The UNTETHERED: Portland Studio Tour was a one-day digital event that brought together senior event strategists and industry leaders to inspire and empower each other.
As Seamless Events live streamed the content, we had to wear our AV production expert hats — but don’t worry: we caught up on all the great insights shared with attendees!
Below, we’re sharing five crucial tips Lindsay Martin-Bilbrey (CEO, Nifty Method) shared with the force behind UNTETHERED, Allie Magyar (Chief Product Officer, Intrado).
During their discussion, Allie and Lindsay touched on how the pandemic has forced meeting professionals to shift tried-and-true thinking about event design, scenario planning, and executing perfect (“clean”) events.
Read on for their expert advice.
Ask your attendee pool what matters most, then assess their input.
Lindsay encourages clients to ground their decision making in the participant experience.
As the pandemic era stretches on into late 2021, attending in-person events has become more complex, she notes. “What’s their company saying; what’s their family saying? What’s the health situation; what’s their child care situation?”
She suggests clients make pre-event focus groups, surveys, and conversations a priority. From there, see if acting on prospective attendees’ input makes sense — financially or otherwise — for your client or organization.
Make sure your programming starts and stays attendee-centric.
The move from in-person to online events requires an agenda that centers attendees. As Allie shared, “We need to think about the human component in a different way, asking, ‘What do people need in the moment?’ They need a break, they need to go grab water, and they need an opportunity to get their brain around new strategic topics.”
Make non-linear scenarios your default.
Lindsay works with clients to create plans that are as flexible as possible; that way, the bottom won’t drop out if something shifts. “At the end of the day, every scenario is oriented around helping the person at the center of the persona.”
Lean on your event industry peers: they’re your best source of knowledge.
Understand that researching is harder right now; there’s less information to analyze. Instead, turn to networking and webinars for concrete tactics, trends, and inspirational advice.
Don’t forget to look at what data from your own events or webinars indicates about attendee engagement.
Have a growth mindset.
It’s time to let go of perfectionism. The pandemic has the world in flux, and our industry mirrors that. We’re all learning together; inexperience will lead to mistakes, and we may not know how to react to an issue in the best possible way the first time we encounter it.
At this stage in the pandemic, Lindsay encourages her team by saying, “We’re not ‘pivoting’: we’re ‘in the now.’ We’re going to take this day, and tomorrow is another day.”