Event Retrospective: Virtual Event Attendance the Last 30 Months

The last 30 months have seen a dramatic expansion in attendance at virtual events, with recorded attendance at 6,414 attendees (non-unique) as of Sept. 8, 2022.

A graph of event attendance over time from January 1, 2020 through September 8, 2022. Most events are in the 20 to 40 attendee range.

Nothing drew attendance more consistently than closure of the courts, one of the three branches of government. It’s fortunate we haven’t had that level of crisis since! CC BY-SA 4.0 MassLandlords, Inc.

Little about the COVID-19 pandemic can be described in combination with the phrase, “By good fortune,” but by good fortune we started experimenting with Zoom events four months before we needed them. On November 8, 2019 Attorney Peter Vickery gave our first-ever webinar. The topic was the then-recent Davis v. Comerford decision mandating rent escrow according to specific criteria. Attendance was 38.

Of course, as we gave that first webinar, we didn’t realize the in-person world had ended. Person-to-person transmission of Sars-CoV-2 started taking place in November 2019. Four months later, it reached Massachusetts. Our last in-person registration desk event was Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Worcester Technical High School. The Springfield event scheduled for the following night was canceled. It was all Zoom after that until our crash course resumed in-person on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

During the height of the pandemic, we learned a thing or two about hosting virtual events. Average Zoom attendance has remained more or less the same: 44 attendees per event for the time period May through August 2022. Steady, rather than growing, attendance is probably a function of our marketing lead time (two weeks on average, which has not changed since the pandemic began) and our increased frequency.

Our highest attendance Zoom event was 170 people on April 22, 2020, two days after the unfunded Massachusetts eviction moratorium was announced. We covered that very topic at that Zoom. Our most intimate Zoom event (if that’s not an oxymoron) was at a partner association, six people for a small group discussion about tenant screening.

Virtual meetings are ideally suited for presenting the entirety of landlord-tenant law in manageable pieces. The MassLandlords repertoire now includes presentations on Section 8; the State Sanitary Code; Security Deposits, Last Month’s Rent and Move-in Monies; Deleading; Emotional Support Animals and much more. And unlike a pre-recorded video, virtual meetings permit interrupting the speaker to ask a question and clarify what’s on the slides. We also have a formal Q&A at the end.

At time of writing, we had conducted an astonishing 188 virtual meetings and webinars for an average of one every five days. The MassLandlords team has worked hard to keep our members and the general public informed!

Zoom will be a permanent part of our educational outreach going forward even as we resume in-person events. We will continue to incorporate event feedback and keep the format fresh over time. In-person events are resuming slowly with new frequencies and formats.

See Also

Virtual Rental Real Estate Networking and Training

One Response to Event Retrospective: Virtual Event Attendance the Last 30 Months

  1. foodle says:

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