Event technology will certainly continue to grow to meet the increased demand. And one area where we will see an improvement is in the relationship-building aspect. Speakers and sponsors can chat with the virtual attendees via a video call. Online and offline attendees can find other attendees who share the same interests and connect with them.
Mobile apps can decrease the gap in virtual networking. With the presence of an app designed specifically for hybrid event networking, attendees can do away with the awkward small talk and determine ahead of time who they want to connect with based on interests, schedule, or field of expertise.
As more organizations turn to hybrid events, the best way to stand out is to raise the bar for every facet of your event, particularly the quality of content and networking experience.
ASHEVILLE, NC – With Zoom fatigue kicking in, many find online event attendance dwindling, and online revenue hard to match. However, some innovative online event planners are helping nonprofits stay on track to meet and exceed their goals.
NARAL Pro-Choice America, a 2.5M member nonprofit, recently hosted a virtual event unlike any Zoom webinar they had done in the past. This online Activists’ Summit brought over 1,500 attendees together in an interactive space with multiple simultaneous trainings, networking sessions, expo booths, polls and other interactive features. Speakers included Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Jeff Merkley. Having their first full-scale virtual conference being one that would closely match the in-person experience helped build attendee excitement and doubled the attendance rate of NARAL’s previous online events.
Attendees feedback highlights how some large events don’t always go smoothly: “I was SHOCKED at how well the technology worked for such a large audience. Truly, positively, amazed given that the first virtual Biden activity I attended a month or so ago was much more technologically compromised,” said Lisa from Tarpon Springs, FL.
However, the event’s “control center” was not in NARAL’s Washington, DC, headquarters, nor in the usual-suspect neighborhoods of Maryland and Virginia. It was in the unlikely environs of an Appalachian suburb in North Carolina, where partners Michelle Garrison and Daniel Moss, online event consultants at We & Goliath led a team of designers, developers, strategists, and videographers to pull off something that hadn’t been done before.
“While everyone is used to hosting a zoom meeting by now, putting together a full-scale conference online with a high production value is a whole other thing,” says Moss, their Co-Founder and Leader Strategist. “Not only are organizations confused about which event platforms and features they should use, but how to produce an online event that goes smoothly, looks great and is highly interactive.”
The founders of another training conference Organizing 2.0 were thrilled when they were able to get 7X their attendance in their first virtual conference, going from an average of 250 attendees in-person over 11 years, to 1,683 registrations online. The comprehensive and interactive online conference enabled Organizing 2.0 to maintain their same ticket prices as with their in-person event, offer many free tickets, and still more than triple their in-person revenue.
Like most events, fundraisers have gone virtual too. NARAL later worked with We & Goliath to merge two of their biggest fundraisers into one virtual event and was able to raise 1.3M in the campaign, including over $80,000 during the 1-hr live experience.
A smaller nonprofit, Equal Rights Amendment Coalition, asked We & Goliath to produce a panel discussion and celebrity-infused fundraiser with speakers including Alyssa Milano, Patricia Arquette, and Ilyasah Shabazz. Along with the live event, was an immersive hub optimized for donor conversions and driving their key actions like signing a petition to ratify the ERA, and an interactive tool where voters can see where their candidates stand on the issues.
“Though we’ve done event marketing for many years, these were the first times we launched large virtual fundraisers and they were quite a success,” says Garrison. “The means to that end is powerful content, beautifully presented, that builds a sense of togetherness. Then, creating excitement and demand for that content.”
The We & Goliath brand, which was created last year as a merger of two small digital agencies, is a nod to author Malcolm Gladwell’s retelling of the David and Goliath battle of biblical fame… Gladwell says David wasn’t an underdog because he knew he’d win after training with his sling to protect his sheep for many years. “We all face Goliaths at some point, but we don’t all have the skills or tools to tackle them on our own,” says Moss. “Let us be your secret weapon.”
About We & Goliath
We & Goliath is a beautique virtual event consultancy helping mission-driven organizations to create virtual experiences that are remembered and enjoyed. Each of We & Goliath’s senior consultants has nearly 20 years of experience with event marketing and production, including virtual and in-person summits, conferences, festivals, workshops, tours, rallies, fundraisers, and retreats. Our goal is to create virtual experiences that spark conversations, inspire community, close deals, and accomplish huge missions.
Last week, Representatives Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland joined NDN Collective and NativesOutdoors for Sko Vote Den Virtual Intertribal, an event aiming to engage Native voters ahead of election day. The elected officials joined Indigenous organizers, artists, and entertainers to discuss voting challenges, and to educate people about the complexities and importance of voting in Indian Country.
YOU CAN WATCH THE FULL, RECORDED LIVESTREAM HERE:
As Indigenous-led organizations we know that voting is a complex issue for Native people and communities. Therefore, we wanted to embrace and talk about the complexities, while inspiring and educating our people about the importance of voting in this historic election.
A play on the intertribal social dance powwows where Native people and powwow goers visit casually while enjoying culture and building relationships, the Sko Vote Den Virtual Intertribal was designed to build political awareness and joy around getting out the vote in Indian Country.
During the Sko Vote Den Virtual Intertribal, with the help from Emcee’s and moderators, we framed up conversations from an Indigenous lens, sharing political analysis about this year’s election, and also providing helpful resources on how and when to vote.
“I recently learned that 11,000 new Native voters were recently registered across the country — this could not have been done without local work on the ground,” said Representative Deb Haaland. “I’m an organizer — for nearly two decades, I registered voters, knocked on doors, and made phone calls in Indian country all across New Mexico. It’s not easy work, but my experiences showed me that Indian country is the strongest when we work together.”
We learned from organizers about the barriers that exist in Indian countries when it comes to voting and how we overcome voter suppression by working together and building unity and strong grassroots groups and coalitions. “Voting helps impact who is at the decision making table ,” said Representative Sharice Davids. “My job now, as an elected, is to listen to people. For too long, we didn’t have people in office who were listening to folks. Native people don’t need someone else to be our voice — we need people who are in decision making positions to be listening.”
What the SKO-VOTE-DEN Virtual Intertribal signaled was that Native People from the U.S./Mexico border to the Arctic, are ready and more than prepared to work with and build with elected officials to foster justice and equity in our communities, towns, states, and country and we are determined to put decision makers into office who will listen and be accountable to our people and who will honor tribal sovereignty . What this event also signaled is that while we work diligently to get out the vote in Indian Country, we are also committed to other forms of building Indigenous power, like grassroots organizing, direct action, and resourcing Indigenous frontlines communities and movements.
Learn the key steps to generate attendees, speakers, and partners for your virtual event; how to choose which type of online event to run;
how to build your list; and how to create meaningful relationships with influencers and experts in your field.
Organizing a full-scale virtual conference is overwhelming easy with the right team. Leave the stress to us, so you can focus on what you do best.