Since coronavirus was declared a pandemic, the phrase “Just another day at the office” has taken on a whole new meaning. When nationwide social distancing was put into place, millions of face-to-face events and meetings were canceled or postponed.
Thankfully, video conferencing makes it possible to stay connected in work and in life without risking the health of yourself or others. Make virtual conferencing a breeze for your audience with Alt Ethos’ 8 things you can do in advance that will make the transition to virtual conferencing easier.
1. Choose a Platform
There are a number of video conferencing applications out there, and not all are created equal. FaceTime and Messenger are great for chatting person-to-person, but when it comes to virtual events and conferences, you will need more capabilities and features. Consider the following when choosing which platform to use:
How many people will be in the meeting?
Is it an interactive meeting or more one-sided?
Will you need screen share capabilities or other multimedia features?
What are your tech needs in terms of sound and lighting?
2. Set Expectations Ahead of Time
Have you ever walked into an event or meeting expecting one thing and come out having experienced something entirely different? That can easily happen with video conferences too, and it’s not an experience you want to give your attendees. Set the tone for smooth interactions online before attendees sign up by clearly outlining:
Which platform the event or meeting will be held. Is there a capacity limit or deadline for signing up?
What their role in the virtual conference will be. Is it an interactive session where they’ll need to be ready to provide feedback and commentary?
What level of engagement you expect from them. Will they need to show up with video on, or is audio only okay?
3. Create a Workable Agenda
Because everything is virtual, it’s tempting to think you can pack more in a short window of time. Resist the urge, says Jeff Cobb of Leading Learning in his article “12 Tips for a Successful Virtual Conference”.
“The brain can only absorb what the butt can endure. Shorter is often better for sessions. And don’t forget to build in breaks—attendees will appreciate 15 minutes to check voicemail and e-mail and address other needs. Even in the virtual world, people have to go to the bathroom.”
4. Prep Your Attendees
Once your attendees have signed up, you’ll need to let them know some basic information about the virtual sessions. what you’ll be discussing, who will be there, and what they can do ahead of time to be ready for the meeting. Send out an email with a basic outline of the virtual session. Don’t forget to tell them if there’s anything they’ll want to have on hand to help them get the most out of the session, like a notebook and pen.
5. Be Available to Answer Questions
Virtual conferencing is going to be a new experience for some. The more education and answers you can provide BEFORE the conference call or virtual event starts, the less you’ll have to provide during the actual event.
“Folks will be more likely to pay—whether for a big-ticket sponsorship or a simple registration—if they can see for themselves what the virtual conference will be like,” said Cobb. Make a screen share video with step-by-step instructions on how to sign up for and install the video conference app you’ll be using, and plan to have extra tech support available to answer questions. Designate a specific email, messenger chatbot, or phone line for questions.
6. Do a Trial Run
If you have staff, speakers, or sponsors who will also be involved in the online event, spend time before the event putting resources in place so they feel comfortable and ready to do their part when the time comes.
Consider giving speakers and sponsors a free pass to test out the platform ahead of time, and don’t be afraid to do a trial run or two. You can’t always troubleshoot issues if you don’t know what issues to look for. A trial run will give you a chance to identify any bumps that need to be smoothed over.
The more prepared your staff is, the less stressed you’ll be. Run some contingency plans for customer service issues and create clear guidelines for how staff can help with things like Q&As and breakout sessions.
7. Don’t Forget the Reminder
People are busy, so a virtual event is appealing for many reasons outside of the current health situation. No making travel plans, packing, hotels, or flights. For the attendees, not having to do all the physical planning and prep for an in-person event can make it easy to forget to show up. You’ll need to remind them.
There are several ways to remind your registered attendees. We recommend sending out email or text reminders. Cobb suggests sending reminders a week before, one day before, and the day of the event. You could also create an exclusive group on social media to hype the event. Only registered attendees can join, and you can drop video teasers, downloadable resources, Live video, and more to keep attendees engaged and excited.
No matter how you choose to keep the virtual event top of mind for your attendees, always make sure to include all the pertinent information about how to access the conference and where to go for help.
