I was on my way to a captive Risk Control Workshop in March 2020, when I vividly remember receiving a notification on my phone. The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. Little did I know, that would be the last flight I traveled on and last hotel I checked into for the year 2020. The rest of the year, our Events Team transitioned all in-person captive events to virtual webinars. This included reworking hotel contracts for future years, and creating ways to keep our customers engaged and connected virtually.
The pandemic has turned daily lives upside down. Now, with a vaccine widely circulating, there finally appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel. However, in-person events are not going to be the same, at least not for a while. Planning for these events has required creativity, strategy, and flexibility.
Captivating the Virtual World
Meeting in person. It is perhaps the most valuable perk of being in a member-owned group captive: the opportunity to meet fellow captive members face-to-face and share business best practices. In the year 2020, no one was prepared for the number of hours they would be staring at themselves on camera.
When the pandemic hit, we had no choice but to pivot, adapt and move our events virtually. We quickly realized replicating the in-person experience in a virtual environment was impossible. This forced us to elevate our game if we wanted to capture and engage our captive audience. We rose to the occasion and found ways to interact and engage with our customers through breakout rooms, enhanced presentation materials, games, polls, trivia, speakers, and music all while trying to avoid the dreaded Zoom fatigue.
We learned many valuable lessons through this virtual experience that have changed the way we think about and approach our customer experience. The best part…we’re not done yet!
The Future of Events
We are excited to begin traveling and getting back to in-person events this summer, but we also recognize some attendees may still have reservations and/or concerns. Have no fear, your Innovative Captive Strategies (ICS) team is here!
Our ICS team has spent countless hours preparing for the return of in-person events, focusing on creating a positive experience and environment where everyone is not only excited but feels welcome, safe, and comfortable. This includes more detailed communication, more emergency protocols, enhanced registration, improved mobile app, thoughtful event logistics, and much more.
Additionally, we have researched and prepared the answers to all your questions surrounding travel planning: What will the airport arrival experience be like? Is a negative COVID-test required? Will my temperature be taken? When and where do I need to wear a mask? What has the onsite team done in advance to ensure a safe event? We will communicate these answers in various manners and also have onsite team members available for anything that might arise.
We have done our homework and we couldn’t be more excited to see you face-to-face soon!
At ICS, we don’t believe bigger is better. BETTER is better, and our ICS team is committed to continually bringing the “better” to each captive experience.
If you have any questions regarding an upcoming captive event, please do not hesitate to reach out to an ICS team member or email firstname.lastname@example.org.