Monthly Archives: covid19
Inside ON Advertising Virtual Events studio with two presents in front of a camera

The Benefits of Virtual Events

A new world is emerging in the way we communicate with others.  Technologies created or improved in the face of the pandemic helped us continue with business meetings, family gatherings and maintaining relationships, even though we kept our distances. Sometimes miles away. Although it seems like an inferior solution, virtual events have actually proven to be an effective alternative. 

In fact, Grand View Research estimates the market size for virtual events is expected to grow by 23.2% from 2020 to 2027. This can be attributed to the many benefits these types of events provide to their guests. As lockdowns began, On Advertising had the foresight to transform our digital studio into a fully equipped virtual studio.  We’ve been at the forefront of virtual meetings and conferences since the pandemic started, working with small groups to hundreds in attendance.  As one of the top Arizona digital marketing agencies, we’ve highlighted a few benefits we’ve seen with these online events. 

What is a Virtual Event?

Virtual events are an online space built to replicate a physical location-based event. It allows people and companies to host an online conference, trade show, product launch, job fair, lunch and learn session, or informative interviews from the comfort of their home or office. When deciding to host a virtual event, there are 5 types to consider:

  • Webinar: These are the simplest form of online events and they’re a great starting off point for organizations in virtual planning
  • Webinar +: This extends the concept of a regular webinar by adding features such as content hubs and in-depth reports
  • Content and Connect: An essential aspect of in-person events is the opportunity to network with peers and experts. Event planners will be able to facilitate a way for people to connect with others virtually through their online events
  • Online Summit/Conference: Much like in-person conferences, online summits are broken into themed sessions, offering short presentations, Q&As, and panels with full audience participation
  • Virtual Expo/Fairs/Festivals: Like any in-person expo, organizers are trading their multi-day, multi-venue events for an online model built around a virtual replicate

How Can Businesses Benefit From Virtual Events 

Online Events are Less Expensive

One prominent benefit to virtual events is their ability to save on overhead costs. Because you are saving on staff, venues, setup, takedown, meals, and travel costs, the overall cost of the event is greatly reduced. According to Aventri, it’s up to 75% less expensive than in-person events. The only cost planners must worry about is the costs associated with hosting an event on a virtual platform.

Promotes Attendee Growth and Delivers Additional Value

Because there aren’t any geographical limitations, people from all over the world can attend these virtual events. This allows for greater reach by inviting people who wouldn’t normally make it in-person to attend the online festivities. Furthermore, these online events will typically have overlapping sessions, allowing users to attend more than one panel simultaneously

Virtual Events Can Easily Be Measured

One of the disadvantages of hosting an in-person event is the difficulty of measuring results. By hosting an online event, planners have the ability to easily access results thanks to being entirely online. They are capable of learning when attendees logged on, from where, the number of people who are attending, how they are paying, and so much more. With so much information, organizers have the data to evaluate the success of their event.

Do Virtual Events Work?

As mentioned, online events are growing and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at a rapid speed. These types of events have become so popular amongst organizations, many industry leaders expect planners to begin developing hybrid models. Many people are beginning to look into hosting their own online events to make up for their inability to host in-person.

At ON Advertising, we’ve experienced firsthand just how effective this type of event can be. We recently helped the Seena Magowitz Foundation host their ‘2020 Celebration of Hope’ event, which replaced their annual gala and golf tournament. We also helped the non-profit, Saving Amy, with their ‘Toss Kindness Like Confetti’ event, which raised more than $120,000 in donations. Despite their inability to host in-person events, online alternatives provided them with a platform to safely reach and engage with users during the pandemic.

Plan Your Virtual Event With ON Advertising

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew we had to step up our event planning game. That is why we invested in Studio ON, our in-house production studio built with full filming, production, and live streaming in mind. Our event planning and production teams are equipped with the knowledge and equipment to ensure your virtual event goes off without a hitch. Contact us today to learn more about our event planning capabilities!

Virtual events

Hosting Virtual Events and the Future of Getting Together

It’s been just over a month since the Evans Communications team merged with ON Advertising to expand our crew, and we’ve enjoyed every minute of the process. We’re now capable of doing more than ever on our clients’ behalf and have enjoyed working as a new unit to get through these challenging times. Since our merger, one question we get a lot is: “What’s going on with your events division?” We were halfway through our spring season when COVID-19 hit and were only able to hold about half of our events for the season. Because of this, we are postponing most of the rest until fall 2020 or spring 2021; as a result, we began offering virtual events.

The Future of Virtual Networking

With such unique times to work through, we’ve been purposefully studious about the best ways to produce online events. Why? We wanted to identify true best practices and decipher which approaches and platforms work best. And while we’re not epidemiologists, we don’t believe that virtual events are the long-term answer to the question of how we’re all going to interact. This too shall pass!
Still, we do see the value in virtual events for some of the clients and organizations we work with. And we’ve noticed a few best practices we can share with you as remote working becomes more of a new normal.

