Lord Somers Camp and Power House
Exploring New Avenues in Times of Crisis
Lord Somers Camp & Power House (LSC&PH) runs several popular camps and programs for youth development, community development, life-long learning, and positive aging in Melbourne and Victoria, Australia. In the 12 months before the global pandemic began, they had 1,500 people, from the ages 15 to 80, attend their camps and programs.
LSC&PH was impacted by the start of the unprecedented global health crisis in March, which had forced organizations across the world to cancel or postpone their events. They found themselves in the position of needing to cancel all of their in-person events overnight as government restrictions prevented all in-person gatherings.
The not-for-profit organization decided it was time to reassess their events strategy but knew they had to do so while keeping their program goals 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," says Vikki Deak, Programs and Activities Manager. "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." Vikki viewed the challenge with her community in mind. 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 centralized event management platform to handle their in-person events. Keeping in mind the functionalities that Cvent’s tech offered, the organization decided to move some of their existing events, such as camps, luncheons, and social gatherings, to the virtual space.
Event Tech 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. Cvent's integrated registration platform created a seamless process for the team. “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,” says Vikki. It also ensured a hassle-free experience for members.
Pivoting to virtual was a tall order, but one which proved to be a smooth process for the team. LSC&PH’s events program was already plugged into the Cvent system, so they simply needed to integrate their virtual conferencing solution into the Cvent platform. Cvent automated the rest of the process for the LSC&PH team.
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 to their facilities and who therefore couldn't engage 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 best for their online activities and programs. It easily enabled them to readjust each new event or session to optimally engage attendees. “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,” insists Vikki.