The recent Coronavirus outbreak has shocked the event industry, causing widespread cancellations and postponements globally. Since the pandemic hit the industry, we have seen a surge in requests to help event organizers mitigate this global problem.
Zapnito’s vision is to help event organizers rapidly build online communities, not replicate an in-person event online. Because online communities can stand the test of time - with a well-engaged community, your event will be buffered from unforeseen circumstances and you won’t completely lose your audience.
Event tech’s opportunities and weaknesses
Event tech aims to solve the problem of cancelled events. It is about replicating the event experience online. There are some decent event tech companies out there, but they are few and far between.
Professionals go to events to network and to learn. These are the main reasons for going to an event. Within these events are communities. The communities interact through the event format. Events are just one format for networking and learning.
Events are brilliant for building relationships with people you may not have seen in years or meet someone new you want to do business with.
But therein lies the weakness of event tech. The Internet is not set-up to have a stage, sponsor booth and networking lunches. It misses the nuances of relationship-building that occur in physical/offline events. It cannot fully transport the event experience to an online format and that’s where event tech gets it wrong most of the time.
Where People Tech can help
But People Tech, on the other hand, is about helping organizations and humans to connect and engage with each other over the long-term. It helps people do their work online. Therefore, the likes of Trello, Slack and Zoom are, in my opinion, all people tech solutions. We use all three of these tools at Zapnito to collaborate. The other job that’s a little harder to do is building professional networks and communities within trusted spaces (so, not Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites, to be clear).
That’s the job that Zapnito does.
Online communities are essential
The powerful thing about the Internet is that it is available 24/7 and has the ability to create long-lasting interactions that extend days or weeks beyond the end of an event.
Online expert networks and communities offer this. We believe events are a hugely powerful medium and nobody (yet) has found a way to fully replicate this experience. Until now.
With events getting disrupted right now, online communities in the event space are going from a should-have to a must-have. That’s why more companies are turning to Zapnito as a way to create online communities that support events and other models like memberships, subscriptions and knowledge products.
So how does this fit with running events? Especially live?
Zapnito believes that event tech only does a partial job. If anything it takes a 2-3 day event and attempts to pull it into a browser. Zapnito's community model converts the event community into a longterm solution which includes revenue protection and growth. We can embed webinars into the platform using our trusted embed partners. We also can run video panels within the platform (think hangouts but within the brand) vs. outside the platform. Because the Internet is available 24/7 it makes sense to run the event communities as a living breathing product, not just point in time.
To discover more about how the events industry needs a comprehensive digital offering, take a look at our Head of Marketing’s thoughts here.
To discuss how Zapnito can support your event organization now and in the future, get in touch with our expert team now by submitting this form.