Increasing Engagement Through Digital

engagementVirtual Edge Institute Presents PCMA Hybrid Event — Along With Three On-Site Sessions

PCMA’s Virtual Edge Institute (VEI) is busy on site presenting the Convening Leaders Hybrid Event, a live program that both streams select content for online participants and offers an insider’s look at producing hybrid/digital events.

Brought to you by Meetings + Conventions Calgary and powered by INXPO and Sonic Foundry, the Hybrid Event features content from the General Session and Thought Leader speakers and concurrent breakout programs, along with exclusive live programming from the MashUp Studio, located right outside the General Session room. The online audience has the opportunity to actively participate via text chat, interaction with skilled moderators, and even face-to-face with speakers. Additionally, each day ends with a virtual happy hour. Last year, more than 1,000 attendees from 30-plus countries participated in the Hybrid Event.

PCMA invites in-person attendees to stop by the transparent Convening Leaders MashUp Studio to watch the behind-the-scenes action. Learning-moment callouts will highlight what attendees are concurrently experiencing.

For those attendees who are currently producing or planning to offer digital events, VEI is hosting three education sessions at Convening Leaders. Yesterday afternoon’s “Get the Word Out! Increase Your Association’s Value Proposition and Reach With Digital Events” featured panelists Jerome Bruce, CAE, CMM, CMP, CEM, director of meetings for the Association of Government Accountants; Dana Freker Doody, vice president of corporate communications for The Expo Group; Melissa Lanouette, director of meetings and events for the National Speakers Association; and moderator James Parker, president of Digitell Inc. If digital events aren’t currently a part of your organization’s arsenal to increase engagement and global brand awareness, they should be — and the session’s panelists shared success stories about how digital technology has helped them drive membership, attendance, revenue, and more.

Specifically, attendees learned how to assess how to use digital programming to meet current or future objectives, understand various technology platforms that can deliver content in engaging, sponsor-friendly ways, and present a business case to their organization’s leadership to incorporate more digital programs into their meeting offerings.

Another VEI session yesterday, “Using Hybrid Events to Create Buzzworthy Experiences for Virtual and F2F Attendees,” featured co-presenters Stefania Conti-Vecchi, founder and CEO of Eventagist, and Toby Lewis, CEO of The Live Group. They discussed how hybrid events have the power to do more than just expose brand and content to new audiences around the world.

Attendees heard several case studies about how adding a digital component rejuvenated stale events by increasing audience engagement and buzz for in-person and virtual participants. After the session, attendees were able to distinguish between their audience’s virtual and face-to-face engagement preferences to deliver events that resonate most, utilize a hybrid event as a marketing tool to convert virtual to registered attendees, and approach virtual and face-to-face formats holistically to build a long-term event strategy.

Finally, today’s session, “Designing a Digital Event That Engages and Connects a Global Community,” will feature co-presenters Ruud Janssen, CMM, EDC, DES, managing director of TNOC, and Ted Mooney, senior director of community services for the Internet Society. Janssen and Mooney will show attendees how digital events give organizations a platform to engage global audiences and surpass the reach of face-to-face events. They’ll learn how the Internet Society designed its first virtual event to bring together participants from 141 countries and exceed everyone’s expectations. Attendees will also learn how to create a visual template to guide an event’s strategic design and execution; identify the needs, goals, and metrics for core audience segments; and explore creative ways global audiences can interact using a technology platform.

Last night, Meetings + Conventions Calgary hosted an invitation-only reception for Digital Event Strategist graduates to celebrate. To view the full VEI livestream schedule, visit conveningleaders.pcma.org/home2016/live-stream.