Why should we avoid going back to the old normal?
The forced switch to online and hybrid events, incited by the corona crisis, has caused the meetings industry to change its habits and approach drastically. As more and more events opt for in-person event formats, event organisers should not forget to take the online experience back to the stage.
A virtual and real-life stage both have their advantages and drawbacks. Sometimes it is better to choose one; on other occasions, it is best to choose the other or sometimes choosing a combination of both works best.
Jan-Jaap In der Maur from Masters in Moderation has gathered a few tips on how to transfer the online experience into a live one.
Making it more fun
Online, we were forced to put extra effort into engaging participants and fighting Zoom fatigue. We came up with fresh formats, designed interactive meetings and should be proud of doing so. It is time to take this approach to the physical environment. Can we please stop programming endless speaker line-ups and copying formats that are way past their date? From now on, we should only design fresh meetings and events.
Making it more personal
Online, we had to work harder to make a true connection with participants. Because that is what it takes to engage them. We learned how to show the lonely viewers that they were seen and loved. We found ways to turn groups of individual, remote delegates into a temporary tribe. That valuable experience is worth bringing on stage, making sure that also in the physical environment nobody ‘feels lost’ and everybody is included in the group.
Let’s make it shorter
Online, it is harder to remain concentrated, and productivity goes down more rapidly. We found that shorter – maybe in combination with more often – in many cases is better. At the same time, it turned out that long is not always bad, as long as you design for it. So let’s continue to make conscious decisions!
Let’s dive deeper
Online, a conversation is only valuable when everyone is involved; when there is wholesome content, and everyone is engaged. Let’s make that the standard for physical meetings and events too: participants do really participate. Especially for that purpose, Masters in Moderation designed a tool dubbed ConsensIQ.
Let’s make it more effective
In many cases, and to the surprise of many, many online meetings turned out to be more effective. So please, do not throw away the online option once we are allowed to go physical again. Let’s celebrate having a brand new option in the toolbox, and let’s stay online when that is the better option!