Zoom Fatigue is Real, but Virtual Events are Here to Stay (and That’s a Good Thing)

As a 100% channel-focused vendor, Axcient is committed to the managed service provider (MSP) community. One of our top priorities is connecting our channel partners in real time. 2020 put an unforeseeable end to in-person events, but the forced pivot to virtualize is presenting new opportunities for hosts and attendees.

Kaitlyn Langer, Axcient Community Marketing Manager recently welcomed Kaitlin Johnson, IT Nation Program Manager at ConnectWise, and Doris Branscombe, Account Director at The Channel Company, to discuss 2021 channel events during a Facebook Live Chat. Along with Olivia Guidera, Axcient Community Marketing Specialist, the panel highlighted a number of benefits to come out of on-screen only. Believe it or not, even with ‘Zoom Fatigue’, virtual events are just one more new normal the channel is better off embracing.

Watch the complete 20-minute recording here >>

Connecting is more important than ever.

Regardless of the format, if the content, speakers, opportunities to connect, and discussion are still relevant to attendees, the value added can remail the same. Especially during such an unprecedented time, MSPs, vendors, and their partners need each other more than ever. Olivia says, “The world is changing every day and life still goes on, so it’s almost more important to stay connected and updated on what’s going on in the channel.” As Kaitlin says, “Just because we’re quarantining, doesn’t mean we need to be isolating.”

For this reason exactly, Axcient hosts Virtual Lunch & Learn Events every month to give MSPs the opportunity to meet, network, learn something new, and enjoy lunch on us via a $25 UberEats gift card. We couldn’t take away those free meals! During Q1 of 2021, we’re preparing MSPs for upcoming legislative control in “The Future of MSP Regulation: Understand What’s at Stake for Your Business.” Check out more Upcoming Events for access to Facebook Live Chats, webinars, speed demos, and other opportunities to stay in-the-know.

Think outside the computer screen.

While the need for connection is motivating, an influx of virtual events, plus daily time on video for regular work duties, has more and more employees coming down with a case of Zoom Fatigue. Way before this point, virtual events starting losing their luster. Sitting through another power point presentation with chat box questions, technical difficulties and complications, plus the inevitable “I think you’re still on mute, [fill in name here]” has people saying N.O. to more screen time.

Kaitlyn is confronting this reality head on at Axcient. She says, “It challenges us on the vendor side to make our content as strong as possible. We’ve all had to step up our game and provide as much value as we can.” To break the mold, Axcient recently hosted a virtual wine tasting event where bottles were sent to attendees prior to meeting up with their MSP peers and a sommelier. The more casual event (and perhaps the alcohol) set the tone for free form discussion and sharing of ideas. As mentioned, Axcient also provides UberEats gift cards to Lunch & Learn attendees, and often enters attendees in a giveaway for a $100 Amazon gift card.

At The Channel Company, Doris is focused on delivering what their partners say they want. She explains, “Partners are saying that they love to get together and network with each other, bounce ideas around – what’s working, what’s not, who they’re partnering with. That peer interaction is invaluable, so however they can get it is key.” She goes on to highlight the need for creativity in post-event communications as well. Do attendees receive specific content, opportunities to talk one-on-one, invites to more exclusive events, etc.? Both the event and follow-up content need to provide value.

Opportunity after opportunity after opportunity.

Everyone agrees that virtual events are here to stay. Kaitlin is seeing members of IT Nation peer groups actually embrace the opportunity. She says a lot of groups that used to meet in person on a quarterly basis, are now meeting monthly. Additionally, groups that used to meet twice a year in person, are now adding two additional virtual meetings each year. After seeing the value of more frequent meetings, they’re using the virtual format to make those accessible.

Access is one of the biggest opportunities of being forced into on-screen events. Cutting travel from both a budget and time standpoint is significant to a company’s bottom line, but still being able to access the content and information is a big reason we’ll see hybrid events in the future. Depending on state and location regulations, as well as individual comfort levels and risks, the return to face-to-face meetings will be slow and evolving. Holding an event in-person, while also making it available on the web allows more people to take part.

Another benefit to virtual is anytime access to conference recordings. You can reach a larger audience with access just a click away, and then further expand that reach with easy-to-share content. Kaitlin says, “Now that they can consume this content on their own time, since the majority of it is recorded, no one has to miss out.” The information can be referenced and reviewed in the future, unifying teams, and helping with communication on specific topics, strategies, and resources.

Ready for your next virtual event?

Join The Channel Company for XChange+, with empowering keynotes and content, virtual vendor booths, and vendor solutions track sessions. View Event Agenda and Register Here >>

Apply for the peer groups by ConnectWise and attend IT Nation Share to connect and network with industry experts, collaborate with peers, and gain knowledge through shared industry advice. Learn More and Register Now >>

Grab your free lunch while getting updated on the latest in MSP regulation with Axcient Senior VP of Product, Ben Nowacky, during our Virtual Lunch & Learn, “The Future of MSP Regulation: Understand What’s at Stake for Your Business. View Details and Register Now >>

About the Author:
Liz Mellem // Technical Copywriter, Axcient

Liz Mellem has been a freelance copywriter for over three years in the technology, education, and alternative medicine industries. She produces content, sales collateral, and email marketing campaigns that contribute to digital marketing strategies for sales growth and brand awareness. In her free time, Liz enjoys reading, exploring Austin, and Netflix with her cat, Harlem.