A look back at successful virtual events
Happy 2022 virtual event organizers! As we start this new year with renewed optimism and exciting opportunities, let’s take some time to look back and learn from what our counterparts in other industries and countries have done to stage highly successful virtual events.
Case studies: From scaled-up live streaming to virtual summit for high profile attendees
Without a doubt, the pandemic has played a (major) role in most companies’ decisions to shift from physical to virtual and/or hybrid events. It enabled them to continue reaching out to (and even growing) their audience plus operate as close to “business as usual” as possible. For many, the shift to virtual brings with it the extra challenge of making sure the event is as engaging, exciting and effective as the face-to-face events they are used to holding. Below are three excellent case studies we can all learn from.
Case Study 1: Live Streaming at Scale
|Client:||California superior court|
|Requirement/s:||Conduct live streaming for up to 90 courtrooms at the same time; Provide a future-proof solution that can still be used even after things are back to normal|
|Platform provider:||IBM Video Streaming|
With Covid-19 raging in California and no immediate end in sight, the courts were faced with a dilemma: cancel court hearings and face a potentially long backlog or find another way to continue while adhering to social distancing requirements plus providing the legally required public access to criminal proceedings.
As they turned to virtual hearings, they initially tried using Cisco Webex Meetings and Microsoft Teams – mostly decided by personnel preference (what they were already familiar with). These tools allowed them to bring different parties such as judges, lawyers, defendants and witnesses into the courtroom virtually.
However, the courts also have a legal obligation to make the hearings public. To make this happen, the California court decided to live stream the hearings allowing the public to tune in, but not directly participate.
This was all working well until you consider the sheer volume of live streaming required. To cover all hearings, the superior court needed up to 90 separate streaming channels that could potentially all be live at the same time, one for each courtroom. While it’s still not yet critical for them to address this issue – they have initially planned to use only 30% of the courtrooms per day – the California superior court does not want a stop-gap solution. They wanted something that they could continue to use even after the pandemic is over. As such, finding a solution that could accommodate all their courtrooms was a key requirement.
This led them to collaborate with IBM which provided them a solution with scale in mind – both in terms of supporting large viewership and the ability to host a large number of simultaneous live streams. Other advantages of the IBM solution for the California superior court were:
- The cost was 1/10th of the other quotations they received
- Two-week implementation after finalizing requirements
- Ease of use after some setup help
Overall, the live-streaming partnership with IBM was a huge success. The California court was able to fulfill their immediate need – as well as rely on it for the future as they look to utilize virtual hearings beyond pandemic times.
Case Study 2: Exciting Virtual Tradeshow
|Client:||NMA (Northumberland Manufacturers Association)|
|Requirement/s:||Find a virtual alternative for holding their once-a-year conference and fundraising activity without sacrificing the excitement and impact derived from physical events|
Over the last 17 years, the Northumberland Manufacturers Association (NMA) have held their annual in-person tradeshow to foster networking among members, share cost-effective training and job development initiatives as well as improve relations between industry, government and community.
The pandemic is not about to end this legacy. In fact, the association was determined to hold their first-ever virtual tradeshow with as much excitement, impact and “wow factor” as the physical events they were used to. It was important for the organizers to make sure their virtual event can:
- Engage their audience,
- Host interactive presentations, and most importantly
- Raise funds through exhibitor booths, ticket sales and in-event donations.
Their online research introduced them to vFairs – in particular, the platform’s interactive 3D lobby feature sealed the deal for them. The NMA management was impressed by the platform’s exhibitor booth customization and the grand lobby where they can feature all logos of their exhibitors and sponsors. These two features allowed them to achieve the “wow factor” they were hoping for as well as helped them to sell the event to their exhibitors and sponsors who had doubts about the impact and effectiveness of virtual tradeshows.
Meanwhile, the platform’s easily navigable exhibit halls, interactive speaker sessions in a virtual auditorium complete with virtual avatars and networking lounge were crucial to making attendees feel excited about the event – and dispel impressions that it’s a “downgrade” to face-to-face events.
In summary, NMA felt that their maiden virtual event experience went beyond their expectations. Almost 100% of attendees and participants said they would come back to the virtual tradeshow. The features provided by vFairs were helpful to ensure that the annual conference and fundraising activity retained its significance (value) to its members, with NMA intending to continue with virtual events even as the world returns to normal.
Case Study 3: Virtual Summit for High-Profile Attendees
|Client:||Hong Kong SAR government
Hong Kong Trade Development Council
|Requirement/s:||A secure and stable platform to support presentations and one-to-one meetings among senior government officials and business leaders|
|Platform provider:||Vootprint (AI Business Matching Module)|
The annual Belt & Road Summit organized by the Hong Kong SAR government with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council is a premier international platform for promoting business collaboration along the Belt and Road. Going virtual once again in 2021, the two-day event featured keynote addresses, policy dialogues (panel discussions) and up to eight thematic breakout sessions covering various important topics. Attended by senior government officials and top business leaders from over 80 countries and regions, it is important that it is held securely and stably while supporting online presentations and one-to-one meetings.
Vootprint was the chosen platform provider for this prestigious event with high-profile attendees. With Vootprint’s unique and highly customizable AI Business Matching Module, organizers and exhibitors were able to easily manage and facilitate workshops, focus group discussions and various after-live sessions. Its’ social networking function also allowed worldwide participants to connect and exchange perspectives and insights on multi-lateral cooperation and explore potential business opportunities.
As a result, the virtual summit was held seamlessly and efficiently, contributing to:
- 18,000+ viewers
- 60+ exhibitors
- 770 one-to-one meetings
- 260+ investment projects
Contact us for more information on how Vootprint can help you achieve your virtual event goals.
Did you notice three basic event planning principles that were commonly shared by all three successful case studies? All of them were:
- Clear on their objectives and priorities,
- Stated their requirements, and
- Worked with a platform partner that was able to support them on their desired results.
Remember – and practice – these basic principles and you too could be on your way to more virtual event successes in 2022!
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