The big power of small.

The big power of small.

What’s working in digital events? Breakouts, workshops and conversations.

I’ve been on a lot of calls lately with clients asking the same two questions. First, what platform are you using? Second –and really more importantly – how do we “connect” with audiences effectively in a virtual world?

We all continue to learn so much about how we can better answer that second question. In the live events world, we spend a lot of time focusing on “big.” We produce big plenary sessions, with big staging and big keynote speakers. After all, when you’re part of a live in-person program, you want to feel like you’re part of an amazing, once-in-a- lifetime experience.

The problem is that it’s challenging to build a big event when you’re at home. We can’t recreate a 200-foot-wide screen in your home office. Instead, we’re seeing some wonderful things happen when we go in the other direction. When we execute “small,” we can create events that are meaningful, engaging and drive growth. Three thoughts on how we’re doing that…

• “Small” is about creating great conversation. Take a keynote and instantly develop a small-session online breakout session to discuss what was learned. It increases messages retention and encourages person-to-person connection.

• “Small” gets remembered. Rather than deliver too much content for audiences, we create short presentations that deliver bite-sized content.

• “Small” is personal. Technology is becoming increasingly helpful in making better sessions. You can poll an audience to understand their values, learning styles or interests. Then you can form groups made of those like-minded teams.

When it comes to digital events, “small” is the new “big.” That understanding is helping all of us to stop trying to duplicate the offline experience, and to understand how virtual events can be unique and powerful in their own right.

– EL