Collaborate Global’s content manager, Ollie Biddle urges planners to always have the virtual audience front-of-mind.
Think of a virtual event. What are you picturing? A laptop screen? The speaker on the stage? The film crew at the studio? Or the person sitting in their fluffy slippers, interacting, engaging and enjoying the content?
The reason we do virtual events is to bring an audience together, to engage and connect whilst holding the chosen narrative.
Over the past six months, we as a team have worked on global supplier conferences, Goodwood Speedweek 2020 and senior leadership meetings. Each one unique in their own right but brought together by one simple alignment.
These events were created to serve the people that were using them. When working on global supplier conferences we have to take into consideration that these were more than just about getting people together on Zoom to talk. There are multiple ‘hidden’ elements that have to factored in when planning a professional hybrid event.
Your brand has a reputation. You wouldn’t expect Nike to just invite it’s senior leaders or suppliers onto a Zoom or just send out an email to communicate. Give the brand the level of respect that it asks from its customers.
When inviting an audience into your content, especially customers and those loyal to you, you are opening up the big bay windows and showing those clients how you perceive your brand.
You hold the narrative within a virtual event. Even if just 100 people turn up, you control every second of what they see and how they engage.
Investing in engaging content, a bespoke platform and bringing that user into the action will leave them feeling more inspired and positive than if you were to just send out an email or ask them to ‘pop on a Zoom with the other suppliers’.
This doesn’t mean that every event has to be the full ‘bells and whistles’. Perception is reality. Whatever you put yourself out to the world as, is what it will be received as.
Now you know you need to create content for the end-user, great. But how do I know who that is?
Collaborate Global’s technology, Realise analyses audience data, highlighting trends and behaviours which can be used to form content strategies.
For example, who remembers beer gardens? Yeah, us neither, apparently they used to be a thing back in summer.
All jokes aside, what can we gather from an audience that is expressing their love (or hate) for the term ‘beer garden’ online and how could we use that when creating content for those people?
Boris’ announcement sparked a wave of positive conversations about the term on the 22nd and 23rd of February. Giving people increased optimism and positivity to get through this last stage of the lockdown.
Knowing this segmented audience allows us to build on the anticipation leading-up to the end of social distance restrictions. London and Manchester have the most vocal communities when voicing their opinions about beer gardens and within those cities we can see that it is in fact a cold cider that people are most looking forward to enjoying on a hot summer day.
This is simply a fun example using a real-life case study. But understanding who the content is for is paramount before even putting the first idea down.
Our senior leaders event needed to be professional, easy to use, easy to consume and content rich with stories and case studies. We held it on our virtual and hybrid microsite and had a bespoke set built and operated a full communication Master Control Room to ensure the event ran smoothly.
Our involvement at Goodwood’s Hybrid Speedweek needed to be incredibly engaging and captivating, all while putting the audience at the heart of the action – we installed 3D sound and visuals to the drift track and drift cars.
Whatever you do, think about who it’s for.