  • Keep it small and simple for virtual events. Zoom or WebEx calls are hard enough to navigate for a work function; and for a social or networking event, they can become unruly unless you limit the attendance size and designate a host who can thoroughly manage the conversation. 
  • Keep everything short. It’s one thing to sit in a hotel ballroom for four hours for a charity dinner. But, it’s quite another to keep people’s attention spans focused online. Especially when they may have a million other distractions around their homes. How can you be safe and avoid losing audience interest? Err on the side of caution that any virtual meeting over an hour is a stretch. And if it’s an hour, you should probably have a reason and make it clear about why it’s longer. 
  • Market, market, market. Organizations can actually expand their reach far beyond what their in-person events might have attracted if they push hard through social media and other marketing channels. An event that might have drawn a few hundred people in-person can potentially draw thousands online. But, there must be a coordinated, strategic PR and marketing effort to make it work. 
  • Find the right platform. “Live” events are still very possible, and we’re working with several companies that are providing the option of doing in-studio content, including fundraising platforms that can capture donations in real-time! But, we’re also seeing some organizations pre-create their content. Going instead with a more passive fundraising ask that can be done on the donor’s own schedule. 
  • Make it professional. If you expected someone to pay to attend your in-person event, and you’re asking them for money now, they should expect to see a professional presentation in return. Think about fundraisers, for example. The in-person experience would ordinarily include a scripted program with themes and supporting visual elements. The online version of the event should be no different! 
  • Most importantly, don’t do anything off the cuff. Everyone wants to do something right now. But if you don’t go into virtual events with a clearly defined goal, thoughtful content, and a significant marketing and social media push, you’re wasting your time and energy and that of any potential attendees.

How ON Advertising Can Help with Virtual Events

No matter the event, from theme conception to running of the show, the team at ON Advertising is ready to ensure your events are executed memorably and flawlessly. We know times are truly unpredictable and unprecedented, which is why we are here to help you with your specific needs, and to share even further insight with you about how you can make virtual events beneficial in these challenging times. 
Contact us to learn more about our event planning services and to start working with our expert team.

Crisis Management for Long-Term Care Communities during COVID-19

If you’re like us, you’re likely hunkered down at home, doing your best social distancing to help flatten the curve of COVID-19. As the coronavirus has spread across the globe over the first few months of 2020, we’ve unfortunately learned that those most at risk for contracting are immunocompromised and the elderly. 

And even though a lot of the world has shifted from in-person work to working from home, many important, essential employees, like those who work in long-term care communities, caring for the more geriatric population, aren’t able to. This has led to more requests for crisis management services at these communities due to negative media coverage and a discussion of HIPAA transparency from these communities.  

Here’s how
Critical Point Communications, a subsidiary of ON Advertising, is tackling crisis management recommendations and insight on dealing with the media amidst the pandemic, and how we can help you if you’re a long-term care provider in need.

A Rise in Need for Crisis Management at Long-Term Care Communities

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 there’s been a definite rise in requests for crisis management at long-term care communities. The communities are filled mainly by elderly patients, many of whom deal with already pre-existing conditions or poor health, and are more at risk against contracting the virus, according to the CDC. Calls to manage crisis situations have doubled over the past two month which speaks to the magnitude of the situation these communities currently find themselves in. Due to this increase, we’ve provided crisis management services to more than 50 long-term care communities across the country since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Because of the nature of the virus, this type of management is different from the typical crisis management situation we usually deal with. Typically, we handle problems like citations received during a recent inspection, an employee theft of resident property, a missing resident, and other situations of a similar nature. During this crisis, long-term care communities have faced extreme negative media coverage since the spread began. Since there has never been a pandemic of this kind before, care communities are having difficulty knowing how to manage. From determining the timing of actions, such as limiting or prohibiting visitors, stopping social activities, confining residents, and what exactly to do in the event a resident or employee contracts the virus – there is a lot to consider. 

So far, we have dealt with a number of different issues regarding COVID-19 in long-term care communities, like a resident contracting COVID-19 in the community, an employee contracting COVID-19 in the community, and a media barrage on a community regarding transparency. We also dealt with long-term care media communications, employee and resident communications regarding virus in the building, COVID-19 visitation restrictions, and resident and employee quarantine timing and response during the crisis.

Dealing With Crisis Management Issues During COVID-19

To a community in need of assistance, crisis management can deal with the specific crisis occurring at that moment, and provide immediate communication requirements both inside and outside the community to control information regarding the crisis. And in terms of the COVID-19 crisis we’re currently facing, we provide specific directions to communicate to residents, family members, and media outlets regarding the proactive approach the community is doing to limit or eliminate the spread of the virus. 
But what steps do we take to do so? 
We provide verbal and written recommendations to both owners and senior management, stay in direct communication with media outlets, and write media statements regarding specific crisis issues that arise. Internally within the community, we provide communications to residents and family members. And in such unusual times, we cannot stress enough the need for all long-term care communities to have a crisis management plan in place. 

Putting a Crisis Management Plan In Place at Long-Term Care communities

According to an article by Healthline, experts say that Americans may have to get used to social distancing over the next 1 to 2 years. In the event that COVID-19 makes a return this Fall, it would be beneficial for all long-term care communities to be ready with internal and external communication protocols.
Crisis Communication plans include:

  • An employee policy regarding a crisis situation (written for employee manuals). 
  • Knowing what issues constitute a crisis, and knowledge of who to contact first in the event of a crisis. 
  • Direction on how to communicate to employees and residents during a crisis and knowing when to seek outside assistance for crisis management.
  • How to handle incoming media calls and what to do if the media shows up at your door. 

It is important that long-term care communities do not give on the spot interviews to any media outlet, and that information is carefully articulated both inside and outside of the community. If a facility is not sure what to do, seek outside professional crisis help immediately.

Working With Critical Point Communications

Knowing that it’s not a matter of “if”, but rather of “when” when it comes to a crisis occurring can help your company be better prepared. To better avoid significant damage being done to your valuable reputation within your community, it’s essential that any crisis is either resolved or contained within 4 hours or less. And that’s where Critical Point Communications can help you navigate.
The COVID-19 outbreak has brought forth new, unique challenges being faced by long-term care communities. And because these communities are at the epicenter of the pandemic and taking a brunt of the discourse, we want you to know, we’re here to help. 
If you are a long-term care community needing crisis management assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact us today to speak to our expert team.