When virtual events and technology failures collide

18th May 2021

We often hear the saying ‘technology is great when it works’. At last week’s annual conference, BIBA felt the pain of what happens when the technology doesn’t work. Months of planning went into their flagship virtual conference and networking event. Then on the day, the technology just wasn’t on their side.

Delegates and exhibitors alike were unable to access the various stands and talks available, and networking appointments were wiped from calendars. BIBA managed the situation the best they could, providing regular updates via email & social channels. The broker community were quick to empathise with BIBA online, demonstrating that it is understood how easily things can go wrong.

There would have been rigorous testing to ensure the platform was able to cope with the volume of traffic. It’s one of those situations that you are just unable to predict. But how you react to these situations is essential to get right. BIBA quickly found solutions, they tweaked the schedule and gave delegates and exhibitors more time for networking through the platform.

Technology and the pandemic
If the last year has taught us anything, it’s how reliant we now are on technology & digital solutions. This was a journey that we were on anyway, but the pandemic has accelerated it. As the virus swept across the world, businesses turned to technology to keep afloat and operating. Across a variety of sectors, new ways of delivering services have been put into place.

Technology dependency
It is incredibly frustrating when technology fails, and it can leave us feeling helpless. It is very clear that our technology dependency has increased. Think about the different technologies that you use in your day to day life. How would you feel if anything you depend on stopped working? Could you imagine the chaos that would happen if the internet stopped working?

What we need to remember is it doesn’t matter how much preparation goes into something, sometimes things can go wrong, and we have no control over them. In these situations, we should try to utilise it as a learning process.

The importance of always having a ‘Plan B’
As with everything in life, it’s important to have a backup plan, just in case anything goes wrong. Whilst we have always championed the importance of offering customers choice, it is also very clear that choice brings workarounds. That’s why we offer a variety of ways for customers to interact with us. A new communications channel does not always replace an old way of doing things. In the past month we have launched a new ‘electronic notification of loss’ application that will sit alongside and not replace our digital claims portal, our phone and email communications methods.

Sometimes customers send documentation electronically or they might prefer to send in the post, or they choose in-person inspections instead of virtual ones. It’s important that we meet these customers with the right solutions for their needs. This way, if one communication channel fails, there are other options and workarounds available.

Despite the challenges with the virtual platform, we found BIBA 2021 to be a positive experience. We are already looking forward to next year and are intrigued to find out what format will be in place for 2022.

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