We’ve all registered for a virtual event that promises to be interactive and engaging for the audience only to find out that it is just another webinar, where you are spoken at for 40 minutes with limited opportunities to engage with the speaker – let alone your fellow attendees. In this new world of remote-working, we need REAL engagement and connection more than ever and companies who are successfully transitioning into this new way of working are managing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis better than their peers.
During a difficult time for our industry, Phoenix were forced to turn the tables on how we navigate our own business, how we engage with our customers and show loyalty to our community. We wanted to create something different, a virtual event that gave our audience all the benefits of attending a physical event – authentic content, real interaction and connection and the opportunity to be actively involved.
Here’s how we created Turning the Tables, an virtual event like no other.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan!
Delivering a successful virtual event requires the same careful consideration and logistical planning that goes into a physical event. What are the key aspects required to deliver the event? Who are your speakers? What is your timeline for delivery? Do you need an MC? What is your objective? How are you engaging the audience? What’s your budget? Do you want entertainment? What’s the marketing strategy? How do you want your guests to feel? What results do you want?
To answer these questions, we created a detailed strategy and budget, outlined team roles and responsibilities, and created a roadmap for delivering the event.
2. Create intrigue and excitement
Marketing your virtual event is incredibly important. It is easy enough to register for a webinar but securing actual attendance with competing priorities (or just forgetfulness) is the hard part. For Turning the Tables, we worked with a 2-week lead time and were strategic with our comms strategy. We drip fed snippets of information to build anticipation and created exclusivity by limiting places. It was an invite-only event, creating a special feeling of community for our clients and suppliers that were asked to attend.
3. Merge the physical and virtual
On the day of our virtual event, Turning the Tables, each of our registered attendees received a surprise gift box. We worked with fabulous suppliers to deliver food and beverage delights direct to attendee doors to be enjoyed at the virtual event that evening. Receiving a tangible item overwhelmed the audience and created a flood of excitement for the event. It ensured greater attendance levels by engaging the audience before the event had even begun. It was also a great opportunity to showcase our brand and our partner brands with interesting gifts and delicious food & beverage items.
4. Deliver the WOW factor
Everything comes down to how well you deliver your virtual event, how you engage and interact with the audience who have taken time out of their day to join you. We had a few tricks up our sleeve to deliver Turning the Tables…
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly we chose to use a platform where ALL attendees could have their cameras on – automatically ensuring the feeling of being together and being part of something.
Secondly, we used HD cameras for our MC, speaker and artist locations where the HD feed went straight into the laptop. This ensured all our guests experienced premium visual quality & retained their attention throughout the entire event.
Thirdly, we secured a professional MC to host the event, this meant the transition between speakers was seamless and there was continued interaction with the audience. Our keynote speaker hosted a live group meditation and ran polls through MentiMeter, actively including each of the attendees in her session. In our gift box, each attendee received a voting paddle which we incorporated throughout the event, asking the audience to vote by holding their paddle up to the camera. We had LIVE entertainment from musicians and a magician who performed tricks based on virtual audience participation.
5. Go even, 1 step further to ensure 100% engagement…
We challenged ourselves to come up with an idea that we had not seen done before. Physically engage people where they are actively participating in an experience where we create something altogether from different locations all over the world. Seems hard right? How did we do this? Simple…why not create a piece of art together. The artists can be in another location creating the art live in front of the audience while the event is running. All guests from the comfort of their homes can use their voting paddles to choose the words, symbols, icons and sentences they want included in the artwork. Creating the piece together and at the end of the virtual event the artwork is completed. Everyone feels a sense of teamwork, comradery and fulfillment. This will blow your guests away.
The entire Turning the Tables campaign was carefully curated to create maximum engagement with our audience and maximum awareness for our community of suppliers. We wanted each attendee to feel involved, moved, inspired and that they were actively contributing to the event. If executed successfully, a virtual event can gain 40% more engagement than a live event due to the ease of accessibility. It can also help boost your brand’s reputation, create deeper customer relationships, and encourage prospects to engage with your company. Now more than ever we need to engage with our communities and networks.
Get in touch with Phoenix to find out how we can help you deliver a seamless virtual event.
“ ….Congrats to you and the team for showing us the future of potential events and how interactive and engaging these can be.”
Kate Lourey | Senior Manager, Trade | NOVA ENTERTAINMENT
“… The event planning was second to none. The events were simply amazing!”
John Hanna | Managing Director | SXiQ
“….I was only going to stay on for half of it because I have kids but I could not take my eyes off the screen!”
Nick Rameka | Chief Marketing Officer | LIVETILES