Greg Shapiro – 14 December, 2021

When it comes to online events, surely we remember the Best Practice lessons from the previous lockdown -? So far, not so much. Please, for the sake of your own events, do not make it 100% WorkFromHome!

It was the end of the last lockdown September, 2021. I had two corporate events in the same week: one was online (for health and safety reasons); and one was live (for health endangerment reasons, apparently). As soon as the live event happened – with 300 people crammed in the same room – I thought: “it won’t be long before we go back to Online-Only.” And here we are.

The Netherlands do Covid lockdowns like they do Black Saturday driving in France: Stuck in traffic until the flow eases up – only to speed up so much they’re stuck in traffic 5 minutes later. During a Black Saturday traffic jam, the speed limit will be posted at 90 km / hour. If everyone would just follow that rule, the traffic could flow again. But no – most people want to drive 130 km / hour. And then comes the next traffic lockdown.

And – as we enter the Omicron lockdown – we seem to have forgotten some of the basic Best Practice we learned for Online Events.

Lesson ONE: You still need at least one person in the office! Of the four events I’ve got this week, three are 100% Work-from-Home. No one in the office. No one to help the host if something goes wrong. No one to handle that one attendee who decides to show up 10 minutes early.

Lesson TWO: Go ahead and log in 10 minutes early. If you want the REAL show, it always happens in those stressful minutes when the host is yelling at her colleague “I don’t think it’s my internet – my wifi was fine all this morning… What do you mean ethernet? I always use wifi! Can you maybe send the IT guy over to my house? Nee Sil, niet nu! Mama moet werken!”

Lesson THREE: Do what Nedap Retail did at that remote gig I did in September:

Pop-up studio at the office. Sure, I had to get from Amsterdam all the way to Groenlo, but it was worth it.

These guys hired a tech team to come in and set up three different stages: one for the host; one for a panel; and one for interchangeable guest speakers like me.

It was a purely internal event – but it was good enough to be Client-Facing.

And that was at the end of the last lockdown.
Hopefully, as we enter a new lockdown we’ll remember all these lessons and Best Practice.
But no! So far 75% forgot completely.