At Events Unleashed, we understand that change is the only constant in the event business, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to like it. In fact, change can be a huge obstacle for some companies and non-profit organizations to overcome. This can especially be a problem when your key stakeholders object to significant event changes, even when it’s absolutely necessary. And now, more than ever, the pivot to virtual events is absolutely necessary.
So how do you get your key leadership and stakeholders on board with an unfamiliar strategy?
Leverage Crisis management skills
If your corporate or non-profit event historically takes place in-person or you've already spent months planning it that way, communication is key to getting your key stakeholders on board with your new, digital event solution. To ease them into the process, you’ll need to channel your crisis management skills by:
Keep in mind, not everyone feels comfortable with the digital landscape, and when people feel forced into something they’re not comfortable with, they panic.
As a leader in the event industry, we realize we help our clients anticipate objections, provide analytics and best practices, and develop communication strategies at all levels putting our clients team at ease. We understand that you'll need to address concerns including:
Panic and push back are natural reactions when key leaders and stakeholders are bogged down by perceived limitations, especially when in-person events have been the standard and/our bread and butter for so long. Focusing on what's hindering your output, emphasize to your key leadership the benefits of digital events. Here are just a few to help get that conversation started.
Virtual events for non-profit organizations deeply reduces traditional event budget's biggest line items, specifically venue rental feeds and catering charges. The data currently reflects that many non-profit organizations and corporations are saving up to 80% by pivoting virtually. Let's break that down virtual event cost savings measures a little further:
Virtual events shrink some of the most expenses line items, giving your budget the breathing room to explore the tech solutions your stakeholders think are unattainable. When you go virtual, you are the venue. And who doesn't love that?
Direct Access to Donors and Millennials
When you leverage new technology to innovative, chances are high that tech savy donors and millennials will flock to what you're doing. Generation Y puts a higher value on screen-based interactions than any generation before them, so why not capitalize on all that real estate?
Millennial attendance is especially key to your event if it includes a charitable component. A 2014 New Horizon Media study found that 81 percent of millennials expect corporations to put their money where their mouth is and contribute to philanthropies. If your event includes, or can include, components relating to charity, climate change, or sustainability, you’re going to want to engage millennials in the medium where they are most comfortable.
Our earlier point on cost-savings applies to attendees as well. Virtual events provide more access for a more diverse and inclusive audience, particularly those who desire to participate but may not be able to afford ticket prices, travel, budget for meals, air fare, hotels, keepsakes, even cocktails for the after-hours networking crowd. It even becomes easier for those with disabilities to attend and participate in your event. Essentially, when you go virtual, you’re breaking down the barrier to entry and providing your non-profit organization or corporation access to a whole new group.
And a secret bonus benefit: You'd be surprised how many introverts can more easily come out of their shell when behind a screen. You just might meet potential donors, sponsors, or fans you never knew you had.
Remember, arguments in the face of crisis lead to more crises. When you’re able to listen, relate, and communicate, your odds of getting your event stakeholders on the same page are significantly boosted.
We'd be delighted to support you with all your virtual event needs, please contact us to learn more.