Lux and Friends

#30: Virtual Events with Ben Chodor, President Intrado Digital Media, Author

February 07, 2021 Ben Chodor Season 2 Episode 30
Lux and Friends
#30: Virtual Events with Ben Chodor, President Intrado Digital Media, Author
Show Notes Transcript

The topic of today’s podcast is Virtual Events.

Yes, the kind of events many people wouldn’t even consider events before COVID came and changed our physical world.

And so, all of a sudden, we found ourselves having to replace the shows, the conferences, the trade events in which we would share our space with thousands of people, with the four walls of our house and a pc screen or at best, a large TV screen

And we realised that technology could actually help us not lose everything, and perhaps achieve the same goals we had, without having to travel all the way to another corner of the world.

Yet, imagining, designing, and running successful virtual events is anything but a walk in the park, it requires specific technical knowledge, and a true understanding of what makes people want to attend your event, when they could just go to the next room and watch their favorite tv show.

For this reason, I chose to interview Ben Chodor, the CEO of Intrado Digital Media, one of the world’s largest virtual events and streaming companies, and the author of the book Transitioning to Virtual and Hybrid Events: How to Create, Adapt, and Market an Engaging Online Experience.

If you are thinking to create, or be part of a virtual or hybrid event this interview will provide you with the REAL LIFE knowledge you need to put together something that is worth attending over and over for your audience, or perhaps an audience that is larger than you think, because that’s what digital does, it can help you break the barriers of space and time. 

