Our roundtable delivered some really good examples of how membership organisations are making it happen now. Some wanted to explore options to increase their knowledge and confidence to deliver successful digital events.
We shared our observations of the sector and examples of how some of our clients are trialling and in some cases rolling out or extending successful programmes.
Why are events important?
Having been responsible for running member events, I have seen how important they are to both members as well as the organisers.
Events in the membership sector and beyond are a proven way to add value to your (working) life by introducing people to new ideas, to gain skills and inspiration and to connect to each other.
I think we can all remember good events that we have attended, a standout speaker or making a surprising or useful connection.
Awards right now
Many membership organisations have been running blended or hybrid events pre-lockdown. A few only offer digital and some are still to experience running digital events.
In our discussion group, membership organisations probed around the following key points:
- What is the value of a digital event?
- Whether to charge for events or not? How much?
- How long should an event or conference be?
- How to run events for a global organisation?
- Should you have a virtual delegate bag?
As a collective, we acknowledged that much can be delivered digitally but knowing the points of difference is key to delivering online success.
Here are a few of our takeouts from the session:
Good to know:
- Extend the impact: The reach of online events can be greater and sometimes beyond your regional or national boundaries and key to this is capitalising to online engagement via your range of channels
- You can charge at times: While it will be appropriate to deliver free online events as part of the membership proposition, there is the potential to charge for online events but this is usually at a lower rate - after all you are saving on catering and venue hire!
- Chunk or extend: Digital is different to in person and we are seeing that people are less inclined to hang out all day. Do break sessions into series or consider making what was a one day event a 2 day event with informal breakout sessions.
- Think evergreen: You have spent a lot of time and resource to create great, dynamic content on the day. Leverage this in the lead up to and the fallout of the event. Some content will be good for many months or even years to come.
- Good takeaways: Give delegates an alternative to the ‘goodie bag’; consider ways for them to leave with some really useful resources as well as contacts. Prize draws work really well on line and can inject a bit of fun into your event.
Pixl8 has a range of digital solutions that are tailored to the membership sector including a dedicated end-to-end events solution, eventfolio.