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Should You Still Host a Virtual Event Post-Pandemic?

Virtual events were the only kind available to us for a long time. They became a normal part of life when gathering online was the only option. From virtual festivals to family quizzes on Zoom, most people experienced some kind of virtual event over the past two years.

Now, we have found a new appreciation for going out and being together. Restrictions have been lifted. We get to experience all the things we had taken for granted before. It’s an amazing time with families being reunited and whole industries rising from the ashes.

So, is it worth hosting a virtual event now you don’t need to?

It’s a big question many businesses are now being faced with. Will people be desperate to get together again, or will they have found they prefer the safety of their own home? The last thing you want is to invest in an event that no one shows up to.

To determine whether a virtual event is worth your time, let’s have a look at some market statistics and see where people sit on this:

The Numbers

72% of people expect to attend more or the same number of online events even after in-person events return in full.

The virtual events industry is expected to grow from $78 billion to $774 billion – about ten-fold – over the coming decade (Grand View Research).

64% of participants agree that the quality of speakers and relevance of content, respectively encourage them to sign up for events (Vimeo).

59% or over half of survey participants say they’re likely to leave a live event due to technical issues. (Vimeo)

67% of online events attendees agree that it’s essential for presenters to be engaging and passionate about the subject they’re talking about (RedBack Connect)

What The Stats Tell Us

It’s clear that virtual events aren’t going anywhere, but we can see there are some common issues here.

What we can conclude is that it is worth hosting virtual events post-pandemic, but they need to be done right. They need to be engaging. They need to be informative. And most of all they need to run smoothly.

As people aren’t together in person it’s much harder to create an atmosphere. So, what your event lacks in atmosphere, it must make up for in interesting, relevant, and well-presented content. Invest in the best speakers. Host Q&A sessions. Offer break-out rooms for networking. Make it engaging.

Technical issues are another common theme. When your event is virtual you are relying completely on technology. This can be overwhelming especially when there are hundreds of software companies telling you their platform is the best.

This is where we come in. We’ve hosted hundreds of live events for our clients. We’re trusted to deliver seamless experiences for big brands. We know our stuff.

You don’t have to worry about which platform might be best, how to set up or how to keep your audience from switching off. That’s our job. It’s what we do and it’s what we’re passionate about.

If you’re considering hosting a virtual event, get in touch with us and we can walk you through what you might need.

Renault Arkarna Car Launch

They asked us to work with us to produce the UKJ product launch of Renault’s all new Arkana, voted UK’s Best Hybrid Car.

The event took place during covid restrictions which meant we were challenged with how to create an engaging product launch without having any in-person attendees.

To achieve a covid-safe product launch we worked closely with the Ignition team to create an interactive virtual event. It would be streamed live to the Renault dealer network so viewers could ask questions from home and have them answered in real-time – as if they were there in person.

During the event the car would be presented via a live stream to a virtual audience. Part of our remit was to design the studio this would take place in. It needed to be attractive for the viewers at home and deliver a dynamic look and feel; matching up to the innovative product Ignition were presenting.

We needed to come up with a solution which would deliver for the viewers and logistically work in Ignition’s chosen location of the Concept Building at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. Taking into account social distancing for our team, presenters and clients, we needed to plan to the millimeter. We did this prior to the event using our CAD software and from this produced photographic-like visuals for our client to truly see what we can achieve for them.

The livestream took place three times a day over three days – and simply nothing could go wrong once we were live. But some careful planning, a few site visits, a team effort from us, our client Ignition and the venue and we were there.

 

The result was an imressive virtual event that showcased Renault’s all new product to the public, despite restrictions, in an interactive and engaging way.

5 Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Brand Activation

You may have heard this term thrown around in recent years, but like other intangible marketing concepts, it can be hard to pin down. Let’s unpack Brand Activation with the top FAQs answered.

Wait! What actually is Brand Activation?

Brand activation comes across as a bit of a buzz word. It may even have you rolling your eyes. But let’s actually pin down the meaning. Brand activation is an experience designed to increase brand awareness or – in other words – get more people to know about your brand.

Think of it like this: if your brand is the paper and logs sitting in the firepit, the brand activation is the match that turns it into a roaring fire.

