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Actionable strategies to boost association membership 

During the pandemic, many associations have been able to attract new members and find novel ways to engage and retain them. The barriers to attending events, learning and networking have been lowered thanks to the virtual and hybrid event solutions available. With these new tools and knowledge base at their fingertips, association event planners can truly excel at delivering events in 2022 and beyond.

Secrets to Engaging and Retaining Members, a recent event by Hubilo, shared best practices with its industry associations attendees to help them increase member engagement and retention. Attendees heard from speakers from two major associations, the PCMA and National Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Association. The insights from this event will be summarised in this post. 

How to Increase Employee Engagement in a Hybrid World | SUBMERGE by HUBILO

The Great Resignation is a trend caused by the pandemic where employees are voluntarily leaving their employers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, four million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. The reasons for the resignations vary, and include, according to a Harvard Business Review article, career stage, industry, work preference, lack of a DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion)-focused approach and burnout. 

The latest SUBMERGE event by Hubilo on 17 November 2021 provided key insights into topics (e.g., Diversity and Inclusivity in a Hybrid World and Elevating Employee Engagement in a Hybrid Workplace) that drive the great resignation, which companies should improve upon to retain employees. During this event, Hubilo included sign language translation and closed captions, setting an example for all virtual and hybrid events. The event was expertly moderated by Rachel Moore, Director of Community and Social Media at Hubilo. 

Sales kick-offs – how to create an immersive experience in three stages: before (gamification), during (motivation, networking, inspiration), after (reinforcement) | SUBMERGE

Hubilo has launched a deep-dive events series to share the latest trends, tips and tricks, and next-level ideas for various virtual and hybrid events. It’s called SUBMERGE

Each event will look at a different business area, the first exploring the topic of sales kick-offs (SKOs), specifically, Beyond Sales Kick-Offs: Immersive Sales Training.

Whether we like it or not, we are all in sales, and this event reminds me why I love sales so much. Negotiating, preparing the proposal and closing the deal build adrenaline and propel the company forward. These and other skills need regular training and reinforcement. SKOs bring stockholders together to create stronger bonds as well as to connect, motivate and empower employees to achieve better results. 

Stemming from the pandemic, there are now new ways to take SKOs to a whole new level, which were presented at the initial SUBMERGE event by Hubilo on 20 October 2021. The event brought together experts in the fields of sales and gamification and was expertly moderated by Rachel Moore, Director of Global Campaigns at Hubilo. This blog post has been edited for clarity and brevity, and the full recording is still available here.  

Gamifying sales kick-offs 

The first presentation, Gamifying Sales Kick-Offs, was by Stephen Baer, Chief Creative Officer at The Game Agency. 

Stephen shared that games can be used in a corporate training space to engage employees, change behaviour, improve performance and drive sales.

There are different objectives when playing a game, including focusing on achieving, exploring and socialising. The employer needs to tap into those different motivations from a game strategy perspective to guarantee effective training. It’s not just about how to motivate, but also about how to celebrate those things of importance to the players. 

The future of events, venues and cities: learnings about how to future-proof against future crises

How did Rotterdam overcome the challenging circumstances that required a one year postponement of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) due to the pandemic? From March 2020, the guidelines regarding hosting events were constantly changing and challenging the live events industry, but with reliable partners and a ‘make it happen’ attitude, the venue and the host city of Rotterdam worked on scenario planning that allowed them to safely host the ESC in May the following year. 

The second Table Talk at the Rotterdam Experiment in September 2021 focused on the safety and security aspects of hosting the ESC, and specifically how scenario thinking and collaboration made the execution of the contest feasible and safe. The last part of the Table Talk focused on discussing the future of events. (You can catch up on the first Table Talk here).

With the event moderated by Arjanne Hoogstad, Manager of Marketing & Communications at Rotterdam Partners, table guests included Jolanda Jansen, CEO at Rotterdam Ahoy, Dimitri Bonthuis, Programme Manager at Fieldlab Event and Kim Joosten, Deputy head of security host city for the ESC.

To overcome the challenges created by uncertainty, Jolanda Jansen, CEO at Rotterdam Ahoy shared that they adopted a step-by-step approach: ‘When we decided together with the European Broadcast Union (EBU), the host broadcaster, in May 2020 to move the event to 2021, we had the vision and the goals. We said, “Let’s first secure that we can host the event.” The next big step was to make sure that delegates are able to travel to the Netherlands and that we can have a show with spectators. Step three was to see if it was possible to have audience safely, and that’s where the collaboration with Fieldlab Events came in. We said this is our Olympics and the biggest event we ever had in the past 50 years.’

The road to the events industry recovery: Lessons learnt from the Eurovision Song Contest

After a one-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) took place in Rotterdam in May 2021. Hosting an event of such big scale during a pandemic requires high levels of collaboration, creativity, resilience and innovation. On 28 September, Rotterdam Partners shared how they did it with their global audience during the third Rotterdam Experiment hybrid event, as well as the lessons learnt from being the host city of the 65th edition of the ESC.

The ESC is one of the best examples of what a global event in the post-pandemic world can look like. Rotterdam worked collaboratively to make it happen and welcomed all the contestants and spectators safely into the city. The local community was involved and were proud to be the host city. The event was broadcast globally in a way that engaged, excited and gave goosebumps to the virtual audience.

So, how did they do it? This you will find out in my coverage of the third edition of the Rotterdam Experiment.