Going Virtual: Our In-Person Event Transformation

Posted on: September 29, 2020
Author: Cassie Taylor

Woman at a virtual meeting or conferenceI think we all can agree, navigating the pandemic has changed our lives – both personally and professionally. It’s easy to see this change in a negative light because it’s so drastic. However, my journey through the pandemic has taught me to strive to see the positive in a situation. This kind of outlook will lead to opportunities that you didn’t even know existed, and in the long run, will let you reach new levels of success. Below I will take you through my journey during the pandemic of transforming our events from in-person events to virtual ones.

The Challenge

The severity of the pandemic hit in February, right after the Bay Area and Southern California Regional User Groups (RUGs) concluded. We were faced with a major challenge – what should we do with the remaining 15 in-person RUGs scheduled for the spring season, and how will we deliver on our promise of giving our clients a platform to stay connected and informed?

The Decision and Outcome

We realized that now is the time, more than ever, to give our clients a platform for them to lean on and learn from others facing similar challenges. Throughout this process, we used feedback from our Customer Advisory Board to make sure we were implementing strategies and tactics that our clients want and need. So, we decided to keep our RUGs on the event calendar and transform the in-person meetings into virtual ones!

As you could imagine, we were not quite sure how our clients would respond to the new virtual format since it was something they were not used to, and most of their time was being consumed with the challenges stemming from the pandemic. But the results were outstanding! We had almost 600 clients attend our virtual RUGs. Everyone turned their cameras on, took themselves off mute, shared best practices, asked thought-provoking questions, and shared links to valuable resources! It was a great way for our clients to stay connected and learn from their industry peers and Fusion.

Spring 2020 Review

Reflecting on this past virtual spring RUG season really made me realize how important it is to see the positive in a negative situation, and most importantly … get creative! This will open areas of opportunity to your teams, just as it did to ours. Because the virtual RUGs were such a success, we wanted to continue virtually connecting with the Fusion community. That’s when we developed the Virtual Community Series. This virtual platform gives clients an opportunity to stay connected during our weekly Community Exchange, learn how other Fusion users are leveraging Fusion through monthly Customer Spotlights, be informed about Fusion product enhancements and capabilities during Product Showcases, and learn industry best practices during our Industry Roundtables.

Change – It Is Inevitable

We are all going through some sort of change, and it might be more severe than others, but change is change, and we should embrace it! The season has taught me that change can be a good thing because it presents us with new opportunities, like Fusion’s Virtual Community Series! During this time, it is so important to focus on lessons learned and remind ourselves how far we have come.

Business continuity and risk management are ever-changing and require professionals to pivot at any moment and make decisions with as much information as they can get about the situation. Going virtual, where possible, is a must for organizations right now and is just one example of a necessary pivot to maintain operational and financial resilience.

Below is a quote I’d like to leave our community members with. My hope is that these powerful words will give you motivation. We are going to be bigger, better, and stronger after the pandemic.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Mahatma Gandhi

We hope you and your families are safe and healthy. Please remember we are here to provide support and guidance during this very challenging time.