National Trust for Historic Preservation
If you’re looking for tips to make your virtual event a winner, don’t miss this snapshot of success! When the pandemic struck, our featured client chose to pivot their annual in-person conference to virtual despite some initial concerns. Their 2020 event was so well-received they’re going virtual again in 2021 — and we look forward to helping them make their second large-scale virtual gathering even better than their first!
Who: National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), a non-profit association that works to preserve the built environment, including historic neighborhoods and buildings.
What: Turn PastForward 2020 from its planned in-person conference to a fully virtual three-day event while maintaining the high production value and visual appeal NTHP and conference attendees expect.
Background: The annual conference allows attendees to connect with colleagues and learn what’s happening — and what’s been successful — across the nation. Attendees come for a highly immersive and interactive experience.
What we did and how we did it: NTHP decided to have 50% of their presentations pre-recorded and 50% live. Seamless Events helped NTHP pre-record presentations over video conferencing software and then edited the recordings into picture-in-picture finished videos. These were then played back to attendees during the conference. Seamless also provided day-of technical support for the sessions along with troubleshooting for the event platform.
“We were so hesitant to commit to a virtual conference. Production value is really important to us. Being the National Trust for Historic Preservation means that we need to show we know what we’re doing. If we were to have a glitchy presentation or it did not look polished in some way, attendees would lose faith in us being a thoughtful and forward organization.
In the end, unanimously from our attendees, to our board, to my supervisors, everyone was really pleased with the outcome.”
Client Best Practices You Should Steal
We can’t resist bragging about our client’s strategic strengths! NTHP made their virtual event a success by:
- dedicating a large number of staff to event planning
- working to create highly relevant content that met best practices in terms of length (approximately 40 minutes per session)
- prioritizing audience participation via live post-presentation Q&A (chats) and polling to build a sense of community
- assigning a dedicated Host/Administrator for every call on every track; these hosts each partnered with 1 Seamless technician
- extending the days the conference ran, but shortening hours to maximize “normal working hour participation” across time zones
Over 4000 remote attendees participated in PastForward 2020 (the in-person conference generally has 1500 attendees). Attendees, the NTHP board, and NTHP leaders were overwhelmingly pleased with the outcome. PastForward 2021 will be entirely virtual, and we can’t wait to help NTHP wow attendees once again!
We applaud NTHP for putting in the work to create such a fantastic event. If you’d like a free consultation to help you better understand your AV options for in-person, virtual, or hybrid events, contact us today.