How on earth do you ‘activate’ a brand?

There are different ways to activate your brand, but the best way is to offer people an experience of it. This can be through experiential marketing, which is what it sounds like – marketing that you can actually experience. Or you can develop a brand activation event – an event that allows people to physically interact with your brand.

Do I need Brand Activation?

You may think brand activation is just for a new company. However, it’s often used after a rebrand, or after something that happens in a company that effects the brand. For example, a product launch that lays slightly outside of a brand’s usual remit is a great opportunity to ‘activate’ your brand in its most updated form.

Does Brand Activation work?

This is a good question – so, how does Brand Activation actually work? Brand Activation is designed to evoke a reaction in your audience, this creates an emotional association with your brand in their mind.

Creating an experience for people that triggers emotions really is the secret to getting your brand known. Once people have an emotional connection to your brand they will remember it. That’s the power of Brand Activation.

How do you create a Brand Activation?

There are many strategies to Brand Activation but the most common is to hold a brand activation event. Here’s a quick guide to creating your Brand Activation:

• Pinpoint your brand’s values including which ones you want to highlight with this event.

• Decide who you are targeting the event towards

• Set some clear goals

• Start planning out the details such as activities, venue, and guest list. For this we recommend involving a professional event production company to really give your brand activation impact

Hopefully this list of questions has demystified brand activation for you. If you think Brand Activation might be something your business needs, or even if you’re not sure, get in touch with us and we can talk through your goals.

Why Host a Hybrid Event? Seven Things You Should Know

Firstly, what is a hybrid event? Put simply, a hybrid event is an event that can have attendees both in-person and online. Although they’ve been possible for a long time, they became more common during the pandemic as things started opening up with restrictions on numbers for large events.

So, now restrictions are lifted and you can have as many attendees as you like, why bother hosting a hybrid event?

There are more benefits to this than you might think – keep reading to find out.

Unlimited Attendees

And in turn – unlimited ticket sales! This can have a huge impact on the revenue and profit of your event. Although it will cost you to ‘hybridise’ your event, after that initial cost you can continue selling tickets to online attendees without having to pay for extra venue space or catering.

In short – online attendees are ‘limitless’ AND they cost less!

In addition, online ticket sales can remain open until seconds before the event start time, unlike in-person tickets where you may need to leave a period between ticket sales ending and the event. Depending on your format, with a hybrid event you may even be able to keep selling tickets during the event for last minute revenue.

Going Global

Another huge reason to make your event ‘hybrid’ is removing limits on location. If you’re looking to reach a wider audience, what better way than to have them be able to attend your event anywhere in the world. When you can offer online tickets, you can open up your event to the whole world.

Content is King

Don’t let your event burn bright and fast – with a hybrid event you will have digital assets that you can keep using. This means you can really get the most out of your conference, product launch or activation. In a digital world, businesses need to be constantly producing content to keep up. Clips from your event can be used as marketing content.

Events that Keep Giving

Not only can hybrid, live streamed events become great content, but you can also continue making sales from them. Even long after they’ve happened. If your event becomes a recording, you can repurpose as a webinar or podcast and sell access to that recording for as long after the event as you like. This means you keep making money long after the event is over.

Data for Days

Hybrid events generate audience and attendee data. You can use this for future marketing, research and to improve your future events. Depending on what software you use, you can collect different insights into how your audience interacts with event content.

Planet Earth Friendly

Reduce the carbon footprint of your event by going hybrid. ‘Hybridising’ your event is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. With less people travelling to attend, the carbon emissions produced by your event can be kept to a minimum. This benefits the environment without compromising your revenue.

Inclusivity is Cool

Having a hybrid event can make space for inclusivity. Where you can reduce the cost of online tickets, people who may not otherwise have been able to attend now can. Even if you the cost of the ticket isn’t reduced – sometimes travel expenses are the difference between someone being able to afford to attend or not.
Another way your event will be made more inclusive if to those with disabilities who may not have been able to attend in person. A hybrid event is a more inclusive event.

In conclusion, a hybrid event can offer some fantastic benefits that will improve revenue, improve return on investment and create a more environmentally friendly and inclusive event.
If you’re curious about creating your own hybrid event, get in touch with us and we can talk through your options.