Lord Somers Camp and Power House
Supporting personal and community development through a virtual event program.
Exploring New Avenues in Times of Crisis
LSC&PH runs several popular camps and programs for youth development, community development, life-long learning, and positive aging. In the 12 months before the global pandemic began, they had 1,500 people, from the ages 15 to 80, to attend their camps and programs.
However, things changed abruptly and LSC&PH was not immune to this unprecedented crisis, which had forced organisations across the world to cancel or postpone their events. LSC&PH found themselves in a position where they had to cancel all their in-person events overnight as government restrictions set in and they were unable to host their programs.
The not-for-profit organisation decided it was time to reassess their events strategy but knew they had to do so while keeping their vision intact. “Our vision is to create a stronger, more inclusive society through service to others — so we want to continue keeping our members and program participants engaged. This vision is more important than ever right now, in a world where we are physically distanced and have more of a need to remain connected to one another” says Vikki Deak, Programs and Activities Manager. She adds, “Ultimately, we are all in this together, and in creating online events we see members engaged and continuing to explore creativity through program design.”
LSC&PH had been using Cvent as their one-stop centralised event management platform to handle their in-person events. Keeping in mind the functionalities that Cvent’s tech offered, the organisation decided to move some of their existing events, such as camps, luncheons, and social gatherings, to the virtual space.
Technology to the Rescue
LSC&PH’s first order of business was to ensure their event cancellations (and the subsequent communication with members) were handled smoothly. This is where Cvent’s sophisticated registration platform proved to be the saviour. “Once the reality set in, the practicality of closing events, notifying attendees and offering refunds was a smooth and streamlined activity. We could easily check in to see that the messages were sent out, and track refunds and conversions to donations,” states Deak. It also ensured a hassle-free experience for members.
Making that switch to virtual turned out to be another fuss-free process. LSC&PH’s events program was already plugged into the Cvent system, so the only additional step they had to take was to host their events on a virtual conferencing platform and they were ready to go.
With the help of their member database and Cvent’s email marketing tool, LSC&PH began to connect and reengage with their community of members and volunteers, chiefly those who had attended programs in the past. Doing their activities digitally allowed them to reach more members — especially those who weren’t living close by to their facilities so weren’t as engaged with their face to face programs.
LSC&PH also used Cvent’s Inquisium survey module to get quick feedback and identify the elements that worked for their online activities and programs. It easily enabled them to readjust each event/session as it came up.
“The team at Cvent has been consistent with their support to allow us to regularly run ideas and new ways of coordinating our programs past them, to ensure we have the best approach for registration and management of participants,” states Deak.