How to stay relevant and create impact with virtualized content
Shared By Felicia Constantine
The pandemic has decimated the trade show and conference industry. Many companies depend on presence at such events, and they can’t afford to sit back and wait.
Let's be real... When was the last time you tuned into a digital event and were actually blown away? More often, what our industry has seen are attempts to replicate a live production, but on the web and the results can be lackluster. What we crave is something novel - something personalized, something fun, something that captures our attention immediately and keeps us engaged over time.
Create virtual spectacle
Get attendees thinking, “this is something I couldn't experience before” instead of "this is replacing something."
Digital mediums bring the most experience value when their strengths are leveraged, as opposed to when they attempt to recreate a physical space or - even worse - feature webinar-style content. The trick is to create larger (or smaller) than life environments and allow - even feature - behavior that isn’t possible in the real world. By leveraging digital tools and rethinking experiences from the digital ground up it is possible to create an event that is more impactful to attendees than the same conference year after year. Digital environments allow for larger groups than in person, more break out rooms as physical spaces do not need to be secured, and a wider breadth of attendees can join without the restriction of travel. Through the application of novel forms of interactivity a virtualized event can take your message to places that were never possible with traditional in person activations.
Reimagining digital events and experiences
So you’re convinced and ready to plan your digital event, but what can you do to create the impact that we know is possible?
PLAY WITH PHYSICS:
Distort reality by manipulating size, scale, and perspective.
The most impactful digital events on the web to date are those that are visually arresting and are highly interactive or even experienced via a first-person point of view. In a virtualized event there are no bad seats and no overflowing keynote halls. Every participant has access to up close and personal interaction with the activations. By investing in special effects and 3D animation, you’re able to create hard hitting and pulse thumping content that keeps visitors glued to their seats and highly engaged. Whether it’s a keynote speech, live performance, or product launch; getting creative with how content is presented pays dividends.
GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL:
Show the intimate, human side that people don’t normally get to see.
There's something special happening right now with digital experiences where audiences are getting intimate glimpses into the lives and homes of their heroes, celebrities, executives, and other public figures. The impact of intimacy is increased when you create interactions with virtual speakers and other content, which brings the added benefit of analytics that allow you to learn a great deal about what is striking a chord with your audience.
BETTER AND MORE TANGIBLE METRICS:
With digital events you are able to keep an eye on attendee behavior like never before.
Through the integration of second screen polling and interactions it is possible to get a more complete picture of the audience, their interests, activities and what they want more of. The traditional exit poll can be replaced with easy to deploy instant feedback for speakers and event holders giving a better, more complete picture of attendees whether hosting an industry event, internal meeting or product launch.
Ceros makes a new and creative animated data visualization every Friday.
BUILD A COMMUNITY
Promote conversation and shared experience; amplify community buzz through serialized content.
People that share a common interest, passion, or expertise will not only engage with virtual experiences that resonate, they will engage their networks as well. Not enabling your audience to connect and converse is a massive missed opportunity. Additionally, roadmap content releases over time so that your initial engagement amplifies and grows organically.
BurningMan will host their event in AltSpaceVR this year.
YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
Personalized experiences on the web are easy to create (and are expected).
Personalization for digital events can be accomplished via a simple approach - when visitors land on your event site, prompt them to answer a simple set of questions, then deliver a customized, tailored experience based on their background and interests. Layers of sophistication and creativity to personalize experiences within digital events only spark more engagement and interaction.
Tap into our competitive nature to create power users and evangelists.
Enable simple game mechanics that reward people for going deep, make the experience competitive with a leaderboard, and turn power users into mentors or evangelists.
Robotic surgery simulator
BLEND PHYSICAL WITH DIGITAL:
Instead of taking a web-only approach, explore what’s possible by mixing in physical layers.
Weaving in physical components can take a myriad of forms. Whether it is a mystery box you receive at home and are instructed to open when the digital event begins, or a completely untethered drive-thru experience, the creative possibilities are limitless. Think outside the screen and push into what’s possible with the power of the technology in our pockets or hardware that can be configured. This hybrid space is where there are the greatest possibilities for envelope-pushing experiences, especially over the long-term as public spaces and in-person events open back up.
Distance as an Opportunity
As much as the world is changing right now it is also full of opportunity. In this era we are able to present truly never been done before experiences and give attendees a chance to participate in events like never before. By thinking about these events as truly new experiences and not just a replacement of an in person event we can create the next generation of compelling events.