Above… the one word participants chose to describe how they felt during a recent 1-day ONLINE retreat we hosted.
For years, we’ve been hosting retreats for different types of organizations and learning communities. Over the last 6-months COVID restrictions have forced us to evolve our thinking about how we design and deliver these types of events, in an online format.
Admittedly, at first there was a belief that we’d never be able to replicate the same type of success we experienced at our in-person events, in the online environment. But after a few events during the early stages of the COVID pandemic, we quickly realized that was not going to be the case.
While there are certainly limitations and sometimes shortcomings to what can be done online when compared to in-person, there are also opportunities to do more, on a larger and more efficient scale, which we’ve found creates some very interesting and valuable possibilities, not only for Insight Solutions, but also for our clients.
Now, after months of learning, iterating and executing, we have a proven and reliable model to deliver a highly engaging, valuable and memorable experience in a 1-day online retreat format. Our model incorporates various activities to both deliver insight and engage participants, while building connection along the way.
We leverage the XCHANGE 3-C Framework to deliver on Content, Connection and Community.
Here are three things you we’ve learned and you may want to consider for communities you lead or convene as we all move forward into 2021.
1) A New Membership Tier
Several of our clients immediately saw an opportunity to create an entirely new membership tier that provided access to valuable online content and experiences. One client developed a strategy to upsell members into a program that offers six online summits in 2021, creating additional revenue for the organization and providing massive value to the members. Our very own XCHANGE community created an “Unlimited Online” membership, which allows members to attend any online training event over a 12-month period. When you compare the investment to attend each event separately, versus opting in to the “unlimited” level, the savings is significant and this has become a very popular option.
2) Scale and Reach
We used to hold two flagship, in-person trainings per year. Each of those trainings added about 20+ people to our community. In 2020, we held 7 Flagship Online trainings, each of which added 20+ people to our community. Enough said.
3) Iterate and Improve
There’s a ton of logistics and details involved with designing and hosting in-person events. Most organizations plan large scale, in-person events 12 to 18-months out and spend a majority of the time preparing and planning in between. With online events, there are much fewer restrictions. Don’t get me wrong, there are still a ton of complicated details that need to be actively managed, but they tend to be much more flexible. As a result, you’re able to replicate events fairly efficiently. If you’re an organization focused on excellence (like us), then you’ll choose to take it one step further and actually iterate and improve your events. Every time we run an online event, we debrief as a team and find ways to improve and elevate the experience. We then incorporate that into our next events, in a matter of weeks, not months or years. The growth and learning we’ve had throughout 2020 has been tremendous and our clients get to receive much of that value!