Live and learn, and other proverbs from Lyyti Virtual Summit

In November 2020, we produced the largest virtual event in Lyyti’s history, with nearly 750 people signed up from around Europe. Our Online Connector registered a total of over 440 participants, and the response rate for the Experience Value Score (EVS) survey was 45%. In fact, the event was all about EVS and the importance of measuring participant experiences for event production and for the development of the field. Lyyti Virtual Summit was the first of its kind, and we think that, all things considered, we did well. The no-show rate was still high, which is typical for virtual events, albeit always undesirable. Along the way, we discovered other things to improve on as well, and we want to share these discoveries openly; an effective event management tool is only a part of a successful event, and Lyyti was definitely reminded of that fact this autumn.

Every drop of water shapes the stone: engage your participants

Lyyti Virtual Summit was a 60-minute live broadcast where Lyyti CEO Petri Hollmén and American Express Head of Growing Markets Fredrik Sauter discussed how successful participant experience is built, and the significance of measuring event success. It clearly was a thought-provoking topic, as the number of sign-ups exceeded all our expectations. One positive challenge turned out to be that the topic sparked a lot of questions and conversation, and we would have needed some additional tools for moderating the discussion other than the chat. The questions were also mainly directed to the speakers who had no way of seeing them let alone addressing them. It's clear that the event would have needed a moderator with a microphone to give structure to the conversation and make it possible to answer questions.

Another clear avenue of improvement was participant engagement, or rather the lack thereof.  The most important factor of an event is the participant, and this time, we didn’t give participants the consideration they deserve. The feedback we received highlighted that it’s hard for the audience to focus on an hour-long monologue or dialogue between two people without any possibility to participate in the conversation. Current webinar tools offer easy solutions for this purpose in the form of surveys and polls, so we'll definitely be making an effort to use them in our future events.

Virtual Summit scoreThe EVS score of Lyyti Virtual Summit.

More the hurry, more the obstacles: ask for help when you need it

The past autumn has been a busy time at Lyyti. In addition to launching EVS, we've redone our brand, tone of voice, and website. Adding an event to the mix, we of course thought “no problem, we’ll produce one event – we’re professionals of the event business after all!” Professionals or not, there are certain things you should do yourself, and then there are some things you should ask help for. A virtual event is much more than the speakers and the webinar tool; in the background, you have technology, schedules and endless preparations. Making everything work takes entire teams, which we didn't take into account in our ambitious plans. Our network includes highly talented and professional event production agencies, and having learned our lesson, we will surely turn to them when we're organising a similar event the next time. Lyyti’s hybrid Christmas party was organised with the help of an event agency, so why not the most important customer event of the year as well.

Virtual Summit feedbackEVS statistics from Lyyti Virtual Summit.

All’s well that ends well: remember your successes too

Lyyti Virtual Summit taught us how much room we have for improvement, but it's also important to appreciate the things that we did well. Our goal was to create an event that would make participants think about their own events from a new perspective and to see how productive in the long run it is to measure event success. The results of our EVS survey indicate that we have succeeded in doing just that.

Our other important success is a reminder for all of us who are fighting for encounters during the COVID-19 pandemic: despite the restrictions, there are many ways to make events happen and bring people together. We strongly believe that events will be more and more impactful and significant as a medium due to the current circumstances. So let’s enjoy and get inspired from all the resourcefulness and inventiveness that the current situation is bringing out in event organisers and others in the business – just imagine what possibilities we’ll have in the future!

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