At the end of a major conference, it may be tempting to close the books on the event and move on to planning the next one, but that road leads to a land of missed opportunities. Instead, from the outset of planning an in-person meeting, recognize that it can produce a trove of digital assets that you can use later to maintain connections, keep attendees engaged, and build brand awareness.
“We see digital extensions being a benefit to association events in a lot of different ways,” said Jack Macleod, president of 360 Live Media. “It frees [attendees] up while they’re there in person to not feel the pressure of having to get to every single session. Or, if there are sessions at the same time and they have to make a difficult decision, knowing that they’ll be able to go online afterwards and catch whatever they missed on demand enables the attendee to embrace all the best that comes with being there in person.”
The Consumer Technology Association has seen about 40 percent of attendees go online for post-show viewing of content delivered at its CES conference. The show was virtual in 2020, and hybrid in 2021 and 2022.
“What we found is people really love the fact that they could go back at their leisure,” said Sean Perkins, vice president of marketing at CTA. “When you’re attending an event digitally, it’s not like you’re going to grab your coffee and sit down for nine hours straight. You’re doing other things. In the hybrid environment, what we saw was that the majority of the people that came back were people that were at the show.”
CES livestreamed and recorded mainstage content as well as many of its panel sessions, so attendees didn’t have to fear missing out.
“The truth is that for an attendee at CES, they’re not able to go see all of the conference that they might want to because they’re engaged in other business,” said Marika Oliff, CTA director of event content. “We heard a lot of folks tell us how much they enjoyed being able to go back and look at those conference sessions.”
And it’s not just sessions attendees missed that they are logging on to watch, Macleod says. “Many [attendees] report that they will go back and watch a session that they saw in person as well. They want to be able to go back to it, pause, take notes, and really get more out of it,” he said. “They’re able to control the content in the environment that they’re consuming it in a little bit more than when they’re at the event.”