Over the last 8 weeks I have pivoted, the word pivoted has been used more than any other I see apart from COVid19) to move my events online. I admit I didn’t have a huge plan on what to do, and wasn’t that keen to be online initially. I do like to be busy so in the first 10 days from about 18th March was doing online sessions using zoom, until I discovered you could actually livestream these calls. Initially I was learning from Sam Fongho. After about 10 days something changed. Doing events twice a day I discovered was difficult, not from my perspective, just guests had to change their schedule- and myself advertising a time and having to change it on different platforms such as meetup. On one day I hadn’t changed it on meetup and got a bit of backlash (which I wasn’t happy about to say the least). So I shifted. I still didn’t have the plan to go on a Monday Morning, every Monday Morning. Initially I had attended the Short Term Conference before lockdown and saw in the Conference Handbook, about a post Summit Online Call and thought it was a good idea.
This online call took place on Friday March 20th- and we had about 40 delegates on the call. Some people contacted me and wondered if I could do the same again- so on March 30th we went online and did a panel focused on Commercial and we have been online through April and now onto May.
Initially the Monday Mornings didn’t have breakout rooms, I knew that some participants were keen on breakout rooms so over the last couple of months we have experimented with these breakout rooms, going from three breakout rooms all the way to 8 breakout rooms.
It sounds great to have 8 breakout rooms, however confusion- attendees not sure which breakout room to go into for starters, so we have settled in for 3 breakout rooms until the end of May and then will consider where we go from here.
So currently the breakout rooms include: Funding and Legal, Creative Deals and Design, Planning and Surveying.
As I say I don’t usually post blogs, or very rarely so I am just writing from the hip, otherwise I will over analyse what I have written.
Going forward who knows? Are online events here to stay? Yes- certainly for 2020. Will they evolve? Yes, particularly when the likes of zoom evolve. Where do I go from here in terms of online events? This is a great question and I don’t have an answer to this. I got the advice from Sam Norris of Bond Finance, different attendees want different things- some want shorter events and some longer, so I have kept this in the back of my mind.
A few weeks ago on a Friday, I was really bored- there is a buzz of creating events, particularly when you see the feedback- and I was bored. There are a host of great events – its just finding them- and to be fair during lockdown- my diary has changed. One week I did 15 episodes of my podcast – which was almost burnout and it didn’t give me time to see what else was on, and take inspiration. Yes inspiration. So from this point on, I have reduced the number of podcast interviews to a handful a week- and consumed information.
Consumed information mostly online- with watching the tv for just a handful of minutes. Normally April is the time for binge watching- snooker. I love the Crucible- I’ve watched snooker for decades. The only time I’ve binged in terms of content was Tiger King on Netflix- particularly because my subscription was due for renewal and I wasn’t using it.
Just to go back on the Friday thing- I thought rather than just be peeved off- bored, lets do another event, and thankfully Grace Ballantyne agreed, for one show (how many shows I don’t know we will do). Its only our third show this coming Friday Afternoon (15th May – with guests including: Tej Singh from Tej Talks, Jazz Doklu from Kent Property Meet and Zoe Allen from Melt Property). I have to admit the next day after our first show with Grace- I was peeved off again, because it was such a great show- and wanted to do something on weekends. I have to admit, I haven’t done anything on weekends. Instead what I have done – are more short interviews on instagram.
And this is one of the big learnings for myself. Instagram Live- I am not sure I ever watched instagram live beforehand- certainly didn’t know you could invite a guest on- and over the last few weeks have done so.
As I say I don’t write very often, so yes there will be mistakes, and yes during lockdown I have made mistakes, too many interviews one week being one, and scheduling at the start too many events- twice daily!
So you maybe wondering what events have I enjoyed which I haven’t organised. I have attended quite a few events. Only a handful I have really enjoyed. Caterina Maiolini organised a Co-Living event, which was different, two breakout rooms and really global, participants from across the globe. I also regularly tune into Kunle Barker’s calls on instagram every Thursday at 8.20pm. Kunle is from Grand Designs Live and also Melt Property- Head of Design and Delivery.
There have been so many people who have helped me over the last few weeks- Piotr Rusinek- showing me how to sync Zoom and Facebook when they don’t want to (and occasionally I tune in to listen to Piotr and Jay Howard on there daily show at 9am. Jay has been a great help for myself- helping to lead and co-lead a breakout room- focused on deals. Saam Lowni, for his suggestions- not always taken, although listened to- very creative- Saam will be on my Friday Afternoon show on Friday May 22nd. Jack Jiggens and Aaron Yahaya who have been dedicated to the online sessions. Ruban Selvanayagam who has allowed me to share my event with his linkedin group- UK Property Investors/Developers. To my members and Sponsors who have allowed me to pivot. And yes to the attendees and speakers/panellists.
As I say I don’t write very often, I prefer video/audio – however understand you may want to sometimes read what I have to say.