Netflix and... virtual conference?

I have been frustrated with same, repeated topics in today’s meetings and events industry landscape: “best engagement strategies”, “the future is hybrid”, “hybrid is here to stay”, “what virtual platform should I use?” and my all-time favorite (insert a bit of sarcasm) “what the future holds for events and meetings industry”.. That one always gives me a chuckle as it implies that there is a crystal ball that someone has an access to, and they can predict the future.. Versus all of us here, running around without any idea on what the future holds, like mad scientists with steam coming out of our ears. Please do not misunderstand me - those questions are OK to ask but are they relevant today, since those are repeated over and over again along with answers? And is your meeting's objective same as the other company's? To me, it seems that there needs to be deeper understanding what we are working with here.. understanding of weight and depth of HUMANS! All of this has led me to write my FIRST EVER blog or article written ALL ON MY OWN. Excuse typos or any grammar mistakes. And here it is - whatever you want to call it. But I finally want to speak out because I feel most of us, (not all of us.. but MOST), in the industry, are missing the point. Since the event and meetings industry is exponentially moving, or has moved already, into digital space, it would be the next rational step, in my opinion, to study human behavior … ONLINE.. WHAT A MADNESS??!! Yes, I said it. Companies like Netflix have studied human online behavior for years and have been quite successful with predicting it, don’t you think? If you are interested in building successful online community and engagement, study those, who has been pioneering in that space. Think Peloton. Study Peloton. Research their research. Same with Netflix. When it comes to engagement – what works for me, may not work for you, so get ready for “hit and miss”. You can’t gamify everything because not everyone is Type A personality with competitiveness in their blood. However, you can look at collective data and how people behave in online setting. This can unlock your success when it comes to attracting attendees to your virtual conference. What platform you use, what sponsors you have – all of that is irrelevant without people logging into your conference... AND STAYING! It is common sense that anyone who will speak during the virtual conference should be looked at and vetted, with as much seriousness, as Netflix does with quality of movies or limited series they decide to have in their offering. TV or computer screens have never had issue with keeping people’s attention and our eyes glued to them – so why do virtual conferences have this issue? My answer to it is simple – not a lot of event and meeting planners focus on people/consumer behavior online studies while planning and building their virtual conference. Because I believe that virtual conferences are not planned anymore – they are being build.. from scratch. And in my humble opinion, that is one thing that is hugely missed and lacks understanding in our industry - not because of lack of resources but lack of $ allocated to this particular part of event marketing.

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