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Try Something New: Launching a Virtual Event During COVID-19

Trying something new and producing a remote event experience taught the MoldMaking Technology team so much and reinforced what we already know—the mold manufacturing community is committed to coming together to learn, share, and get better.
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Although COVID-19 canceled our 21-year-old live Amerimold Expo, we had the industry covered with Amerimold Connects, its first-ever remote event experience to keep this community connected with each other and with technology, process and best practices content and resources. We tried something new, and what a journey it was. In a matter of eight weeks, our events, marketing, creative and sales teams as well as the Map Your Show crew pivoted from producing our live trade show to a virtual platform—giving us just a little taste of the aggressive lead times that mold builders must manage every day.

Trying something new and producing this event taught us so much. Still, at the same time, it reinforced a lot of what we already know—the mold manufacturing community is committed to coming together to learn, share and get better—despite a pandemic. As a matter of fact, we even extended the show another full week after receiving multiple attendee requests for more time so team members could experience the event! 

This remote event experience featured a virtual show floor with 38 participating exhibitors, a collection of live streaming and on-demand educational content and a live Moldmaking Community Forum for networking between exhibitors and attendees. It also included a few of our classic features from our Amerimold Expo, namely our annual Leadtime Leader Awards Ceremony (2020 Winner Precise Tooling Solutions) and the virtual unveiling of our 2020 Top 10 Reasons To Be A Moldmaker t-shirt. (You can still view the videos of this ceremony and our live educational sessions at amerimoldexpo.com.)

Longtime MoldMaking Technology and Amerimold Expo supporter (and now an original Amerimold Connects exhibitor) Glenn Starkey, Progressive Components president, said: “We found there to be great content in so many presentations, but most importantly, this event helped maintain the interconnectivity of relationships throughout our great industry.”

In the end, Amerimold Connects attracted 1,527 total registrants over its two weeks, exhibitor showrooms were viewed over 12,000 times by attendees and live and on-demand sessions drew over 7,200 total views from more than 3,400 unique viewers—indicating a high level of participation from remote attendees.  

However, adding a virtual event to our MMT repertoire was not without its challenges and lessons learned. But then, that is the only way you learn and grow. So, we urge you to try something new too—hire that HR person, become an active association member, get social, invest in 3D printing, buy that new machine tool, dive into Industry 4.0, increase your cybersecurity, make that succession plan, go virtual, focus on creating culture, get involved in your local community to promote moldmaking, develop that better training program, buy that mold monitoring system, establish a mold PM plan, use that data, purchase that robot and on and on. Then, once you try that new thing, connect with me to share your story… heck, maybe that story will be perfect for our next virtual event.