A year ago today, I emceed a Holiday Open House Benefit for Austin Face and Body at their main office near downtown Austin. As I reflect back, I think about how little we knew as guests sipped on champagne and listen to the latest in aesthetic medicine that our world would change drastically within months!
Fast forward a bit. One thing I observed as the pandemic forced not only the cancellation of the inaugural ideaAUSTIN event planned for SXSW in mid-March but also the non-essential business lockdown was how quickly Austin Face and Body adapted to the need for social distancing without losing a personal connection. Within days, ideaAUSTIN creator, Dr. Sean Paul of Austin Face and Body, took to Instagram. On the social media platform, he interviewed many of the guests booked for ideaAUSTIN from surgeons to business leaders. He provided access and content during a time that was filled with uncertainty and devoid of public interaction.
Months later, Dr Paul reincarnated ideaAustin as a virtual event open to all to raise money for the Central Texas Food Bank. I helped moderate the online creation featuring experts from as far away as India, Central America and all over the United States. Virtual or online events offer accessibility and more options that in person events before could not.
Fast forward a few more months and I see an encouraging trend that virtual events can and have set fundraising records for some non-profits. Virtual events when done right can engage its audience and be as impactful as live event. Here’s is an example of a recent virtual event where I interviewed Pulitzer-prize winning author and journalist Eli Saslow.
Virtual events are essential now as we continue to deal with the pandemic. However, they will be an outreach and marketing tool even when we return to a time without social distancing.
Connect with me if you would like me to host or emcee an upcoming virtual event.
Leslie Bohl is the owner of Leslie Bohl Media. She provides many services including media coaching, video storytelling, writing, emceeing and voice over work. Leslie is channeling her extensive experience of 25 Plus years as a television news anchor, reporter and lifestyle show host into helping business professionals feel and look their best in front of a camera. You will find her blog “Living Your Best Life with Leslie” on www.LeslieBohl.net