Covid-19: Let’s lead with kindness

3 minute read

In these unprecedented times, going it alone isn’t an option for the meetings industry. So let’s lead with kindness.

[Editor’s note, 24 March: Meeting planners are creative problem solvers; so are event tech companies. And we’ve been listening carefully to what you need to weather the storm of Covid-19. Right now, we’re figuring out how best we can help you bring your community together with a virtual conferencing solution. If you’d like to be kept in the loop about how we can help you host your event despite the disruption, sign-up below.]

Want to find out how we can help with virtual conferencing? Sign up.

We find ourselves in unprecedented times.

Maybe you’re feeling stressed or anxious about what lies ahead for your event, your organisation and your family. 

Wherever you are, know that you’re not alone.

The reality is that we’re all in this together: associations, event planners, venues, suppliers and attendees. And as a community, we’re going to work together to overcome this.

I’ve been encouraged by what I’ve seen lately among our partners, suppliers and competitors… Most people are rallying together to help the industry as a whole. 

In Ireland, I’m heartened by the response of our country. The government has announced emergency loans for businesses, the banks are deferring repayments on mortgages, and people are collecting groceries and medicine for vulnerable neighbours.

If we lead with kindness, we can overcome this.

How some of our customers are responding

In a bid to help you with your decision making, I’m sharing what some of our Ex Ordo customers are doing.

Many of the conferences due to take place in the next month or so have decided to postpone to the second half of this year. As of now, we’ve had 6 conferences cancel outright and 2 conferences planning to run virtually. Some are also planning semi-virtual solutions, like live-streaming sessions, for those who can’t attend in person.

The majority of conferences that are due to take place in the second half of this year are holding tight, for now, to see how this unfolds. Many of them are also considering virtual solutions like uploading videos of presentations and supplementing this with focused webinars or short courses.

Conferences for 2021 are still going ahead and issuing their calls for papers as normal.

How Ex Ordo is responding

We believe that doing the right thing shouldn’t cost anything extra. Therefore, we’ve decided to waive any additional charges for our customers who choose to postpone their event until later this year. Instead, we’ll roll up our sleeves and make it work.

We’ve had a few inquiries about providing a virtual conference platform. While we won’t be able to develop a high-performance virtual platform within the next few weeks, it may be something we look to in the future. 

But right now, we’re working with customers to help them collect video presentations and release them via their Ex Ordo programme. In parallel, our mobile app can be used to interact and communicate with attendees and offer opportunities to exhibitors and sponsors too. 

And, while we love our office in the heart of Galway City, from tomorrow, everyone at Ex Ordo will be working from home. We believe it’s important to limit our physical interaction in the spirit of protecting our team, our families and our community. We have a plan in place to continue supporting our customers remotely. 

Helpful resources for decision-makers

Right now, many of you are making big decisions for your upcoming events. Here are some resources that you might find helpful:

CMX has put together a Comprehensive List of Tips, Tools, and Examples for Event Organizers During the Coronavirus Outbreak.

The Professional Convention Management Association has a useful live resource on COVID-19 and What Events Professionals Need to Know.

EventManagerMB is running a free Pivot to Virtual webinar on 18 March.

Full virtual conferencing solutions

At this time, Ex Ordo can’t offer a fully virtual solution. If you’re hoping to create a full virtual conferencing experience for your delegates, here are some online conferencing platforms:

On24 – “Engage your audience on a more human level with an interactive, data-rich webinar and multimedia content platform.”

vFairs – “Host Virtual Job Fairs, Online Tradeshows, Online Conferences & more. Connect people through chat tools, live webinars & digital content”

Virtual Trade Show Platform – “This virtual trade show platform functions as a traditional off-line trade show translating exhibit halls, booths, presentations & networking into a highly customizable 3D virtual environment.”

iCohere – “Offers full event production services to help bring your virtual conference to life. Start with the creation of a user-friendly conference environment with complete technical support. Then plan your conference strategy for maximum online impact and participation.”

On leading with kindness

We are all vested in each other’s success. And I hope these insights are useful to you in your decision making. We all want these events to happen, and with common kindness and compassion, we can make this work.

Let’s mind each other.

Paul Killoran

Back when Paul was an engineering student, he didn’t even know what a conference paper was. Then he dipped his toe in the research conference world, realised how awful the software was, and decided to build Ex Ordo. Sometimes, life can be funny like that.