Virtual events with feeling
In recent years, event organisers have been looking to hybridise the nature of live events and integrate everything they love about online, broadcast, and social media as one; and although we know that one day soon, face to face events be back with a vengeance - now is the perfect time to capitalise on virtual and become experts in a platform that has endless opportunities.
From kick offs to post event on-demand experiences – read on as we talk you though the creation of emotionally connected, virtual event experiences…
THE COMMON SENSES OF THE VIRTUAL ECOSYSTEM.
The digital aspect of virtual means there is a more seamless link to content that is familiar to us as consumers of online entertainment and content, and this is perhaps how we should look at the current landscape - not as a challenge, but as an opportunity to create business events that mirror the online experiences that we consume in our everyday lives.
Now is the opportunity to get this real, familiar conversation happening between everyone in your organisation, allowing colleagues to input, discuss, review and self-publish opinions and storytelling through a digital medium. From a podcast to a ‘live’ social broadcast, there are new ways to make events more than a single moment in time experience and provide the cultural change we’ve all been waiting for - as we see all the aspects from great face to face live events - move online.
THE VIRTUAL PLAYLIST.
With more opportunities than we’ve ever had - we can’t hope to cover every aspect of how virtual or hybrid events might work for you. However, we thought it would be useful to talk through the headline acts when it comes to how we see the new event line-up.
It’s important to mention that virtual events provide great value, they can be set up quickly, inexpensively and we are able to roll out a platform for recorded or live broadcast extremely simply, but with the Top Banana flavour that we’re famous for….
1. THE KICKOFF.
The invite to an event is even better when you know you want to attend! By creating and posting great marketing content across all channels we can advertise and promote the event, make inspiring trailers, and get everyone talking (and contributing) before you’ve even got started.
Ahead of the event we’ll get your audience to prepare for the occasion in a digital space that’s branded to be yours. Not only will their contribution play a part in the event and allow you as organisers to use the data, it’s a chance for them to test the technology, personalise their agenda, add a layer of their personality and start to socialise.
2. GOING LIVE.
The rules are slightly different with a virtual event on digital platforms and as a result, some of the solutions don’t have to follow the same lines. It doesn’t have to be live; it doesn’t have to look like a stage, a single view, or a linear agenda journey. It doesn’t have to be long - no-one is suggesting we ask the audience to attend the event for a full day of plenary (it’s likely not to work). If we’ve got an amazing digital stage to play on, let’s use it to it’s full advantage and explore all the avenues of this versatile platform.
We can go live from our studio in the Midlands or come to you and bring what we need, either way it’s no drama and either option allows for all of the content checks, coaching and rehearsal that’s part of a great delivery. The digital event space provides a place to broadcast from, and at the same time allows an audience to comment and personalise their experience – ticking all the boxes of engagement that’s going to captivate your audience.
There is still a need to make sure the right people get the right message, and again this technology can make sure that there’s the right focus on content at the right time by allowing teams to break out into smaller groups where newly unlocked rooms provide white board discussions, team sessions, games and business activities where a real two-way experience is designed.
3. PHYSICALLY DISTANCED BUT SOCIALLY ENHANCED EVENTS.
Not being in the same room doesn’t mean we’re not together. We know this isn’t Fortnite but being able to hang out with your squad isn’t just better for gamers, it can be part of any shared social experience. By including profiles and social presence for users, we can create time in the agenda for ‘hallway tracks’ – those moments in between sessions that always provide the greatest networking at the large events and expos we’re used to. It means we have dedicated, designed time for delegates to come together, meet, to book one-to-ones or attend sponsor workshops.
4. THE CROWD PLEASERS.
This social world needs to feel alive and energetic. From games in the lobby you can play with others, to personalising your music selection and agenda, it’s an invitation to click, change, explore and curate the things you see and the things you do. In turn this data allows us to target content back to the user, whether it’s a simple as a live updated ‘coming soon’ agenda, or some pre and post event learning material. The additions to the digital event are so much more open because of the data it creates. It exists not to stifle, but to create better and more meaningful experiences for users and organisers alike. Another way to use a familiar technology to its greatest advantage is the event app. It allows for responses, enquiries, information and is designed for the user to make their experience easier and more meaningful. It’s not essential for every event – but can be a a great companion to track what you need to do.
5. THE ARENA.
Using a digital space allows us to be a bit out there with the content you might get during lunch, on arrival, within an expo or exhibition. From a sponsor stand or just a chat with a project team – here is where it’s possible to be most visually creative. Luckily… we’re great at creating 3D environments and can either use some we’ve created in the past, or new ones which work for you. Another perk? We’re not restricted by a venue or our idea of what these spaces look like. Whether it’s a drive through sponsor cinema, a university of learning, or a 360-degree journey around a space or product – it’s an experience that allows for deeper conversations, personalised journeys and overall gives greater value for stakeholders, sponsors and the audience. For those who live to learn - it will be the place of dreams, and for those who prefer a little direction, we’ll plan a journey with more purpose creating, for example, a gamified experience, where delegates stamp collect in their passport as they travel, picking up merch and content as they go.
6. ON-DEMAND EXPERIENCE.
We’re all familiar with accessing content we’ve missed through on demand services. Whether it’s due to time zone differences or work demands, not everyone will be able to attend the event, or attend every session.
The advantage of a mostly digital or virtual event is that every bit of content is recorded and available afterwards. It’s not just a straight playback of the event (although this is an option), it’s a chance to rework content and cascade training material, podcasts, pdf’s, eBooks, web and social content. Let’s be honest, there’s a huge demand from audiences for bitesize and at-a-glance content, with the big messages and the big facts in focus. The possibilities are endless and make for a compelling post event space.
LET’S CREATE VIRTUAL EVENTS WITH FEELING.
What we’ve outlined is just a little insight into how we can help bring a personality to virtual events, so, get in touch and let’s have a conversation. Afterall, none of us are unfamiliar with conducting meetings and chats on screens these days… If you haven’t yet – check out our other pages and see the specific and logistics on creating safe, socially distanced films, incentive programmes and events.