I'm Carlo Pignataro and you are listening to a new episode of LUX & TECH. the topic of today's podcast is virtual events. Yes, the kind of events many people wouldn't even consider events before covid came and changed our physical world. And so all of a sudden we found ourselves having to replace the shows the conference's the trade events in which we would share space with thousands of people with the four walls of our house. House and a PC screen or at best a large TV screen and we realized that technology could actually help us not lose everything and perhaps achieve the same goals without having to travel all the way to another corner of the world. Yet imagining designing and running successful virtual events is anything but a walk in the park. In fact, it requires specific technical knowledge and the true understanding of what makes people want to attend your event when they could just go to the next room and watch their favorite TV show. For this reason I chose to interview Ben Chodor, the CEO of Intrado digital media. One of the world's largest virtual events and streaming companies and the author of the book transitioning to Virtual and hybrid events how to create adapt and market and engaging online experience. If you are thinking to create or be part of a virtual hybrid event. This interview will provide you with the real-life knowledge you need to put Together something that is worth attending over and over for your audience or perhaps an audience that is larger than you think because that's what digital does it can help you break the barriers of space and time. Hello, Ben. I'm happy to have you on the show. Thank you. Carl excited to be here. Thanks for having me. You being in the virtual event business ever since well ever since nobody talks about it since its Inception. I've been doing it since like 1998 when video was the size of a postage stamp. Wow, so I assume when covid came it kind of opened the door to infinite possibilities for you, you know Carlo more than that for, you know over 20 years. I've been on any Soapbox I can get on standing on you got to do virtual and streaming because it increases your audience it helps you grow Reach people all over the globe and everyone would be or lots of organization to be like no it's going to cannibalize my event people are going to know they can watch at home. They're not going to come and I'm going to know if you have a good event virtually. It's going to make you want to 10 physically and what we learned in 20 is it's not virtual as in cannibalize physical fit the world cannibalizes physical events. So what better way to grow your audience and reach your audience wherever they are then streaming and virtual. I mean look at your podcast the beauty of a podcast is I could be anywhere in the world anytime and get this content and that's the beauty of it. And if I'm interested in it, I'm going to come back every week or every day for your information. I think it builds a stronger bond with the with your audience. Oh, I agree. It's an exciting time to create events and share content and and the fact that you've been doing this. So long gave you the opportunity to consolidate this body of experience into a great book titled transitioning to Virtual and hybrid events how to create adapt and market and engaging online experience. Yep. It was a it was a labor. It was a labor of love it shows it shows and it's really full of practical advice for everyone interested to launch their own a virtual or hybrid event. But before we get there, I have a question for you as I was reading your book and preparing for this interview. I could really see the many benefits of your chili bands, but then in a moment of reflection I said to myself but when covid is over and a majority of people have been vaccinated and we can go back to our physical world will people still want to spend their day in front of a screen or will they just want to forget to zoom and everything that goes with it? The answer is a hundred percent. Yes. Listen before covid. I was on a plane. I don't know. He presented a time I have offices in 17 countries around the world is 1500 people in my organization. I lived on a plane seeing employees and customers I miss going to conferences I miss sitting in a boardroom or a dinner with a bunch of colleagues or Partners or customers. I miss it. But I think what we've gotten from the new world is I don't know if I'm ready to go back for the next year year and a half to an event that has thousand people in it. I also realized that I can get great content remotely. So I think what's going to happen is there's going to be steps, right? The first step is going to be we're going to do hybrid event where maybe 15 locations around the world will be a couple hundred people at and a virtual audience then we'll go down to maybe three locations and a virtual audience and they may be back to a physical but I think what we realize from all this it doesn't countable eyes my vent. It's going to enhance my And you know for a fact if you did a conference tomorrow, you're not getting a hug even at the end of this year, you're not getting a hundred percent of the audience that you normally would get and if you get 80% that's amazing. But here's the beauty now. If you do a virtually are you going to get another 40% virtually? So am I going to grow my audience number and I used to say even before you do a good virtual event. The one thing that you make you say man. I want to be there next year and I think that's what's going to happen. And so hybrid is is here to stay. I think whether you're going to use it Carlo as your insurance policy because I'm planning an event even 422. We have no idea what's going to happen in the winter 21. So at least let's have it as our insurance party insurance policy where this year or 20 was more of oh my