I’ve been in the virtual events space for a number of years, pretty much as long as they’ve been around, and I truly believe in the value of virtual event programs and virtual learning. It’s been a while, though, since I’ve heard comments like these…
- “I’m getting more out of the virtual kickoff than the physical kickoff. I’m not hung over, so I can participate and learn more!”
- “I love that I can take my time and can view sessions again.”
- “I was able to connect with more of my colleagues in the virtual event than at a physical event”
- “Even though I’m in a remote office by myself, I felt connected and engaged all week.”
Last week I had an amazing opportunity to experience being both a producer and a participant in a virtual kickoff meeting for an enterprise client.
Since I love program development, getting involved in the production was a natural for me. I was able to brainstorm with the client team – who was super-enthusiastic, committed and full of push-the-envelope ideas – to leverage our platform with the goal of creating a unique and engaging experience. Employees were used to an in-person meeting with lots of fanfare, photos, team bonding and cocktails, so anything virtual would have to be special.
Participating in a program like this was a bit new for me. I’ve certainly monitored and attended virtual programs of all kinds, and I’ll often pop in and out of sessions when our services team is managing a virtual event. But for this program, I was able to join the client team on-site for several live sessions as they were streamed out to the virtual environment, in addition to viewing a number of “virtual-only” sessions. This allowed me to experience more of the kickoff program and to hear comments and feedback from all levels – employees, presenters, executives and the project team.
Again, WOW. When employees are told that instead of an in-person kickoff, they get four days of a virtual kickoff, you expect some disappointment and complaining – I’ve seen that in the past, and it’s one of the biggest challenges the project team faces. And it’s certainly likely that happened for this client at some level. During the live kickoff week, however, employees fully embraced a truly special experience.
The success is a testament to the execution of the client project team, and the vision of the project leads. They created something that felt totally custom and very “personal” to the attendees – it was “their” environment. They filled it with quality content and a packed agenda, and they made sure to leverage internal tools that were already a part of employees’ day-to-day. They also made a point to bring employees physically together in local offices for the more traditional connections as well.
Of course, they used the 6Connex platform, and I’m admittedly biased that it’s the best virtual event platform in the market. And we have a kick-butt services team that worked hand-in-hand with the clients – from design through project management to live day support to on-site production.
At the end of the week, I was impressed across the board. I may have been doing this for a while, but it never gets old seeing a client’s vision come to life and to close the books on another (wildly) successful program.
What are you doing to make your kickoff programs come to life in a whole new way?