On Friday, Aug. 6, 2020, Change to Win showed how events and trade shows are done in 2020 with their first virtual conference. The event was a project of Purple Virtual, a division of Purple Exhibits whose mission is to redefine the future of networking through a virtual reality experience.
From beginning to end, Change to Win was a blast. Many expressed their anticipation for the event by counting down its kickoff time on LinkedIn as early as 3 weeks in advance; and once it began, there were consistent laughs and smiles around the screen.
People are socially deprived, and Suzanne Spaner, a Change to Win Host and Owner of Meeting Matchmakers, knew that when designing the event. Spaner said, “Taking action and moving into the virtual space has proved to be exactly what attendees are craving right now. The need for connection is real. We made that happen for people in the PurpleVirtual world.” On top of being enjoyable, the event was also informative.
After the live show was over, Itzy Holczler, the Co-Owner of Purple Exhibits, was able to reflect on the experience. “Every challenge is an opportunity. Was really hard on me that the event industry went down 100%. But I knew that this is an opportunity, now people are open to new ideas…” He continued, “Yesterday, we really proved that people are extremely happy to be part of history…” When asked what we can expect from the future of Change to Win, Holczler responded, “Next time we’ll focus more on the tradeshow. I was pretty nervous for that part, and this seemed to work out best.” Outside of being known as the Purple Guy, Holczler is professionally known as a trade show booth expert.
Real People: The Speakers
Officially from their website, it takes creativity, flexibility, positivity and persistence to see business success following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Change to Win’s seasoned fleet of speakers had experience to add.
Following the live show, Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang, speaker and Founder of Classroom Without Walls, left impressed. “Change to Win is not your average online conference. It is engaging, personal, interactive and fun. It is the closest that you can get to an in-person conference. I love how my avatar can shake hands with other avatars, how we can clap for speakers, or just chill and hang out at the beach. I have never attended or spoken at an online conference that has all of these powerful features, that are usually only available through in-person events. I am honored to be a speaker at Change to Win. It is disrupting how events are done.”
Real Networking: Is this the key to business success post-COVID?
Toby Goldstein said, “Many look forward to the day of an event, however at #change2win magic occurred before, during and after. Its purpose was served. Many changed to win, thanks to the #change2win event. Deals were made. Conversations were had and much is in the works thanks to the vision of the Virtual Purple Exhibits.”
Holczler’s business partner Moshe Kaufman stated, “Love the way it’s asked, validating the fact that our whole industry was destroyed. After this event, I feel like new times are coming to this space. I saw people’s excitement and enthusiasm. After being locked out for so long, people are so open and willing to work together to bring this idea to life.” Similarly to Itsy Holczler’s future plans, Kaufman said, “For next time, I would save more time for the trade show and networking part. I find that people are most desperate for this part. Any online event offers speeches, but this kind of networking is something else.”
From Susan Westwater and Scot Westwater, “Change to Win was an incredible experience for us. We always appreciate opportunities to share our knowledge on voice but really felt the virtual platform was as close as we could get to networking in-person when that isn’t truly possible right now. Hats off to itsy, Suzanne and the whole Purple Exhibit team for making this event happen.”
Can Virtual Events Change Lives?
After COVID-19, virtual events may be the future. As an attendee myself, the event was groundbreaking. I’ve never met with real-life people through virtual means, and everything happened so easily. When speakers were finished, there were booths to roam through, requiring real-life actions to navigate through. In a business that relies on these interactions, but they’ve been halted due to COVID-19, this was a phenomenal experience.
Other attendees felt personal to the event, as well. Chris Giuseppini, a participant, said, “The Change 2 Win conference in the purple virtual world did something other conference platforms could not. No one person was on a pedestal to speak, and you could walk up to a crowd and leave it walking away with someone to have a private conversation with as if it were real life. If you’re nervous about meeting people in real life, you get the benefits of being in pajamas, hiding behind the protection of an avatar, shielding you from social anxiety.”
The event also was well-received by participant Chana Miller, who said, “I thought it was a great event. I especially Loved the diversity of the speakers and attendees. The idea of hosting a virtual event in an actual virtual world is needed now more than ever. I commend the creators of this event for their innovation and forward thinking. Can’t wait for the next one.”
All in all, Change to Win proved that the coronavirus doesn’t have to put a stop to your business. Check out for changetowin.live for more updates on future business conference meetups.