God, my event was cancelled. What am I going to do? So having as your insurance policy, if you think it's going to go back to physical and then also will be also learned is His King and if you have great content and people attended the event make it available on demand make it available afterwards. And then also I have my biggest grape on physical events always was I have to pick one session to go to I'm looking at my book and where I go and I go I'm going to go to breakout room nine, but breakout room 10 look pretty cool the beauty of virtuals. I went to this one physically and then maybe when I'm back in my room or two days later, I'll go to that. So I think for the first time you have to plan it all together. And if you don't plan it together, it's foolish, you know, because your audience it's a global audience and and get used to it. This is the this is the new world and it took it took a pandemic to actually strike the match that goes. All right, we have to look and grow and let's face the fact virtual or physical events pre covid. It was ready for a change and this is the Catalyst for change. I couldn't agree more now. Let's get to the mechanics of virtual events to start with. Virtual event. It shouldn't be the replica of the physical one. Is it? No, I mean my first thing I say and we say in the book If you think you could put a camera in the back of a room turn it on and stream it out and call that a virtual event. You're sadly mistaken you it's actually harder to produce a compelling virtual event than a physical event. And there's really two major reasons for that one is if you and I attended a physical event in Vegas. Us and we didn't like one session we walk into another session. We don't like another session we say you know what Carla up let's go have a drink at the bar. Let's go sit by the pool forget about it. We're not flying home because we have a hotel for three days. We you know, we are flights not for four days, you know, so you're going to stay in the world of virtual. If I go to one session. I don't like I go to one breakout room. I don't like I'm one click away from leaving that conference and never come. Back and maybe even going to your competitors conference, which is virtual at the same time. So creating content for virtual is so much harder. Also, you have to think for the first time when you do a physical event all your speakers are in one place. You just have to get the cattle of speakers, you know into one location Wrangle them to go to different rooms and you know where they are and if someone doesn't show up it's easy to pop up on the stage and go. Hey, we're cancelling this session go get some coffee or I have someone else speak. You with a virtual event until that person clicks the button and is on camera and their audios good and their videos good and their contents loaded. You don't even know if you're going to have the event. So preparation preparation is really important. And the other thing that's really important and makes it harder you have to engage my audience because some people watching on iPhone some people watching on TV some people watching on iPads or computer all different devices all different operating systems. So you have Able to reach them wherever they are and you have to engage him in one of the keys engaging. I believe that you should never spend more than five or ten minutes without making your audience virtually do something whether it's answer a poll, press a question type into a chat. There's got to be a way to keep me engaged since we all have really short attention spans. All right, we understood by now that virtual and physical events are not the same and they should be imagined planned and executed differently. Yes. So then what are the ingredients of a great virtual event versus the ingredients of a great physical event? Well, the ingredients are a great physical event are my Random Encounters, right? Who do I get to see the networking is one of the most the best ingredients right? Did I have a really good experience did I get to see the people location is important for a physical event right was was this setting good? Room good was the lighting good, you know, and again content always has to be good. No matter where you are for virtual. It is making sure that your users have a good user experience. So lots of people plan heavily for virtual event. But the one thing that they forget is what is the user going to experience? Where are they going to be watching it from? How are they going to watching at a at a physical event? You could have eight hours of content with a lunch break in a virtual event. You can't expect someone to spend eight hours in one day looking at one screen with different content. So one is shorten your days virtually. The other power of a good virtual event is it doesn't have to end after three days or two days like a physical event where physical event everyone goes great conference. See you next year in Florida right in a virtual event. You can say hey, this was a great three days. All the content is going to be available always and What once a month now on to our next conference in six or eight months? We're going to have a half a day of content Fireside Chats panels. Once I've registered there's a reason to bring people back a physical event, you know where mistake that I think they made in the past was great. See you next year same thing with your exhibitors and your sponsors the event ends in three days here. There's a long tail you can engage your audience. So when you're doing a virtual event, you have to think about your end audience and How they're viewing it you have to you know, I was just having a conversation with someone if you had a dollar to spend would you spend a dollar on the content or would you spend it on the environment? Where's and more important I would say