When the Airmic team approached Live Group to spearhead Airmic Fest 2020, their desire was to develop an approach worthy of the name: an approach which would keep their attendees rapt, engaged and, in the age of coronavirus – safe.
Airmic Fest is the not-for-profit’s flagship event, held annually to unify the workforce. Positioned under the banner of “Working together in a time of accelerated change” – 2020’s theme couldn’t have been timelier, as industries flex and adapt to the disruption of Covid-19.
More than anything, Airmic wanted their event to be engaging, packed with opportunities to surprise and delight their delegates at every turn – halting the ‘stale virtual event’ stigma in its tracks. As a result, Live Group would strive to put the ‘Fest’ in Airmic Fest.
What we did.
The Airmic team were on-board to pivot the event from its typical live format into a virtual approach. Often, virtual events carry the assumption that their digital nature means lead times – and budgets – can be reduced, when in reality this isn’t the case. A successful virtual or hybrid event requires as much time, care and nuance as planning for a physical event. In the case of Airmic Fest 2020, Live Group were given this time to build a platform, agenda and approach which would deliver on Airmic’s KPIs.
With the possibilities of virtual thrown wide open to us, Airmic and the Live Group team built an agenda with engagement baked in. The virtual platform would be designed from the ground up to function as a hub of activity – a real festival ground!
At any given time, delegates would be able to login to the festival hub and have their pick of keynote live streams, pre-recorded content, workshops and more. The result was the development of the Knowledge Hubs, Wellness Centre and Learning Library, each presented as a branching path from the inviting virtual festival hub format, where visitors could take part in other fun activities, chat with one another, and engage with a library of materials from the event.
The speakers were hosted at the Crowne Plaza, Marlow, where our live broadcast studio was set up. Operating within Covid-19 safety measures, the Live Group team were able to liaise with the Airmic team seamlessly. The speakers in attendance received advice directly from the crew, instilling maximum confidence ahead of their presentations. These speakers included Vint Cerf – Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, and Richard Clegg – Managing Director at Lloyds.
Additional speakers were also bridged in from around the world: 18 countries in fact, delivering 60 sessions over a three-day period.
Airmic CEO John Ludlow said: “It’s gone better than our wildest dreams really. Everybody thought it was courageous to do a digital event but working with Live Group has been great.
“The delegates have loved the content. They’ve remarked on how slick it has been. It has been really smooth.“
Airmic Fest stands as a demonstration of the power of virtual. This is not a compromised approach, but an evolution of the live event method. And with the appropriate time consideration and expertise, a virtual event can exceed the limitations of a live event – and the expectations of the organisers.
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