Rainbow over One World Trade Center and the New York City Skyline.
Taken by: Alex Moss
As we look back on a year that all but shut down the live events industry, we are excited about preparing for the reopening of our city, and are trying to predict how reopening will be yet another change we will need to adapt to. At one of our recent daily staff meetings, we were reflecting not only on what has changed, but also what has remained constant.
Our mission and our commitment remain constant.
Our goals and our clients’ goals remain constant.
The integrity of every event we produce remains constant.
The ideas of collaboration, engagement, audience participation, fundraising and sponsorship, data collection, and most importantly creativity, remain constant.
The ability to adapt these common themes of in-person events to virtual or hybrid, while maintaining the integrity of each and every event has propelled us forward, in a time that sometimes feels like we are moving backwards.
Collaboration is key to the success of any event – in its planning stages and the day of the actual event. Not only are planning meetings still occurring, but this collaboration and commitment to the cause and the event itself are unwavering from its inception through the day of the event. As we look forward to a busy spring filled with galas and events, we cherish this constant collaboration between all the moving parts that help achieve success.
One of the key differences between in-person events and virtual/hybrid events is the way engagement works. It’s constant and still key for an event’s success, but the way it is executed is different. Even though a traditional in-person Gala may have been three to four hours, in the virtual space, one hour of content is as long as we recommend. This reduction in time forces us to focus on the most impactful and engaging aspects of any event and bring those ideas to the forefront of our messaging.
Through our experience with the event platform, Virtual Tables, we have been able to replicate the interaction and audience participation of a traditional in-person event. Virtual Tables allows guests to interact with other guests and engage with the host or a celebrity guest that they may not have had the opportunity to while at an in-person event. Keeping your audience engaged and enjoying the company of others in attendance is a constant critical component of events and a human need.
Fundraising and Sponsorship
Fundraising remains constant. For many organizations, events are the only way for them to raise unrestricted funds during the year and are necessary to their bottom line and survival. The Latino Community Foundation, one of our beloved clients, was able to exceed their fundraising goals for their 2020 Gala, despite being a fully virtual event. This event is just one example that proves that event fundraising remains a constant in a changing landscape. The need to recognize sponsors and donors who have stood by their causes is not only more important in the virtual landscape but we have found more opportunities to do so. Virtual events provide the opportunity for greatly increased attendance and the sponsor’s visibility is more valuable than ever.
Although data collection has shifted and adapted, the macro level ideas remain constant. According to an article by Social Solutions, “the data you should be tracking are your outputs, outcomes, and overall impact.” The “impact” you are focusing on is “how you are making systemic, lasting change through your outputs and outcomes.” These ideas and themes are constant and unwavering. The measurements of lasting impact are fundamental to the success of any nonprofit’s work.
As the event landscape has shifted, we have increased our creativity ten-fold. Our clients challenge and encourage us to think creatively, think outside of the box, and strengthen our quick-thinking abilities as we navigate and persevere. We have risen to the challenge and adapted these themes and ideas to increase overall productivity and success. Their mission and their goals are at the center of everything we commit ourselves to everyday, and that consistent pride in our clients is constant and will remain constant, however the world chooses to change and shift.