Japanese firms increasingly seeking online solutions

Japanese organisations are moving their business events online in a bid to keep staff, stakeholders and customers engaged following the cancellation of events due to Covid-19.

Facing uncertainty about when the situation may return to normal, coupled with several prefecture lockdowns, previously technology-shy companies are increasingly embracing technology to hold conferences, seminars, product launches, training sessions and other events.

A webinar in progress at BCCJ

Tokyo-based visual production company Life. 14 inc. is among the specialists supporting Japanese organisations to host events online. Its newly created webinar event package features shooting with multiple cameras, mixing digital content like pictures and presentations with live streaming and coordinating interactive content. The company also captures highlights of events in short videos for clients’ archives or PR.

“We think the demand will grow and grow,” Antony Tran, president of Life.14, told TTGmice, adding that the company’s next step is to provide wireless Internet for organisations that don’t have it but want to hold events online.

Companies that have been unable to travel for in-person events have also been reaching out to tech companies for support.

“We have had more demand to assist our clients with setting up webinars that can be recorded and bridged to a number of teams in different locations,” said Richard Johns, country manager of Vega Project, a Tokyo-based audiovisual and video conference system integrator.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ), which hosted 40 in-person business seminars in 2019, launched a Default to Action Webinar Series featuring a variety of sessions on how businesses can cope in the current climate in March.

“Our webinar series offers practical advice and information on business continuity tools as well as being a support network,” Sarah Backley, BCCJ associate director. “Our goal is to go across all industries so we can be of use to all members.”

As part of these efforts, the BCCJ is collaborating with chambers of commerce in other parts of Asia, to host webinars that offer international insights about coping with the Covid-19 crisis.

Shows are going digital, too. The annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony, which was due to be held in Saga Prefecture in Kyushu, was reformatted into a live virtual event. And, following the cancellation of Japan’s biggest style showcase, Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo, in its current format, the event moved online. The runway shows of collections were livestreamed on the organisation’s website.

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