Three Things to do differently in Digital Events?

After a systemic shock, the first reaction is to try to carry on as before, with as few adaptations as possible. This is exactly what has happened with events after the emergence of COVID-19, as people have bascially put “on-line” the same sort of event that we had “off-line”. Only after a while, do we start to realise that the new situation allows us to do things we could never have thought of doing before, and that we should use the chance to think again about how an what we are doing.

Here are some thoughts that I hope you will add to in your own mind:
1. Timing. We used to have to block days for events, as people needed to travel. But why stare stare at a screen for a full day? Spread the event over a longer period – then allow time for “homework” and small group interaction in between!
2. Participants. For smaller events, interactivity in an on-line group is hard beyond a certain number (I say 9 people max). But you can then run and link multiple small groups seemlessly (at least with Zoom), switching in and out of working groups (if you have good moderators). Also, a conference that was for 100 people in the real world, can now be easily scaled for 1000 if the right platform is chosen.
3. Interaction. In a large event, using e.g. Wisembly, it is easy to gather questions from the public, and to see which are most “liked” by participants. In small events, the you need to visualise discussions rather than talking in the air – something that avoids the repetition of real events.

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