To put it bluntly, the virtual events universe, more than ever before, has been inundated with plenty of forgettable and uninspiring content. With companies trying to captivate their employees or vie for their suppliers or client’s attentions, they are having to compete, sometimes unsuccessfully, against the myriad of available distractions at home.
Simply resulting in nothing more than wasted time and energy spent on producing an event that does not contribute or achieve the desired end goal, it is crucial to remember that generating big ideas is not the same as bringing them to life in a valuable way.
Storytelling in a meaningful way is critical to ignite imaginations, no matter whether the event is a product launch, an internal-kick off, or an industry-wide awards show. Insights and ideas must be translated into high performing content gold. While others have had to adapt their product offerings to help clients with such a task, Principal has been delivering such content in the form of hybrid events for years – we know what generates results.
Taking a look into our archives, one highlight is the series of high impact, large scale launch events for one of the world’s leading tech brands in London, Barcelona and New York. London featured the historic and iconic Old Billingsgate and Tobacco Dock, selected to showcase how technology can transform an environment. This messaging was present, not just in the features of the products themselves, but in the storytelling, the styling, the environmental design, and technical production. While these hybrid events had relatively small in-person audiences of media, analysts and VIPs, there was an online audience of thousands, located across the world, watching live content broadcasting from the anchor desk and main stage.
And while we might be old hands at the task, our ideas certainly aren’t. As we fast-forward into the present our creative team are constantly keeping abreast with the latest trends to provide the most relevant solutions to our clients. Live filming and postproduction are continuing and we’re keeping everyone safe while we do it, but as we said in our blog How do we plan for 2021?, content needs to be meticulously planned for today’s new audience and the eye of the camera.
So, what needs to be considered?
Tip 1: The Audience Comes First
Who are they? What are they thinking and feeling? Deliver your strategy with this in mind by creating content that is emotional, and human. Personalise content with your audience front and centre.
Tip 2: Be Yourself!
That’s your brand, its values, it’s purpose, and your people.
Great content can be highly crafted, but it’s not for everyone. Enter Romesh Ranganathan, the celebrity host at the awards show we produced for our clients. Alongside an ‘in the know’ naturally talented member of the team to assist and make sense of each award, after a few scripted sketches, the jokes started to flow, capturing authentic company spirit and personality.
Tip 3: Invite Your People to be Part of the Story
Not many people would comfortable on stage next to Romesh. But as we said, film your people being themselves on their frontline – at work, at home, or in their happy place, ask them to sing or create a TikTok. Demonstrate your strategy with real life experience. This kind of content, whether for serious business messaging, information, or entertainment, will galvanise your community. It’s moving, it’s compelling, and it shows you’re listening.
For another client, natural moments filmed in their communities, juxtaposed with fully scripted studio style presenting, all in the context of enormous frontline healthcare pressures, created engagement, and a real sense of togetherness. This is content that’s been shared over and over again since the event.
Tip 4: Understanding the process
Allow time for your content to be as good as it can be. If your content is for a virtual event, approach the event as you would any other, except more than likely you will need more time, not less. In terms of creative design, scripted content, staging, technical production and venue logistics, very little changes in the planning of a live event and a film shoot. However, whereas after a live event your audience goes home, here is where the work begins to create your vision.
Tip 5: The Power is in the Edit
Great content doesn’t have to be live. With seamless editing your audience can be immersed in content that has a real live feel. Add motion graphics and animation and a smart edit will connect the strategy, the messaging and the storytelling to your audience. It will create an inspiring, and very human, brand communication piece, bringing you, your people, and your partners together, wherever they are.