Virtual Event Key Learnings
With it being just about a month since the Cisco Live live hybrid event I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what worked, and what did not work. So below is my list of a few of my key learnings with more to come as we continue debriefs and plan for future Cisco Live Virtual activities.1. You can never start the strategic planning for a virtual event to early! Multi-day hybrid events are mammoth programs to plan, much less execute, so allow ample time to complete the strategic planning process. The Cisco Live management team spent a couple of months looking at the event and audience intersections when planning the hybrid event. However even with copious preparation under your belt be prepared to be fluid and think creatively when ‘problem solving opportunities’ (to quote our Cisco Live operations manager) present themselves during the execution period. This is new technology and what you can do with it evolves quickly so be prepared to learn along the way.2. Pay attention to support! Identifying trends in support issues is critical to determining whether immediate corrective action is needed or not. Nothing is ever perfect and you should assess how close to the perfection mark you are tracking. There have of course been support issues submitted for Cisco Live Virtual but the total number is less than 4% of unique logins to date, so not bad for a new launch. 3. Maximize your opportunities to blend the experiences! We tried a couple of experimental mediums for Cisco Live Virtual during the hybrid event such as using VoIP for @padmasree and @carlosdominguez to hold live Q&A’s for the virtual audience after the keynotes, live Customer interviewing in the Media and Analyst booth and live broadcasting of the Cisco Booth Solutions Theater. These where fairly simple set-ups as one just needs a computer, webcam, power, Ethernet and audio source to execute. My key takeaway after observing the virtual audience reaction to these experiments was more, more, more.I ask all of you reading this who have planned or attended a virtual event: How could your experience be improved? What resonated with you during the event? What were your key learnings?