It would be hard to find someone who hasn't had an event cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. From birthdays to work functions, no event has been left unscathed. As an event manager, it was difficult to see event after event get cancelled, including our very own TractionForce, Traction on Demand’s annual conference. It started as a wait-and-see situation but transitioned to an acceptance that the event space would no longer be the same.
With every cancellation, the impact can be detrimental especially in the nonprofit space, where critical fundraising dollars are lost. A cancelled gala could mean a deficit of millions of dollars. When speaking with our nonprofit community, we listened to their concerns and wanted to see if we could help by leveraging technology and our expertise. We needed to help.
“I’ve been working in or supporting the nonprofit sector for the last 18 years, so when we all moved to remote work, my first thought was the challenge this would present for fundraising. Since March, Traction on Demand has been on innovation overdrive. The ideas were flying, and so I threw it out there; could we build an application for nonprofits to engage their donors, volunteers and constituents; to raise critical funds and keep them connected during this difficult time? ”Michelle Malpass, VP Community, Traction on Demand
Without a physical venue to bring people together, we needed to find an event solution that:
- Creates community from the safety of your home
- Can be easily set up and modified
- Provides an inspiring experience with impact
- Fosters meaningful engagement
- For nonprofit organizations, raise funds
Magic happens when individuals gather in one space, whether it be engagement with sponsors, partners, customers, colleagues or strangers. Connections happen organically. Mix in the branding of the environmental space and some captivating speakers and you have a recipe for a damn good time.
Introducing Traction Gather
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen our team design, build and deploy life-saving solutions in rapid time. Knowing that millions of critical fundraising dollars were being lost by nonprofits, our team acted quickly to find a solution. With a small working group, and in two short but long weeks, we came up with Traction Gather, a virtual event solution.
Stay connected to the community you trust through communities you trust
Traction Gather is more than a virtual event solution, it’s a community engagement venue; a blank event canvas that is only limited by our creativity. It enables an event manager to quickly pivot their face-to-face events to a virtual event, and build a memorable experience with each event’s guest list.
Take out all the physical elements in your event critical path, such as rentals, labour and catering, and you have an executable virtual plan. This includes everything from pre-event procurement, invitations and communications, day-of execution, to post-event follow-ups and reporting. The best difference is that you won't be on your feet all day.
Some of Traction Gather’s features include:
- Agnostic video platform integration: Traction Gather works with any of your preferred video conferencing solutions to host keynotes, breakouts and entertainment.
- Security at the door: Only ticket holders will have access to enter your event.
- Customizable event schedule: Home page agenda automatically updates according to your event schedule.
- Socialize and network: Host virtual tables for attendees to join during the event.
- Share memorable moments: Utilize Salesforce Chatter and messaging to generate discussion and share photos from the event.
- Do good & drive donations: Host silent auctions and connect to an external donation page to raise funds for featured causes throughout the event.
- Wine and dine: Provide your attendees with dinner recipes or cocktail ideas.
Beyond an event
The challenge with all events is once it’s over, it’s difficult to capture the attention of the audience. Follow up emails with future ways to stay engaged and post-event surveys can be easily ignored. Traction Gather provides a secure space for guests to revisit the community for fresh content, updates, follow-ups, or just to connect.
Your event is no longer a one-off experience, but rather a space for people who have shared an experience to, simply, gather.
A night in
To put our platform to the test, we hosted Traction for Good’s “A Night In” Gala on April 9th, benefitting the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division. Over 60 invitees and their families, dressed to the nines, took part in this inaugural event. The night included all the elements you’d expect from a gala: MC’s, keynote, entertainment, table discussions and a silent auction. It was a memorable evening for all who attended, to connect, to give, and to leave inspired.
“The gala was a much-needed energy boost. It was great to have a reason to dress up, do hair and makeup, put on jewelry, and just spend time connecting. I loved sharing my work family with my home family and vice versa. It was fast-paced, full of love and laughter, and exactly what I didn't know I needed - but totally did. “The gala was a much-needed energy boost. It was great to have a reason to dress up, do hair and makeup, put on jewelry, and just spend time connecting. I loved sharing my work family with my home family and vice versa. It was fast-paced, full of love and laughter, and exactly what I didn't know I needed - but totally did.” ”- Ginger Rutherford, Tractionite
How can you use Traction Gather?
Although Traction Gather was originally built with a nonprofit gala in mind, its potential is far-reaching; suitable for customer, constituent and employee events alike. The options are endless and include:
- Training sessions with breakout rooms
- Round table discussions
- Recurring event series
- Year-end presentations
- Company town halls and Q&A sessions
- Happy hours
“There is a tremendous opportunity to be creative and engage more people than you ever have before, we just need to think differently. There’s no time for 'this is the way we’ve always done it'; we’re all forging a new path and anyone can be at the forefront and lead by example.”Michelle Malpass, VP Community, Traction on Demand
Time to Gather
At a time of such uncertainty, I’m so proud to be a part of a solution that enables organizations to bring people together when they need it more than ever. We would love to discuss any upcoming events with you to see if Traction Gather is the right option for you.