Virtual Events Institute Teams Up with Soundings and Informa to Prepare Event Professionals for a Digital Future

February 23, 2021

Designed to inspire and educate event professionals to produce exceptional virtual and hybrid events, the Virtual Events Institute works to serve the global events community by providing education, knowledge, innovation and best practice to ensure digital event excellence. In an effort to help further that mission, VEI has been busy forming partnerships with industry-leading companies to prepare both contract and full-time event workers with the versatile skill sets that these specialized events demand. Take a look: 


Many trade show and event companies confronted the necessary evil of laying off staff to remain afloat despite the ongoing pandemic. In the meantime, those same organizations were also forced to implement new strategies and processes for virtual events to survive. The end result is a flood of talented and experienced event professionals and a demand for contract workers amid a new age of producing shows. However, event workers displaced from the pandemic will primarily have backgrounds in face-to-face events, which was the standard until COVID-19 changed the paradigm.

In an effort to connect the many dots—that draw a picture of 2021—VEI has forged a partnership with talent platform Soundings that will benefit all affected groups. Under their new brand, Soundings Thrive, a vibrant members-only freelance community, the company is collaborating with VEI to offer offering additional education and networking opportunities for freelance event professionals to help them become workforce-ready for assisting virtual and hybrid events.

“Since the start of the pandemic, our main focus has been to help freelancers remain relevant in the industry and find work opportunities,” Judge explained. “Our partnership with VEI will shorten the learning curve, marrying education and community to ensure that we have the talent to support the future of our industry.” 

The VEI platform includes a 10-module certification training course led by virtual and hybrid event innovators. Soundings then uses its expertise and connections to match workers with hiring companies. The companies will co-produce webinars and thought-leadership articles to augment the efforts.

The new partnership comes following a recent Harvard Business Review study that showed 90% of the C-suite and frontline executives it polled will lean on freelance worker platforms to complete projects. 

“Freelance talent will be key in rebuilding the global event industry,” agreed Sophie Ahmed, co-founder and CEO of VEI, which launched its global community platform in July 2020. “Our certification program, paired with Soundings’ hands-on learning experiences, will give freelancers the opportunity to upskill and support new specializations the business events industry needs most.”

Freelancers interested in learning more about the partnership and VEI Certification are invited to attend the VEI and Soundings Thrive webinar on Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. ET. To learn more, go here.

Informa Markets 

Prior to the Soundings announcement, VEI launched a new global training program partnership with Informa Markets, which will enable the company’s more than 4,000 colleagues to develop digital events skills and achieve professional certification in delivering expert, engaging and profitable digital event experiences. 

Similar to the Soundings partnership offering, the VEI Certification Training Program is delivered on-demand and comprises 10 modules, providing a step-by-step guide for all event disciplines, across sales, marketing, content and operations. 

With self-paced exercises, exams and downloadable resources, the focus is on upskilling event professionals with the knowledge and tools they need to deliver excellent virtual and hybrid events.  

With more than 1,000 colleagues already registered to date, this business-wide initiative demonstrates Informa’s ongoing commitment to colleague development, along with its continuing evolution to meet the changing needs of its customers, according to Sean Ongers, head of global learning and performance at Informa Markets.

“Informa Markets’ proactive approach to colleague development further establishes us as leaders in the events industry, as well as leaders in the digital and hybrid event space,” he said.

According to Informa officials, the organization delivered some of the world’s largest digital events and outlined its multi-channel future approach in 2020, which will enable it to leverage the value of physical, digital and hybrid formats to create multiple touchpoints for connection and market access throughout the year. 

“Upskilling is vital for any event professional, now more than ever, and Informa Markets is leading the way on this,” Ahmed said. “We are excited that Informa Markets has partnered with VEI on this global training initiative, which will support Informa Markets to provide leading digital event experiences.”

Informa Markets provides customers and partners in more than 40 countries with opportunities to engage, experience and do business through live, digital and hybrid events, specialist digital content and actionable data solutions. 


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