Igniting a new normal, together #EventHack2020


If you’re in the event industry, the last 60 days hasn’t gone as planned.  That goes for organizers, producers, sponsors and an enormous ecosystem of support tools, services and more – Socio among them.

I’ll admit that Socio wasn’t on my radar until a couple weeks ago, when Corey McCarthy joined our CMO Coffee Talk series on a Friday morning and shared something I thought was brilliant.

The idea was straightforward.  If so many organizations have been negatively impacted by the cancellation of in-person events, could they work together to come up with a better idea for virtual events?

Converting your conference to a series of webinars isn’t likely a good solution.  So what is?  What should your user conference look like if it’s moved completely online?   How do you replace the magic of employee gatherings, trade shows and more?

What Socio did earlier this week is invite more than 2,000 event professionals to participate in an all-day hackathon.  It culminated in an hour during which four teams of four people shared presentations featuring highly detailed, highly imaginative and inventive ideas for not just replacing in-person events but making them better in a virtual format.

I was honored to be invited to be a participant with one of those four teams, and can honestly say that the energy, ideas, creativity and positivity throughout was exhilarating.

This wasn’t a group of event professionals mourning the state of their industry.  It was a tribe of innovators excited for the future of their industry.

Or as Brian Fanzo tweeted afterward, “If there’s one thing we learned today, the future of events is in good hands.  The only limitations we have are our own imaginations.”

It’s been a rough few weeks.  And it’s been perfectly acceptable to mourn what we’ve lost, pine for the normal we knew that likely will never exist the same way again.

What I learned this past Wednesday is that we have much to be excited for, especially if we work together to hack, test, fail, try again, innovate, invest and break through to whatever the new and improved normal will be.

I can’t wait.

You can check out an on-demand version of the #EventHack2020 final presentations here.