FACEPAINTING may not be the first professional trade that springs to mind when envisioning entrepreneurs quickly adopting new business models in the midst of a global pandemic. 

Yet, just last month, more than 2000 of these out-of-work artists – who presently face the prospect of several months without lucrative social events – showed their professionalism was also built on strong foundations by taking part in a highly successful “webinar” to network, share skills and broadcast their own workshops.

Hosted by webinar pioneers HeySummit, this online conference was a progressive adaptation to circumstance that the company now aims to emulate on a grander scale with the forthcoming Impact Summit from FutureX.

The Scottish conference for the country’s leading entrepreneurs, policymakers and educators will take place entirely online on May 20, after coronavirus forced organisers to move this year’s event from Glasgow’s SWG3. 

Impact Summit nurtures collaboration with business and governments around the world in the pursuit of a values-led economy. Each year, the event attracts a stellar line-up of altruistic, empathetic figures in business who wish to tackle shared challenges – people like HeySummit CEO Robert Gelb, who  believes values and purpose will become the primary focus for all businesses in the future.

“I’ve been involved with Impact Summit from very early on and I am a huge champion of it. It’s a wonderful blend of high-impact organisations and companies who want to learn how to lead with altruism and values but aren’t quite there yet,” Gelb enthuses. 

HeraldScotland:

“I’m confident it won’t be long before all businesses will be impact-focused and that’s the ultimate goal of an event like this – inspiring and enabling entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams for positive impact on their communities and, ultimately, the world.”

Although Gelb’s conference hosting framework integrates such big hitters such as Zoom (the world’s premier webinar platform) and Vimeo (for pre-recorded workshops) it is his firm’s years of experience that elevates HeySummit above their rivals in what is now a highly competitive field, due to many conferences being postponed and cancelled in recent weeks.

Gelb explains: “When you think about an online conference, there are two main elements – delivery and organisation. We do everything for our clients. We create their landing pages, look after speaker accounts, manage attendees and help everyone pick and manage their schedules. 

“We’re very hands-on and want attendees and participants to all have a special, bespoke experience that is highly informative, worthwhile and also a pleasant experience.”

Despite global broadband networks being currently overloaded and specific servers hosting conferencing platforms heavy with activity, Gelb is confident that the popular Impact Summit will not fall foul of any technical gremlins on the day.

“The mainstream media’s current criticism of the security of platforms such as Zoom are wildly over-hyped and mainly based on users not being aware that they can alter settings. These providers have to balance ease of use against locking the whole thing down and I think they do it rather well.

“We have hosted thousands of conferences over the past few years and we are proud of our reputation for stability and fluidity for attendees. It really will be a great experience and we know how to pull it off smoothly. 

“Impact Summit is a huge, ambitious event and the sky is the limit for what it can achieve in Scotland and even further afield. It’s a platform for those who wish to create a better world through compassionate capitalism as well as a space to celebrate new leadership models and initiatives.”

HeraldScotland:

Might then, in a post-pandemic landscape where people may be hesitant to congregate at large-scale events, there be a possibility that online conferences become the new norm? Despite Gelb’s passion for what is a highly successful new platform which is growing exponentially year-on-year, the HeySummit CEO is hesitant to declare his company’s revolutionary potential.

“The world will change after coronavirus, undoubtedly, yet unlike other forecasters, I don’t think we’ll never want to be close to other people again! It’s easy to be dramatic and say things will never be the same again but we’ll return to some sort of normality.

“Companies are going to feel the pinch for quite a while, however – with a deep recession, perhaps a depression on the way – and it’s going to take quite a while for many people to get up and running again. So in that interim period, platforms like HeySummit will certainly perform well as people seek to adapt to their own circumstances and monetise their specialisms in new ways.

“Entrepreneurs and firms will all be looking for solutions to staying visible, focused and to generate revenue. Many are clearly looking to diversify income due to the current crisis and that’s where we come in. 

“Virtual summits, conferences and workshops are great ways of monetising networks, contacts and developing new angles to business. We can do all that at HeySummit and we’ve become very good at it.”

  • To see the full schedule of Impact Summit keynotes and the virtual exhibitor marketplace, go to www.impact-summit.org