Events Are Not Dead

“Events are not dead, they just look different.” Abby Eastman from Susan Davis International joins us this week. Find out ways things have changed and how we can continue to move forward in our industry.

Tell us about you.

I apologize in advance if you hear the dog barking. I started out in the events industry 10 years ago. I really found a love for events when I was in college. I found myself trying to get involved on campus anyway I could. After college I started working on the corporate side of events in hotels. I really loved the hospitality and tourism industry. Currently at Susan Davis International I am getting a taste of the communication side of things and continuing my career in advance. SDI, we are based in Washington DC and we are a women owned small business. We also are co-founders of a global communications agency network. Our organization has about 30+ years in the events and communications space. Learning there has been such an incredible experience.

In March we got notice the country was going into a state of emergency. How did your organization throw a Hail Mary?

We had a lot of different events planned through the end of 2020. The pandemic almost felt like it happened overnight to the entire events industry. We had to quickly pivot into being strategic, we didn’t want to cancel the events, but we had to reimagine it. That was the start of our client work and helping them transition into a virtual event space. It was a busy time for us but we were able to help our clients transition.

Fast forward to where we are now. What are you strategizing for pre-planning?

The thing I try to highlight is, you can’t move forward until you have a budget set. A lot of people think virtual events are less expensive than in person, and yes to an extent, but you have certain line items that you didn’t have before. So starting with a budget is really important and having partners you can trust.

Tell us about ticket pricing, should you or shouldn’t you charge?

It all comes down to that budget you put together. Can you afford not to charge? I’ve heard some people say they are keeping the same pricing model as before. That is fine as long as you can show your attendees what they are getting instead of those three meals per day and networking opportunities. You need to be able to tell them what they are getting in this virtual environment. It’s always important to over communicate.

About the Author
Event and Video Production

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