Finding Success Via A Virtual Events Environment
Wired For Success Conference Sees Highest Turnout Yet
PRIDE Centric Resources’ recent Wired for Success foodservice dealer and vendor conference was a major success, breaking all internal records for attendance and engagement. Being able to adapt and successfully launch their annual conference in a virtual environment, they learned that through the right approach, the virtual environment can provide promising engagement and opportunities. PRIDE is encouraging dealer and vendor partners to take a step back and reassess how to utilize the virtual capabilities to enhance their ongoing meetings, conferences, and training capabilities, offering a means of training and resources to help them succeed.
Stats From The Wired For Success Conference
Among the most impressive of stats from the conference, PRIDE nearly doubled their attendee participation from 2019, totaling nearly 600 attendees in 2020. Within the meeting cycle, there were nearly 800 registrations for breakout meeting participation among attendees and over 2,800 one on one meetings. From adjusting the meeting style from the traditional “structured rotation” to a one-on-one appointment model, 89% of attendees agreed that this flexibility created a positive enhancement.
“The vendors made very good use of our time–perhaps even better than an in-person conference. The 15-minute sessions were well-spent and passed quickly. The ability to manage the conference around day-to-day activities was really worthwhile. The fact that we didn’t have to leave the office, yet managed to exchange valuable information with key factories was refreshing.” Arrow Restaurant Equipment
Benefits Of A Virtual Meeting Style
For industries that are contemplating how to “go digital”, or whether to at all, PRIDE is confident that the virtual approach can be successful, seeing the positives during these difficult times. Through increased participation, and an overwhelmingly positive response, PRIDE Centric Resources encourages their dealer and vendor partners to consider the virtual event approach as a supplement to their conference planning. Through this style, their internal teams can engage and participate in the conference unlike before without increased travel expenses. “The flexibility to have other staff attend breakouts was key and the breakout topics were more business-related vs product-related which is what we need!” mentions Gary Thiakos, President of Zepole Restaurant Supplies & Equipment.
The platform technology combined with our future in-person events will create a new type of attendee experience surrounding our relationships. Team members who may not otherwise attend are given a chance to become a part of the education and excitement, according to Cathy Ellickson, Vice President of Dealer Services of PRIDE. “Plus, it encourages a quicker follow-up cycle than in-person events” she mentions. Via the virtual event tool utilized, vendors were able to develop robust booth materials digitally, which provided easy, downloadable content for dealers to utilize and send to their teams.
Outside of the technical capabilities, the added cost savings from a reduction in travel can make a major difference. PRIDE is considering continuing a virtual approach for at least one annual conference, meaning they can continue to invest in resources to help their dealers be successful. “We took the opportunity to take a step back, assess the elements of the virtual environment, and determine how to accomplish our goals within this new world” mentions Karin Sugarman, President and Chief Executive Officer of PRIDE.
“The PRIDE Team did an awesome job and everything went very smoothly. The technical issues we were expecting never surfaced or impacted the experience we had. Thank you everyone for their hard work and commitment to providing a valuable experience for all of us.” American Restaurant Equipment
Offering Resources For Dealers & Vendors Aiming For Virtual Event Success
This event demonstrated the value that is gained by incorporating technology to enrich business engagements while not losing sight of the need for personal relationship building. From their experience, PRIDE is now offering virtual event and meeting training sessions for their dealer and vendor partners. By focusing on developing the technical requirements and framework for this event, training attendees on how to best utilize the tools, and enforcing a “cameras on” approach, PRIDE has proven that the virtual conference and meeting environment is highly valuable now, and will remain so into the future.