Managing events in the digital world

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With the disruption of normal operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local and international event organizers have had to make critical decisions to maintain social distancing guidelines and protect the safety of eventgoers. While some events such as Coachella and Wanderland have been canceled or postponed, others have taken their events into the digital space.

As audiences look for a semblance of human interaction through online events, companies have had to find innovative and creative ways to keep them excited and engaged. 

The power of live streaming

According to a Databox report, 74% of marketers said that videos are more effective in generating leads compared to blog posts. As more people turn to the internet for a constant supply of news, entertainment, and communication with friends, live videos can provide an open opportunity for both companies and event organizers in reaching a wide audience. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Youtube have seen a significant increase in viewership for live videos. Aside from this data, 40% of all minutes watched on Youtube are from the comfort of one’s smartphone.

All in all, the use of videos can be a platform for brands and individuals to reach a wide and diverse audience through immersive content. This has been effectively used by Philippine indie band Ben&Ben when they reached 130,000 views and P2.8 million worth of donations through “Puhon” (Hopefully), their Facebook Live benefit concert for COVID-19 relief.

Providing a semblance of human interaction

As users are constantly bombarded with a diverse set of online content, companies and event organizers have to constantly find ways to connect with their audiences by tackling their current needs. According to a Stackla report, 90% of consumers believe that authenticity is an important factor in deciding brands they like and support. Alongside this statistic, 51% of consumers say that less than half of brands create content that resonates as authentic. Youtube provides a perfect example as they gathered notable figures and celebrities to speak and perform in their “Dear Class of 2020” livestream as a way to provide graduates with a virtual ceremony and provide a collective voice amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Aside from creating authentic content, event organizers are making use of teleconferencing applications to encourage human interaction. This has worked for the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction’s Asia and the Pacific regional office as they used Zoom to hold a series webinars on disaster response and resiliency.

Innovating for the future

As more events are held through the digital screen, event organizers are called to constantly innovate to make their events stand out from the rest. There are now different mediums present to explore and use towards providing an interactive experience for eventgoers. CJ E&M used virtual and augmented reality technology for its KCON:TACT 2020 livestream event to provide a virtual arena experience for performers and viewers. 

Apple also made use of its innovative resources to hold its Worldwide Developers Conference online through the use of a dedicated Apple Developers application and website to reach its wide community of developers around the world through a full program of online keynotes and discussions. 

As we are preoccupied with health and safety concerns in the near future, online events will become a frequent occurrence in our everyday life. With the right resources and a creative mindset, the possibilities and rewards can be endless for businesses and organizers alike. 

Visual by Chloe Gaw

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