Brands are bringing live-action to virtual experiences: Vikash Samota, Founder & CEO, MultiTV
Future of brands hosting events to engage their audience is foreseen to be an experience enriched by the omnipresence and omnipotence of technology writes Vikash Samota.
COVID-19 has disrupted the way businesses function, pushing every industry to adopt innovative solutions in order to sustain business continuity. With cancellation of on-ground events and exhibitions, sporting tournaments being played behind closed doors and brands missing out on face-to-face engagement with their audiences, online events platforms have emerged as digital enablers. While people are consuming more digital content than ever, virtual has become the new playground for brands to connect with their audience in real time. Eliminating restrictions of physical environments, live streaming has become one of the most efficient experiential marketing tool that is humanising digital experiences.
Virtual becomes the new playground
Brands are turning to online events platforms for myriad of activations ranging from product launches, conferences, kick off events, exhibitions, Ask Me Anything sessions to influencer hosted streams, bloggers meet, live demos and other social events. From fashion to consumer electronics and corporate sector, brands are warming up to the feasibility and flexibility of live streaming platforms to host fashion shows, product launches, sports events and closed door AGMs. Brands have started trusting this concept and are keen to invest in the process and production of virtual events, realizing that online events could be a great platform to bring people together in a more cost-efficient way.
When we talk about live streaming today, what comes to mind is a fully immersive experience that enables interactivity, collaboration and exchange of ideas between a brand and its audience. For instance, our BeLIVE platform has enabled brands to broadcast and stream live events clubbed with interactive booths, demo areas and engagement areas. The unique live interaction functionality enables online audience to be streamed individually on the screens. This supports the brand representatives to answer questions and engage in conversations in real-time. In addition to audience engagement through graphic insertions, live polls, Q&A, brands are opting to integrate augmented reality and virtual reality led experiences as well. Such inclusions will fundamentally transform the way brands connect, engage and interact with their audience virtually.
One of our BeLIVE customers, a leading reputed global brand, wanted to conduct their annual general meeting (AGM) virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. They were looking for ways to keep all stakeholders engaged and connected online while also tackling e-voting and audience Q&A. The BeLIVE platform enabled live broadcast of speakers, shareholder voting, polling, social media broadcast and live Q&A in a seamless manner. Real-life like virtual sets and AR/VR graphics helped the client to showcase new products, future plans and investment details in an effective manner.
Discovering the power of virtual
Participation, interaction & co-creation- With seamless integration of offline, online and tech capabilities, online events platforms are enabling smooth interactions between brands and their audience, irrespective of geographic boundaries. Additionally, the integration of such platforms with social media has notched up the possibility of real time co-creation.
Fast-paced & hassle-free - More and more brands are gravitating and investing in virtual events, comprehending its suit of benefits and value-added propositions. Minimising the hassles of on-
ground event planning and management, virtual events are becoming convenient and fast-paced solutions to connect to the targeted set of audience.
Power of analysis – In addition to convenience, online events platforms are also providing brands with real time analytics to track the engagement with its audience basis customised dashboard of parameters. With the in-depth insights emerging after analysis of the tracked data, brands are further realising that virtual events as platforms actually have a wider audience reach and are more cost-effective.
The future is HYBRID
While the accelerated adoption of online events platforms by brands is in direct response to the ongoing pandemic, it will continue to proliferate post-pandemic as it unlocks long-term efficacies. Future of brands hosting events to engage their audience is foreseen to be an experience enriched by the omnipresence and omnipotence of technology. As digital enablers, online events platforms promise to augment virtual experiences with the vitality and rigour of on-ground experiences.
In far future, brands will have a balanced approach of connecting with their audiences with a fusion of live video technology and in-person activations approach known as the hybrid module. They will then have the luxury of reaping the benefits of both the approaches and creating a sustained conversation with the audience.
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