“Ways to Boost Engagement for Businesses Transitioning to Virtual Events” by Jamie Herzlich, Newsday

Now that the pandemic has put live events and corporate gatherings on hold, businesses and local groups have transitioned to virtual presentations.

And that seems to be the norm that will continue for some time.

Even one of the region’s largest business events, the HIA-LI Annual Trade Show and Conference, for the first time will be held as a two-day virtual event Oct. 7 and 8.

The trade show pre-pandemic was normally held in May as a one-day event at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood and draws about 5,000 attendees and 375 exhibitors.

“We now have an opportunity to get people from all over the world,” says HIA-LI president and CEO Terri Alessi-Miceli. “We anticipate it being quite successful.”

With virtual events like these being the new norm, experts say it’s critical businesses and groups look for ways to boost engagement to make up for not being in-person.

If you have larger events, workshops or seminars, it pays to have a moderator to keep the event on course.

For Business Unusual, a weekly Zoom webinar hosted by Ronkonkoma-based Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP, there are two moderators, says managing partner Joe Campolo, who co-moderates with Melville-based financial adviser Peter Klein of Aline Wealth. They also have different speakers each week to discuss different aspects of navigating the pandemic, which helps with engagement.

“Each week builds upon the last,” says Campolo, noting the free webinars were started in May to fill a need for businesses coping with the pandemic.

He says virtual events will never replace the value and quality of live events (the firm had at least two live events monthly in its training room pre-pandemic), which makes presenters have to be “even more engaging and relevant.”

Read the full article on Newsday‘s website.

View all past “Business Unusual” episodes and sign up for upcoming webinars here.