How The Information succeeded in taking its events online

Sara Jerde of Adweek writes about how tech news site The Information has been successful in putting its events online during a pandemic.

Jerde writes, “The Information’s WTF virtual conference took place over two days in early September, featuring a lineup of speakers including Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg and chief diversity officer Maxine Williams, according to Lessin. In total, over 500 attendees bought tickets costing $1,000. For comparison, 2019’s event hosted fewer than 200 attendees in Times Square.

“To recreate the interactions between attendees, The Information used software Hoppin to chat with people during appointed network breaks in five-minute intervals. The publisher also uses Zoom for its virtual events. Most of the speaker sessions were pre-recorded, which helped with preparation but limited their timeliness. In the virtual world, attendees were more inclined to interact, ask questions and chat, too. According to Lessin, this model generated greater revenue and far lower costs than its physical event.

“Both the Autonomous Vehicle Summit in June and its WTF Summit in September retained the sponsors from their physical equivalents, which included Helm.ai and Roku. ‘It was incredible,’ Lessin said, adding that she can’t envision a world in which the publisher would go back to offering just in-person events without a virtual component.”

Read more here.