Over the past several months, while our typical work lives have been turned upside-down and inside-out, we’ve avoided the urge to spend our time wastin’ away in Quarantinaville. Instead, we’ve tripled down on our usual monitoring of new trends and tech-service offerings, checking in with clients, seeing how they’re doing, and wondering together where we all go from here as it relates to corporate meetings and events.
We can tell you this, there’s a boatload of confusion right now …
Along with hand sanitizer, having food delivered, navigating one-way aisles at the grocery, and pointing threatening fingers at the bathroom scale, we’ve discovered virtual/hybrid corporate meetings are suddenly on everybody’s minds but nobody quite seems to be able to wrap their heads [or their budgets] around them.
So many providers, so much confusion, and so little flexibility! What do you do?
Like satellite radio and satellite TV [each offering 150+ listening or viewing options], there are a vast array of choices but many of them are part of a bundle. And if you’re not necessarily interested in everything that comes with that bundle, you’re wasting money.
One client said, “I don’t need this but I do need that. Why do I have to pay for all of it?”
For the foreseeable future, more and more virtual/hybrid meetings will be held and they will likely work their way into the mainstream of our industry. As such, there’s a huge push right now from sales reps pitching virtual/hybrid meeting services, especially among the bigger players, who want to strike while the iron is hot. [Translation: Meeting planners are currently in a bit of a dire need state and that’s usually when flexibility and pricing are most rigid.]
Present circumstances demand we leverage technology in the interest of safety, at least until this corona thing is put out to pasture once and for all. Fortunately, we live in an era when tech has exploded and opened up new ways to do old things – like gathering as business professionals to set strategy, share best practices, make brilliant presentations, and hear from company leadership.
Don’t Settle for a “One-Size-Fits-All” Solution
After much research and many, many conversations with respected industry professionals, we’ve discovered it comes down to this: When deciding on a virtual/hybrid meeting service, don’t just seek any solution, seek the right solution … or the right bundle of solutions from multiple providers.
We know, it sounds confusing – and it can be – but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re meeting F2F or virtually [or some combination of both], remember the fundamentals remain the same.
What are we trying to achieve?
What are the key messages?
What are our goals?
Who and what needs to be on the agenda?
Is this virtual/hybrid meeting in lieu of a F2F gathering?
When should we meet?
What’s the budget?
Asking and answering these questions remains a critically important part of the planning process and will help steer you to the right virtual/hybrid meeting solution, not just any solution. You need to be comfortable you’re getting just the right amount of robustness, no less than you need and certainly no more.
Customization is key.
Depending on circumstances, you may need the full firepower of a larger virtual/hybrid meeting provider. Or maybe a smaller, more cost-effective provider is the better way to go. As an example, we all understand the vast reach of a UPS or a Fed-Ex but there are many, many smaller and lesser-known players in the delivery space who provide excellent solutions for smaller business or those with smaller budgets. Same is true when it comes to virtual/hybrid meeting providers.
For our clients, we craft low/medium/high, customized options that range from basic bare-bones to one with additional features and options, and another that includes extra polish and slickness. All are within the client’s stated budget range.
We give them only what they want and need.
One virtual/hybrid meeting services provider uses augmented reality and clever animation to create a 3D experience that has you logging on then suddenly feeling as if you’re physically entering the convention hall or ballroom and taking a seat in the audience while the “onstage” speaker is beamed into the field of view virtually. It’s really cool stuff but it ain’t cheap and if you don’t want or need that type of experience, why pay handsomely for it?
Another company includes in its bundle a virtual tradeshow feature but if you’re not doing a tradeshow or exhibit-type session as part of your program, why pay for it?
Say Yes to the Dress
Let’s put it in simple and eminently relatable terms. You’re getting married, you’re the bride, and you just saw the most elegant wedding gown ever created on a rack calling your name and begging you to come get acquainted. You do as asked, step into the fitting room, and quickly discover there’s too much fabric in all the wrong places and not enough in others.
But you love the gown. What’s a girl to do …?
You get it tailored. Customized. Expertly taken in and let out in all the right areas to ensure you are absolutely radiant on your big day.
Same’s true when selecting a virtual/hybrid meeting services solution. Don’t buy something off the rack, as-is. Have it tailored and make sure it fits you perfectly, allowing you to shine!
You may need a custom bundle that includes a registration platform, a virtual/hybrid meeting platform and a technology hub that safely and efficiently houses all video and graphics. And you don’t need a tradeshow/exhibit function, you’re not interested in live audience polling, and you can do without the AR, gee-whiz bells and whistles. Like the dress, there’s a tailored solution out there. It just takes time, knowledge and research to stitch it together and make it happen.
When the time comes and your organization is ready to meet again – whether it’s virtual/hybrid or F2F — the dynami team would be honored to help you cut through the confusion, and find the right and perfect solution to fit your specific needs and your budget .
Regardless of circumstances, we’ve always been in the business of making people shine!