A bit of background.
There’s power in a community. Bring people together, let them talk, share, discuss, debate, and magical things happen. But how do you create a community when your people work in different offices all over the world? Better yet - how can you use intelligent insights to create content that resonates with everyone?
When our Big Four Client looked at the thousands of people they were responsible for, they realised one thing: while they were part of the same team, they had no shared identity and no community. From onboarding new starters to upholding a sense of company culture, they realised this was quickly becoming a bigger problem than they had thought.
With practically no budget and limited time, they needed to create a community - and we knew just the solution. A structured comms plan culminating in a single virtual event.
Technology. Content. Design. Support. Everything coming together to create something unique. Challenge accepted.
What we came up with.
Step one. Content design.
We built a comms plan with one aim in mind: keep delegates engaged from start to finish. We knew content was going to be the difference for this project. Audience insights would lead on various content streams, eventually shaping the agenda for the day. This meant meticulously planning every step of the experience, from the look and feel of the website, to the release schedule for the content - all in the name of engagement.
Step two. The first touchpoint is always the most important.
With a solid plan in place, it was time to start materialising it - starting with the central hub for the whole project. Gone was the typical event website, replaced with a content-platform that invited people to keep checking back to engage with videos, podcasts, articles and new connections. The first thing people saw wasn’t a form or a simple splash page. It was a guided experience, a video that walked them through the ambitions of the programme - the things they’d learn and critically, how they could help shape the day.
Step three. Amazing content creates amazing events.
The site invited people to share their voice, wherever they were in the world - after all, we were trying to build a community, not a lecture platform. Users could rate every piece of content, they could comment, vote it higher or lower. People got the sense that they were the ones in control, having their say, getting content tailored to them. They submitted videos, took part in lively debates on the forums, and crucially, started giving us a sense of what they wanted to get out of this experience. Content began to be formed by the audience, tailored exactly to their needs.
Step four. The big day.
As we began building our agenda, it was clear different people wanted different things. We needed to give our audience a choice - which is why we crafted an exciting virtual conference taking place over two streams, allowing people to watch the sessions that excited them. A series of niche 'breakouts' hosted via Skype enhanced the live streams, allowing a single speaker to talk intimately with a smaller group of individuals. We designed a live event with real-time content choices, in a completely virtual environment.
Step five. Post-event results.
20,000 page views. 1,300 delegates. 1,000+ hours of hosted content. 60 interactive questions. 20 presenters. Viewers in 17 countries. 15 slide decks. 4.5 hours average watch time per delegate. 2 professional actors. All in a single studio. Crucially? 92% said they would prefer to attend another virtual event experience. Now that's a good set of numbers to take to a wash-up meeting.
Back in the 90's, early virtual events were the next big thing. Why waste time and energy going to conferences when you could have the same experience from the comfort of your own desk? Why agonise over the perfect venue when you could just create your ideal one digitally? Why spend all that money when you could reach out to people for a fraction of the price?
In theory it was perfect. But in reality, it really wasn't.
Technology was clunky, slow and frequently blocked on enterprise computers. In fact, if you had the joy of attending a virtual event in these early days, you were more likely to see a buffering icon than the keynote talk you wanted. There was no audience engagement, no way for viewers to share their voice, no choice of content.
But that was the 90's, and this is now. Technology has come a long way since then, and this is the perfect case study to show it. We now have the ability to create an entirely digital event experience - with delegate insights shaping content every step of the way. It's now possible to create events tailored to the exact needs of the audience.
We really want to celebrate what we’ve accomplished, but we don’t want to rest. We want to revive the digital event world. After all, amazing content shapes amazing events - so let's use intelligent digital tools to harness that.
Get in touch
If you're interested in creating virtual communities between your national or multi-national offices, you're in the right place.
Send us a message and we'll get our Head of Content on the case.