Seed World

Starstruck on Zoom: The Power of Virtual Connection

Senior Editor,
Seed World Group

Marc spent a decade working as a reporter, photographer, and finally managing editor for Canada’s largest newspaper chain. He graduated from both the University of Winnipeg and Red River College communications programs, and over the years has received numerous Manitoba Community Newspapers Association awards for his writing and photography. He brings his love of writing, editing and constant learning to his role at Seed World Group.

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Fifteen years ago, I missed out. Big time.

I saw my favourite musician — Todd Rundgren — perform live. He did a show in my hometown and I had a blast. What I didn’t realize is that he took time to do an impromptu meet-and-greet with fans afterwards, and I had already left the venue.

Ever since I had been kicking myself. If only I had stuck around. I’d likely never see him in concert again, let alone get to meet him. An opportunity missed. Too bad for me, I guess.

Until last week, that is. Rundgren is doing a series of 25 live virtual concerts from a venue in Chicago, Ill. The shows are streamed over the internet. For superfans like me, he offers the option of doing a short virtual meet-and-greet with him prior to each show.

I was elated when he announced this virtual concert tour and the option to meet him via Zoom. It was like Halley’s Comet had come around again. Needless to say, I seized the chance to meet him and it was a great experience. For about 20 minutes I got to speak to one of my musical idols and even get my photo taken with him.

Of course, it wasn’t quite the same as meeting him in the flesh, but when you boil it right down, these sorts of experiences aren’t about physical connection; they’re about the emotional experience of connecting with someone important to you and having a memorable experience that you will never forget.

The virtual world opens up so many new possibilities that we can all use to connect with our audience. This time last year, many of us thought it was impossible to replace “real” connection with virtual connection. The past 12 months have helped us realized that while you can’t replicate the experience of being somewhere in person, you can definitely use technology to offer people a valuable experience they can’t otherwise get due to the logistical challenges of traveling.

Think about it. Even when there is no pandemic happening, traveling is fraught with challenges. If you can make it easier than ever for your audience to connect with you, that audience will reward you. You’ve likely built a virtual connection with that audience over the past year.

As the COVID-19 vaccine begins getting into more arms over the next several months and we begin to turn the corner on this pandemic, now is the time to think about how you will use what you’ve learned. Start thinking of the ways you will employ all this technology you’ve been taking advantage of to keep that virtual connection even after COVID-19 becomes a memory.