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Three things we’ve learned from planning a global virtual conference

A man and a woman look at a map as they navigate through a Nordic landscape.

Puzzel will host its first-ever global virtual conference next week. It’s one of the biggest events we’ve ever held and the nerves are setting in!

Every year, hundreds of professionals from across the customer service and contact centre industries join us at our flagship Get Connected conferences. Held in Oslo, London, Copenhagen and Stockholm, they are the highlight of our year and, in normal times, a great opportunity for us to mingle with our customers, partners and industry peers. We always have such a blast setting up the venue, meeting new people, showing off our platform, and wearing our Puzzel swag. But this year we’ve had to switch up the format…

For the first time ever, Get Connected will be going virtual this year. With the coronavirus still spreading across Europe and restrictions likely to continue for many more months, it is the safest and most reliable way we can ensure the event goes ahead. But organising your first global, multi-language, virtual conference in the middle of a pandemic isn’t easy, so we thought we’d share a few takeaways from our experience so far.

Virtual events are booming and they’re here to stay

Most events are taking place virtually right now. But Forbes predicts demand for virtual events will continue even after the COVID-19 vaccine has rolled out, especially as more businesses digitise and embrace remote working practices [1]. Hybrid events that offer a mix of in-person and online workshops will likely become the dominant format going forward.

Some of the biggest advantages of virtual events include:

  • Accessibility: People can attend from all over the world, from their office or from the comfort of their own home
  • Cost: Virtual events are cheaper for businesses to hold, as they can save on travel, venue, catering and staffing costs. This leaves more budget to invest in hiring great speakers and sharing high-quality content
  • Flexibility: Attendees can easily dip in and out of online events and recordings are usually made available at the end of the day 
  • Faster connections: It is faster and easier to make connections through live chat, video networking or social channels

As an international business with customers in 40 different countries and offices across Scandanavia, Europe, the UK and Asia, we have definitely felt the benefits. At Get Connected 2021, we’ll have speakers and attendees from the UK, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland all in one place – something that would normally be very challenging to achieve. Timezones and languages are no barrier when you host an event on the world wide web!

Virtual events CAN feel human and real

Working in the customer service industry, we know the value of human interaction. There’s a reason so many people still choose to call for customer service rather than send an email. So to deliver a great virtual event experience, we know it’s important to include a human touch.

Luckily, virtual event software has come a long way since Covid. Some of the most advanced virtual event solutions now offer immersive experiences with live broadcasting, video networking, roundtables, breakout rooms, game zones … the list really does go on!

Puzzel will be hosting Get Connected 2021 on PINE. PINE is a virtual conferencing tool that enables attendees to gather online, watch live and recorded video sessions, network, live chat and browse virtual conference booths. To ramp up the fun, we’ve also planned some exciting giveaways and even a live afterparty and quiz.

But PINE also offers an incognito mode for those who prefer a more private event experience. This can be toggled on an off at any time and enables attendees to appear invisible to all others. Given many of our attendees will likely be working from home and having to juggle their own work and family demands at the same time, we felt it was important to offer this flexibility.

Don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

Planning our first global virtual conference has been a challenge. But it has also been a fantastic opportunity to think outside the box, try new things and learn new skills. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that humans are adaptable and very open to new technologies.

We are absolutely thrilled to be able to host Get Connected this year and can’t wait to see everyone on Thursday. But we do hope to be able to see all our customers, partners and peers in person again soon.

There’s still time to RSVP for Get Connected 2021! For more information on speakers and times, please visit our event page.

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/shamahyder/2020/12/15/what-virtual-events-might-look-like-post-covid/?sh=3dc7bf30652e 

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