The ones that seem to be making the transition better are more open about their process and experimentation.  The more rigid and controlled environments are less adaptive to this new way of working and connecting.

It’s really interesting to see and watch from someone who hosts a global online event twice a year. :). My numbers are nowhere near some of the companies I’m consulting with, but 150-200 people is still a lot for a solo entrepreneur:  https://www.virtualdesignsprint.com/
 

@Robert Skrobe - I couldn't agree more.

I feel virtual events open up a whole new spectrum of opportunities for post-conference engagement though. Do you have any post-conference follow up rituals, and would you feel comfortable to share?
 

Userlevel 4

@Robert Skrobe - I couldn't agree more.

I feel virtual events open up a whole new spectrum of opportunities for post-conference engagement though. Do you have any post-conference follow up rituals, and would you feel comfortable to share?
 

Hi Igor,

The only one I make sure I do is a end-of-sprint short survey to capture what participants thought of the experience and what they would change for next time.  I try to send those out within 24 hours of an event ending.

Hope that helps!

Userlevel 4

I’m sitting on a Zoom roundtable panel today - rescheduled at the last minute from an in-person meeting in London.

It feels like people are ready for a shift to virtual meetings by default. I think physical conference producers like me are going to need to make the business case more strongly for meeting in person, whereas until this year it was for virtual events to make the case for themselves. I’m comfortable with that - in fact I’ve been waiting for this shift a long time and feel well prepared.

I’m fairly confident it’ll go well, considering your previous experience with in-person facilitation.  There are more logistics to consider with remote/virtual, but it’s not impossible.

Hope everything worked out!

 

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