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On the Road to Recovery: Hargrove, Event Strategy Network & Soundings and VEI

by H. K. Wilson

In this second week of March, good things are on the horizon as restrictions are lessening around the country and business activity is accelerating. In Southern California, freeways are jumping with traffic at nearly pre-lockdown levels, and for once, residents are happy to see it. As the events industry continues to reinvent itself in preparation to meet demand in the post-COVID marketplace, education is critical.

Hargrove Provides Event Production Services for CDC’s National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine

Hargrove, a full-service event, exposition and experience production company, was subcontracted by Rainmakers Strategic Solutions LLC, to provide event production services for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s first national forum on the COVID-19 vaccine February 22-24. Rainmakers, a certified 8(a) consulting firm, was awarded the overall contract to produce and promote the event.

The forum was a three-day, virtual, national event in support of the Biden administration’s national vaccine strategy for COVID-19 response and pandemic preparedness. In addition to providing its Chime Live platform solution to power the event, Hargrove supplied full event experience production services for the virtual forum. Hargrove, working in concert with the CDC, the White House and Rainmakers, was responsible for all production deliverables and services, including digital strategy and creative content; internal and external speaker coordination; and management of the pre-event and live production components of the forum.

For the first time, this event brought together federal, state and local governments; corporations; healthcare workers; vaccine experts; non-profits; unions, faith-based organizations; and tribal communities to discuss their roles in distributing the vaccines and positively impacting their respective communities.

Tara-Higgins-Hargrove“The need to engage and connect all with a vested role in vaccine distribution is undeniably critical,” says  Tara Higgins (pictured left), president of Hargrove. “It’s both incredibly humbling and satisfying that the full force of our company capabilities aided in this event. We are proud of the solutions we provided and honored by the trust instilled in us to produce this event for the Administration in their efforts to connect and advance promising practices and practical strategies for the COVID-19 vaccine.”

To view the Forum sessions, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/forum/index.html. For more info about Hargrove, visit: www.hargroveinc.com.

Event Strategy Network Offers Consulting Services to Events Industry

meeting of peopleThe Event Strategy Network is a new venture that provides strategic consulting services to help clients realize the full business potential of their in-person, digital and hybrid events. What makes this enterprise unique is the lean, agile business model that brings together some of the best service providers in the events industry into a network that provides greater depth and breadth than many of its larger competitors. Lower overhead also means it can deliver greater value for less cost.

Members of the network are business professionals from inside and outside the industry who were selected for their specific knowledge, skills and reputations for building long-term relationships and providing exceptional value.

The industry has been slow to recognize the emerging role strategy plays in driving event effectiveness over planning and its traditional role in driving event efficiencies. As a result, there is little available guidance on how to pivot from planning events to developing an effective, long-term event strategy.

Thinking strategically requires new knowledge, skills and abilities that are beyond those of most event professionals.

John Nawn Event Strategy“The Event Strategy Network embodies the competencies that have the highest impact on events outcomes and deliver the greatest return-on-investment for businesses,” says John Nawn (pictured left), co-founder and chief strategist. “We think of an event as a business within a business that benefits greatly from having its own strategy. We’re business professionals who focus on the business of events, not the events business. We use the same tools, techniques, and strategic planning processes that business strategists use because that’s what delivers the most value.”

For more info about unleashing the business potential of your event, visit https://event-strategy.net.

Soundings and the Virtual Events Institute Announce Exclusive North American Partnership for Industry Education

Soundings and Virtual Events Institute are joining forces to offer affordable and readily accessible learning opportunities for freelance meeting and event professionals racing to meet the demand for versatile skill sets and virtual event experience.

The past year has redefined the event model resulting in workforce reductions and shifts in the types of talent needed to support the future of events.

Personify’s recent study of 1,000 association and nonprofit members and employees found that going forward, nearly every survey respondent wants virtual and hybrid event options—in addition to in-person events, concluding that virtual and hybrid events are here to stay.Tracy Judge Soundings

“Since the start of the pandemic, our main focus has been to help freelancers remain relevant in the industry and find work opportunities,” says Tracy Judge (pictured right), founder & CEO of Soundings. “Our partnership with VEI will shorten the learning curve, marrying education and community to ensure that we have the talent to support the future of our industry.”

A recent HBR study found that 90 percent of C-Suite and frontline leaders believe high-skilled freelance platforms will be core to their ability to compete in the future.

With a Soundings Thrive membership, freelancers have the ability to network with each other and discover ways to stay relevant in the marketplace. Members of Soundings Thrive use the Platform Playground to gain hands-on experience with tech and virtual event platforms they may not otherwise be able to access.

Sophie Ahmed VEI“Freelance platforms have become the norm for many industries to source specialized freelance talent. Freelance talent will be key in rebuilding the global event industry,” says Sophie Ahmed (pictured left), CEO of VEI.

The Virtual Events Institute offers the first ever on-demand learning platform focused on digital experiences. The VEI platform hosts a 10-module certification training course delivered by subject matter experts, and focuses on the key skills and knowledge needed to excel at planning and executing virtual and hybrid events.

“Our certification program, paired with Soundings’ hands-on learning experiences, will give freelancers the opportunity to upskill and support new specializations the business events industry needs most,” explains Ahmed.

Details of the partnership include:

  • Exclusive discounts to VEI Certification program and individual modules for members of the Soundings Thrive community
  • Complimentary three-month access to Soundings Thrive Premium (launching in Spring 2021) for all qualified freelance graduates of the VEI Certification program
  • Access to Soundings Thrive VEI Study Group, exclusively for members taking the certification program and Soundings Thrive Platform Playground.
  • Co-produced webinars and thought leadership articles on the topic of virtual
  • Preferred access to Soundings Connect freelance talent for VEI customers and sponsors

For more info, visit:  https://soundingsconnect.com/soundings-vei-partnership.

On the Road to Recovery is a series about celebrating the innovators, the imagineers and the glass-half-full types who keep finding new opportunities in our topsy-turvy world. If your company has created new products or found a way to pivot and keep working during these difficult and challenging times, please email us at newsdesk@exhibitcitynews.com for inclusion in future stories in this new weekly series.

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