The pivot to digital

The pivot to digital

Over the past few months, we have seen a dramatic uptake in virtual offerings. Live events are pivoting, if they can, to a digital platform and experiential agencies are rallying to innovate and develop new ways of connecting.

Is it possible to match the effects of a live experience through a digital medium?

The use of VR and AI has been at the forefront of the top experiential minds for a while and the current situation has definitely acted as an accelerant. For many, a “pivot” consists of live streaming the planned event as smoothly as possible from separate, isolated locations, but does that deliver the same level of experience? What value are you providing for your audience?

There are some key decisions to make before committing to making your event digital:

How does this serve your audience?

If you want an emotional connection with your audience, you have to think beyond the practicalities. What are the takeaways from your event and how can you recreate that in an imaginative, digital way? To curate an audience experience, personalisation is key and some brands are already looking into a more direct-to-consumer approach to experiential. Not everything provides the same value as a livestream.

How can you improve their experience?

Having planned for a live event, the reality is that you won’t be able to fully recreate the experience digitally if it is a quick turnaround. Whether online or in real life, it requires the same level of planning if you want to achieve a high standard. However, small touches can make a huge difference:

  • Keep branding consistent from video backdrops to PowerPoint slides
  • If you are live streaming, make sure your speakers have been fully briefed on how to handle the technology should anything go wrong
  • Run a transcript under any video content to make sure it is fully accessible and mitigate the effects of bad sound quality
  • Make your event available on-demand so you don’t limit your audience

Does your event stay true to brand?

We shouldn’t diminish the impact content design and a focus on UX can have on the overall experience. From cohesive branding to key messaging, we are having to rely on visual presentation, so it’s important your brand shines through.

What is your USP?

Event professionals around the world are grappling with the same challenge and the digital world feels more saturated than ever. Is there a way to develop your brand’s current USP in a different format? From marketing to delivery, don’t get hemmed in by time pressure. Think about what makes you different and carefully adapt your strategy accordingly.

While the pandemic has been a catalyst, we are entering a digital age and brands and agencies alike need to be equipped to deliver in that area. Whether that means developing a full VR event to be experienced from home, or even an improved user experience across your website or content hub, there’s no time like the present to make sure that your business is expanding and innovating.


Our Exceptional Experiences content stream at IBTM World Virtual will be covering many different aspects of experiential marketing, with top speakers from brands such as Bacardí, Philips and Virgin Atlantic, on Day 3 of IBTM World Virtual. Join us online here.

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