A Tale of Two Events

| by Shannon Williams

Last week I had the privilege of attending two virtual events, on back-to-back nights, for organizations I care deeply about.

Both organizations delivered goodies in advance of the event to make it feel special. That is where the similarities ended.

Here is a side-by-side comparison:

Event A

Event B

The organization sent one (maybe two) emails promoting the event. The first informed me that I would be receiving goodies.

The organization sent an actual invitation followed by several follow up emails AND personal calls, texts, and emails from volunteers encouraging attendance.

Goodies were hand-delivered with no mention of the event by the delivery person OR in the package itself.

Goodies were hand-delivered with a reminder about the event from the delivery person and in the package itself.

The event started with a slideshow of pictures with no music. It made me wonder if the sound was working.

The event started with a slideshow of pictures and music. It set a happy tone.

Participants were not visible, only speakers.

Participants were visible. This created a fun atmosphere.

Speakers were live and did not have a teleprompter. Speakers looked down instead of looking directly at the camera.

Speakers were mostly recorded. They had a teleprompter and looked directly into the camera. They also had voiceover to show a lot of footage of the organization including drone shots that gave a fresh perspective, especially to those who had not seen the organization recently.

There was no participation from the audience.

The audience used the chat to react to images, messages, and performances shared. This created energy and excitement. The audience also had a chance to go to breakout rooms—it did not work seamlessly, but it did provide interaction for some.

A video was shown at the end. It appeared to be a video that could be used for multiple purposes.

A video was incorporated into the overall event. It was specific to the event, but also had a shelf life.

About 50 households tuned in for the event.

About 250 households tuned in for the event.

A follow-up email was sent thanking us for participating.

A follow-up email was sent thanking us for participating. A second email was sent to attendees and non-attendees with a link to the video presentation.

A solicitation arrived in our mailboxes a few days later.

Individual follow-up is being coordinated for households that attended.

 I will let you decide which one had the greatest impact. I hope the comparison helps you as you plan your next virtual event.

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