A Swedish company with global operations and several local offices around the world needed to meet, get inspired and come together to go up against a business challenge. They were having issues getting new products out on the market fast enough and was losing business to their competitors. Because it was urgent to make the change and because the employees were distributed all over the globe, they decided to do a simple but well-produced digital event.
In Stockholm, they created a simple studio environment. Here, they had a host, some of the speakers, a few cameras, and a simple video production. The event was planned around the different time zones so that all attendees could participate with their laptops from home, everyone also had access to the company’s own event app.
Step 1 – Why
The virtual conference started with a vignette, after which the CEO held a short welcoming speech and started a conversation about why it was important for them to get their new products out on the market faster. To get their participants to understand the urgency and importance of this event, they used rhetorical interactivity to get the main points to really sink in. The attendees used their app to answer questions concerning what the consequences would be if they continued to get their products out in the current pace, and what benefits it would have if they got them out as fast as their competitors. The answers were gathered in the app and shown in the live stream from the studio.
Step 2 – What
After the first part of the event they summed up the results, and by using exploratory interactivity they checked to see if the participants understood how serious the situation was and why the need for change was necessary. The thoughts and reflections were taken from the event app and shown in the live stream as a word cloud, so everyone could get a shared perception of the situation.
After this the management team presented an action plan to fight the challenge at hand. The host interviewed the management and they had the chance to reflect and give their own thoughts on the challenge, this to give all the participants a better understanding of the issue as a whole. During the management interviews, the participants were encouraged to send in anonymous questions and thoughts through the event app, which were brought up and answered live in the studio by the management. This made the Q&A session more relevant, since the employees felt safe to ask real questions, and the management got an overview of how well their employees understood the challenges the company had. This kind of interactivity created engagement from the audience all around the world.
Step 3 – How
The next step in a conference is usually to introduce how the action plan will be implemented. This organization turned the situation around and let their employees come up with suggestions on how they best could implement their solution, which was done through a simple workshop.
After this, the management showed appreciation and respect for all the ideas and suggestions that their employees had come up with and announced how and when they would give their feedback. To wrap up the conference, a guest speaker gave an inspirational talk on how you can best handle yourself during challenges and changes within a company.
Just because the day was over didn’t mean that the event was – the conversation continued through the app. They posted summaries from workshops and Q&As, sent out updates on early success stories and milestones, followed up on decisions and posted research materials, got people excited with inspirational messages and challenges from speakers, and sent out a survey to get a better understanding on how well the digital event went and what needed to improve.
What can you do?
Don’t cancel your event – move it online! You can create successful digital events in many different ways, with anything from a simple webcam to a professional streaming production. Do it yourself or get the help of experts – a digital event can be just as successful as a live event.
Use Your Event App
Use the event app to inform, engage and interact with your participants. The dialogue feature in the app and the use of rhetorical, exploratory and idea generating interactivity will help you get a great overview of your attendees’ knowledge, understanding, and engagement level, which is an efficient way get access to their experience and ideas. You can also gather the agenda and information, create a social hangout, promote partners and sponsors and chat with other attendees in the app.
Engage with Dramaturgy
Create dramaturgy similar to a rock concert. Concerts often start with one of the most popular songs from the artist, the goal being to have something that the audience recognizes to get the energy up and get everyone excited. As the concert goes on the artist will play a mixture of new and old songs that have different energy levels and feels. Towards the end of the concert, the artist will play their greatest hits making sure that they go out with a bang – this is how you will get your attendees to go home feeling energized with a great event experience.