With the pandemic taking away live event after live event, big firms are finally catching up and realizing that the big shows aren’t the only shows that are important.
The focus now is smaller events- catering to businesses with a tighter budget of under $1M. The heart and soul statement of Platinum TDM since the beginning has been that every event should matter. Everyone should have a good experience…everyone, to quote my friend Mike Anderson, over at Watchdog, from the banquet staff to the Keynote speaker, and everyone up and down the chain of command! We’ve been fortunate to have worked on virtual events since January of 2020, getting a huge jump on our competitors. We have a client, and great friend in our community, who asked us to work their sales conference in early 2020 but turned it all virtual because their national sales conference was based in Wuhan, China. This kind of started a ripple effect to all other businesses to show that virtual events are our “new normal.” This helped us really get our heads in the game and spearhead the incorporation of virtual experience for businesses. We’ve already perfected the hybrid event moving forward. Our team is dedicated to learning new platforms and evolving with the latest standards and technologies.
We know that immersion and engagement are going to be key in bringing truly dynamic and impactful events to reality.
Unfortunately, we do not know when we can go back to large scale live events or million dollar in-person shows. Even more than the 2008 recession, the pandemic has caused corporations to shift into having small regional meetings with a global impact. They don’t have to deal with travel expenses (venues, food, hotel bills, etc.) They can create a pop-up studio either in their office or encourage their employees to build home offices with individual flair that contributes to the company brand. Pop-up studios in ballrooms, breakout rooms in hotels, in an office space–even at home, can be something as simple as a company-branded backdrop with lots of lights and monitors in the back. It is all about how the company wants to engage with their team and their audience. All of these factors also allow smaller companies, with smaller budgets, to now compete on a larger stage.
Platinum TDM’s studio is equipped and ready to go for just those purposes. If it’s a nationwide or international brand – a tenth of the company can meet and still interact with the remaining 90% of the company virtually. Because of the pandemic, companies are looking for innovative ways to keep their team and audience safe and engaged with what their company’s conference or event is showcasing.
We have finally embraced virtual meetings instead of allowing the need to be in-person, which is so important, and using a combination of remote softwares like Gamerjibe, WebEx and other amazing tools, we’ve been able to simulate engagement. That’s not to say, live engagement isn’t the most important thing. I mean I’ve spent my career in live events. There’s a certain level of energy and excitement that one cannot receive by looking at a computer screen but with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, LED walls and monitor backdrops and with integration of video capture, there are a lot of “tricks of the trade” that can be used in igniting a brand.
To quote our friends over at Eclipse Corp, “there are new ways to engage.” In today’s world, we have all had to adapt to being engaged virtually. It has raised the bar to strategically have your meetings across the nation or globally, without travelling and putting others at risk. Companies can still have the stress-free experience of an event and promote safety during these unsure times.
The biggest misconception of smaller and cheaper events is that it is less fun. You can still have an amazing experience. And some budgets would be the same as live event shows because of all of the hard work in integration. A great example of a small but engaging event is when the Platinum team collaborated with a regional bank to award their sales team across the east coast region. They provided over 500 employees with a “swag bag” of personalized goodies based on their region (mustard from South Carolina, hot sauce from Tennessee, a buckeye chocolate from Ohio, etc). It is all about the creativity and how you want your audience and team to see how much you care about their engagement.
No–you aren’t filling up stadiums and banquet halls. No–you aren’t spending tens of thousands of dollars on an LED wall. As a small business owner, it means more to me that a small regional company can engage a studio-invited audience. Speakers are having to change their formats, meaning they’re talking to a camera, instead of talking to people. So they’ve gotten a lot of practice but now slowly we’re going to be starting to bring people back in, but we’re gonna have that combination of engaging with the screen and engaging with the person in the audience. It’s an amazing time to push the needle forward, and really decide how much more we can do in a year. You can have micro or mini-meetings, multiple times a month. You can give certain departments of your company dedicated time rather than have all facets of your business in one space. You can also find talent through the virtual world; I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to speak virtually to Greg Oden, legendary basketball player and my childhood hero–something that would probably be more difficult had it been in a live event.
Big AV firms were worried about how many events they were losing while small companies like Platinum TDM, which understands the principles of hybrid events, were offering solutions to our clients, so that they could stay relevant. Companies will continue to get the care they deserve with Platinum TDM. Partnering with brands, developing brands, was a major key. Living our values and our morals, which are to serve, support, and find solutions–will translate through the work that we do with any company with which we have the honor of collaborating. We’ve made all the mistakes early on; we had multiple months to a year head start on most others. And Platinum TDM learned and grew and is ready for 2021. Are you?