Brandt Krueger #007
Joel Martin sits down with Brandt Krueger to talk about event tech! They discuss the transition from live events to online events and best practices for choosing an online platform. While the future is still unknown Brandt offers valuable insight to where the live side is heading!
How to Successfully Launch Online Events with Brandt Krueger
Brandt Krueger is a technical producer for virtual events and an educator through the Event Leadership Institute. He’s also served as a consultant at various points in time throughout his career.
Combining his experience with the current climate, Brandt realized that online events could be pretty big. As it turned out, virtual events, and expertise in staging virtual events, has become a vital part of continuing quality business (and business events) during the pandemic. But virtual and hybrid events won’t stop there.
As we move from the pandemic to the endemic, business leaders have recognized this is the new way of life.
Choosing the Right Platform for Online Events
Consultations have started to come back as people often need to speak with a technical person for answers to questions like:
- What are the best practices for online events?
- How do I choose a platform to host attendees?
- Once I’ve chosen a platform, what’s the best way to work with it?
- How do I present my speakers so they don’t look like they’re on a zoom call?
Speaker management is way more important than it ever has been, and it will continue to be. The industry changed overnight. All the companies that did badging and registration have become streaming companies, at least in part.
The analogy Brandt uses is to think of the platform as a physical venue. If you’re becoming overwhelmed, take a breath, and think about what you would do if you were trying to pick a venue for a family celebration or concert.
For most people, this process has a few key elements that influence the decision. First, if they’ve been to the venue before, they’re more likely to think positively about the venue. It works the same with the online platforms. People value personal experiences: they talk to their colleagues, their friends, and attend online conferences to find out what they like and what’s going to work best for their group.
You can host an event anywhere in the world. You can do an event in a field, or in the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton, and you can have a good event in either location. 80% of these online platforms are the same, just like when you’re thinking about physical events, you’re going to find the same elements.
The chat is the same, the Q&A is the same. This leads us to several important questions:
- How much time do you spend evaluating new platforms and technologies?
- Every week there’s something new coming out, so how do you keep informed?
- What do you do to keep your clients coming back, and your events interesting?
Brandt admitted to himself early on that he was not going to be able to keep track of everything. Even still, for the first couple of months he would edit and add new things, basically creating databases. Finally, after finding himself in the same trap, he came to rock bottom. No one uses the yellow pages anymore. Nobody goes to the yellow pages when they need a plumber and then chooses one of the 27 different plumbers. What do people do? They talk to their colleagues, their friends, they research, and they attend online events.
Brandt decided to pivot his efforts and do the same. It’s a delicate balance not to become overwhelmed, because things are outdated the second you hit stop on the zoom call. Instead of obsessing over following every single new idea, he explores as many demos as he can, and chooses where to invest from there. It’s a balance of not doing too much and getting overwhelmed while also trying new things.
This is an issue teams, businesses, and event technicians have been fighting against for months. Even with new ideas, experimentation in engagements, and even hybrid events, everyone is over Zoom.They’re tired.
So, how do we address this issue without burning ourselves out trying to create completely original, fun experiences every single day? Keep it simple: don’t make it look like a zoom call. Do everything within your power to not make it look like a zoom call. You can’t tech your way into engagement, you can’t tech your way into networking: it has to be part of the design of the event.
While most of us here at Event Speak are techies, it’s important to note that it would be better to use old technology rather that using new technology for the sake of it being new.
It’s not about the platform. You can’t platform your way into a fun, engaging event. You have to design it.
Post-Covid Event Tech Theories
Where’s the industry headed in this post COVID world?
We’ve advanced more in the last 10 months (when it comes to online events and the technology involved) than we have in the previous 10 years.
For 10 years, everyone played with the idea, but it was never seen as more than just an interesting party trick. Then, all of a sudden, we had to go online. There simply was no other option. Anytime there’s tragedy, there’s also opportunity, and while none of these opportunities and breakthroughs could subtract from the horrible tragedy of people losing their jobs, lives, and loved ones over the course of the last year, it did drive advancement in technologies.
Because this time has been so difficult, we can fall into a mindset of just waiting and hoping for things to go back to the way they were before the pandemic. But if we can resist that temptation, we can learn how to pull what we’ve learned, what we’ve gained, and invest in the new standards of hybrid events. We’re not going back to 100% in-person: there’s a new audience due to increased online presence, an audience including people with mobile disabilities that couldn’t attend events.
This is an opportunity, and now we have to ask ourselves: How do we bring them forward, and reincorporate our in-person events without returning to what we were doing for the last 10 years?
For more insights, blog posts, and podcasts into the Event Tech world, check out EventSpeak.