Virtual events are not the same as in person events. We’ve spent a lot of time in the pandemic trying to replicate the office. Fifteen-minute stand-ups on Zoom every day. Hour long meetings of all kinds. Two full days of quarterly planning. Four days of virtual conference. And no virtual water-cooler.
We all know Zoom fatigue is a thing. And yet, we still repeat the same madness every day. Is it really the best thing we have? No, I don’t think so.
The same thing happens with every new medium. The first TV shows were just live-action plays. We are in that early stage with virtual work. Eventually TV shows matured to use cinematic techniques, mixing media.
That’s where virtual work needs to go. As we become more familiar with the technology, our use of it will mature, hopefully into something that’s more interesting and less psychologically exhausting.
AWS re:Invent conference recognizes this and has re-scheduled from a multi-day conference into a multi-week virtual event. I applaud them for taking this bold step.
I also applaud the planners who are just getting shit done, keeping things going any way they can, while home-schooling, working from home, and doing all the other things we do during the pandemic. Not everyone has time to re-invent right now. If you recently hosted an event that was all Zoom, that’s an achievement in itself, and I’m grateful.
We’re all stuck at home, desperately seeking connection outside our nuclear families. Video is a terrific way of getting that. Great for conveying emotion and connection. Not necessary for status updates.
Let’s mix up the media, depending on the message. How is your business going to adapt to going virtual. Try to replicate real-life, or innovate? What are you trying to communicate?