it's 50/50 your content needs to be really good. Your presenters have to have really good content. But if you don't have a good environment, no one's going to hear it. No one's going to enjoy it and the same thing if you have the most amazing environment, but the content isn't good. No one's going to care and after five minutes ago in Is a cool environment they're going to leave so organizers have to think about it. It's important to make your environment amazing and steady, but remember your end of the day how important the content and what was my goal is my goal to educate was my goal to create interactions focus on that and you know stability of the environment. So when you pick a virtual platform make sure that it's going to work for your audience. And also where your audience is how important to is the mobile experience for a virtual event. Does it have to be designed to be enjoyable on a mobile device? All right, so I will never meet personally. I'm not huge and watching programming on my iPad iPhone, right? I have my iPad on my laptop, but you have to prepare your content for your audience and an amazing amount of people are watching from their galaxies or their iPhones or small tablets. So can you do it on the big screen I could computer or monitor it could be immersive but your content has to be responsive to and the system that you use whoever it is make sure that it's going to sniff out this person's joining very his mobile device you can't make it look like you're at the Venetian Hotel it's about it becomes more of a Netflix experience here's my content click watch it great here's the booth doesn't have to look like a booth I want to have a one-on-one video chat with someone who's like to learn about their product remember that you have multiple audiences where to physical event you know people are going to be 5 feet away from me they're going to be 50 feet away from me how big the room is going to be you have no idea where your audience is going to be and don't underestimate how many people are going to be watching it on a mobile device one of the objections I've heard and you've also addressed this in your book is that people think that the virtual event or the virtual side of the hybrid event cannot be monetized Don't have the business model in mind to make money or even break even I think that is the one of the biggest misconceptions in the in the entire world. I mean as a sponsor I want I want reach and I want interactions and I want people to be able to buy my product and we know when people log on to your content on a virtual environment they're interested in your topic and I have better tracking. He did I do physically because once you enter in a virtual environment, I know everything that Carlo did I know how many minutes you spent in sessions? I know if you ask questions. I know if you went to a booth so it's a total misconception that you can't monetize it you have to position it and one of the interesting things pre covid the sponsorship team that sponsored the physical event wasn't usually the same group that sponsored any virtual element of it. So they were almost competing. We're now I think the sponsorship going forward has to be. Hey your $100,000 sponsorship gives you this much signage at the physical booth and virtually it's going to give you this and guess what the virtual is going to be up there for 365 days. So your town and your ability to grow and sell more of your product. I think multiplies tremendously the moment you make it virtually but you have to look at it as a business. Look how much money's just spend online. In sales and ads right now, right so even pre covid so don't underestimate it but don't go do you can't go to a sponsor virtually go? Yeah. We're just going to pop your logo up there and that's considered. No, they want to reach the audience the same way the physical sponsor wants to reach the audience. So treat them the exact same way. Oh, I think data is the absolute winner of virtual events. I mean physically there's a lot of data you can collect but digitally it's so granular. There is so much you can Detector of a single users Behavior Carlo if for my organization, not so much in the book, but just in general my organization where one of the world's largest virtual event and streaming companies pre covid and even during covid and what I've learned is if I do my job right as we morph into Twenty-One twenty-two, you know and Beyond we're going to become a communication intelligence tool right? It's all about data it is about you know, it's not about thousand people attend your virtual event. It's who are 250 people attended are most likely to buy something. Are you going to help my deal funnel? Are you going to help me close business and think about when you come and virtually I can ask you questions and registration and look you up socially that I'll know that Carla is last three jobs what he did before Oh my God, and when you come in almost let the sponsors know or do you organizers know this is someone you have to meet with schedule a one-on-one with him and on the reverse for the First time I'll be able to go to Carlo and go. Hey, I know by your previous eventually went to these are probably the five sessions you want to go to and these are 10 people. You're going to want to meet with what why don't you let me arranged it, you know virtually arrange these meetings for you. So yeah, it's going to be the end of the day it is all about the data is all about the data. Now, you know that the title of this podcast is Luxe and Tech where luksa stands for luxury the industry I come from an tag stands for technology and the many innovations that are Shaping the world. We live in today. So many of our listeners work and operate in the luxury industry or the luxury segment of the industry and I was pleased to read in your