Todd Nash, chief information officer at Uniplan, offers several ideas on how to better leverage technology when it comes to providing remote support for a client's virtual events
As the world of brand experience saw major disruptions during the Covid-19 crisis, more brands have partnered with their agencies to create more online events and digital-based experiences.
This not only became an immediate response to a crisis, as it also helped accelerate the digitalisation of brand experience.
However, every market has reacted differently to the pandemic, so as a business we have to work closely with our local clients to offer a bespoke hybrid solution that complies with local laws, while ensuring there are backup plans in place.
Here are some ideas as to what event planners can do in order to maximise all available tech for their virtual event.
1. Stay connected with live streaming
Uniplan has increased communications by introducing internal livestreaming for updates and inter-office knowledge sharing across different markets to grow our digital knowledge and skills and use this new expertise to ensure successful project delivery for our clients.
This innovative tech allows us to better communicate both internally and with clients. On an enterprise level, there are lots of tools available. They have the advantage of attendee experience, live event usage reports, while leveraging on content delivery network technologies. Live streaming and pre-filmed events using a green screen and/or physical build ensure you can reach a large audience fast, easily, safely and professionally.
2. Cloud-based solution
Planners should consider leveraging cloud-based solutions. Now the focus is more towards, small, consistent, incremental enhancements so learning is ongoing. There are a million articles on the advantages of moving to the Cloud but some quick advantages for planners are new collaboration tools, fast deployment, scalable, location agnostic, co-editing & enterprise security.
For virtual events, setup and delivery can be supported by distributed teams which is critical during Covid-19.
3. Change your mindset
Technology is here to stay and will continue to complement our human connection and experience potentially more than it ever has in the past. Consumers have evolved and adapted. Agencies and advertisers will need to follow suit in a creative integrated manner allowing for a more hybrid project delivery involving both digital and traditional elements.
4. Create an innovation culture
Culture comes from the top down. Itâ€™s up to the business to enable innovation. For example, Uniplan needed to invoke business continuity as Covid-19 hit, but on the other hand realised it was a chance to think creatively and build new ways of working and delivering for our clients.
We were able to drop the Covid-19 problem into ideation sessions to come up with new solutions/workarounds/options for our clients. The tools we have been using have all been cloud-based.
Virtual workspaces for preparation, both high and low fidelity wireframing, design tools, prototyping, plugins, combined with design thinking and a driven to win attitude have helped the business through this difficult period. Cloud allows our users to work from anywhere with Internet which is essential for our business continuity.
Planners have to be vigilant more than ever on cybersecurity to ensure that virtual events can be effectively carried out. For starters, for internal company data and security, your IT department should have an Information Security Management system. This will cover the very basics from user awareness through to high-end network security.
For planners, they should engage IT and DevOps to ensure solutions are secure and workable from day one. Creative technologists, who understand both sides of digital and creative, working with IT departments are key for creative agencies to deliver new types of secure hybrid work.