Staying connected to your community means everything these days.
As the world continues to grapple with new realities, people are leaning into their communities for support and motivation like never before.
Should you go in-person, virtual or hybrid? Let’s discuss.
Digital experiences such as video calls or streaming services have been around, but digitalization for annual events and a complete adoption of these technologies into our everyday lives is brand new territory. We all know the story. The Pandemic forced our hand. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of virtual experiences.
Unlike in-person communities, when you are digital, you can join in from anywhere. Community members can work together from all around the country and still produce positive results.
Indeed, which offers many remote jobs, believes: “telecommuting can be an advantage to multi-divisional companies that have office locations around the world. The ability to communicate with professionals in diverse areas can open additional paths for business development. This can be beneficial to your career as you can work with a variety of industry professionals that you can learn from.”
Networking is another plus in a remote environment. Community members can connect with friends, family, colleagues and business prospects from around the globe faster, easier and cheaper.
There are no office space expenses and there is no commute to work. What’s not to like about saving a little bit of cash? And when it comes to the event experience, hosting a virtual event, in most cases, is cheaper than hosting in-person. For the cost of attendance, people don’t have to worry about travel or lodging. Registration can even be offered at lower rates or even free for your digital attendees, making your content accessible to all your members.
According to ProGlobalEvents, “an online event has comparably less of those budget-busting expenses. There’s no large food and beverage budget nor hotel and travel expenses, just to name a few differences. This typically makes the event budget lower, meaning potentially significant savings from converting a physical event into an online one.” As event organizers, these are all cost reducing things that can be eliminated from the digital event experience.
Without having to designate 8 hours in the office, there isn’t much worry about taking 5 minutes to get the mail or a quick bite to eat. Although there is more freedom in our personal lives when we work from home, which can help reduce a little stress and keep families together longer, working remotely can also come with more distractions as schedules get more flexible.
But at the end of the day, if the work isn’t done, someone will notice. With the assistance of synchronous communication platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams, your community will never miss a beat digitally.
*Gmail Notification* Follow-up? Sent 5 days ago. It never fails, digital connection makes it easier for people to stay in contact, but why does it seem twice as hard to get answers? Nothing like hearing back from someone a few hours or maybe a few days later.
Community, work-related or even personal communication day-to-day can be slower online because communication is always going to be clearer and more concise in-person. Although we can contact someone on the opposite side of the planet digitally in seconds, it doesn’t always transfer into steady communication and we often have to still work with time zones and busy schedules.
When people are working remotely, it can be challenging to create a solid team atmosphere or comradery. With team members bouncing from call to call throughout the day, it isn’t easy to get to know other members in your community. If people are in different states, Happy Hour is out of the question.
Experiencing emotions of the highs as lows as a community in person just feels different. Getting together in person is still an option, but it doesn’t always allow the whole community to be and work together.
According to U.S News: “while few who work from home expressed feeling "lonely," as is typically assumed, many did point to the difficulty of getting the tone right through digital communication systems, such as email, chat, social media and text. Without body language, facial expressions and other cues, remote employees have to put in extra effort to maintain positive communications.”
Community is vital for a successful business and whether you take your community in person, digital or hybrid, make sure it fits your organization’s values and needs. Next time we’ll discuss the pros and cons of hybrid. Stay tuned!