We’ve ‘Reset’ our perspective on conferences amidst COVID19

We're excited to share our experience with supporting Sebastien Couture, Co-Host of Epicenter and Alex Masmej, crypto-obsessed influencer pull off a virtual conference during the height of COVID-19.

It was an ambitious plan to pull together a virtual conference covering a broad range of topics amidst COVID19 with less than one month of planning but Sebastien Couture, Co-Host of Epicenter and Alex Masmej, crypto-obsessed influencer pulled it off.

Sophie Parker, Samantha Howard and myself from the YAP Global are pleased to have been the co-organisers of Reset Everything which took place on 29 and 30 April, 2020 on a Zoom webinar.

We were blown away by the fact that our virtual conference featuring 34 speakers and 24 talks and panels saw 1300 signups with over 400 attendees engaging on day one and close to 300 on day two with 200+ questions asked from around the world.

What Reset Everything managed to do was bring together a diverse range of world thinkers, speakers and participants to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, providing fresh perspectives on issues we’re all experiencing such as health awareness and privacy.

It is for this reason that we realise conferences and meetups would be more successful if they focus more on topics that people (not industries) share a common interest in.

Human interest stories are refreshing

Human interest stories naturally attract a general mainstream audience.

One of the highlights of Reset Everything was hearing from Cécile Monteil an ER paediatrician share stories of what it’s like to work on the frontlines of COVID19 at her hospital in Paris.

Her first-hand account of how COVID19 patients she treated looked like a “bulldozer had rolled over” them was a perspective you would not necessarily find in the news.

I also gained a greater level of appreciation of what healthcare workers are dealing with during these interesting times when Cécile shared that she feels like she’s not only putting her own life at risk but her family’s too by just doing her job.

Coming from the blockchain and cryptocurrency world, we’re so used to doing talks on the state of the market and what the upcoming new trends are on Decentralised Finance (DeFi) or Stablecoins that it can often feel dry.

Now I realise what’s missing. We need to bring it all back to how everything impacts us as humans.

For those of us who are fed up with this lockdown season and gloominess of COVID19, one of the top questions being asked about that might help us get back to our everyday lives is: “When will there be a vaccine?”.

I was particularly curious when Lachlan Mackinnon, Principal at Oxford Sciences Innovation addressed the very topic that is on top of many minds with an overview of “Why didn’t we invest in vaccines?”

I learnt from his talk that VC investment into technologies looking for vaccines was at an all-time low before COVID19. This gave us all a reality check on where we should be focusing our attention.

Those who were stirred by Lachlan’s talk were able to gain a new perspective on impact investing and how we should rebuild the new venture wave from Trista Bridges, the Principal and Co-Founder of Read the Air.

Her talk has certainly spurred me to seek out social impact companies that we can help elevate with our PR services.

We all need a wake-up call every once in a while for ongoing issues such as ‘fake news’, climate change, or privacy that’s always simmering in the background but not always capturing our attention.

We got a reality check from Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor at the Craig Newmark school of journalism and author of “What Would Google Do” about how journalism is facing a critical moment amidst COVID19 and will suffer if we don’t act now.

“We’re going to see the utter destruction of what we value in journalism and need to sort out what comes next,” said Jarvis, stressing the urgency that we needed.

As a PR firm we aim to play our part by helping journalists particularly in the crypto, financial and technology worlds tell stories that matter and bring value to society.

This is one of many learnings I have not only gained from Reset Everything but plan to action during this global pandemic.

Stay tuned for the next one!

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