"Virtual is not a substitute, but something complimentary (to the in-person experience)" - Ivan had some strong opinions about the power of virtual and why eventprofs should come together to embrace it as a new model for events, whether used 100% or only as one aspect of an event.
Asia Tech x Singapore was run virtually using Swapcard's platform from 13th July to 16th July 2021. Initially planned as a hybrid event, COVID-19 regulations and concerns about another pandemic wave led Informa to rethink its approach and decide to commit to a fully virtual event in 2021.
Having gone virtual for the first time in 2020, Ivan shares some of his key learnings from that original virtual experience and how they improved upon it in 2021. The main takeaway? Environment and mindset were the first challenges to overcome. From there, it was about finding the right technology that fits their vision.
In 2020 the environment was relatively new. Most people were caught off guard by going virtual and weren’t fully prepared or were using platforms for convenience rather than ones that were primed for the virtual experience.
After their first virtual event, Ivan says that Informa Tech Asia made the “educational switch” and changed their mindset about going virtual. Investing in a virtual component for their events was part of Informa’s business plans from the end of 2019. Still, Ivan notes that the pandemic accelerated their push towards virtual sooner than planned.
That’s why Informa Tech Asia decided to educate themselves (and their audiences) on what a virtual experience could mean. Investing in Swapcard’s platform, where participants could get together, reunite (even if only virtually), exchange experiences, and network was precisely what they were looking for.
Source: ATX Post Event Report
Working together with Swapcard, the switch to going entirely virtual was quick and seamless. The platform is prime for the virtual experience and the steady rollout of engagement features helps keep the virtual experience fresh. Ivan notes that the partnership and features work hand-in-hand to provide “more multifaceted opportunities for our community and audience going forward.”
As their conversation wraps up, Mia asks Ivan if he sees the value in having a virtual aspect to in-person events going forward. Ivan shares this final thought:
"I hope that we'll have the full weight of the events industry backing virtual events going forward so we can work together to develop better tools and experiences for everybody including the community and users."
- Ivan Ferrari, Senior Director at Informa Tech Asia
More powerful, more engaging, more connected virtual events. Listen to the full conversation in the video up above and hear more on why going virtual with Swapcard has been paying off for Informa Tech Asia.
Looking for a partner to elevate your next virtual or hybrid event? Swapcard can help.