Date:  21/07/2020

A Toe in the Virtual Pond

‘Virtual, Digital & Online’ words that are now part of our everyday event vernacular. 

Over the past few months, we have found ourselves talking with clients about the ‘future of events’ and being frequently asked the question “what innovations are you seeing in the current climate?

As with many things in the last few months, the events industry (both client and agency side) has had to re-think events, communications and engagement which has resulted in a ‘digital focused’ environment that has seen a proliferation of new platforms to host not only company meetings but also virtual events to drive audience engagement. However, these tools can only get you so far in the quest to deliver innovative communications, as its only when you combine them with right content that you come anywhere close to delivering on your aspirations and objectives. So where do you start?

We all know the adage, ‘you get what you pay for’ and as such many people think the most expensive solution or tool is often the best. You could go out and buy the most expensive set of tools available, however if you haven’t developed the skills to use them and don’t have the creative vision of what you want to achieve, you are going to end up with little more than sawdust and splinters – I know I’ve been that person. What really counts is the right tool for the right job and the vision and plan to use it correctly!

So now more than ever, the techniques we have developed over many years in designing content driven creative live events must be adapted and employed in virtual & hybrid events alongside wider communication programmes. The choices in delivery platforms however can seem daunting and endless – in some cases even the same and simply different price points. Do we need a simple delivery platform? Do we need a virtual environment created? Do we need to allow for two-way communication or is it a one-way broadcast? Is it to be used once or for multiple events?

Ultimately the delivery platforms purpose is ‘communication’ and as such when evaluating options, we need to always go back to the principles of designing innovative communications:

  • Define clear and measurable objectives.
  • Research and understand the audience – what is the wider context that they are in?
  • What is the most appropriate tone?
  • Consider all channels available and develop an effective blend.
  • Be clear, concise and authentic with the messaging.
  • Create meaningful connections with the audience through – shared experiences, learning, co-creation and collaboration.
  • Place creativity at the heart of every communication.
  • Consider the levels of production and delivery standards with the end audience experience in mind.
  • Remember – Communication is two way: ‘ask and listen’.

So where is the innovation you say? Where is the silver bullet? Which is the best platform?

Well that’s the point – there isn’t a silver bullet and we would not be the experts in what we do if told you there was one and simply showed you a list of the newest and best platforms, or a list of incredible creative ideas.

Ultimately the best platform is a conversation with us to propose a bespoke blend of tools and skills that will deliver you an effective and innovative communications programme that is unique and one of a kind.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can support you and your teams or clients!