For some, sitting in a Zoom meeting could be considered boring. To us, it’s an opportunity to explore our creativity and help our partners find ways to connect and communicate with their audiences. This last year’s challenges have become opportunities to unleash our collective creativity to produce custom experiences for meaningful wins.
Here are a few examples of what resulted:
Start From Scratch – Midwest Dairy Cheeseboard Chat
Challenge: Create a sensory event in a virtual setting.
Goal: “maximize its impact … to share information and real-time experiences that showcase how dairy products resonate with today’s consumers….
Solution: Midwest Dairy sent turn-key packages to all attendees including locally-made cheeses, spreads, crackers, chocolates and a cutting board. Included were instructions to join dairy farmers and a cheesemonger in a build-your-own cheeseboard event, where they could learn, taste and try their hand at curating a cheeseboard.
Wins: 44 attendees, including staff and farmers. Participants left the event with a more complete understanding of the dairy industry. The implementation of the hands-on cheeseboard activity left a memorable lasting impression with participants.
Lunch and Learn – Break for Health
Challenge: The Community Health Foundation wanted to continue to create meaningful conversations about human health, and conduct them for the first time in a convenient virtual setting.
Goal: “To preserve reproductive services, to promote health and wellness, and to advocate for quality healthcare through grantmaking and education in Clark and Champaign Counties.”
Solution: The Springfield Community Health Foundation (CHF) has gotten creative with its Break for Health series. Over the past few months, these events have covered topics such as heart health, winter wellness and breast cancer awareness. Each unique event allows attendees to join (from anywhere) during their lunch hour to ask questions and learn from local professionals.
Wins: Moderator, Nettie Carter Smith, said, “It’s not just a presentation – it’s a conversation!” The ability to talk with your audience, rather than to them, provides the opportunity for deeper, more meaningful conversations that have a lasting impact. From the last Break for Health event, Matters of the Heart, over 50% of attendees are more cognizant of their daily salt intake. This event has reached over 200 attendees and will continue to connect with community members in 2021.
Celebrate! – 1,000,000th Cargo Net
Challenge: The Abilities Connection (TAC) wanted to host a celebration to highlight its 1 millionth cargo net produced in a hybrid setting. The event had to be just as engaging and effective to an in-person audience as to those participating virtually.
Goal: Provide a memorable and meaningful celebration for multiple stakeholder groups: employees, industry partners and community members.
Solution: The Abilities Connection (TAC) manufactures cargo nets used by the United States Air Force. When it began preparing for the fabrication of its millionth cargo net, it was obvious that a celebration was in order. This idea developed into a virtual celebration for employees and community members. Attendees were able to observe how these nets are made and hear from Air Force officials, area congressmen and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. This event was live-streamed to Facebook to further amplify the organization’s message and celebrate with its audience on social media.
Wins: This hybrid-style event offered a unique opportunity for in-person attendees as well as those attending virtually to join in on the celebration. It provided an opportunity for TAC employees to interact virtually with event attendees and advocates in Washington, D.C., Columbus, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the community. This event concluded with a confetti cannon blast that was well-received in-person and online.
Trending Topic: Moving forward, we believe hybrid events such as this will be commonplace. The ability to connect with your audience in-person AND virtually supports endless opportunities for participation and engagement.
Engagement is Key – Virtual Conferences
Challenge: The COVID-19 pandemic, and actions taken across the country to prevent the spread of the virus, created challenges for the Ohio Agribusiness Association’s annual meeting. Orders were put in place to limit in-person gatherings, which resulted in the need to develop a virtual conference that meets (or exceeds) all of the same needs as a traditional in-person meeting.
Goal: Deliver a full conference experience in a virtual setting, providing general sessions, breakout sessions and continuing education units (CEUs) for attendees.
Solution: Teaming up with OABA, we were there from start to finish in the production of its three-day Virtual Industry Conference – featuring 23 engaging sessions and over 35 speakers! OABA took into consideration every detail (there’s a lot) to engage and create a positive experience during its conference, including the opportunity for attendees to view content on-demand for 90 days after the event.
Wins: “The 2021 Industry Conference was a huge success – with many members commenting that this was the best virtual event they have attended.”
Information Nights – Recruitment
Challenge: Columbus City Schools, Global Impact STEM Academy and iSTEM Geauga Early College High School were all seeking the best way to showcase their schools and programs to prospective students, without gathering in-person.
Goal: Deliver educational recruitment information to potential students/families.
Solution: For these recruitment events, prospective students and parents were invited to connect with teachers, students and parents to learn, ask questions and see firsthand what it would look like to be a student of each respective school.
Wins: Between these schools, they have reached over 700 students via virtual recruitment events this school year.
These events and experiences are only the beginning of what’s to come. We enjoy sitting down with our clients to brainstorm and determine the best and most engaging way to connect with their audience. No, virtual experiences do not have to sprout from a once in-person experience. In reality, these virtual experiences are often more engaging and effective when created from scratch. Consider ideas such as a live-streamed talk show, international webinar, or an organizational happy hour.
Not sure where to start? That’s why we’re here!