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Your past learnings can fuel your future: Rasheed Sait, MD, GPJ India Experience Marketing

We are built to be hungry for touch, exploration and interaction in-person and until physical events are back on track we need to innovate to thrive in the uncertainty writes Rasheed Sait.

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The internet is swarmed with articles about the pandemic and its impact on industries. Let’s take a break from that and face the fact, we’re all stuck in the uncertainty sea. As the captain of our boats, we need to leverage our learnings to fuel our future and ensure smooth navigation. 

As an experiential marketing agency, technology has been our partner in captivating attendees’ attention and helping them experience any brand. While our relationship with technology was limited to digital experiences in live events, the COVID crisis presented us with an opportunity to indulge in it completely. From a must-have at events to transforming into the event space, we as a team had to ‘pivot’ our mindset. We made a rapid transition in the way we communicate, garner audience, innovate engagement formats, create video content, strategize, manage projects – to suit digital events. 

Our in-house experts – mixologists, as I like to call them, have executed some amazing digital experiences already. Every day, we come together as a team to solve a new problem, mix different things, create something unique. Bubble burst: physical events might have paused, but events haven’t. 

The secret behind our seamless transition from a physical event expert to a virtual event is our learning from 2008. During the economic meltdown of 2008 when events started vanishing from the marketing priority list, we started preparing for the ‘agency of the future’. An agency that is prepared for any change that might knock its door. For 12 years, we have been executing virtual and hybrid events that efficiently combined live and online strategies. While virtual events ranked second on our priority list during that time, they have now become an integral part and will continue to hold the rank. 

The show has now gone online. So, the way we engage and communicate has changed. Your ways of communicating with your friend, colleagues, clients – online and offline are different, isn’t it? I’ll share some insights from GPJ India’s Virtual Event Mixology Toolkit to help you amp up your game.

● Strategy + Planning - Cut through the clutter of various events, Insta lives, online workshops with an end-to-end strategy. Most importantly, plan how to take your event’s What, How, and Why and turn them into measurable ROI.

● Data + Audience Marketing - Your audience can make or break your event. Build a database and ensure you reach the right audience for your brand. A lengthy registration process can chase your audience away, create a simplified process to get it done within a

few clicks.

● Creative + Design - How do you offer an immersive experience to an attendee through their 13-inch laptop screen? You create an extraordinary event space. Keep the attendee engaged with dazzling graphics and insightful communication.

● Audience Engagement - In the world where a beep from our phones can distract us, it becomes a task to keep your audience engaged, when you can’t see them. Engage your attendees with exciting event formats, celebrity engagements, and jaw-dropping event experiences.

● Film + Video - Videos are the new mode of narrating your brand story. Ensure you train your speakers on camera functionality, contextualize content that resonates with the audience and create videos that ensure attendees feel as genuine as a live experience.

● Technology Platform - At GPJ, we offer platform-agnostic services, that could be plugged into any event platform. If you already have a platform, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, expand your services. If you don’t, then offer services that complement various technology platforms.

● Project Management - Be it physical or virtual, project management can take the notch higher for any event. While managing virtual events, ensure you’re on your feet regarding timeline and budget management, technical testing, virtual space design, talent management, sponsorship.

To address the elephant in the room, like human contact isn’t going to vanish nor will physical events. Think of it as taking a sabbatical. We are built to be hungry for touch, exploration, and interaction the way we know it – in-person. Until physical events are back on track, innovate to thrive in the uncertainty. This crisis will soon become a thing of the past, by learning, you are fueling your future. Explore elements- we as an industry might have to reimagine in our physical events – should we develop a rain-contingency plan for every physical event or how do we design a space keeping social distancing as the bible. Learn audience behavior in digital events and analyze how to leverage that for physical events. 

Today it is COVID, tomorrow it could be another crisis. However, every crisis presents an opportunity. The ones who create the extraordinary out of it show their mettle. Are you one of them?



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