Welcome to our round-up of content on day one of IBTM World Virtual. It was great to see over 5,000 meetings take place yesterday on our virtual platform and 500+ hours of our content was watched, adding up to 2,700+ session views!
We dropped into some insightful and engaging sessions on the Accelerate stream – here are our highlights:
The power of influencer marketing during the pandemic
In this insightful session, Mariska interviews Nadine Barembruch from Vienna House and Sabrina Meyers of Hot Hospitality Exchange, who discuss why influencer marketing should form part of an organisation’s communications strategy and plan and how it can benefit a brand.
Nadine says, “Our existing hotel content probably didn’t meet customer’s needs. We had always used social channels but hadn’t really focused on MICE on there. As an influencer and content creator who really understands our industry, Sabrina was able to give us an overview of what event planners want – what’s important to them and how to present it on social media.”
Sabrina comments that: “When working with an influencer/s it’s important to pick the right one. You need to make sure you’re partnering with someone who can understand your organisation’s culture, the messages you want to deliver and can deliver those messages in the right way to the right audience.”
In summing up, Mariska said: “Working with an expert influencer is a great way to ensure you communicate messaging that really resonates to the right people, in the right way.”
Accelerate – Technology that will change the future
Dahlia el Gazzar and IBTM’s Tech Advisory Group: Tess Vismale, Jason Allan Scott, Shawn Cheng, Corbin Ball and Marco Giberti
In this fascinating discussion focusing on the impact the pandemic has had, and will continue to have on our industry, the conversation ranges from the acceleration of technologies, to new trends and insights.
Corbin Ball muses, “The top challenge now is adapting to the new normal. Face to face events have changed permanently thanks to the pandemic and the unprecedented whirlwind of innovation around virtual and hybrid events. It’s time for our industry to think about our playbook and reassess it.”
According to Tess Vismale, event organisers need to “reimagine what your production team looks like – who can take the content and deliver it online. It’s an exciting time for event planners to expand knowledge around hybrid and the ability to participate in the process.”
Marco Giberti believes the industry needs a ‘Macintosh Moment’ and that the top challenge for event tech companies is to “create simple tech solutions that are easy to engage with, to understand and to use for every single stakeholder. Tech continues to be difficult to use for some and that shouldn’t be the case; it should be easy and fun to use for everyone. This is going to happen faster than we ever could ever have thought because everyone is listening now.”
Corbin Ball believes there are some serious opportunities in AR and VR technologies: “AR and VR will play a highly signification role going forward, especially VR in the virtual space. When Apple finally comes out with its AR glasses, that will be a huge market for on-site events, especially for networking.”
Hybrid 101: The basics that should not be missed
In this session, Ruud Janssen, Managing Partner, Event Design Collective GmbH, presents a case study on #icomm15, an event produced for the Internet Society. Ruud talks about how to design events when the world is changing so fast. We love the concept of explaining complex matters by “hitting the problem over the head and taking it from 3D to 2D” in order to see it from a different perspective.
Shawn Cheng, Project Manager, MCI, then presents a case study on Blockchain Revolution Global, an event which pivoted from face to face to fully online earlier this year. Shawn presents the notion of DIVE – Define, Ideate, Visualise, Engage, and warns against rushing to the engage stage too soon with a wish list of elements like polling, Q&A, matchmaking and so on. “We ask our clients to hold on a second and we ask again, why are we doing this event? By asking these questions we find out the whole purpose of the conference. Once we have the define stage done it’s quicker to put the framework together and map out the experience journey.”
Shawn and Ruud then discuss their two presentations and explore the new digital and hybrid landscapes and the skills required to make them work. Shawn urges event planners to do their best and try to do as many hybrid and online events as they can. Ruud talks how important it is to maintain engagement with an audience. Shawn says: “The ultimate goal from an event producer perspective, no matter where your audience is, is they all get what they want.”
Embrace, engage, evolve: The event attendee experience
In this informative talk, Stefania Conti-Vecchi, Founder & Mastermind, EVENTagist, talks about the importance of attendee engagement. “Giving participants a great and engaging experience is the objective of any event, whatever the format,” says Stefania.
Stefania urges event designers to consider having a participant engagement strategy and to start engaging before the event as well as during. “It’s so important to know your audience,” she says. “Your goal is to create an experience that your attendees won’t forget.”
“Make sure the online and in-person participants have the same experience, as much as possible,” Stefania explains, and offers some fantastic tips and strategies, from virtual coffee booths to wellness digital areas and hybrid angels. This session is well worth a watch before planning your next hybrid or virtual event.
International business events, what is our next normal?
As part of the on-demand Knowledge programme, this panel session moderated by Sam Johnston, Manager of Dublin Convention Bureau, and including three experts (Barbara Jamison, Head of Tourism Europe at London & Partners, Jan Orsic, Head of Ljubljana Convention Bureau and Andreas Weissenborn, Senior Director of Research & Advocacy at Destinations International) explores how European and North American destinations have been impacted by the pandemic and shares ideas and best practices to help navigate the next normal for international business events.
Barbara Jamison, Head of Tourism Europe, London Convention Bureau comments: “It’s about how we’re reacting and how agile we can be that will determine how well we come out of this and how successful we will be.” Against a backdrop of some London hoteliers facing occupancy rates of as little as 10%, she says: “We had to look at our domestic audiences and flight corridors,” and adds: “The whole industry is adapting to the new type of event which is the hybrid event.”
Andreas Weissenborn, Senior Director of Research & Advocacy at Destinations International says: “There is no economic recovery without us at the table, full stop. None of our communities around the world can begin to resume any type of next normal without us doing what we do best.”
Jan Oršič, Head of Ljubljana Convention Bureau, Ljubljana Tourism / Convention Bureau, comments of the advent of hybrid and virtual meetings: “We have several new studios, and our two congress centres are fully preparing for hybrid / digital meetings. We are preparing for virtual but hoping for live, but most likely it will be hybrid- something in between.”
The session ends on a positive note by focusing on what event planners and their attendees need going forward and what is required to bring events back to life and back to destinations
Feedback from Day One:
Visit Belfast, @VisitBelfastBiz: “Thank you @BespokeBizEvent! 2 leads to start the morning, a great start!”
Ruslan Aliev, CEO, MatsTravel: “How nice to talk about the future of @visitlmr and thank you Elisabetta for the powerful presentation on the region. Waiting for a speedy recovery of the economy #eventprofs #ibtmworld #langhe #matstravel
Meet Liverpool, @MeetLiverpool: “Great start to the morning, #IBTMWorldVirtual platform easy to use and having positive meetings with international #eventprofs. Thank you @IBTMevents @MeetLiverpool @MeetEngland
Join us now for Day 2 of IBTM World Virtual, simply log in or register here.