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Digital event with a human touch

Do you remember when people were saying that digital events, both hybrid and virtual, were going to become redundant once live events came back? This was based on the opinion that everyone would be clamouring to get back to the buzz and atmosphere created by human beings being in the same venue, a feeling that is impossible to get from digital events.

Well, speak to Showcase and it seem’s that this is not the case, digital events are here to stay as their clients now realise that if created properly they can be packed with atmosphere and also have extra benefits. Case in point is their recent virtual conference for LGA.

What was the event and why did they opt for virtual?

It was a three-day virtual conference, visited by 1,500 delegates, put on by the Local Government Association, which was streamed from Showcase’s studios in St. Ermin’s Hotel, London. The client decided to go for virtual due to health and safety concerns, it started as a hybrid event, but then due to Covid, the LGA changed its mind and went for virtual.

Why do you think the client chose to go with Showcase?

It was a competitive tender through the government tender process for procurement. The brief involved providing a platform that would act as a virtual event venue, it also asked for live streaming, project management and data analytics. Showcase’s own platform Event@ seemed to fulfil the client’s requirements due to it being able to add a real live event feel to the virtual events they create. The platform also has the ability to be used in conjunction with Showcase’s data analytical software EVENTalytics, another important element in the brief.

Describe the online visitor experience; how were they engaged, and could you measure this engagement?

Thanks to Event@, Showcase was able to provide a truly engaging experience for the visitors, due to the platform’s adaptability. In the case of LGA, they were keen that the conference included disability enablement, live subtitles and an on-demand service. The platform also manages to replicate an actual exhibition venue, an important point for the LGA, this meant that Showcase was able to create a virtual ‘Green Room’ which acted as a waiting room for the speakers before they were assigned to relevant sessions.

For the conference itself Showcase created lower thirds, open sting animations, bumper videos and general content creation. This level of creativity was also applied to the breakout sessions, these had a high level of production quality as did the main plenary and parallel plenary sessions.

Why makes Showcase’s event platform stand out from the crowd?

Showcase’s online platform Event@ can be tailored to be a truly bespoke offering, they worked with LGA to ensure that the platform would do precisely what they want it to do and be able to meet all that LGA demanded. The online platform also reflected LGA’s branding, a further reason why this platform stands out from the crowd.

The platform can also do nearly everything you’d expect from a live exhibition, such as pre-launch marketing, registration, exhibition, live stage, exhibitors and visitor tracking & analytics, polling, live Q&A, chats and sponsorship.

How important was on demand at this conference?

Hugely, it was an important part of the brief. LGA was very impressed with the way that Event@ allowed on demand material to be available immediately and viewers did not have the usual wait.

How did Showcase provide the post-show analytics.

They employed their own software EVENTalytics, it tracks attendees movement whilst on the event, tracking what people have watched and for how long, as well as giving vital information about the delegates themselves such as geographical location and job role. EVENTalytics then gave the LGA analytics of the data, presented in easy to adsorb reports, top level graphs and tables rather than lines and lines of raw data.

“The secret to getting a virtual event to work properly is to make sure that everyone feels part of the event. This means treating it as you would a live event, injecting the event with the client’s brand & values and utilising the latest technology to communicate the content in the most creative and engaging manner.

On demand is a real benefit of digital, it allows the event to have a longer shelf life, and it should be treated with the same care and attention as the actual virtual event. Don’t skimp on this element, treat it as your shop window.”

Dave Harding Lyle, Showcase, Strategic Account Director