ICCA Succeeds with First Hybrid Event

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) successfully completed its first fully hybrid event on July 10, it announced last week.

The event — a two-hour workshop on bidding for international association meetings — was broadcast live from the ICCA Research, Sales & Marketing Programme in Amsterdam. It had a live link with another ICCA seminar that took place simultaneously in Bangkok, Thailand, and was broadcast to additional hubs around the world where ICCA members and other meetings industry professionals joined the session individually and in large groups.

In addition to a live stream of the bidding program in Amsterdam — a panel discussion moderated by ICCA CEO Martin Sirk — the hybrid event included an online component that was presented by Gerrit Heijkoop of How Can I Be Social (HCIBS). Gerdie Schreuders of LiveOnlineEvents moderated the online discussion while Heijkoop asked questions submitted through the online chat and Twitter via hashtag #ICCAbidding.

In the online chat, ICCA reports, 403 messages were sent by 171 unique users. Meanwhile, 347 Twitter messages on #ICCAbidding were posted by 119 unique users, reaching a visibility of 42,210 Twitter accounts with a grand total of 282,098 impressions.

“This event was an experiment for us on a number of levels,” Sirk says. “We were able to schedule the pre-planned ICCA Thailand seminar to coincide with our Amsterdam session, so we could test how well two separate live sessions on the same topic could interact, and could compare this with the experiences of ICCA members in their offices and homes. What we hadn’t anticipated was the number of impromptu study groups that sprang into being to take advantage of the seminar, from Denmark to China. This demonstrates what a hot topic international association bidding is, and how little we really understand about the self-organizing capabilities of our members around the world.”

Sirk credits the event’s success to ICCA’s commitment to quality execution. “I’m particularly pleased that we didn’t try to do this on the cheap,” he continues. “We worked with great consultants, great technical supporters and we were in a venue, the RAI Amsterdam, with great Internet infrastructure; we needed to carry out extensive and carefully planned marketing, build new websites and think creatively about the format of the session so that we could engage both our live audience and the participants all over the world.”

A Storify overview of the #ICCAbidding tweets is available along with a chat overview of the hybrid event at www.associationbidding.com, where recorded videos of the workshop also will be available beginning July 24.

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