The arrival of the coronavirus is bad news for the events industry: Events are being canceled, resulting in additional costs and lost business. This doesn’t need to happen, says Matthijs Otto, founder of Amsterdam-based NetworkTables: “You only need a new location: online.”
The time for virtual events is ripe. More and more congresses and fairs are being canceled to prevent the virus from spreading. This is a big blow to local economies, which are stimulated by major events. The associated damage is not small; for example, the cancellation of the WMC Barcelona cost an estimated 500 million euros.
From offline to online
Otto has been arguing for virtual events for years. With NetworkTables, he launched an innovative tool in 2015 to facilitate networking at events. In 2017, the tool was made applicable for virtual events at the request of the World Business & Executive Coaching Summit. A lucrative step: participation becomes more accessible, costs are reduced and CO2 emissions are reduced.
In the past few weeks, the company has seen a peak in the number of inquiries.
“If a corona infection occurs during an event, the cost falls in the hands of the organizer. Quite a risk,” Otto says. “The alternative is going down the virtual path, but that is a profession in itself. Almost nobody has the right technology, we do.”
NetworkTables acts as a link between a video conferencing/webinar platform and the attendee list. The participant schedules one-to-one appointments, enrolls in workshops and presentations and interactive round table discussions. The tool removes all logistical workload from the event organizer. Meetings mainly take place via Zoom, a very fast-growing American platform for video and audio conferences.
The relevance of the innovative concept has already been proven. In less than two years, NetworkTables has won three prestigious awards in the international event industry: twice the Future Of Meetings Award and the Event Technology Award “Best Technology for Building Event Attendance.”
NetworkTables is an online event tool, designed by event managers, that makes networking easier and more efficient at events. Clients are managers of large conferences and tradeshows. For more info, visit https://www.networktables.com/