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1. being such in power, force or effect, though not actually or expressly such.
2. temporarily simulated or extended by computer software.
Virtual experiences. Everyone is talking about them, attending them and planning for them. There's no doubt that virtual meetings and events are here to stay, at least for the short term. To better support and prepare meetings professionals and the FICP community for this "new normal," this month's Education Essentials will share best practices for pivoting to a virtual experience, tips to keep in mind when planning a virtual event, activities to keep your attendees engaged and more.
Making the Decision to Go Virtual
As you’re considering your options for the rest of the year, you have four choices for most events: postpone and re-book for a later date, go 100% virtual or re-work your meeting as a hybrid between virtual and in-person, or cancel the meeting altogether. The first step in the process of gathering the data and insights you need to inform your decision is to re-evaluate the purpose of your meeting. Find out the key questions that will inform your decision and learn more about each of these options in this blog post by Kyle Jordan, Ed.M, MS, CAE, CMM, CMP.
Elevate Your Virtual Event Experience
Virtual events have now become the “new normal” in our world of events. There is an increased need for attendees to be able to connect and engage with each other in new, innovative ways. Virtual activities are a great way to accomplish this, and while the experience may be different than attending an in-person event, virtual activities play a major role in elevating the overall event experience. In this recent FICP blog post, Susannah Frances, CMP, shares some unique virtual activities conceptualized by The Idea Hunter, including a murder mystery team-building activity, a digital artist's content capture and a mixology class.
Carefully choosing a virtual activity that supports the values and vision of the meeting, while also infusing some fun into the day will resonate with your attendees and leave a positive impression. Check out these ideas shared by Patti Parrish-Maddaloni, CMP in a recent blog post. Virtual activities like composing a custom team anthem, playing a Name That Tune-style game show or cooking for a Chopped-inspired cupboard challenge engages your audience and creates lasting impact long after your meeting.
For even more best practices on executing virtual experiences, check out the two-part podcast, Executing Successful Virtual Experiences. Jennifer Squeglia, CMP moderates a discussion where our expert panelists provide an overview of virtual experiences and top tips for success, as well as tips for developing an RFP and budget guidance to help ensure an impactful virtual experience.
Resources from TheNetwork
Did you know that as an FICP meetings professional member or hospitality partner you can share best practices and pose questions to peers in TheNetwork? Here are a few resources to help inform your virtual experience planning process:
- Reference this matrix when deciding which virtual experience platform to leverage for your event. When choosing a platform, it's important to determine your budget, ensure you have enough lead time to plan the meeting and keep in mind your meeting's objectives.
- To learn more about the steps DMCs are taking to ensure the health and safety of clients and meeting attendees, check out this discussion thread. In the thread, you'll also find best practices guides that support health and safety efforts.
- When planning for in-person gatherings, ensure you're encouraging and enforcing social distancing with the help of this handy guide.
Virtual Experience Case Studies
We are still just scratching the surface when it comes to implementing virtual events, as the next year of meetings and events will likely prove. Already FICP meetings professionals are delivering education, networking and entertainment through a variety of virtual delivery methods. Here are just a few case studies on how the industry has pivoted to virtual.
Do you have a virtual experience success story? Share it to TheNetwork!
Employee Wellness & Engagement
While making the shift from working in the office to working remotely due to COVID-19, wellness has been at the forefront of every firm’s mind. Kristi Allan of AllianceBernstein quickly realized the importance of keeping employees engaged and interested in the corporate culture. Check out her blog post that describes three different threads of purposed events stemming from wellness to entertainment to engagement, all of which in empathetic response to the pandemic.
#TBT - FICP Chats: Going Virtual
In this FICP Chats from earlier this year, FICP meetings professional members gathered virtually to discuss how meetings professionals are adapting to "going virtual" and how hospitality partners can support this new normal. Find the recording here.
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