Sunday, October 11, 2020

Propelify Dunks!!!!

[If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape mode / hold phone sideways]

Ever since COVID-19 changed our world, I have been paying close attention to how everything changed in the travel, hospitality and especially the events business. I live just 25 miles west of Times Square, The Big Apple. You know: The Center of the Known Universe. Living in the region, I really feel that I was able to see the most massive changes in behavior unfold in the most dramatic ways. 

Facebook has that feature that reminds you of exactly where you were and what you were doing 365 days ago. So many times we would have events in NYC, that would feel like "mini" vacations. I mean, who turns down an excuse to visit NEW YORK CITY?

COVID-19 caused me to start saying the following: Telemedicine has now become just Medicine. Distance Education has become just Education. eCommerce has become just Commerce. Remote Work has become just Work.

And Virtual Events have become just Events. 

Last week was the Propelify Innovation Festival, powered by TechUnited:NJ. Normally, this event is held outdoors on the waterfront in Hoboken, New Jersey. This year due to COVID, the event was virtual.

Memories of Propelify 2019

Normally, speakers, sponsors, and attendees from some of the most well-known groups in the world - and many of the innovation community's rising stars - would gather (thousands strong) with the New York City skyline as their backdrop. This year, virtually, the overall theme was building a better future for all. Each day centered around a different theme: Better Together, Better Wellness, Better Planet, Better Connected and Better Beta.

Over 5,000 attendees registered for Propelify 2020, for over 1,797,487 minutes of virtual content. 

Here is a quote from an attendee: 

"Phenomenal! Very rarely do I attend an event where I am upset that I have to be pulled away to attend a meeting or a call. I genuinely wish I could have watched every second - every speaker you've invited has been so very engaging!"

One more quote:

"This is one of the best events I have attended this year. I did not say virtual events, I said EVENTS. Period." 

That second quote is mine. And I am in the events business. Since 1983. 

If you missed out on attending the Propelify Innovation Festival live this year, paid members of TechUnited:NJ can view the archives. Just visit their website. 

This week, we have Zoomtopia, which is a FREE EVENT open to EVERYONE using Zoom - worldwide. What is that like 300M+ people? In December, we have Web Summit, with 100,000+ expected to attend their virtual event - from home. 

Zoom is a multi-billion dollar, global brand. Propelify, not so much. But one possible good thing that COVID-19 has brought to the world is this: it has forced our hands. The pandemic has indeed forced (all of us) to rethink the way that we live, learn, work and play. The technology powered changes we are all now experiencing will be with us forever. I do hope that Propelify will be back on the Hoboken waterfront this time next year. But I also hope that the virtual option will be available. I think that virtual events are indeed just events, now and in the future. 

At Propelify, we learned that every company (regardless of size) is a technology company. 

Here is another thing that members of learned this past week. They say, "Bigger is Better." Well, I think that as virtual events go, bigger is not better. BETTER is better. 

This past week, Propelify dunked on the bigger competition. Virtually. 

Aaron Price, CEO, TechUnited:NJ
In the Virtual Dunk Tank

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