In Person, Virtual, Hybrid, Oh My!

The last several years has confirmed that the one true known is the unknown.  We never know when inside or outside factors will cause some sort of disruption, and the outside factors have definitely caused quite the stir in the past 2+ years.

The event industry has been forced to change overnight, and though much time has passed since we first heard of the word COVID, we are still finding that those changes continue to be a work in progress.

Event Organizers have had to roll with the changes, and in the face of all the uncertainty, the show must go on!  We need to find creative ways to continue to engage our audience. But how do we mitigate the risk of an in person event being cancelled overnight as we’ve seen oh too often over the past couple of years.  How do we quickly pivot an in person event to a virtual event or accommodate for an audience where some attendees can be in person and others cannot but still want to participate?

Technology platforms have faced many of the same questions with respect to supporting the events industry.  We spent many years catering to in person events, and quickly had to pivot to support the virtual world that threw us the curve ball in 2020.  Some of us were more prepared than others.

Speed Networking has been partnering with event organizers for many years, and one of our top goals as a technology provider is to make the lives of our customers as easy as possible.  Or at least their lives within our platform.  We have though through workflows.  We have thought about attendees signing up and then not being able to attend a meeting that is on their schedule.  We’ve thought about how an event can run on autopilot so that the organizer can also participate. And… we’ve thought about the need to pivot between in person and hybrid, and sometimes back!

With Speed Networking, setting up an event follows much of the same workflow whether the event will be in person, hybrid or remote.  The execution of the event is where the path forks.  In person events generate schedules with table assignments for participants to move around in a physical location, while virtual events create a schedule with private, 1:1 video conference rooms for the attendees to be placed in and out of throughout their meeting schedule.

As a result, organizers can quickly pivot an event from in person to virtual, or virtual to in person, with minimal effort.  90% of the effort is done when the initial event is created, and the 10% to make the pivot can be done in a few minutes.

Though we can’t predict the unknown, we certainly can do our best to plan for it.  Speed Networking has worked hard to ensure that the show should and can go on, and we look forward to working with you on your next event!