Pivot – this is the new buzzword in the events industry. The coronavirus pandemic made in-person events impossible for now. Event agencies shifted to a new, virtual business model almost overnight. While virtual events and podcasts remained on the back burner for many agencies in pre-COVID-19 days, the new normal pushed virtual events to the front row.
“I think you’re on mute” and “Can everyone see my screen?” have become two of the 2020s most popular phrases. It’s no secret that people are suffering from Zoom and webinar fatigue, but what happens when the world’s biggest events go virtual?
Let’s learn how forward-thinking events companies connect with their audiences and explore new ways to meet with stockholders, investors, and new customers – even if the medium is different. Here are some interesting examples to inspire you.
Media Cutlet event production agency invented a new type of event uniting in-person and virtual participants. The agency set up live streaming capabilities, sending invitees video feeds. To better organize the back end of virtual events, the agency created a virtual technical platform for webinars and added a consulting service to help businesses succeed with virtual events.
Focus on Learning
Media Stage production company also shifted from live events to live streaming and webcasting. In addition to that, the company invested in software training and staying up to date on the state of the industry so that the employees are better prepared for the return of live events.
Virtual Movie Parties
Secret Cinema specializes in creating movie immersive experiences based. During the lockdown, the company launched Secret Sofa which brings cult movies like Romeo and Juliet and Ghostbusters to participants’ living rooms via Zoom/House Party-type experience. Participants wear costumes and share interactive comments, order recommended food, drink, and even share the dance moves.
In the wake of the show cancellation, some celebrities and concert organizers didn’t just swallow the pain of rescheduling. Instead, they teamed to bring the concerts to the homes of fans around the world. For example, Elton John raised over $10 million for the COVID-19 fight as he teamed with Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey, and Alisha Keys for the iHearts Living Room concert.
Exploring the Side Business
With a bit of innovation and flexibility, event businesses find ways to stay afloat. Pierpont Place, a high-end venue company, created the Beat the COVID-19 Blues With Some Colorful Bloom campaign. They started offering unique flower arrangements delivered to customer’s doorsteps. The campaign not only supported the cash flow and kept the employees working, but it also boosted the team’s mood and community spirit. Another upside? A booming new side business to augment their event production and marketing activities when host events return.
Fighting the Greater Cause
Making something out of nothing seems like a prerequisite skill for any event producer. When N/A Collective, an event marketing agency, found themselves without work, they put their skills to use in fighting the pandemic. The agency launched a job board where event industry professionals can list their skills and be matched up with COVID-19 fighting initiatives in their area. From creating temporary hospitals to catering services for workers, event planners found their planning and logistics skills in great demand.
The initiative immediately gained traction. Event staffing agencies started building response teams for the people they need to run testing sites and treatment centers, from started checking people in, handing out water bottles to answering questions. Graphic designers got busy creating the signage for the field hospitals so they could point the people in the right direction. Even competitor event agencies started teaming up to help the cause.
Across the world, event organizers find themselves back into action as they focus on the new, unique problems. In California, a production company that was building stages for the Coachella music festival, rerouted its activities to build field hospitals. One of the busiest event venues in the country, the Javits Center in New York, has been transformed into a temporary hospital. Popshap, a builder of touchscreen products, has converted to none-touch dispensing hand sanitizers and monitors for fevers which may help catch the virus before it spreads. These are just some examples of how a marketing industry facing a crisis found itself joining the battle against a deadly enemy.
While the events industry is adapting to the new normal, here’s your chance to flex your virtual event organizer’s muscle.
Making the Most of the Christmas This Year
Many of us are planning our first-ever virtual Christmas and New Year’s events. Since most companies have gone remote, a virtual Christmas party is a practical option not only to celebrate the holidays with your remote teams but also to showcase your virtual party organizer skills.
Throwing a virtual Christmas party can seem daunting at first, but no need to fret! You will find everything you need to host an amazing event filled with holiday spirit – and professionally designed graphics to match, effortlessly.
Virtual events can be surprisingly effective. They usually yield higher attendance and benefit from reduced travel costs, plus drastically reduced overheads allowing you to curate the best virtual event around. And let’s not forget easier data tracking which sponsors will love!
Although the delivery of events has changed, human behavior has not and we still desire stories that resonate and experiences that engage us and excite us. Overall, virtual holiday parties are convenient for all involved and can really keep up the holiday spirit in these unpredictable times.
Event Planning Turns to Holiday Virtual Parties
With so many ways to get innovative, you simply cannot go wrong! By tuning into creativity, the host can make their virtual Christmas party more interactive for everyone involved. There are many ways to achieve an interactive and immersive experience. Here are just a few examples:
- Have everyone dress up! Think ugly Christmas sweaters or best Christmas t-shirts. You can even award a prize at the end of the party to the guest who is best (or worst!) dressed
- Pre-organize a gift exchange or Secret Santa prior to the party. Everyone can then open their gifts together during the virtual party and showcase them on their screens.
- Eat a festive meal together! The event organizer can plan to prepare the same Christmas dinner. Alternatively, the event planner can suggest ordering the same festive meal via food delivery for all participants. This way, everyone is eating and enjoying the same thing, at the same time. What a great way to simulate the feeling of eating together in the traditional sense of the holidays.
- Play virtual games! There are a ton of different online party games that can be played by teams big or small.
- Have a virtual dance party: Throw together a playlist in advance and turn your virtual Christmas celebration into a virtual dance party.
So how can you shift to a virtual version of holiday cheer without compromising on the fun? With Crello, you have everything you need to make the virtual Christmas party fun and engaging. Let’s get started!