Is virtually normal here to stay for the events industry?

November and December are traditionally a busy time for the events. 2020 has seen some big changes and massive challenges across the industry but I’m thankful to say that we’ve been pretty busy over the last few weeks.

We’re still busy, but it’s’ different busy – you might say it’s normal, but only virtually.

Planning, hosting, producing, filming, creating, editing.

Even delivering 4 huge events over just 10 days.

Make it..different

So what have we learnt from a year of virtual and live hybrid events?

Rinse and repeat is not how we make things at TMG. Every client and project has a different audience and different objectives, so we make sure there’s something new and exciting in the productions we create – whether that be a virtual event or a creative campaign.

Make it… moving

The UK Coaching awards was a chance to celebrate incredible coaches in sport – from high performance national coaches to local community coaches. We replaced their annual black tie dinner with an upbeat virtual event, all managed remotely with big name attendees like Judy Murray and Lawrence Dallaglio.

How did we make it different? We took a hybrid approach of pre-recorded content and live guests on the night. Some of the winners had planned acceptance speeches at the ready, for others we surprised them live to capture immediate reactions – some of which were pretty emotional.

Make it… connected

The FA CFA Annual Conference brings together The FA and the County FA community. What would usually be an all-day event at St George’s Park, attended only by the heads of the organisation, turned into a more accessible experience, giving more staff the opportunity to engage with comms and strategy first-hand.

The event included keynote sessions with the head of The FA’s Chief Exec, plus nine workshops around key areas of change and challenge. Attendees chose what they wanted to watch on the day, plus everything was recorded and available on-demand afterwards too.

The event culminated with an ‘as-live-award-ceremony’ with a live chat and amplified over Twitter so people felt connected.

Make it… measurable

The Premier League Charitable fund celebrated their 10th year running with a new award ceremony to highlight the incredible work of the Premier League charity programs. We helped to create a fun, engaging, and moving evening for some amazing people.

The organisation wanted more than just the number of total viewers. They wanted to understand exactly who had attended on the night and how much of the show they watched. Prior to the event, we created a microsite with a login portal to capture this attendee information for them.

Make it… accessible

2020 saw our fifth year supporting the production of the Football Black List awards. This event celebrates inspiring people who’s impact increases diversity and minority visibility in football. We replaced their traditional party celebration with a live, high energy virtual event.

Our team set up the studio at the impressive Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Presenters joined live to broadcast the show to our virtual audience. We were joined by guests from around the country including big names from the professional game and the wider football community.

We supported broadcast big hitters like Sky Sports, TalkSport and Twitter, providing a single stream so we could record global viewers.

This approach meant the event was viewed by over 600K people, from the UK and beyond.

All that and we’ve not even mentioned the supporting The FA in their media comms including World Cup and euros Draws, The Women’s FA Cup Final, U21s and Men’ senior internationals.

2021 is virtually here

We’re clearly not out of the woods yet in the pandemic, but, if there’s a positive to take from 2020 it is, I think, that we’ve seen lasting and vital change in the events industry.

I’m convinced virtually normal is here to stay.

Live and on demand means your audience can engage on their own terms. Not to mention the cost savings offered. Those used to event production will know all too well the challenge of cost v maximum audience size compared to other digital engagement on other channels reaching tens of thousands. Now clients don’t have to make the choice, we can confidently offer consumers the best of both.

There’s always going to be a place for live experiences, we know events have a special way of helping brands stick in the mind of the consumer. But i think, and we should expect, hybrid virtual-live events to become more of the norm next year.

At TMG, the team know this will make live event content even more compelling and able to reach thousands, even hundreds of thousands more people. And we know how to deliver it brilliantly.

This is genuinely exciting and, for a team of makers who love all things production, we can’t wait to meet this challenge and opportunity in 2021!

See you there.

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