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Virtual Events a.ka. a new norm in the times of COVID-19

2020 taught us that in-person conferences, events, gatherings and meetings are a thing of the past.

According to e-Marketer, “Virtual events will likely be a regular occurrence post-pandemic, according to US marketing professionals polled by The 614 Group in May 2020—especially large gatherings, including those that feature headliner speakers. Some marketers also believe that smaller gatherings will also become more frequent, at least for the time being. Roughly 15.5% said there will likely be virtual cocktail hours with clients that include custom video feeds of performers and concerts, while slightly fewer (10.9%) said that virtual client dinners, put together by boutique event producers who oversee the food and decorations, will be a regular occurrence.”

Our firm, whose majority of our clients’ business models depended on community outreach and in-person meeting/events, was able to quickly pivot and help create a digital space.

Let’s take a look at how we were able to do this for one of our clients.

The East Orange County Water District received a grant to study the impacts of natural hazards on district infrastructure – such as their aging reservoirs and vulnerable operations center. The study required input from local residents, but state mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the use of traditional in-person public meetings. Communications LAB stepped in to produce a virtual public meeting which drew the participation of several hundred local residents.

With traditional outreach methods to achieve public participation in the client’s hazard study out the window, our team got to work planning an alternative to meet the client’s needs and the legal requirements of the study process, all while prioritizing resident participation. We proposed the use of live streaming video to facilitate a virtual public meeting and the results were outstanding While typical in-person public meetings of this kind might attract a dozen residents, our innovative virtual program attracted more than 500 online views via YouTube and Facebook!

Communications LAB staff proudly produced the entire public meeting, from script development, on-screen graphics, multiple in-studio camera operations and audio capture to live stream hosting, complete with live transitions between speakers and content.

On top of production, Communications LAB conducted all outreach for the live stream to let local residents know how to participate and view the meeting. Tactics included targeted online and social media outreach. To drive attendance up, we also promoted the opportunity to receive a free Red Cross Disaster kit. We achieved more than 5,000 impressions of our social media posts and nearly 300 views of our e-newsletter.

Because of our efforts, the client was able to complete their hazard study on time and in compliance with their grant requirements. And more residents were able to participate thanks to this new virtual model, setting a new outreach platform that we’ll use well into the future.

Virtual productions are in high-demand and Comm LAB is proudly meeting the needs of schools, businesses and agencies throughout the county.

From virtual graduations to company updates, we're here to help. Ready to plan your next virtual event?

Contact us today!


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