The Leap to Virtual Events: Change Is Scary but Worth It
Jon Roffel – Operations Manager
I’ve been in the event planning industry for 15 years — which means I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of this business, and learned a lot of lessons along the way. The abrupt change to virtual events last year provided my most recent lessons.
We all have a natural resistance when it comes to change. Let’s face it: change can be scary. It’s like that old saying: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.” Our fear of the unknown often paralyzes us when it’s time to act.
Of course, the flip side of that coin is that change often produces really awesome (if unexpected) results. If necessity is the mother of invention, then change is the mother of innovation. And when life forces your hand (like the COVID-19 pandemic did with all of us), and you have to take the plunge, you may find that you come out better for it. That’s what happened to our team at AVentPro.
When COVID-19 Threw Hesitation Out the Window
For some time prior to the pandemic, we had been exploring the possibilities of digital events and streaming (e.g., connected hybrid events, Internet-driven events, virtual events, and so forth). After all, the technology was there. We had the capabilities to make it happen.
However, at the time this was only a “casual exploration.” The fact was, most AV companies and clients were hesitant to take this step. They didn’t know how attendees would react — if they could maintain the same level of engagement with the event, and achieve the same results.
Then COVID-19 happened.
As you can imagine, the pandemic quickly put an end to our hesitation (and that of our clients, too). Without the ability to organize in-person events anymore, we had to present new options to our clients that would keep their businesses moving forward — options that we probably never would have considered pre-COVID.
Some of our clients took a pass on our virtual event solutions, and decided to stay in a holding pattern until the storm blew over. However, others took a leap of faith, and embraced our innovative approach to the “new normal.” Their vote of confidence allowed us to produce exceptional digital content — some of the best in our market.
We adapted. We leaned into the change. And in the end, we were able to deliver on our promise to clients — not just meeting their expectations, but exceeding them.
Virtual Event Success Stories Roll In
As soon as we dove in, we (and our clients) started seeing the benefits of this new option. Here’s just one virtual event success story. AVentPro partnered with the NFI Group to hold their annual Investor Day 100 percent virtually. This was the first major full-production event that we hosted, reaching over 1,000 current and prospective investors.
As you can imagine, it was a big deal for the NFI Group — and it went off without a hitch. In fact, the data, projections, and forward-looking statements that the company’s Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors presented virtually contributed to a 15 percent increase in stock valuation day-over-day from that event.
More Innovation to Come
Of course, after the smashing success of the NFI Group’s virtual “Investor Day,” we continued to adapt our offers, and look for new, innovative ways to meet the needs of our clients. And we’re still exploring every opportunity to leverage video-conferencing tools and other technologies into successful virtual/hybrid events.
The bottom line? Yes, change is scary — but it can also be exciting. A boulder that blocks your path can become a stepping stone to greater heights. We were able to transform a challenge into an opportunity. Now, we can offer virtual and hybrid events to our clients as two more high-value solutions. And we’ll continue to explore, adapt, and innovate so that our clients can tell their story in the most engaging way possible.
Contact our team to explore the technologies available to bring your vision to reality.