Why Are You Taking Your Event Virtual?

If you missed part one from last week check it out here. We ended up kicking around so many topics after it was published that we wanted to discuss further this week.

Scarcity is why live events work. There’s a fear of missing out (FOMO) because if you are not there and something incredible happens, well, you’re out of luck. If you’re switching a live event to virtual you need to decide between one of two paths:

  1. You’re going to maintain the FOMO. In this scenario you’re going to do something amazing and attendees have to pay for the best stuff, or you’re going to generate a crowd huge enough that sponsors are willing to pay for it.
  2. You’re going to lose too much magic by going virtual and are going to change gears to creating quality content.

What we’ve been seeing is many events going through the motions for #1 when the truth is nearly everyone should adapting and going with #2.

We just recently surveyed attendees of livestreaming and the totals are not in yet but I’ve seen a lot of respondents saying “I get invited but I know the recording will be available so there’s no reason for me to go out of my way to watch it.”

While the second approach is not exciting, it can generate more value for the effort. If you bet everything on the one big event day and it crashes you take the loss and that’s the end of it. If you create some great content, even if it only gets one or two hits a month that starts to make a difference if you get to the point where you’ve produced 20 and they keep bringing people in that want to learn for years. I’ve had clients with white papers that deliver for 7 years, the company’s entire lifespan. So what if only 15 people downloaded it when it was released, it was always good for 2 or 3 deals a year.

Chris went further with this – you’re no longer producing an event, you’re providing assets. Great that you have the videos. What about people who want to listen? Any MP3s? What about people who want to read? Any automated transcripts? The easiest way to make sure your event gets no love is to force people into one format. During a pandemic with no one going anywhere, there’s no excuse not to provide every single possible format.

He also pushed that over into the physical space with new options for giveaways: Nothing stops you from handing out Spotify/Amazon/Netflix gift cards for the same amount you spent on squeezable stress balls to get people to show up, but no one’s thinking like that. A few events have had live musicians, but why not buy and give away the musician’s album? Digital downloads are still valuable. If your community is on Discord, you should absolutely be doing Nitro and Server Boost raffles.

Another point that’s come out of the surveys so far – I’ve been on the “No Hostage Videos” soapbox, but respondents pushed it even further – have engaging graphics or other video, even well done talking heads are getting tiresome to watch. Take advantage of one of the strengths of virutal events – the ability to do follow along/hands on. Instead of the talking head with the big idea, teach people how to fish a little. “Pause this video and try this technique now”

We’ll have more results to share from the survey and we’ve got a bunch of virtual events with different brands all through the end of the year so hopefully we’ll see you online!

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Trust Insights ( is one of the world's leading management consulting firms in artificial intelligence/AI, especially in the use of generative AI and AI in marketing. Trust Insights provides custom AI consultation, training, education, implementation, and deployment of classical regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI, especially large language models such as ChatGPT's GPT-4-omni, Google Gemini, and Anthropic Claude. Trust Insights provides analytics consulting, data science consulting, and AI consulting.

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