Virtual Event Successes: ASAE, Vet Show @ Home and Event Tech Live Hit the Virtual Sweet Spot
As trade shows begin to trickle back in person as the industry prepares for a deluge this fall, virtual events are going stronger than ever. Take a look at some successful digital gatherings that happened recently:
With overarching themes of “Do Big Things,” “Lead Big Tasks,” “Take Big Steps” and “Have Big Ideas,” ASAE’s virtual Marketing, Membership, & Communications Conference 2021 focused on the opportunities associations have to move forward with fresh and robust campaigns following a year of rapid changes and challenges.
“MMCC was filled with the sharing of inspiring ideas, case studies, and new solutions and tools to help organizations and professionals take big leaps forward,” said Robb Lee, ASAE chief strategy officer. “We are thankful to our speakers, attendees and partners who provided information, value and depth to the conversations and services experienced by everyone throughout the conference.”
Held June 2-4, the online event attracted 761 attendees comprising a strong mix of association professionals, industry partners, speakers, press and vendors, including hundreds of first-time attendees.
The virtual event kicked off with a keynote from Erica Dhawan, best-selling author and collaboration and innovation expert, who discussed the power of “connectional intelligence” to accelerate innovation, break down silos and foster breakthrough bottom-line impact by harnessing the power of networks. She also shared tactics to address communication overload and foster authentic, innovation-driving relationships.
Throughout the event, 30 industry partner companies participated in various registration and conversation packages, Insider Day demos and Solution Chats, along with engagement through thought leadership such as session tracks and keynotes. The ratio of buyers to sellers was 81 to 19 percent, respectively.
Allen Gannett, best-selling author and founder and CEO of TrackMaven, closed the event with a keynote on the art and science of creativity, including how flashes of genius happen and how one can increase their odds of having them.
Vet Show @ Home
Christina Zoccoli, group event director for Vet Shows US, braced for Zoom fatigue before CloserStill Media’s second Vet Show @ Home, March 25-27. Instead, the show became the biggest online event within the veterinary industry this year. Three months later, the show was brought back for the third time.
About 10,000 professionals in the animal care industry registered for the March show to learn new health and safety techniques and see what new tools are coming down the road. The attendance marked a 33% increase from the inaugural virtual show last October. Engagement was high during one-on-one appointments and general sessions, some of which reached 2,000 live attendees.
As impressive as those numbers are, Vet Show @ Home ultimately drew 23,000 registered veterinary professionals and facilitated more than 4,000 new connections.
“We couldn’t be prouder of the impact all three Vet Show @ Home events have had on the veterinary community,” said Zoccoli. “Being relatively new to veterinary events in the US, we didn’t know what to expect for the launch of our online CE and networking events. After seeing first-hand how much our attendees and sponsors took away from each show, we knew we had created something special.”
It turns out that you can teach an old dog new tricks, joked Dan Read, senior vice president at CloserStill Media, the exhibition company that produces New York Vet, Austin Vet, Chicago Vet and Wild West Vet.
“The whole industry has to adapt, whether you are a giant like Informa or a small group like us,” said Read.
In total, 129 sponsors supported the three virtual events, some brand new to the Vet Shows. Sponsored sessions were presented by industry leaders such as Hill’s Pet Nutrition, IDEXX, Johnson & Johnson, Purina, and Royal Canin. Vet Show @ Home saw a total of 36,000 visits to sponsor listings, proving that online events present more ways in which people can connect as the world returns to in-person events.
CloserStill Media now is turning the page to in-person and hybrid experiences for its vet events in Reno (Oct. 6-9) and New York (Nov. 4-5). In 2022, the Vet Shows will host Austin Vet, April 5-6 and Chicago Vet, May 12-13.
Said Zoccoli, “It is so important to provide online events for the community in order to stay connected with one another while we work to put together our in-person events: ones that will remind us of the magic behind seeing each other face-to-face once again.”
Event Tech Live
UK-based Event Tech Live recently made its digital debut in North America. Held June 8-10, Event Tech Live USA & Canada replicated the quality content and new technology that the U.K. show is known for, with a targeted focus on the tech solutions helping organizers conduct events through COVID and beyond, and how the pandemic catalyzed a new way of thinking about events throughout the world.
ETL USA & Canada featured 1,685 digital attendees, 59 exhibitors, 161 sessions, two live stages and a third platform running highlights, exclusive interviews and tech trials.
According to ETL officials, many Event Tech Live exhibitors and sponsors are looking to expand their businesses across the world, and with its proven formats help them to engage with key buyers and conduct business, the show’s organizers felt confident that ETL USA & Canada would deliver on the other side of the Atlantic, too.
They added that during the event, attendees made 4,044 connections resulting in 2,375 meetings, 9,116 messages exchanged and 9,372 leads for the show’s exhibitors. Sessions were well-attended, with multiple panels comprising speakers split by thousands of miles and several time zones across the U.S., Europe and beyond, all handled seamlessly via ETL’s technology platform.
“Event Tech Live was a blast!” said Kathryn Frankson, Informa Connect’sdirector of event marketing, who was one of the event’s speakers. “It felt like a warm, entertaining and really interesting get-together of the industry and the content presented was incredibly spot-on. Plus, I was very happy to see such an incredible lineup of sponsors! Event tech was well represented.”
With the first iteration of ETL U.S. & Canada in the can and on the books for 2022, the ETL team now switches its focus to the hybrid ETL London, set for Nov. 1-5 at the Old Truman Brewery.
“We had to pivot against the clock to deliver ETL UK & Europe in November 2020, a steep learning curve, and the US & CA counterpart definitely benefited from the learnings,” added Adam Parry, co-founder of Event Tech Live.