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Three Actionable Lessons learned in 2020 to apply to all digital events

Article By Alison Gross for Daintree Advisory

Multilateral system events and meetings are based on communication. Throughout history the event industry has brought together people from around the world to communicate. Can online platforms provide clues on how to move ahead?

Small is beautiful.

We’ve seen that scale matters. On digital platforms, smaller groups of attendees can interact better than large groups. Smaller bodies, with fewer members and defined mandates made the move online more smoothly. There is a second way that small is beautiful - the length of the agendas. Keeping meetings and events short and providing after-event connectivity to the attendees is proving to be the most successful model.

Check who’s online.

Time zones, limited ability to provide interpretation, and internet connectivity conspire against effective participation. Many of us have experienced an event that had mixed results. Targeting the invitee list to a particular market, geography or industry increases connectivity to facilitate subject matter discussion and post-event interaction.

Leadership communication.

Leadership is possible in virtual space, but ‘Death by Corporate Speak’ is a real issue. The old one-way communication style adhered to by corporations ever since the word Proclamation was coined now is poorly received and even on occasion, ridiculed. Speeches need to change, new communication that is transparent and more personal needs to be adopted. The two-way feedback practice of social media needs to be welcomed in both internal and external communications.

Organizations are finding ways to keep the momentum moving on their communications. As restrictions on travel and gatherings stretch on, on-line communication fatigue needs to be addressed and events need to be thoughtfully designed and implemented.

With thanks to Lynn Wagner and Jennifer Allan from the International Institute for Sustainable Development, IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin for providing foundation for this article

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