Worker attends remote event.
With the cancellation of in-person events, the demand for virtual events has skyrocketed. — chee gin tan / Getty Images

Among the countless difficulties COVID-19 has brought upon business, hosting live events is one of the biggest challenges. Because of the concern of spreading the virus, venues closed and many large gatherings were canceled to keep people safe and healthy.

However, with the cancellation of in-person events, the demand for virtual events skyrocketed. Event companies, in particular, have had to pivot their approach to industry events, finding new ways to meet with stockholders, investors and new customers.

These six brands in the events industry have adapted to the times and offer solutions for hosting events.

[Read: Switching from Live to Virtual Events? Here's How to Make the Pivot]

MediaCutlet

MediaCutlet is a digital marketing and consulting agency who saw how stay-at-home orders were impacting event production and pivoted to helping business and schools adapt their programming. To help get messaging and videos out, the MediaCutlet team has socially distant video shoots, where their team arrives in masks and safety gear and captures talent from a safe distance. For hybrid events with both in-person and virtual participants, they set up live streaming capabilities, sending your high-quality video feed out to whomever you invite.

They also know the importance of organizing the back end of virtual events and have created virtual technical platforms for webinars. These platforms are easy to use and allow companies to focus on their presentation while MediaCutlet handles the operations. They’ve also started adding consulting services to help businesses plan their virtual events. Their goal is to keep you coordinated and have you focus on the event while they focus on the logistics.

Media Stage

Like every business at the turn of spring, Miami-based audio-visual company Media Stage was caught off guard but the swift and sudden changes the pandemic brought upon them. Quickly they rethought their approach and shifted from live events to livestreaming and webcasting to keep their company viable. With their focus on livestreaming and high definition video, they help their clients host virtual events both in Florida and across the country.

One of the challenges that Media Stage faced was their clients withholding payments while they assessed their own finances and what the economic impact of the pandemic would be on them. Vice president and general manager, Larry Blocker had open and honest conversations with their clients about restructuring their events. The company has also encouraged its employees to take advantage of the extra time they may have at home by turning to software training, supplier training and staying up to date on the state of the industry so that they are prepared for the return of live events.

[Read: 5 Ways to Promote Your Online Event Series]

Cvent

Cvent is a company that offers cloud-based software solutions to event planners and marketers for their events. They primarily work within the hospitality industry and offer online event registration, venue selection, event management and marketing, onsite solutions and attendee engagement through their cloud systems. So, when COVID-19 hit, it didn’t just impact them from an event planning standpoint, but also through the hospitality industry as well.

Cvent assessed how to continue business during the pandemic. While most of their services were already virtual, they had to help companies rebuild events virtually. They found that without travel restrictions, virtual conferences resulted in eight times more registration than in-person ones. Another benefit of virtual events is that they found companies could collect data from the event and participants and use it for future events and outreach. While nothing will replace in person events, Cvent has found benefits to hosting virtual events.

Pierpont Place and Premier Event Services created a unique flower arrangement service to supplement company income.

MCI

From the beginning of the pandemic, event management company MCI offered clients a specific coronavirus resource webpage that provided advice on hosting webinars. These articles and videos focus on what type of event you should host, how to generate sales and the operations behind these events. They also offer insight on what to do if you need to reschedule or transform your event into a virtual one, such as how to rebook travel and breaking down the coronavirus relief package and new tax changes.

Devil's in the Details

Selvis Morales, founder of Devil’s in the Details, was set to move to the west coast and start focusing on planning international events for her business. When COVID-19 shut down both the travel and events industry, she needed to turn her attention elsewhere. Morales started looking into event planning skills-based webinars and connected with a group of freelancers to build her network. Knowing that events in a post-coronavirus world will look different she's been educating herself on risk management protocols and future safety standards so she can responsibly help her clients hold events while keeping their attendees healthy.

Pierpont Place and Premier Event Services

Salt Lake City’s Pierpont Place and Premier Event Services are sister companies, with Pierpont Place being a high-end venue and Premier Event Services being their off-site event company. When the coronavirus swept through the nation, Janice Boes recalled her experience weathering the 2008 economic depression. Her solution? The company created the “Beat the COVID-19 Blues With Some Colorful Bloom” campaign offering custom flower arrangements delivered to customer’s doorsteps. The campaign not only boosted business and kept their employees working, it also improved their moods and spirits. It also created a new side business to supplement their event planning when they begin to host events again.

[Read: Retailers Bet on Virtual 'Shoppable Moments' to Drive Holiday Sales]

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Published October 20, 2020