Social distancing , Entertainment and Virtual Experience

How to re-think, experientially about digital events?

Of course most of us didn’t see this Pandemic coming and didn’t get a chance to prepare.

Festivals can’t be the way they used to be anymore, so some have to get cancelled but others are taking on the challenge of adapting to a Virtual Festival.

From the large festivals like SXSW , or Art Basel to the Friday Nights DJ set or Pub Quizz, entertainment has taken a whole different level.

Would virtual events replace live events? Probably not but I can see it becoming an alternative to reach a wider  connected audience in the future.

Life as we know it has changed and this new situation is forcing us to innovate.

In order to deliver a great experience, that people would want to pay  for, Festival organisers will need to do more than a online Livestream…. 

Consider interactivity and engagement in every content-making decision. Simply live streaming your originally planned event may not make the best online experience

How can the traditional offline experience  be translated online?

The challenge here is to choose and distribute content to participants in a way that will reflect the experience before, during and after a festival.

The most interactive experiences I have seen so far are using a wide range of content type from audio, video, 360 photos, Live and why not Augmented Reality.

Here are a few ideas to plan your virtual event in 4 steps:

  1. Choose a Virtual Venue

Your event will need a hub  which would gather details such as your tickets office, line-up or schedule, log-ins details etc…

Wether you create a bespoke platform, use your website or a social media platform, you will need a single place to direct your audience to.

2. Gather a Remote Audience

Your audience can be as small or as big as you like.

You’ll need to raise awareness around your festival a few weeks ahead through livestream,  behind the scenes content, live Q&A, email countdown, TikTok Challenges etc…

The goal is to get your remote audience to sign-up or get tickets to your virtual event by creating a buzz and giving them a preview of what to expect.

At the beginning of this lockdown, Personal Trainers and Djs were offering regular free live events to later encourage their audience to sign-up  to their paid programs or Live Zoom Party

3. Facilitate participation with content 

Going online means bringing your company design & branding into a digital space. It is important to remain consistent in your approach to physical and digital design.

Your Content and distribution strategy will break or make your Virtual Festival.

For the experience to be attractive, a Livestream on Youtube or a virtual gallery won’t cut it.

Think about the variety of content and the role of each piece of content within your strategy.

Live Content | Live content, available for a limited time only, will be your premium, exclusive content. Precisely what your audience is paying for.

Passive Content | Evergreen content that can be consumed anytime during the length of the Festival. ( Online Gallery, interview audio, music playlist etc..)

“Meet the Gallerists” video series was launched during Art Basel Hong Kong Online

Interactive Content | Create a virtual crowd by giving your audience a way to interact, participate and collaborate 

It could be as simple as an online chat or as grandiose as an experience in Augmented Reality.

Why not sending a party kit to your festival goers so you can set the mood of the experience?

The possibilities are endless.

4. Your event, on-demand

The advantage of an online-only Festival is the possibility to look back on your accumulated data and get a detailed understanding of what your audience like the most so you can constantly improve.

Why not creating an on-demand version of the Festival highlights, just like Homecoming documentary of Beyonce performance at Coachella.

Are we witnessing the crash of the economy or the birth of a new economy?

The technology is already available, and it’s been around for a while now…. it is now time to use it to create unforgettable, immersive virtual experiences by connecting the dots 🙂

I can help you launching your online cultural event !

I am an experienced Digital  Brand consultant, always looking to get involved in interesting projects, feel free to reach out to me if you need help in the promotion of your online festival.

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