CHICAGO/WASHINGTON, D.C. — Association management and services company, SmithBucklin, has developed a new process to introduce its client organizations looking to pivot from in-person events to virtual experiences because, pandemic aside, these organizations still need to meet and engage with their membership.
“During this critical period for the client organizations we serve, we are partnering to create and implement strategic, successful virtual experiences through SmithBucklin VXP,” Matt Sanderson, President and CEO, said. “Associations need to convene to fully fulfill their missions. Our approach draws on our 70 years of experience, and today’s imperative to enable organizations to meet, engage with members, and diversify away from a ‘one event’ business model.”
SmithBucklin VXP is a new process created for executive directors and boards to determine and define an event’s purpose, its reason for meeting, and how to identify the event’s key objectives. These insights are then used to design, market, and monetize a custom virtual experience to meet a market need or provide a desired outcome.
This proprietary process will help identify and articulate how a virtual experience might fit into an organization’s overall business and product portfolio to drive member value. The opportunity to provide information, continuing education, and networking opportunities will remain; some organizations will discover an intensified experience with a virtual event.
Indeed, over 50 SmithBucklin client organizations have already started the process of pivoting in-person events to virtual or hybrid events in 2020 and 2021.
“Through SmithBucklin VXP, we help associations re-imagine their in-person events as virtual experiences,” Carol McGury, Executive Vice President, Event and Education Services, said. “It’s not about taking an in-person event and placing it on a digital platform, it’s about building a new experience that achieves the business outcomes of the professional societies, technology communities, and charitable organizations we serve.”
“We believe the question facing associations is not if your organization should pivot to a virtual or hybrid experience, but when,” said McGury.
SmithBucklin provides a range of virtual experience solutions, including:
- Helping associations re-imagine their in-person event as a virtual experience
- Partnering with associations to determine and define the event purpose, reason to convene, and key objectives
- Designing, developing, and launching an organization’s virtual experience
- Developing a long-term event strategy that incorporates both in-person and virtual experiences
- Recommendations for technology platforms, experience design, educational programming, trade show and sponsorship sales and fulfillment, and more