As the event world enters a new era, we have all seen the rush to the online virtual event to fulfil the need to perpetuate conversations.
It’s a pertinent need and never has it been more important for companies to network together and for brands to connect with their end users.
However, in the rush to practical solutions and white-labelled off-the-shelf software, have we left something behind?
Hybrid events are an exciting proposition where physical content will be given lasting life online and online content will be rejuvenated by a human orientated twin, but we aren’t there yet. Physical events are only just returning in select areas and in the meantime, the need to create engaging online content is ever-present.
Here are 2Heads key drivers when creating meaningful content for online events and a peek at what is inspiring our team right now.
One of the key principles for engagement … Get your guests involved. If your online virtual event schedule features presentations and screenings where 100% of the content is one-sided, chances are your guests will at some point switch off, or at least go make a cup of tea.
Engagement tools that reward guests for waiting until the last event of the day, and or require full audience participation are an obvious go to, while measurements of interaction are also a useful sales tool, capturing user data and ROI information that provide a template for a better event next time. These are some of our more successful interaction tools:
- Interactive Timelines
- Easter Eggs
- Gamification and Reward
- Linked App Polling
Inspiration: We love Vredestein’s New Horizons portal which combines interactive product data with promo video and strong narrative all within a virtual Hall of Fame premise. Click the image below to see for yourself.
With off the shelf software and a digital blueprint that focuses on function not style, virtual events can often have a generic feel to them. As organisers provide one-stop online networking markets to replace the physical, it is likely that we will see more of this type of conformity and white-labelling.
For us, this is a short-term solution, and if virtual events are going to evolve, brands will need an online identity that is specific to them and instantly recognizable to their followers. Brand loyalty is even more important online, so tone, voice and narrative are all key factors in creating subtle long-term engagement. Our media clients are already well ahead with creating their own online persona’s through some of these investments:
- Experience Tailoring
- Concierge Avatars
- Product Launch Portals
Inspiration: Vanmoof have never shied away from their online identity. Their online launch portal is intuitive, informative and easy to use, while staying completely on brand.
As a form of engagement, storytelling needs no introduction. A long-term stalwart of a physical event, creating a brand narrative journey is what agencies are all about.
The online reality is harder though with video, light and sound requiring enhanced production levels to keep guests in seats. This is where strategy is key and also where off-the-shelf platforms fail. 2Heads are using green screen AR studios and Academy-awarded directors alongside story-boarded 3D journey design to create engagement that works:
- Game Engine Tech
- Hosted Table Networking
- Talent Endorsement
- Virtual Environment design
Inspiration: Our very own Sam Drew prototyped a virtual environment where identity was everything. Take a tour through Mad Man Don Draper’s office …
Subvert Expectation/ Disruption
Typically reserved to screenwriters, the ability to twist a plot and shock an audience is one of the most powerful ways to engage an audience and keep them hooked until the end.
The same is true with an online event, but the subversion must have a clear motive behind it and leaves the online audience with a positive memory from the disruption. Some of our favourite online subversions are:
- Event Hacks
- Takeover Moments
- Augmented Reality Pop-Ups
Inspiration: Short but sweet. We love how Street artist Shane Fu disrupts expectations with his Augmented Reality Aquarium installation.
Would you like to know more? Please contact email@example.com to book on online engagement demo and experience some of these solutions yourself.