The future comes at us one day at a time.
2020 has been our year-in-training. The Coronaverse has required us to distance ourselves, look inward and live “one day at a time”. We find ourselves working differently, learning new skills, exercising mindfulness and taking to homespun activities – all in an attempt to stay sane in a changed world.
The human experience
For the most part, we’ve been pretty okay.
But humans are contrary creatures. In all of our coping, our Un-Okay Voice shouts, “But when will we return to some semblance of normal?”. We peer into the dying embers of the braai (our local version of the psychic’s crystal ball) and try desperately to see “What now?” and “What next?”
Here’s the rub, however: This is the future. We are already in it.
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time” – Abraham Lincoln.
Certainly, Covid-19 crept in one day at a time. And with every passing day, we’ve become smarter, developed differently, grown our families, and maintained our relationships. We’ve taught ourselves the qualities of resilience, the need for collaboration, and a greater empathy for our global humanity. A good thing, for our industry and for our lives.
When live events were off the table, we created online events and ultimately, virtual events – which are the solution for now and for the future. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Meeting Platforms vs Event Platforms.
Zoom, Teams, BlueJeans, WebinarJam, Skype, and their ilk are not event platforms. They are meeting platforms. To qualify as a professional virtual event environment, a closed-loop proprietary platform is needed, and it must be fully-managed end-to-end.
2. Keep it simple. Then, make it simpler.
Don’t over-complicate things and confuse your audience by asking them to download, upload, link in, link out or jump streams. Being able to double tap, swipe left and like is digital, but it’s not the best that the virtual event world has to offer. (Plus, the bulk of your audience may not have the smarts to leverage virtual events. Yet.)
3. Engage. Inspire. Excite. Specifically.
Great content is everything. Use all of the sexy virtual tools to captivate and motivate your audience. Use polls, Q&As, quizzes, spot prizes and live translations. Use virtual and digital sets and toolkits. Oh, and on that note, if you’re going sexy, you need sexy help. Think about it: If your car needs a service, you take it to a mechanic. You can get under the hood okay, but do you actually know how to change a cam belt? For a virtual event, call in the professionals.
4. Get the analytics. And be careful.
You determine the data. The system generates the reports. Remember, however, that POPI compliance means you need your T&Cs in place. Those little ducks have to be in a very neat, transparent row.
One for the road
If you’re going away or taking time off, try these on for size… The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré and The Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. Or binge on The Queens Gambit, Rake and Godfather of Harlem.
One last thing
Last, last word
Our subject line, “Life is the best thing that has ever been invented” comes from Gabriel García Márquez in No One Writes to the Colonel: and Other Stories.