book that one of your first virtual events many years ago was actually a fashion show my first series of events were fashion shows. My first fashion show was was for Kenneth Cole and he did it in Grand Central Station and he this is like 20 years ago. Even said I have the audience that are buyers but there's not every buyer is going to come I'm going to stream it. And then also I guess what if the media picks it up and build some more hype about the Kenneth Cole brand. How amazing is that? And to me at that moment? I sat there and go you got to do it. I've done it for in the past organization take Speedo 20 years ago. We're headed when they came out with like a new swimsuit for you know, Michael Phelps were one of the Olympics. I mean they you have to use I think looking when I look at Luxury and I you know, I travel all the time. So for me, it's all about getting upgraded. It's all about staying good hotels and eating and great restaurants and what better way to get that information in front of everyone. We all look at products online. Why wouldn't we also deliver it that way? Yes, and those are the exponential growth of Technologies such as virtual and augmented reality can contribute a lot isn't luxury part of that the UI and the imaginary velvet. rope outside at you in order to be able to get in you have to be special to get in what better way to build excitement and hype than virtual and I think one of the areas of virtual is going is with augmented reality and V are you know goggles is not that I would ever spend four hours at a conference virtual conference wearing goggles but if I went into a booth and let's pretend it was for Gucci and I could put on the goggles and iguchi booth and there I get to see items truly as if I was there that's compelling if it's a a Mercedes-Benz and I could put the goggles on and walk around and actually go sit in it and get the material it's not the same as actually being there but it's much better than will call this 1 d 2 D and that's where it's going or if there was a watch it was a Rolex watch and I could do augmented reality and why I'm looking online spin it around and see it all different sizes that is as close to being there again nothing's ever going to take the place if When I sitting in a Mercedes trying on a Rolex, you know staying in a gorgeous hotel, but it's the next best thing or it might get me excited enough that I will get in my car and I will go see that stuff since many of our listeners may not be familiar with all the possibilities of a virtual event and on the other side you are so knowledgeable. Would you like to walk us through the various options offered by virtual events such as webinars streaming. I mean things that companies can Do when planning their own virtual or hybrid event. Alright. So first we'll say there's a meeting and there's an event. And when we're you know assume, you know, a WebEx a hoot, those are meetings and what I mean by that is you know, like when you go into a hotel and you walk by breakout rooms, and you see I ate people sitting around the table, well, it's not really an event. It's a meeting. It just happens to be at a hotel and it's because maybe they didn't have the office space did another conference room space. It is a meeting and a zoom a Web Conference think of that as a meeting. Of us get on we all can see each other. It's a meeting and event is something where you pre-register for it. You get excited its present presentations its interactivity, but it's it's an event. It's something that has an element of scale to it. And so with that then you go from a Web Conference to a webcast and what a webcast is is you or webinar you register for to put your information in it. So I know who Carlo is what knees in you login you watch me speak for 45 minutes or panel of us pretend that we know something you ask us a bunch of questions at the end. And then then it's made available on demand. Well you had a webcast. It's just like having inviting people to a hotel giving a presentation and they leave or a big dinner. That's a webcast. And what's great about it is could be a series. It's on demand. It can be live. It can be played back at different time zones. Everyone should do webcasts one of Is a we as our organization of added the Next Generation Web cast we called alabi experience. We're all right, you register but then you go to a landing page. That doesn't bring you right into the webcast. It tells you what other webcasts are coming up allows you to ask questions in advance polling read about the bios of the presenters. Then you go into the event and then the event happens and then when it's over it sends you back to the lobby and you can see what's coming up next ask more questions. So that's an advantage. Vent and then you go to a virtual conference, you know a virtual environment is we're going to do something that's multiple days multiple sessions and multiple interactions and what I mean by that is you're not just coming in to watch one thing you're coming in and you have a choice whether you're going to go to General Session breakout rooms Labs roundtables chats exhibits sponsor rooms. It is turning it into a full-blown event. It's everything you would ooh if you go to CS or a major conference but you're doing it virtually and the goal there is now you have a lot of content a lot of people and you also have to keep in mind when you do a virtual environment time zones because now you're driving a global audience shairi playthings and immediate time zone a pack time zone and then North America do I play them as simulate a live do I do them as live these are all things that you have to think about and then you also gives you the ability jion virtual I can customize some content for my eight-pack audience and Miami audience where if I was all coming to a physical event it's

