Virtual Event Successes And The Silver Linings Of 2020

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In an environment riddled with uncertainty and concerns about gathering large groups, a live events company has to do quite a bit of soul searching to figure out how they can stay relevant to their community. 

Yes, Overland Expo is an organization that annually produces world-class, large-scale in-person events. But in 2020, we realized that we had the potential to be so much more than that. 

In April, we launched our curated editorial channel, The Compass — repurposing the seasoned overlanders that make up our event staff into writers bringing you gear reviews, stories from their journeys, and their opinions on topics affecting the community today.

We used our social media channels to both amplify individual overlander voices throughout the year and inspire our followers with content from across the community. Our social channels and engagement scores are growing daily.

We launched a successful virtual event series. With these events, we connected our fans with our tremendous network of presenters, instructors, and the incredible brands that provide the products and services to allow us to explore more and adventure further.

Today, Overland Expo is not just an event series, we are a trusted authority on overlanding, an ambassador for the community, and a powerful digital conduit between that community and the industry. 

Virtual Event Series Stats… 

Spring, Summer, and Fall Virtual Overland Expo brought the community together to ‘get trained, get outfitted, and get inspired’ at overlandexpo.com, on YouTube, and across our social media channels. 

Across the three virtual events, Overland Expo engaged the overland community:

  • Total virtual event series attendees: 41,000 

  • Total virtual website page views: 131,591 

  • Total new website users across virtual event series website visitors: 30,000 

  • $30,000 in client-provided product giveaways to fans 

  • Hundreds of discounts and show specials from 250 exhibitors and sponsors

  • 52,141 educational video views + 7,268 educational video watch hours

  • 303,335 total engagements across social media reaching 9,421,196 fans

  • 1,969 adventure motorcycle and vehicle entries in the virtual campgrounds

  • Engaged an international audience across Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Mexico, Finland, South Africa, India, and more.

Getting Back to Live Events In 2021

We are working diligently towards producing live events for you in 2021. 

In a normal environment, there are thousands of moving pieces that must be organized in order to produce a successful live event. In times like these, with looming uncertainty and safety regulations that vary by county, large scale event producers must be even more vigilant to ensure the event respects the regulations of county officials and adheres to the utmost safety standards to keep their communities safe. 

Some of the steps we’re taking today include:

  • Regular meetings with county supervisors, county health departments, city officials, and venue management for updates on capacity limits, sanitation, social distancing, and mask policies.  

  • Development and submission of COVID 19 safety protocols and implementation plans

  • Partnership with MedNext to perform health screenings and contact tracing at 2021 events

  • Giving our fans and clients a say in what safety measures are important to them at events in the future via surveys. Didn’t get a chance to give us your feedback yet?  Fill out this quick 1-minute survey and tell us how you feel about live events in 2021. 

Of course, it’s not all about rules and regulations.  We are also working to book an exceptional line-up of overland education and experiential activities for next year.  We want to ensure your safety while also creating an environment that’s community-driven, inspirational, and just plain old fun!

Thank You to the Overland Community

To those companies and individuals who pushed event registrations into 2021, thank you — from the bottom of our hearts — for your part in helping us keep Overland Expo’s team on staff this year. 

And to those companies who trusted us to amplify your brand’s presence in the overland community using our editorial, e-news, and social media channels, thank you for your support. 

Keep adventuring, tag us #myoverlandexpo in your posts and tell us about your Summer and Fall journeys at overlandexpo.com/MyOverlandStory.  

We’ll be announcing plans for 2021 live events here soon.  We look forward to seeing you at an Overland Expo next year!

– The Overland Expo Team


Header Photo is a Fall Virtual Campgrounds photo submission by Vicky Groskinsky

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Photo by Brett Willhelm

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