Will the new Covid-19 restrictions affect your impact in your community?

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Written by Bev Jones , Head of Virtual, Digilounge

Just when we thought we are slowly going back to in-person events, a new “significant” wave has once again hit us. And it leaves us scratching our heads and scratching off all the planning we’ve done for our events in our communities.

It’s been a very tough 18-months or so. Covid-19 has affected most aspects of our lives – like many industries – the event industry has been shuttered since the pandemic first hit us. Last year, we saw organisations cancelling their events – big and small – due to the uncertainty that the pandemic brings. A lot have completely cancelled or delayed their events. But we also saw a rise of resilient organisations adapting to these changes. We at Digileaders are no strangers to these changes, in the past 18 months we have seen all types of challenges that arise when planning virtual events. 

Some of the challenges that our community has shared with us are as follows:

  1. Ever-changing restrictions makes it difficult for organisers to plan ahead. One day, you are allowed to gather with your colleagues for a much-awaited team building event, the next day you’re back working from home again! The venue, the catering and the AV team must be cancelled. Your planning team must deal with cancellation invoices – again! Now, they have one-week to organise a virtual team building event instead!
  2. Video meeting platforms are leaving attendees Zoom-ing out. They feel that staring at a speaker and his presentation slides lack the engagement that they need, so they switch tabs and respond to messages and emails instead.
  1. Planning committees having to spend weeks on end learning different software and platforms, figuring out how they can run a poll. Your planning team can become so engrossed trying 10 out of 1,000+ polling software Google suggested that they forget to book the correct time and date for the speakers. It happens! 

Instead of getting caught up and fighting against the fall out of the pandemic in the event industry, we must accept that this is our new reality and focus on what we can control. You can make it enjoyable for both you and your stakeholders without compromising the quality. 

For the past 18 months, Digileaders has been a leader in adapting to change in the event industry. We launched DLx, a department specializing in delivering virtual events such as workshops, team building, conferences, summits, awards and even hybrid events. We have now delivered over 400+ virtual events.

Based on this experience here are my three pieces of advice:

  1.   Adapt, don’t delay (or worse cancel). We don’t know when this virus will end and the fact is – virtual events are here to stay. So, instead of cancelling or delaying your events, bring it virtual! Contrary to what many people think, you CAN make virtual events interesting, engaging and educational. The secret is using a platform that is more suited to your event’s needs and working with people who have extensive experience in delivering highly engaging virtual events. 
  2.   Make your attendees feel that they are part of the event and not just mere viewers, involve them by introducing networking sessions to get to know other attendees and to catch up with old colleagues or include debriefing sessions of what was learned during the presentation. Use a platform that makes it easy for  them to participate.  
  3.   Focus on what matters the most to you, use your time wisely by working with experts in virtual events. Take away the tech overwhelm by hiring virtual events experts, the skill set required on delivering a high-quality virtual event takes a lot of time and practice to master. 

DLx are trusted by many organisations in the Digital Transformation sector from the Cabinet Office and DWP to the Trussell Trust and Social Enterprise UK for their large events, workshops and team social gatherings. See list of our clients and partners here. 

This new Covid variant doesn’t have to stop you from serving your community and delivering great content via virtual events, all you need are resilience and adaptability. Working together with an experienced team in delivering virtual events is the biggest advantage too! 

If you want to know more about what we do at DLx, please contact us via our website here.

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