really one size fits all starts at 8:

00 a.m. in the morning is going to end at 5 going to go to cocktail reception and then you're going to go out on the town or have dinner with your friends so it's you know let you there's a meeting that's a conference there's webcasts webinars and then there's virtual events and we're big Believers if you do a virtual event then afterwards for the rest of Year do a series of webcasts that lead me back to your event how important is interaction during a virtual event at the cape engagement. I would sit there and go again most important thing is engagement. Like we talked about at a physical event. I could go into a session if I don't like it I go out and I leave or I'm just they're getting the information and you as a presenter. You can see my body language. You can see me laughs you can see me cry, you know, you you know, if you're hitting the nerve where you want to go Vern. Virtual you kind of lose that because you don't you don't see their body language and the only way you get their body language is whole them get them to press their keyboard. Every few minutes have a chat going on. So the audience can engage have them ask questions. I think what a killer now in a bad way in Virtual events death by didactic don't just sit up there for 45 minutes and walk through your slide set and expect anyone to be engaged. We're in the world now. Where we have short attention spans, we want to be entertained. Look at the power of a podcast. I get content their conversations, very few podcasts are Carlos spending 45 minutes. Just telling what he's thinking is going on in the world make it engaging get the audience involved and I think the other key don't make all your content the same don't do all panels. Don't do all Fireside Chats. Don't do all single presenters mix it up and also mix up the length. There's no rule that a presentation has to be 45 minutes and QA make them 20 minutes and 10 minutes Q&A make them 30 minutes and five minutes of Q&A. I mean mix up the program and then I think the last tip don't wait for Q&A to the end of your program. The power of virtual is if you see questions coming in let the audience drag you in a direction. I've always made it and when I look at questions come and go. Oh, this is a great question if you wait to the end one, you might Run out of time to most people if they're going to leave an event are going to leave with like five or six minutes left because I have to either go to another event or I have a meeting. I have to prep for that beginning 30 40 minutes of the program's when you have my attention most let me get involved in. Let me get engaged. I also like the to suggested to introduce elements of gamification another one of those areas. When I first got into this house like a mancation, I'm a grown man and then what I've realized and I thought it was great for the tech sector, right? We know No, any technologists they love it and they do but legal accounting Healthcare pharmaceutical doctors love gamification. Everyone likes it. And it also breaks up the monotony. I get to ask trivia questions, whether it's you know jeopardy style. It could be puzzles. It could be race car doesn't matter what it could be. It could even be you have to go to x number of booths or 10 this many sessions and you get Badges and prizes everyone. Loves to be on the leaderboard and just like a physical event. The reason they give teddy bears out and shirts out is people like stuff. I don't know why but people like stuff give me stuff virtually to game. The fight engage me that is is super compelling the other thing. We're seeing if you can hire entertainment whether it's for meditation yoga magician bands, what a great space for it, you know get a celebrity to do your opening. Because they're all available via organizations that Cameo and all the entertainment bureaus. It makes a difference even though when you're putting together go. No, we're really serious. No remember at a physical event. You're gonna have gamification you're gonna have a little cocktail stands and coffee stands. Well, you can't do that virtually. The other thing that's really popular is if people register in his for a paid event send them something so that they get it one or two days before the program and say I don't open it before the program and they open it and it could be either. Something to eat maybe a mug or you know, maybe it's a glass bottle of wine that you can enjoy at the virtual cocktail hour, but make me feel special virtually make me feel special virtually beautiful. I love it. Now put yourself in the shoes of a speaker. Well, you don't even have to do it. You are a speaker yourself. You said it before to speak in front of a live audience or speak in front of the camera are two completely different things when you talk to an An audience you can see them in their eyes and understand if you've touched the right nerve but on camera is completely different. Can you give a few tips to our listeners today in case they have to run a virtual conference tomorrow? I'll give you a few. I think the number one thing is wanted to study when I speak at a conference. I am very not a thinking my head the time and my slides behind me and the audience for Reason, I'm not quite as relaxed. Right and this is just me because I know I'm and I'm also all the other speakers. I see them. They went to guy before me the person after me. And it makes me just a little stiffer. The power of virtual is no one's there, you know, so really engage you could truly act as I'm presenting to 1 even though maybe 10,000 people on I can be more myself. We're more forgiving, you know, if you're on stage and you stumble or a slide gets messed up everyone panics in the room in a virtual event. Everyone's like yeah, I get it a dog. just walked by a kids screamed it makes it it breaks the ice it makes it more real and there is something compelling about seeing someone in their own environment right whether it's in their home even if it's a backdrop it's always a little bit different I think that besides being authentic the other power of virtual is you get to be you right Ike you get to really just relax and focus other tip is make sure that you test test test your internet test your audio test your video make sure you don't have a glare my advice