8. Outline Virtual Etiquette Guidelines
Once you have everyone live in the session, you’ll want to set the tone. Virtual conferencing is a new world for a lot of people. Don’t assume everyone understands good etiquette when it comes to online meetings and events. Let them know how they can do things like:
Ask or send questions without interrupting
Stay engaged with the content
Respect other attendees and the speakers by muting their microphones when there’s background noise
Access supplemental content like side decks and PDF documents
Request help with technical issues
Enjoy Your Virtual Conferencing Event
The better prepared you are before your event, the more relaxed and engaged you can be during the event. These tips give you guidelines on things you can do ahead of time that will not only help you but your staff, speakers, sponsors, and attendees.
Learn More About Alt Ethos
Want to create your own unique and memorable virtual conference or workshop experience but not sure where to start? We can help! Visit us at www.altethos.com.
Alt Ethos is celebrating the grand opening of its state-of-the-art studio and innovation center, opening the doors to creative designers and artists throughout Denver.
[Denver, Colorado, 11/19/2019] Alt Ethos is celebrating the grand opening of their new studio and Innovation Center in Denver. This Innovation Center will increase public access to various Alt Ethos experiential design projects in an expansive event space. The grand opening celebration includes live music by DJ Jason Guava, interactive experiences, food, and drinks for all. Please join us for a public unveiling Friday, December 13, 2019, at 7:30pm to 11pm at 2505 West 2nd Ave #11, Denver, CO 80219. Free tickets to this event are available via Eventbrite.
The opening features interactive immersive projections, an LED tunnel, a 360 digital dome, and Technicolor LED clouds. These award-winning installations are constructing the future of design to offer unique work that transcends expectations. Alt Ethos creates immersive and interactive storytelling for all ages that disrupts the mundane and inspires the imagination.
This immersive event space celebrates many works Alt Ethos has been providing for Northern Colorado which are now part of the self-guided Alt Ethos Experiential Tour. The event also provides potential new hires to meet with the Alt Ethos team as they are hiring for several administrative and creative positions.
Alt Ethos was founded in 2016 by Ethan Bach, and is run by a team of Denver’s finest digital designers and developers. Bach is also the founder of Alt Ethos’ sister company, Denver Arts + Technology Advancement (DATA), a nonprofit that provides educational resources in the fields of technology, design, and creative arts. DATA will host educational workshops and other events in their new shared location.
Please join us to experience the expansion of the Alt Ethos and DATA headquarters that will change the landscape for Denver’s technology industries. It will be a night to remember.The grand opening celebration includes live music by DJ Guava, interactive experiences, and food and drinks for all. The public unveiling is Friday, December 13, 2019, at 7:30pm to 11pm at 2505 West 2nd Ave #11, Denver, CO 80219. Free tickets to this event are available via Eventbrite
Alt Ethos, an experiential design company in Denver, was invited by Wade Troxell, Mayor of the City of Fort Collins, to proclaim October 15, 2019 as Empowerment Through Creative Technology Day. This proclamation has recently been enacted by the Mayor as a means to encourage citizens to explore the creative arts through technological applications and renew a sense of pride for the cultural diversity found within the community. The reasons for this proclamation and celebration of creative technology are many. Alt Ethos, a company at the forefront of a movement to bring creative technology applications to the mainstream, is supported by many fellow private and public organizations. The proclamation is in line with the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority’s dedication to economic development through technology and creative arts. The Downtown Development Authority recently put its Downtown Alley Master Plan into place, which encourages the conversion of local alleys into interactive art and technologically-driven displays. These public arts not only offer free public access to an immersive, child- and pet-friendly experience, but encourages new storefronts due to greater economic activity in otherwise low-traffic areas. The Downtown Development Authority worked with Alt Ethos in 2018 to complete the first of many interactive wall murals in accordance with the Downtown Alley Master Plan. The murals, painted by local artist Peeta, were transformed by Alt Ethos into an animated visual display. Using projection mapping technology, passersby can control the movement of the mural through simple movements. The project, titled “Illuminous,” is free for pedestrians to experience and enjoy in historic Old Town. In light of the proclamation for Empowerment Through Creative Technology Day, Alt Ethos founder, Ethan Bach, is excited to advance several new projects for the company. They have recently entered and won a Young Industry Professionals Award for a similar public arts project, and in the past spring partnered with Anythink Libraries to openly construct an interactive sculpture, combining elements of sound, light, and motion to encourage young minds to explore the opportunities in design and creative technology.
Alt Ethos is currently accepting invitations for new interactive community and commercial design projects, aimed at connecting crowds to their surroundings in novel and powerful mediums. To learn more about Alt Ethos, visit their website at www.altethos.com or call their Denver office at 303-800-4243.
