May 5, 2020

The Show Must Go Online

How do you pull off a successful virtual event amid a global public health crisis with audiences already experiencing Zoom fatigue?

While there is no one size fits all solution for creating an impactful virtual event that gets your message across, consider a few of GPG’s best practices for success:

  • Revisit your goals. You can’t replicate the in-person experience, so focus on what you achieve online. Have a clear purpose and call to action to engage attendees with busy schedules.
  • Communicate with your audience. Develop a schedule of pre-event reminders, in-event chat messages and post-event follow-up to keep your audience informed and engaged.
  • Deliver compelling content. It’s now a larger part of what your audience will be interacting with. Select speakers who can adapt to the virtual setting by vetting them in advance. And keep it concise.
  • Develop a run of show. Detail every transition, timing and contingency plan so you are ready for anything.
  • Plan at least one rehearsal with all speakers where you can test everything. Use that time to make adjustments—not the event.
  • Create an ideal physical setup using GPG’s broadcast interview tips.

See all of our best practices here.

Forever Young?

New employer polling data rings an alarm bell for graduates.

Fully 22% of employers are revoking internship offers and 4.4% are revoking offers to full-time recruits. These numbers have increased over the last month and could continue to grow as roughly one-in-five employers (19%) remains undecided about revoking offers.

Colleges and universities expected to award more than 900,000 associate’s degrees and nearly 2 million bachelor’s degrees during the 2019-2020 academic year.

But the Class of 2020 is entering the job market amid unprecedented uncertainty. More than 3 million workers filed initial unemployment claims the week of March 20, the highest level since the Department of Labor began tracking claims.

And the International Monetary Fund is warning of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Gen Z might look to its older siblings for a sign of what’s in store. Millennials who graduated during the 2008 recession faced a decade of earnings losses amounting to 34% less wealth accumulation than earlier generations, according to one study.

And younger Americans are already more anxious about the future. A recent Pew Research Center survey found 34% of Americans age 18-29 and 27% age 30-49 think the economy will be worse in a year, compared to 17% age 50-64 and 11% age 65+.

COVID-19 By the Numbers

Getting the Masses Back on Mass Transit

Our cities’ public transit ridership has plummeted— with broad economic implications for the future.

Ridership on the New York subway, DC metro and London Tube is down 92%, 94% and 95% respectively. Buses are suffering across the board. And Twitter conversation— often complaints— about mass transit systems is down a quarter year over year.

Despite hemorrhaging farebox revenues, transit authorities are keeping services open to move essential workers around cities.

Staying afloat while most passengers stay home has been hard. But the months ahead present an even bigger challenge for these systems as businesses slowly reopen and workers decide how to move around their city safely— and whether they can.

Will the great urban icons of the 20th century – underground mass transit systems – persevere? If they can’t, the funding models of the already cash-strapped services become more difficult, despite their essential status.

The CDC may release guidelines on mass transit use, with some anticipating persisting distance measures on trains and buses, like rear-bus boarding and roped-off seating.

Mass transit has always made cities hum, getting the most people most efficiently to work and play. Whether urban economies’ lifeblood— people— can sustain them moving forward will depend in large part on the healthy functioning of the “veins”.

Accustomed to Robes, Justices Ease Into Working from Home

Thanks to coronavirus, Supreme Court oral arguments are being aired live to the public for the first time— which bears watching as they hear more polarizing cases.

The Supreme Court, which has been impacted by social distancing guidelines, has kicked off a two-week oral arguments session that is taking place by telephone and is available via live audio to the public.

Pre-COVID-19, the Supreme Court notably did not allow cameras in the courtroom. It has never allowed live audio and only rarely allowed recordings of its hearings to be released the same day.

But the Supreme Court conducted its business in an orderly fashion with just a few technical glitches Monday as it heard a case concerning trademarks. Despite the new format, the justices— including Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, known for his silence during oral argumentsasked questions.

Allowing the public to listen to the live proceedings invites commentary from anyone and everyone with an interest in a case.

This will be particularly evident when the justices hear arguments concerning President Trump’s financial records next week.