if you're speaking at noon don't show up at 11:

55 and have them do a tech run through show up 30 minutes early you know unlike a physical event where everyone's been speaking at that microphone all day and the lighting guys are already in that room virtually no one's been on your webcam no one's been using your webcam or microphone so it's really important don't take it for granted Oh, I just did a WebEx five minutes ago. I'm going to be fine. No, everything is different and every environment is so prep is really really really important. And you know again also remember engage your audience a different way. Ask questions during the program right polum a lot easier don't hey look. Hey you guys agree with this or don't agree with this and if you don't have you have a polling system into technology using just haven't put it in the chat and follow the chat. It's just makes it I feel is almost more intimate to present this way than it is to present in a physical room. And the equipment you use is also extremely important. I mean, listen Carl and how many light Rings were probably sold this year. I mean $19 and you have a light ring and you now have as good lighting as almost anybody else and if you've seen anything on television news people into your home, they don't have fancy lights. They have a Lightroom and they have Our iPhone on a little tripod. That's all you need, but it's just thinking about it, right and making sure you have all the tools you need and men and women should both wear a little bit of makeup. Yes, even virtually even virtually it's you know, again, you are representing. I mean, I think that's the other thing people forget what I mean physical event. You you're gonna wear your best you're going to press it. You're up in your room virtually, you know, I remember I what I like Ike is kids can run by and dogs can run by but you know what you are representing you your brand, you know thinking about your own. He's it's luxury I don't want someone selling me a lot or talking to me about a luxury item wearing his hoodie, you know and not hasn't shaved in three days and they normally they just think they just rolled out of bed. And that's again you're putting on a show. I mean you have to think about it that way you have your own show. You have a podcast series. If you're speaking at a conference think of it as a show and how would you want it and remember your end audience? They're watching you and they're watching you in a different way at a physical event. There's lights their screens. I might and you're far enough away that I don't really get to see you that good unless I look at the big screen virtually, you're seeing everything you're seeing my facial move everything. You're really only seeing me from my chest up for the most part indeed been before I thank you for this very intriguing and inside. Full conversation. There's one last thing I'd like to discuss with you which is the way we should Mark it our own online event. And there is plenty of possibilities and to start with When shall we start marketing our virtual event? I think you just need to start teasing it out three months before now. Listen, if you're doing a product launch, we'll put that to the side because you don't want to tease the product launch three months out because by the time the product I launched no one's going to be even excited about it opening an early registration, you know, 60 days plus out is exciting don't spend a lot of money marketing at that point, but about 30 days out is when you have to go into high gear for two reasons one is your schedule starts to get booked up you want to make sure that they go it's it falls into their Outlook schedule whatever they're using and then the reminders are so much more important because I see things all the time online and I read A gesture for him and then the day before I forget all about it and then the day I see it. I booked something over it. So remind me and give me teasers and give me updates and even though you might be thinking it's enough already. I registered for this. I want to see this information and again don't send me four things in a day, but get a good Cadence and getting the information and tell me different things that are going to happen don't always say the same thing, you know, focus on another speaker focus on another topic. Just added. I mean what Everyone likes is? Hey, we just added this new speaker promote. It press releases are really important. Even though people don't think about it. Every time you add a keynote send a press release. Nothing gets picked up more broadly on the outside than a press release because it's news we added the speaker. We had a new topic a new sponsor you get it out there to the other power of a press release is when you do a press release promoting a speaker or a sponsor. Sir, that speaker or sponsor is going to retweet re forward because it's press release and it's news. So don't just look at it as I need only email marketing and ads look at as other ways that I can how would I promote something traditionally if I was having a car reveal and I wanted people attend how would I promote to get people there or the media there? And then the other part of promoting is there's two how do I promote to my audience? And How do I promote to the people we're going to write about this? So you have to think about two campaigns start about three months of without planning get really serious 30 days out and make sure from two weeks until the event at least, you know, you have a Cadence of every two or three days reminding me and most importantly remind me the day of the program. If you start at 9 a.m. Send an email like 6 a.m. In the morning or you know the night before because people will forget even if it's in their Outlook traditional physical events when successful where repeated year after year after year because people would say well this was successful. Why should I change it? Is it the same with virtual events? I mean if it goes well easier should I keep the exact same format for next year or do I have to change it? You have to change it because the physical event again 50% of reason I'm going is I want to have drinks again with Carlo and I want to meet people and I like the Comfort. It's like I love going into the office more because it's it's a routine even I travel so much when I'm not traveling when I go into office and I get a routine. I like it and a lot of times virtual you have to treat like a website. You know, your website is supposed to be growing not supposed to be here's our website. We're gonna have the same web site in Ten Years. Nope. It has to evolve. What's next doesn't mean you have to sit there and go. All right. I have to have Metallica this year and I'm gonna have Guns and Roses perform next year. It doesn't mean that it means We constantly innovate just like hopefully any product any organization selling you're innovating you're adding to it. You know, I mean, you can take a look Sheree brand even though maybe the product hasn't changed in 30 years how they message it how they show it how they engage you with. It is constantly changing one last question in your opinion. What's the future of traditional large industry trade shows? I mean many people were questioning them before covid because nowadays with the internet you don't really need to gather with 10,000 people to find new products and new suppliers. And also not many people would attend the educational side of those events. So what's gonna happen when covid is over in your opinion, you know, the CES is of the world in organizations like that, you know this year they did it and in 21 as virtual they plan to go back to a hybrid in 22. I They will be the slowest to come back. I do think I mean, I think it ties into hybrid if I was a luxury conference and I normally got 10,000 people to come to one location. I think I would first start to go. Let's pick three location will do in North America and it may end in a pack location will run the conferences at the same time. We'll just have you know, two thousand people at each of the locations and then we'll have a virtual audience and we'll have those so I think what's going to come back first is the hybrid of Smaller locations running the event at the same time and a virtual audience. And then over time we will go back. I I just don't know if I want to go to Vegas when there's 40,000 other people 50,000 other people for a long time, but I do want to go back to Vegas and go to a conference and with a thousand people or 50 people in each room or a hundred people. I'm almost ready for that. So I think those are the organizations Asians that are going to have to think about how do we physically do hybrid and tie it into virtual it's going to be it's going to be a long time and it can be a long time before a corporation is going to say I'm not going to force 10 of my employees to go to Vegas in January for this conference when it's flu season. It's going to be optional and maybe 3 to that was member is will go. Yeah, I want to go but now the power is I'll be able to pay for the registration for another 30 people virtually because there's a lot less than sending them there. So I think it's just going to be a New norm and an event is going to be an event is an event and what I mean by that is if we do it right in two years. It's not going to be hey was that physical or was that a virtual? It's an event. It's going to have a component of each. So for once we can say bigger isn't necessarily better agreed a hundred percent where can our listeners find you to know more about your work. You can read my book on Amazon. You can LinkedIn me anywhere you could look for me at and try to digital media. Always available would love to chat and help people guide them through, you know, this crazy world of virtual and hybrid and one of the key reasons I wrote the book is I really wanted it to be a guide and you read the book. So it's not really a story about me. It's really about how am I going to work my way through this jungle use it as a textbook with some interesting antidotes. I confirm it. It's an excellent guide in a textbook bench order. Thank you for being on lacson. Carlos my honor thank you my friend. If you enjoyed this content remember to subscribe to our podcast so you won't miss any of our interviews with world's experts in the fields that are shaping the world. 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