Can digital events live up to the real deal?

Can digital events live up to the real deal?

Does anyone listen to cassette tapes anymore?

Our point being, as the music industry evolved and innovative tech solutions hit the market, artists saw a variety of opportunities to distribute their work to their fans to be enjoyed in different ways. It doesn’t take away from the sensation of experiencing them live in concert, but it can amplify it.

In 2019, 3.2 million people tuned into the live stream of Kylie Minogue’s set at Glastonbury. Suddenly you have the ability to extend your live offering to a much wider audience- experienced slightly differently but engaging nonetheless. Translate that into brand activations, and we look to Red Bull and their Supersonic Freefall.

By using social media as a mouthpiece, Red Bull was able to make an ironically solo activity into a global phenomenon experienced by over 45 million viewers from around the world on YouTube. Put crudely, all those people didn’t have to be physically present, from when Felix Baumgartner left the spacecraft to when his feet touched the ground, to feel the effects.

Everyone is different and therefore enjoys experiencing things differently. This is also the case with brands and how they usually communicate with their individual audiences. So, I guess what we’re trying to say is that nothing can take the place of a live event- it is unique! However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be enhanced through technology or expanded by integrating digital elements.

Over the past few months, we have all been forced to look into the void (otherwise known as the internet) to get creative with how we engage. Although it’s been tough, this catalyst may be no bad thing for future brand activations. When you pit live and virtual events against each other, there really is no contest- and there shouldn’t be! Each has its own merits and a place in the experiential world post-lockdown and, working together, they are in fact a match made in heaven.


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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