When the pandemic took hold of the world early last year, event planners faced monumental tasks: getting their bearings in a new normal, while simultaneously learning about rapidly emerging digital event platforms. Tycoon Events, an Edmonton, Canada–based event planning company, felt the same pressure as the rest of the industry trying to keep up with new technologies in order to serve their clients’ digital needs.
“As we became inundated with tech terminology and digital catchphrases, began filling our calendars with webinars and demos, and shared notes on new learnings of the day — all while contributing to an ever-growing list of platforms to look into — we knew that we wouldn’t be alone in feeling a sense of being in over our heads,” said Eryne Sarabin, DES, founder and lead event strategist at Tycoon Events. “We knew if we were feeling this way, our colleagues would probably be feeling the same.”
Sarabin and her team recognized that researching each new technology took both time and resources, which not every event organizer could spare. To do some of that legwork for industry colleagues, on June 11, Tycoon Events launched the Virtual Event Resource. The free resource, which features more than 70 digital platforms and technologies and continues to grow, was developed in a way that cuts through technical jargon and “gets down to the details of what we’d be looking for when planning our events,” Sarabin said.
The Virtual Event Resource breaks down the most important aspects of each platform — features and capabilities, what type of technology it uses, and what event type it is made for, as well as the perks it offers for attendees, organizers, sponsors, and exhibitors. It also explains any limitations or drawbacks that Tycoon Events identifies as a presenting possible concern to event planners. Tycoon Events has a how-to video on its YouTube page that explains how planners can filter through the different specifications to narrow their search.
“If we love certain features, and feel that others will too, we point that out. On the flip side, if we can’t find certain information or receive poor customer service, we highlight that, too,” Sarabin said. “At the end of the day, we’re doing the same type of research we would for a client, and so we share the same types of considerations that we want to know with our community.”
Initially featuring the most popular digital event players, the resource is now open to requests of different platforms industry members want to learn more about. Any platform is eligible to be included — Sarabin noted that instead of vetting what technologies to include in the guide, Tycoon Events “vets the information they’re providing through our lens as an event professional and ultimately, a direct representation of the type of individual who has to use the tool.”
Sarabin told Convene that the resource has been well received by both outside industry members and internally at the company. “We knew from the beginning that if we had a need to reference the tool, from an internal perspective, that we were on the right track,” she said. “We’ve found that our industry and various networks find the most value in the fact that it continues to evolve and be updated.”