The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the flexibility for pest administration professionals (PMPs) to attend conferences and different business occasions in particular person.
Digital platforms make attending occasions simpler, nevertheless, and PestWorld 2020 is not any exception. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) will host a digital model Oct. 13-15, eliminating the necessity to run by airports to catch planes, and miss work for days as you journey to and from a venue. As an alternative, you possibly can log in to PestWorld 2020 from the consolation of your private home or workplace, and also you gained’t even should put on footwear.
With a digital occasion, firms will save on prices for transportation getting staff to and from the venue, motels and meals. Attendees additionally gained’t be spending time away from the workplace, as a result of they’ll attend on their desktops, laptops or cellular units. As an example, as an alternative of sending three staff who usually attend PestWorld, firms can have 10 staff attend and nonetheless get monetary savings.
“This enables individuals an opportunity to expertise PestWorld who could not have had the flexibility to take action,” says the NPMA’s senior VP of conferences and affiliation administration companies, Alexis Wirtz, CMP. “You’re providing them the possibility to see what the PestWorld expertise is all about with out these extra prices.”
The digital platform the NPMA selected will give attendees the sensation they’re taking part in an occasion. They may see a digital foyer, assembly rooms, auditorium, and cubicles that resemble the true factor, due to real-life graphics.
“Considered one of our workers members compares it to getting into a online game. It appears like a lot greater than viewing a webpage. The cubicles appear like cubicles, and never simply info on a display screen,” she tells PMP. “It was actually necessary for us to have the ability to mimic, as intently as we might, a bodily occasion so our provider group would really feel like they might have interactions with attendees.”
PestWorld 2020 attendees may have entry to nearly 50 sessions that can be accessible on demand by Dec. 31. As a result of the value to attend is decrease than it has been for previous PestWorld occasions, attendees will get extra worth than if it had been a three-day in-person assembly.
That’s as a result of they are going to be capable of obtain extra persevering with schooling items (CEUs) on demand lengthy after the three days of PestWorld 2020 are over. “That could be very worthwhile for attendees who’ve lived in a world of six months of not being been capable of attend any conferences and needing CEUs,” she says.
NETWORKING IS PARAMOUNT
Like earlier PestWorld occasions, networking with fellow attendees and supplier companies can be a spotlight.
“They nonetheless have the chance to satisfy with the provider group, which we all know is so necessary to PestWorld attendees, and have these discussions they’d have head to head,” she says. “We’re incorporating quite a lot of totally different networking alternatives so people can nearly see each other, and work together and have a cup of espresso collectively within the morning. Though they’re at their houses doesn’t imply they’re not going to see different individuals.”
It’s a fantastic alternative for worldwide pest administration professionals, too, as they’d not should journey to the USA to expertise PestWorld. The digital platform supplies Spanish translation for many who want it.
“A number of PMPs most likely are apprehensive about attending PestWorld 2020,” she says. “If they’re on the fence, I encourage them to be there.”
Attendees will log in to the digital platform and click on on the Exhibit Corridor icon that may take them to a digital exhibit corridor that includes the logos of all of the taking part firms. The cubicles will resemble the true factor; distributors have the flexibility to offer movies and hyperlinks to extra info. Chat performance makes it simple for attendees to talk with firm representatives whereas visiting their digital cubicles.
“As quickly as an attendee enters a sales space, the seller is made conscious the attendee is there,” she says. “They may have the flexibility to click on a Zoom hyperlink if they need extra of head to head assembly.”
Throughout PestWorld 2020, the exhibit corridor can be open 24/7, so attendees can go to when it’s handy for them. They’ll go away a message for distributors, who will know when attendees go to their cubicles, even when it’s after hours, due to performance within the digital platform.
“If their day acquired away from them, or they spent extra time within the instructional classes in the course of the day, they’ll discover the exhibit corridor within the night throughout these three days,” she says. “It’s going to permit the distributors extra time for the attendees to have publicity to them of their sales space.
Prime-time exhibit hours are constructed into the PestWorld 2020 schedule at a time when no different displays are happening. “The exhibitors know that can be a busy time and may have extra of their workers working their cubicles and answering questions,” Wirtz provides.
In the course of the three days of PestWorld 2020, attendees may have entry to the 20 reside classes, which can be accessible by way of the digital platform by the top of October.
“Even after the reside content material and the schedule of occasions for the three days of PestWorld 2020 finish, attendees will be capable of return into the cubicles for 2 extra weeks,” she notes. “It’s going to give them extra time to create these relationships or observe up with the businesses they need to discuss to.”
Attendees mustn’t fret over the potential of technical difficulties, because the NPMA can be ready for absolutely anything. The digital platform has a assist button on each web page, and staff members from the NPMA and the digital platform firm can be standing by to help.
“If they’ve a technical query about one thing associated to the platform, we’ve specialists who can reply it,” she says. “If they’ve a query concerning the PestWorld agenda of occasions, we may have NPMA workers accessible all day lengthy to reply these questions.”
Wirtz assures PMPs the digital platform can be simple to navigate and in no way overwhelming. Attendees are inspired to discover the platform and develop into acquainted with the way it works.
“We’ll assist them really feel comfy with the digital expertise,” she says. “We’re actually excited to make it a satisfying expertise as potential.”
For many who have attended PestWorld prior to now, lots of the enjoyable networking occasions can be held nearly.
The Within the Combine reception will happen as soon as once more, giving attendees a possibility to be taught extra concerning the NPMA’s particular curiosity teams such because the Management Networking Neighborhood, Skilled Ladies In Pest Administration, PestVets and the Range Council. And this yr’s occasion that may shut out PestWorld 2020 has a brand new sponsor, MGK.
“We’re actually excited so as to add these enjoyable items,” she says.
NEW FOR 2020
New this yr are each day occasions designed to have interaction a digital viewers. PestWorld Roundtables can be held every of the three days, and the subjects are listed on the PestWorld schedule of occasions.
PestWorld Espresso Chats provide an opportunity to satisfy up with previous pals or make new ones as you ease into your day. “There’s no facilitated dialogue,” she says. “It’s only a approach to meet up with other people and say good day and see individuals’s faces.”
When attendees want a break, they’ll go to the “enjoyable zone,” a room throughout the digital platform designed for many who must unwind. It’s going to embrace hyperlinks to digital excursions of Nashville, Tenn. — the place the occasion was imagined to happen — in addition to trivia and video games.
“We need to make PestWorld 2020 very entertaining, interactive and fascinating for our members,” she says.
Wirtz says the digital nature of PestWorld 2020 gives a fantastic alternative to non-members who haven’t skilled PestWorld or is unfamiliar with the NPMA.
“They’ll dip their toe within the water and be taught what we’re about,” she says. “They may see the worth within the content material and the relationships and the networking alternatives we provide by the NPMA and PestWorld.”
Wirtz encourages attendees to be open to the digital expertise. “We perceive it’s not the identical as head to head, and we want we might all be collectively,” she says of PestWorld 2020. “However we really feel it supplies a extremely worthwhile expertise and a approach to join with each other, which I feel we’re all searching for.”