With pressure to innovate, people often want to shrug off everything that worked in the past. But it’s not necessary to throw everything away. Here are 13 ideals for the event industry that we need now more than ever.
Event professionals have been examining all sorts of angles trying to figure out the keys to what is working and what is not for the industry. No matter where we go in the future, it’s important to adhere to some of the traditions that attendees enjoy and continue our path towards some of the progress we’ve made. Here are some things we’re hoping never go away and others we need to keep working towards and investing in:
Diversity (in speakers and attendees)
Diversity is something the industry has taken criticism for in the past for our speaker selections, attendees, and event teams. Not only do we need to create more diversity in speaker selection but also be sensitive to the calendar – avoiding hosting events over religious holidays – and the needs of our attendees. Interfaithcalendar.com can give you religious holidays through to 2021. Scheduling is important, and we also need to consider menus and venue design (for example prayer rooms).
There are very few event professionals who don’t understand the importance of security. But whereas security used to be concerned mainly about things like theft, the issues are far greater now and involve large-scale safety concerns. From host cities with riots and gun violence to terrorist concerns, security is a much larger piece of events these days. Advanced training in crisis management and active shooter situations are, sadly, now part of the requirements.
Especially as we reach out to new and non-traditional venues, accessibility is important. Creating more accessible events also means greater diversity in attendees. Accessibility in today’s terms is about more than just physical accessibility. We have a responsibility as event professionals to ensure all of our materials and presentations are accessible to our audiences. This may mean captioning, or signing presentations, or having alternative formats for printed materials, including languages. In addition to materials and physical accessibility of the venues, virtual accessibility adds an entirely new dynamic and reach to events.
This is probably one of the most exciting changes in the industry because it increases access to events as well as improves your marketing, in a non-marketing way. Many conferences and meetings are making materials available to those who can’t be in physical attendance. Here are some of the options in doing so:
- Offer a virtual ticket. This is a ticket attendees pay for. They get full virtual access to the events live and get the recordings or videos afterwards.
- Free recordings post event. Often this is provided to attendees of the event so they can review what they learned at the conference when they return home. Some planners encourage them to share it with their offices/peers.
- Hybrid combinations. These virtual experiences allow for virtual attendance/access to some of the sessions but not all. Content Marketing World is offering this during their September meeting. Several of the big name sessions and the keynotes (including Mark Hamill’s) are broadcast free for anyone interested.
- The Content Promotion Summit, which is a completely virtual event tried another unusual approach with its learning sessions. It was a 2-week program with about eight speakers each day. It was free to “attend” and watch as many of the video presentations as you’d like but you only had 48-hours to view them from the time they were posted each day. After that, they were locked. Attendees could buy a pass to have full access all the time for everything.