Putting Tech in Its Place

Here are some takeaways from a well-attended session at PCMA's Education Conference.

Michael Doyle, director of the Virtual Edge Institute, and Lynn Randall, managing partner, Randall Insights, offered a primer on virtual events and environments at a packed “Virtual Events 101” session Tuesday morning at PCMA’s Education Conference in Baltimore.

Some takeaways:

  • That feeling that you have that virtual events are exploding? It’s based on reality: The field grew by more than 50 percent last year, said Doyle.
  • Fears that virtual events will cannibalize live events are dissolving in the face of evidence to the contrary: An average 18 percent of people who attend conferences virtually opt to attend the next year, he said.
  • One of the most perplexing areas for many is knowing how to calculate costs and choose vendors. It’s not necessary to spend a lot to livestream a session from your event, Doyle said, but adding virtual components to meetings can run into many thousands of dollars, depending on the variables.
  • Technology is not the first thing that people should think about when considering virtual events, Randall said.  Knowing your business goals and your audience should come first.

The 90-minute session was filled with questions and discussion, and Doyle and Randall didn’t make it all the way through their presentation. Luckily, there’s a (digital) remedy — the pair plan to continue the presentation in PCMA’s virtual environment, PCMA365.

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.