Güd Marketing

Pivoting From In-Person to Virtual Events

by Carole Tuckey on May 3, 2021 • 5-minute read
When the pandemic forced us all to work from home, we had to quickly cancel all planned events in March 2020. But our clients still needed us to provide relevant and timely information – despite our new “Stay Home, Stay Safe” way of life.
We had to drastically alter strategies to accomplish the goals we had set and still engage the people we had planned to reach with activities like news conferences, in-person events and grassroots tactics.
Laptop showing a Zoom-based virtual trivia event.
But how?
Well, the good thing was that the game plan didn’t change – the game did. The goals were the same, but how it worked had to evolve. The starting point was the same. Here’s a list of items to consider when planning your next event.
We Know Better: We Are Learning and Committing
  • What’s the key goal of the event? What’s the secondary goal?
  • What type of experience do you want to provide? Educational, informational, fundraising, entertainment?
  • What type of delivery? Recording, live, on demand, ticketed?
  • What registration and customer follow-up do you want to have happen?
  • How are you going to promote the event?
  • Who are the presenters? Who is developing the content?
  • What technical needs and support do you require?
Pivot One
After testing multiple technology platforms, we settled on one that we thought would work best for the Michigan Census campaign. And it did!
Prior to the pandemic, through our work with the Michigan Census “Be Counted” campaign, we had launched a series of local town halls in Michigan communities to rally citizens to complete the 2020 census. After planning events in Detroit, Pontiac and Flint, we had to pivot to online Facebook Live events. Each event featured live speakers – bipartisan – from local community partners. Census Director Kerry Ebersole Singh and Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II were joined by Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to discuss the benefits of filling out the census.
Invitations to the live town hall discussion on Facebook were sent to local media partners and stakeholders. The events were promoted on Facebook, and they were shown live on the Michigan Be Counted Facebook pages. It was a big success!
Pivot Two
In a separate case, our client Michigan Education Trust lost all of its in-person fundraising opportunities for 2020, including the vitally important Fostering Futures Scholarship Fund event, which mixes fun and entertainment with personal stories and content from scholarship awardees. The Güd team was tasked to provide an alternative.
We developed an online family-friendly trivia game. We partnered with a member of our MiSTEM Network client who had just developed a movie trivia game to entertain friends and family during the beginning weeks of the pandemic. This first 90-minute event featured the game itself, stories from Fostering Futures awardees, sponsors of the program and prizes for the winners. The format proved so popular that we continued to partner with our MiSTEM client on subsequent Fostering Futures events.
The Güd team is continuously looking at ways to develop new online game content to provide an opportunity for more people to join the fun, including topics like art, math, history, pop culture and more.
Stay tuned for more!

Carole Tuckey

Senior Production Manager & Event Manager
“My life is a lovely story, happy and full of incident.” – Hans Christian Andersen
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