Establishing meaningful connections with colleagues, old friends and new acquaintances makes corporate meetings and events a valuable and rewarding piece of professional life. Meetings and events professionals, including our experienced World Meetings & Events team, are working hard to make these connections possible even when face-to-face interaction isn't available.

The difficulty of scheduling large events due to safety concerns and changing travel restrictions has forced the vast majority of industry professionals to apply their talent in virtual settings. Northstar Meetings Group's recent PULSE survey indicates that meeting planners are becoming increasingly comfortable with organizing and conducting virtual events. 90% of respondents said that they were currently working on events with an online component, and most reported that attendees were satisfied with the experience.

World Travel, Inc.'s Meeting & Events team has experienced the challenges and benefits of hosting a virtual meeting firsthand. We were recently tasked with planning a client's State of Business meeting that was to be streamed to over 500 partners. Creating an interactive virtual environment complete with training modules was a requirement.

Our team completed the task with several creative ideas. The client used Cvent's registration and communication tools, including Virtual Meeting Attendee Hub. The conference was then scheduled to take place over two afternoons to accommodate conflicting time zones and schedules.

The conference required a streaming platform that would allow a combination of pre-recorded content and interactive question-and-answer. Our team used Brightcove and Zoom to make this possible during the event, and collected extremely positive overall conference feedback from attendees after the event.

For another client's employee recognition ceremony, the client sent each qualifier a personal "swag box" complete with gifts from the company and their awards. After a Zoom presentation and a virtual toast, a Grammy Award-winning artist performed a special virtual concert and answered questions from the qualifiers and their families.

Predictions about the future of the meetings & events industry indicate that post-pandemic gatherings will still feature a virtual component. On-site technology tools are the subject of more interest, indicating a growing consideration of the return of physical events. Mask-wearing is also becoming an industry standard, though consensus on temperature checks, testing, etc. is less clear.

While the past several months have taught us that recapturing the connection found at in-person events can be difficult, we can recreate the spirit and efficacy of conferences, celebrations and meetings under difficult circumstances.

If you are planning your next virtual event, or considering a hybrid approach, our team would love to assist. Contact us today to see how we can help you maintain meeting magic!

Jimmy Davidson

Written by Jimmy Davidson