Denver experiential design studio takes home YIP award in experiential motion design for Greeley, Colorado Musical Hopscotch installation.
Denver, Colorado, November 5, 2019 On October 2nd, 2019, Denver Does Design hosted its inaugural Young Industry Professionals (YIP) Awards. The YIP Awards celebrate the achievements of young professionals in creative design fields. All award nominees and teams have less than 10 years of industry exposure, but are making great strides in innovation surrounding the Denver area. One such nominee and award winner, Alt Ethos, is proud to announce their recognition in the Motion category for an interactive public art display.
Alt Ethos is one of 13 YIP Award winners celebrated at the event this year. The interactive design company, founded by Ethan Bach, is made of several young designers who helped create their winning entry. Their Greeley Hopscotch project, which combined elements of motion and sound to provide an interactive hopscotch experience for Greeley-area residents, won the Alt Ethos team the award.
The Greeley Hopscotch project was nominated in the Motion category for Experience Awards at YIP. The Experience Awards were given to projects which offered interactive experiences to participants using creative design and technology elements. Other categories at the Awards included Everyday Use, Storytelling, Montage, and others based on projects’ creative and social impact and merit.
This Awards event not only spurred creative innovation from the local Denver young professionals community, but preceded a recent proclamation by the Fort Collins Mayor, Wade Troxell, to celebrate October 15th as Empowerment Through Creative Technology Day. Many of the projects presented at the YIP Awards featured creative and artistic design elements that further Denver and Fort Collins’ mission to be a hub of modern art and tech innovation.
Alt Ethos is one of many Denver-area organizations that celebrates empowerment and innovation through creative technology on a daily basis. Alt Ethos’ many community projects follow guiding principles to be inclusive, interactive, and novel in the ways they engage audiences through light, sound, and motion. As the YIP Award and other recognition of tech-centered industry growth emerge, the community goal to enhance the professional opportunity for creative arts and design will be met and exceeded.
In 1996, California broke the stigmas of American culture and legalized marijuana for medical use. In 2012, Colorado and Washington shocked the nation again by allowing not only medical use, but recreational use of the drug despite federal pushback. Now, in 2019 cannabis is normalized for most of the population.
Over 30 states have decriminalized cannabis either for medical or recreational purposes. This has brought about an emerging market with ample opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors to stake their claim in the cannabis frontier. However, marijuana marketing is so much more than pot leaves and tie dye. Modern cannabis brands are much more sophisticated in their presentation of products and brand experiences. Marijuana isn’t just for the stoner dropout anymore. It’s for the senior struggling with arthritis; for the eco-conscious parent using CBD to handle their anxiety and depression; for the hard-working college student who wants to spend their weekends at art and music festivals. These nuanced target markets expect brands to provide quality in both their products and presentation if they are to delve into this hot new trend. Experiential marketing is one way in which brands are surging ahead of their competitors and breaking ground within various target markets of the cannabis space. When new consumers are greeted with a warm welcome to the cannabis space, they are more likely to try products that they wouldn’t before. The industry culture is shifting to be inclusive to people of all kinds.
Brands should offer tailored experiences for customers with different needs and expectations when it comes to cannabis use. One such company that is making strides in the industry is Far Out Factory. This marijuana-inspired art and music festival provides an immersive 420-friendly experience that doesn’t actually include marijuana at all. Sponsored by O.penVape, this art festival includes everything a marijuana enthusiast would want: immersive digital art, eclectic music selections, and the best munchies Denver has to offer. Guests at the festival were invited by an array of food trucks, art booths, and even a dance party where they could relax and enjoy the music. The environment was optimized for someone who had partaken prior to the festival, but was equally fun sober. Alt Ethos participated in this fantastic 420 event by curating a balloon-inspired silent disco with color-coordinated lights to match featured DJs’ top tracks. The silent disco was a success for us and Far Out Factory, and a truly great time for everyone on the dance floor.
Events like these offer opportunity for cannabis industry leaders to interact with their consumers and make memorable impressions that lead to purchases. When customers interact with the brand, even if they don’t buy or even sample products, they build brand loyalty and will likely come back when they are ready to delve into the modern marijuana culture. Experiential marketing is an opportunity for marijuana brands to make cannabis a solution, not a problem in today’s culture. Talk to us at Alt Ethos to learn how you can take your branding to the next level.