Over the past few months we’ve seen a huge increase in interest for virtual events, but very little in how they can be applied to particular event requirements.
Here are three real life case studies for Conference Care clients where we’ve been able to match their needs with the right solution – after all, every event is different whether in-person or virtual !
Brief – Graduate intake and onboarding programme – Can we make ours work in this pandemic?
Client: National Law firm
As we began talking to our client about negotiations on the finer details of the venue contract for their Annual Trainee Conference, we established there was no plan B should they decide not to go ahead with a live event. As a highly sought after graduate position, involving a robust attraction and recruitment campaign, any change to the induction and onboarding conference for these graduates would need to deliver all the benefits of a physical event, and provide a platform for delegates and the graduate team to start building those all-important relationships which they would come to rely on over the next two years.
With three months to go and no certainty around government guidelines we suggested exploring the option to move the conference over to a virtual solution. Quickly the idea grew arms and legs and before you knew it, we were considering incorporating week one of the programme as well which normally takes place in house.
The virtual event would run across two weeks, with a mixture of live streamed keynote sessions,
pre-recorded content from the partners and break-out sessions to facilitate focused learning and discussions. Making the most of interaction and engagement from delegates was a key concern, to ensure knowledge and networks were being built throughout – and the social element of the conference would have to be fun and appeal to graduates to help them get to know each other and the wider team.
As a training style event, lots of content would need to be available during and after the conference and held in a secure environment for delegates to access in their own time.
We worked closely with our technology partner to bring the digital event to life and flow just like a live conference. One of the key areas we focused on was using language that delegates would understand in the virtual meeting space we created. By the end of the two-week conference, they would be moving around the platform pretty much the way they dip in and out of live plenary and breakout sessions.
Using delegates’ details gathered before the event launch, interesting in-app profiles were set up. From this, interaction and engagement kicked off through a series of alerts and challenges, where graduates were encouraged to start conversations with each other before the event started.
Once the conference agenda was planned out in detail, technicians were assigned to support each of the speakers with their set up, pre-recordings, rehearsals and of course being ready for live streaming on the day.
The platform also featured a substantial secure library, so that graduates had a training resource which was available 24/7 and post event to support their learning in the workplace.
Finally, to make sure the “fun social” element to the conference didn’t get missed out we hosted a virtual Escape Room and a quiz for light entertainment within the app.
Brief – How can we transition the remaining 2020 live events programme to a virtual solution as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions?
Client: National Membership Association
As a membership organisation our client needed to remain visible and accessible to their members, sharing news about the way forward for their industry in such challenging times. Commercially they are reliant on income from conferences, so finding a solution to continue their events programme was essential as the longer lasting impact of Lockdown became evident – no live events in 2020!
With six live events due to take place before the end of the year aiming to reach different audiences on various topics, our client made the difficult call that continuing to plan for live events was too much of a risk in terms of safety and delegate social distancing measures. Following discussion with our Account Manager we understood they were looking for “better than a live event experience” where delegates could: –
- Arrive at the event to network over virtual coffee
- Meet exhibitors and sponsors individually and in small groups
- Be engaged by and interact with live plenary sessions
- Incorporate complex voting systems for different membership levels
- Break into smaller groups for panel discussions and workshops.
Much like a venue brief, we used our expert knowledge and understanding of the marketplace to carefully match and short list virtual platforms we know would work based on the goals and functionality needed. We then set about arranging several customised demonstration meetings to showcase what was possible in terms of technology and how we envisaged a live event transitioning to digital.
It became clear that a decision would be heavily influenced by service, not just product and price. Using our buying power and experience, we were not only able to negotiate discounted packages but include enhanced support services to add value to our client’s proposal – ensuring that speakers, sponsors, delegates and the conference organiser had an expert on hand from the beginning of the planning process.
To date delegate numbers are up by 10% based on the same time last year which is one of the real benefits of virtual events. Our client is now looking ahead into 2021 and talking to us about how we can blend next year’s programme to include a virtual element and continue to improve their delegate reach and grow income.
Brief – Can we reproduce a multi-location nationwide face to face training event for up to 2,500 delegates into a seamless virtual event without losing the impact or enjoyment of what is normally one of the must attend live events of the year for the employees?
Client: Ultra brand of a Global beauty and cosmetic company
The event is seasonal, split into two, across the Summer and Christmas period. The objective of the event is to train retail staff prior to products launching in two of the busiest periods of the year. Postponing the event until 2021 was not an option so recreating the event in a virtual capacity was the perfect scenario.
Most delegates will be accessing content on smartphones, so sessions had to be designed to be relatively short in length but interactive in order to make an impact on the attendees and ensure continued engagement across each event.
Given this, the decision was made to extend each event to six days, taking the form of a number of 1-2 hour group sessions each day.
Brand guidelines are very important to the customer, and the sessions had to be designed to be of the highest quality to ensure that we acted as an extension of their brand and that we offered a consistent delegate experience to over 2,500 delegates throughout the whole range of events.
We collaborated with the national training manager and our technical provider to understand what messages the company wanted to deliver through this virtual event. The outcome was that we were able to create a fully branded and bespoke virtual event solution, housed in a personalised event app which would incorporate the whole events programme.
Within the solution, we created packages that included both live and pre-recorded sessions to be used, had an in-app display unit, multiple breakout sessions, and downloadable content as well as quiz and Q&A sessions.
All of these features were fully supported by our technicians who worked alongside the presenters for the duration of the event, ensuring that the presenters focused on their role without having to be concerned about any technical issues whilst presenting.
The company were impressed with the solution we offered and have now rolled out this capability across several more of their other brands.
For more information and a free virtual consultation meeting, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 02476 369720