The pandemic was forever changed the way we experience events. The years of endless online meetings have created meeting fatigue, while simultaneously changing audience expectations. Before the pandemic, it was expected that any major event would be held live. Now, audiences are more accepting of alternatives that leverage technology, as long as it's more engaging than a talking head on a webcam.
While people may be more accepting of online meetings, that doesn't mean the benefits of live events are something you can ignore.
Live events are more than just a way for your company to share a message. They're also an excellent way for you to get people engaged with each other. An event with a live audience is much more effective for getting people excited about something than any other kind of marketing strategy because it's personal—you can see them reacting in real time! And when someone is in the same room with another person or group, they're more likely to engage with each other and create lasting connections. You can communicate effectively online, but there's still no way to replicate the energy and excitement of being at a location with dozens or hundreds of other people.
You may be wondering how you can gather your audience in one place when they are spread across the country or even across the world. This is a common problem for corporate event planners, who often find themselves faced with high costs and logistical challenges when trying to bring together employees or customers from different locations.
By gathering your audience into regional locations instead of bringing them all together at one site, you'll save time and money on travel expenses while still benefiting from an in-person experience. This reduces your expenses across multiple categories: travel, hotels, food and beverage, entertainment, and more. It also reduces the amount of time that people have to spend away from home, since traveling to a regional site is easier than a trip across the globe.
Since you're dividing your audience into smaller chunks, multi-site events allow you to use multiple smaller venues instead of a single large venue. Instead of renting out a convention center, regional gatherings can take place in a restaurant that has a meeting room, or even on your corporate campus. Each region can engage in ways that are meaningful to them, building connections in a smaller group that still maintains the excitement of a large live event.
But in spite of the reduced costs, how can we connect these different locations together?
With your live audiences and presenters gathering at multiple locations across the country (or the globe), how can the entire team interact?
This is where technology comes into play. By connecting your locations via video feeds, our team at VIP Audio Visual Company can create a live event that is truly engaging. Let's consider a hypothetical scenario.
For this event, we have locations in San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, London, Frankfurt, and Mumbai. Each location is hosting a gathering with employees and customers from their region. These audiences are gathered into their own meeting venues: perhaps a winery in the North Bay for San Francisco, a hotel ballroom in Dallas, an auditorium on your corporate campus in Boston, a high-end reception hall in London, and so on. Each location is equipped with a stage, cameras, and a large screen.
In this example, Boston is our host city. The emcees in Boston take the stage to open the event, while the other locations watch on their screens. After an introduction, Boston introduces the next presenter, who is in San Francisco. As he takes the stage at the winery, the cameras broadcast his presentation to the rest of the locations. When he's finished he leaves the stage and Boston introduces another speaker in Frankfurt. Each site watches their local presenters on stage, and the other cities on screen.
Presenters in different cities can interact with each other for joint presentations and Q&A sessions; audience members can ask questions from any location.
This approach creates a truly exciting event that leverages the benefits of a live experience with the thrill of connecting with something larger. Seeing participants engaging from all of the different venues expands the horizon for your team and your customers!
You can build an interactive experience for your audience by encouraging them to ask questions from any location. This will give you the opportunity to engage with the audience members in different ways, and it will also allow them to learn more about what they're seeing or hearing.
If you want your event attendees to feel like they're part of something bigger than just watching a presentation on stage, consider building an experience that allows them some level of participation throughout each step of your presentation. For example:
In order to create a multi-site corporate event, you'll need to have a robust plan in place. It's critical to bring in the production team from VIP Audio Visual Company as early as possible. We'll need to provide crew in each location, or coordinate with local providers who can handle the job.
The technology infrastructure will need to be carefully considered. Each location will need intercoms for their local site, as well as a producer who can coordinate with the host city producer in real time. Internet connections must be thorougly tested, with backup connections available for the more critical locations. Screens, cameras, lighting, and more should be planned well in advance to ensure a professional and consistent experience for your audience.
Every moment of the production should be carefully planned out and coordinated between cities so there are no mishaps when it comes time for handing off from one city to another (and vice versa). Having our producer manage the production from the host city ensures that each element of the program is carefully coordinated and all of the teams across the globe are working in sync.
While the technical details are daunting, our production crew at VIP Audio Visual Company will work alongside your event team to handle these details on your behalf. We're always available to talk, plan, and ensure that your entire program goes off wthout a hitch!
You can create a corporate event that will be remembered for years to come. With the right planning and execution, your event will be more memorable than anything else on the market today. If you're looking for help with your next corporate event, contact us today!