Although they couldn’t be together in person, attendees at the virtual 2021 ConNEXTion Conference we planned and produced for Cooper Lighting Solutions learned about new products, made connections, and even engaged in some friendly rivalry. The event took place during three days and welcomed more guests than the in-person version could ever have accommodated. WM Events planned and produced the virtual event, and we managed the run of show, too. With nearly 50 pieces of video content – what a show it was!

The attendee experience began with registration, which offered the first opportunity for data collection. Although the event would welcome 1,200 attendees, the client sent pre-event mailers to the first 500 registrants to encourage registration. Inside, recipients found branded SWAG akin to what might be distributed at an in-person event. This special touch got them excited for the upcoming conference.

 WM Events Atlanta Virtual Event Planner WM Events Atlanta Virtual Event Planner

Keeping Attendees Engaged + Energized

Watching talking heads on a screen for hours on end can quickly slip into being mind-numbing. Our top priority was making sure that didn’t happen. Throughout the three-day event, we continuously mixed types of content to move from speakers to breakout sessions to entertainment, keeping guests looking forward to the next offering. Meanwhile, tradeshow displays, and on-demand content were available at any time, so attendees also retained some level of choice in what they were watching and when.

Through a dedicated and fully branded website, we managed the event features while simultaneously gathering useful metrics. Our platform allowed us to capture information about which content was popular, where attendees were located, how long they watched each session, how they engaged and much more. We had the ability to direct message attendees too, personalizing the experience even more.

WM Events Atlanta Virtual Event Planner  WM Events Atlanta Virtual Event Planner  WM Events Atlanta Virtual Event Planner

Boosting Interaction

Throughout the live event, we incorporated a variety of chats, polls, and other interactive elements to boost user engagement. These elements were gamified through the addition of a leaderboard, and guests earned points for interacting. The competitive spirit of the attendees was apparent as they vied for first place on the leaderboard and the chance to win prizes like Sonosphere speakers with Cooper branding, headphones, a backpack or tote bag, and executive umbrellas.

At all times, guests were also able to search attendees for networking connections and schedule a virtual meetup or simply go to a dedicated networking area to chat with anyone who was there.

We were thrilled by how involved and interactive the attendees were – and so was our client.

 

  WM Events Atlanta Virtual Event Planner    WM Events Atlanta Virtual Event Planner    WM Events Atlanta Virtual Event Planner

 

Building in Memorable Moments

An important goal for conferences and events is to send attendees away with something to remember. We knew we needed to provide that same long-term experience despite the virtual nature of the event.

We brought excitement to the conference by varying the content and asking for attendee participation whenever possible. Many short pieces of recorded material were offered in a seamless manner that appeared live to viewers but left little room for error and production issues. For example, on the opening afternoon, we moved from a DJ set to an introduction by the emcee followed by a welcome message from the CEO, a keynote speaker, and a quick wrap-up. These segments ranged from 2 to 45 minutes. Afterwards, guests were free to explore on-demand product, customer journeys and playbook sessions.

WM Events Atlanta Virtual Event Planner WM Events Atlanta Virtual Event Planner WM Events Atlanta Virtual Event Planner

An Eye on the Hybrid Future

This virtual event was a major success, especially during a time when hosting guests in person is not possible. The platform we chose, the way that we planned the conference, and the data we were able to provide for the client show that the virtual format can offer benefits beyond those of an in-person event.

The 2021 ConNEXTion Conference provides the perfect lead-in to a future where hybrid events will reach more people and extend their value. In this case, attendee numbers increased by 120%. A sales conference that combines in-person and virtual offerings will offer the best of both worlds. It’s the next evolution in event planning!

Read more about how we produced the material for this three-day event in An Illuminating Virtual Conference Pt. 1.

     

 

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