Marble LDN’s Rachel Butler, Head of Marketing, outlines why the onslaught of digital events shouldn’t be seen as ‘the future’ of events, or a temporary fix. Instead, digital activations compliment their physical counterparts, the most successful event strategies draw on the benefits of both and work by the hybrid events model.
As we open our laptops each morning preparing ourselves for another screen intensive working week and (most likely) weekend, video conferencing is becoming the new norm for keeping in touch with work colleagues – and the default for social occasions with friends and family too.
The majority of us are adapting to this new digital lifestyle (and non-stop memes) with ease, and with the rest of the world facing the same common threat to society, some may even argue that we’re more connected globally now than ever before. But it’s worth noting that while digital connections can span vast volumes of water, time zones and government lockdowns, it compliments the inevitable physical interactions which are essential in making us all feel more ‘human’.
Businesses have had to adapt to this new digitally versed society incredibly quickly. Forced to pivot pre-planned marketing campaigns, activations, PR stunts, conferences and festivals to either a non-committal ‘postponed until further notice’ status, bold and regretful cancellations (aka Glastonbury), or digitising their campaigns for this new virtual climate.
To some extent the show must go on, the relative unknown means that not all planned business activity can go on hold until ‘normal’ returns – we all still need to learn, engage, connect and share. For example, swapping out a physical conference for a series of thought leadership live streams is ideal to keep educating your audience and to reach even more eyes, but the swap from physical to digital shouldn’t be seen as like-for-like or an instant fix. Instead, this current tweak in direction within the events industry should draw on positives from both styles of delivery; resulting in a longer term combined campaign comprising both digital and physical elements.
Here are three ways you can use digital tactics, such as live streaming or virtual conferencing, to enhance your event strategy: