An area of business activity severely impacted by lockdowns is the tradeshow and conference area. There are many events in the commodities pace during the course of a year and many have either been cancelled or postponed already. So I spoke with Ben Hillary, MD of Commodities People, the organizers of events like ETOT, ComRisk and many other conference/trade show events, about their plans to innovate and adapt. “It’s a catastrophe generally and particularly for physical events. Many event organizers are struggling and are unsure how to respond,” he told me. “We are taking a more optimistic view of this. It forces innovation and across all industries the onus is on digital during this period. We have been considering webinars for years, never had the time or will to progress with them. Now, as a result of us moving our physical events we have been able to dedicate all our time and efforts into creating our first fully online events.”
Commodities People ran its first webinar on the COVID-19 impact on commodity trading recently and had 450+ attendees from across the globe. Ben told me as a follow up, it is organizing its first fully interactive roundtable gathering on the same subject 6th May using the Remo platform.
Meanwhile CTRMCenter is a media partner for its Commodity Trading Week Online scheduled for the 26th-28th May and Energy Trading Week Online planned for June 16th-18th. “These are not ‘just’ webinars though,” Ben said. “They are fully online events taking place over 3 days, with each day consisting of 22 different elements over 3 days – webinar sessions, interactive discussion roundtables, online networking and even drinks receptions.” The events are in fact free to attend but with networking open only to trading firms and event sponsors. The events will take place between 1300 – 1600 UK time each day to facilitate broad attendance from Europe and the US. In fact, I am scheduled to facilitate one of the roundtables. But how is this achieved?
Ben was happy to show me the technology they will use, and I must admit, it’s all rather impressive. By using some of the most advanced online event networking technology available – remo.co – attendees can communicate via video directly with one another or in groups. The environment seamlessly integrates with a webinar tool for the formal sessions and then virtual attendees can meet at ‘tables’ on the various ‘floors’ of the remo.com environment. Of course, attendees can search on people they are looking to connect with and set up meetings during the event making the networking aspects very usable and convenient.
I’m looking forward to participating myself at the events and if you are interested in learning more, please do visit Commodity Trading Week Online.