How Virtual Events Lead to Groups Getting Better Speakers

The post-COVID world is wide-open for possibilities, both to those looking for speakers and the companies that book talent. Many groups that could not afford certain in-person appearances in the past are now enjoying still bringing these top virtual event speakers to their groups.

The Virginia Gazette recently published an article discussing the  phenomenon with virtual events. They cited how speakers like Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy and iconic celebrity physician Patch Adams would have never been realistic gets for local organizations in the past, due either to budget or scheduling.

Each, however, left a big impact recently in the area.

Murphy held a Zoom meeting with roughly 80 socially distanced Kiwanis members at the end of March of this year to discuss football. Adams, a physician and comedian who rose to fame in a 1998 film starring Robin Williams, was the main speaker at Peninsula Agency on Aging’s online event this past May.

“We had the amazing opportunity to bring a bigger-named speaker to the event, as we wouldn’t be paying for travel expenses and such,” said vice president of development for PAA, Randi Keesee. “It opened up different doors and opportunities.”

Both Murphy and Gary Ripple, executive director of the Williamsburg Kiwanis Foundation, were football players at Colgate University, where Murphy went on to become athletic director and Ripple served on the Board of Directors. On Zoom, Murphy went on to address participant questions and touch on his career, NFL safety issues, and the Packers’ impending season lineup.

“Of course, staying in touch with our own community is most important to us when it comes to speakers, but every now and then, an opportunity might come that we can’t pass up. Most everyone knows somebody from far away who would be a great guest for a service organization,” said Ripple.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and prominent journalists and alumni covering the pandemic: Weija Jiang, who is based at the White House for CBS News, and David Culver, a CNN correspondent in Beijing, each spoke at the College of William & Mary.

“I think you will see a combination of virtual and in-person events going forward,” said the chief communications officer for W&M, Brian Whitson.

This past May, members of the Rotary Club of Williamsburg heard from a Tokyo-based businessman who addressed unmet healthcare needs in Japan. During meetings, staff from the Red Cross Virginia Region spoke with Dr. Fauci, who has been one of the top virtual event speakers requested industry-wide.

Top breast surgeons from Richmond and Newport News, as well as a psychologist from Norfolk, have joined Here for the Girls, Inc., a Williamsburg-based nonprofit that provides support and education to young women with breast cancer, via Microsoft Teams.

“We can bring in more of those types of speakers, as virtual events do not cost us as much,” said Desiree Parker, communications lead for the group. “We have really embraced this new virtual expansion and plan to continue to grow virtually in the future.”

Since everyone wants to get back to more in-person programming, and even though several interesting speakers can be found locally, the transition to virtual programming has been very painless.

If you are searching for virtual event speakers, Speaker Booking Agency can help. Our team of experienced agents can assist you to book a speaker and ensure that your event is a success. If you have any questions, please use our Online Booking Request Form or call us at 888-752-5831.

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