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Emc3 unveils virtual training offer to out of work eventprofs

Daniel Curtis, MD of emc3, on how the agency pivoted to virtual – and why he is offering free advice for out-of-work event professionals… 

It has been an intense few months. Nothing like a vast understatement to start things off.

As a partner in an international live events agency, I can honestly say that since the first week of March, I have experienced more stress than in the previous 20 years of my career.

In the space of a couple of weeks, our entire pipeline of business, which up until then had been very promising, vanished. Any average week, our team are spread around the world and that week was no different: some were on site visits in Austin, some from our Boston office were preparing to head to San Francisco to run a client event and one had gone back to Australia to renew her Visa before returning to the UK.

Suddenly everything changed – the site visits were now redundant, the event in SF cancelled and our Aussie producer, with her visa meeting cancelled, was stuck in Melbourne.

Emotional and scary

The team were very busy for the next few weeks; They had to unravel all the cancelled events, well aware that once they were done there was nothing in the diary, no events to plan and a good chance there would be no work for the foreseeable future.

As a management team we were also very busy, running scenarios and figuring out how to get the company through the coming weeks, months (years!) intact. It was very emotional and scary and there were times we felt like the sky was falling down.

But, after a short period of handwringing, we realised that to survive we would have to adapt. Pivoting is one of the words of the year and we did exactly that. Live events were not coming back any time soon and so the team got to work educating themselves on all areas of virtual events.

Over the next couple of months, they joined demos of every platform out there… they researched, practised, shared learnings and truly became experts on this new, essential style of events. And, even as they were learning this new medium, they started to plan and execute conferences, meetings, poker tournaments and comedy and musical performances for our clients.

Grateful

So, we are surviving; I would say better than that, we are thriving, happily and busily organising virtual events for our clients old and new… and we are very grateful for that!

The reason I am writing this post, is that while we have been lucky that we were able to pivot and adapt, we are well aware that our industry is still in big trouble.

So, for the many out-of-work event professionals and freelancers out there, with your day jobs on hold, waiting for a vaccine and the re-emergence of live events, times are very hard.

Before Covid, virtual events were an outlier; we did a few here and there, mostly clients just talked about live-streaming their events, but never with the enthusiasm they had for the live elements.

Now virtual events are here, and here to stay. Even when we get back to live events, we believe there will be at least an element of virtual, so that those who can’t or prefer not to travel can attend.

In everyone’s interests

Anyone who hasn’t been working in an agency during Covid times will have little or no experience of how to plan and execute a virtual event and so getting back to work, whether full time or as a freelancer, is made even harder.

It is in everyone’s interests that this amazing community of event professionals get back to work as soon as possible, and our team would like to offer to pass on their virtual event knowledge, to any freelancers or out-of-work event producers out there.

We will be running some virtual events in the coming weeks to showcase our favourite virtual event platforms and to answer questions. We expect nothing from you. There is no cost to this and our aim is not to train you up to solely work for us (although we look forward to meeting and getting to know you all), but we hope that these sessions will set you on a path back to work.

To be a part of the first training event get in touch with Curtis via LinkedIn.