As an agency we’ve revelled in the challenge of creating digital experiences and have really enjoyed watching others do the same. Here are three of our favourite virtual festival examples.
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2020 has challenged the industry to dissect the ‘virtual event’. It’s forced agencies and brands to unearth what really works (no, a Zoom call is not the answer to every virtual-event brief). We’ve had to discover new ways to surprise and delight tough audiences, to keep folk fully engaged and focused during online conferences (often for hours, and sometimes days, on end) and to build brand love without the benefit of face-to-face interactions. And you know what? It’s been awesome to be a part of these learning journeys.
As an agency we’ve revelled in the challenge of creating digital experiences and have really enjoyed watching others do the same. Going into the festive season, there have been some stellar festivals in particular of late, that have had us nodding our heads in approval. Here are three of our favourites:
1. Celebrating food and drinks virtually: WAITROSE FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL.
This upmarket grocer transformed its much-loved annual food and drinks fair into a four-day virtual experience. They filled it with 40 sessions which included kitchen skills Michelin-quality masterclasses with the world’s best chefs, cooking lessons from the revered Waitrose Cookery School, inspiring talks from luminaries like Heston Blumenthal, as well as talks, demonstrations, and tastings from partners. The shopping lists were available beforehand to help attendee’s prep and get everything they need to cook along with the professionals. A one-day pass cost just £15, and the expertise and ideas offered provided a delicious return on the investment.
Our takeaway: Content is still king and providing it remotely can offer even more versatility and engagement.
2. The very best of beauty in the comfort of your home: GRAZIA BEAUTY POWER HOURS.
We are huge fans of the way the beauty industry is giving itself a digital makeover this year, and this latest example is one of our favourites. The media brand, Grazia, partnered with brands such as No.7 and bareMinerals to offer in-depth skincare, hair and make-up Zoom webinars. These were spread over a week, and they provided beautifying, pampering, and learning skills, in 30- or 60-minute masterclasses, with some of the biggest names in the industry. They also earned the chance to win a stacked goodie bag worth £450 in every single session. The tickets to the paid sessions cost just £6, but anyone could join in the free events over the week by watching on Grazia’s IGTV.
Our takeaway: Digital streaming offers more opportunities for collaborations with product partners and retailers, and makes for slicker social media promotion.
3. Appreciating great music and entertainment virtually: KLARNIVAL.
One of the hardest hit Covid casualties has been the performing arts, and specifically, the music industry. Concerts, venues and big traditional festivals like Glastonbury have mostly been cancelled, and as a result, musicians have lost their income. One of their biggest saviours is Klarna, a global payments and shopping service, and we’re loving what they’ve done for both musicians and the people sitting at home missing their live entertainment fix. Its first virtual festival (Klarnival) has brought the festival feel home by celebrating the best in local talent, and through supporting the independent charity ‘Help Musicians’. For the festival, Klarna invited musicians to take part, and then selected 20 bands from hundreds of applications to provide the Klarnival line-up. These musicians were paid to produce a 20-minute set which was broadcast via Facebook and Instagram Live, and through each set, Klarna donated to the charity. In addition to the music, Klarnival also hosted themed events, competitions and masterclasses across beauty, fashion, outdoors and technology. These included a festival eye-make-up guide, festival styling masterclasses, and even a detailed step-by-step guide to transforming your garden into a VIP glamping experience.
Our takeaway: The best kind of virtual event offers benefits for the host, the talent, and the industry at large. The younger generations support socially-conscious brands who put people first.
As an industry, we have innovated fast this year. We’ve been brave, we’ve pushed creative boundaries and forged new paths. It’s been tough at times, but it’s also been extremely exciting and incredibly rewarding, and at the risk of sounding overly teacher-like, we should all be really proud of ourselves. A first rodeo is rarely easy, so for all those folk out there who have pulled off their ‘virgin’ virtual event, here’s a virtual high five to you!
Although Because has been working in the digital world for many years now, much of the above is still new territory for many brands and agencies. The thought of the unknown can often be daunting, especially when what’s possible is continuously evolving. But it really doesn’t have to be. Be bold, take the leap, and go virtual. No doubt, like many of our clients, after you’ve pulled off your first awesome virtual event you’ll agree there’s no going back to what once was. We of course are here to help you create the experience that works for you, starting with a practical guide on how to put together the ultimate brief for the most epic virtual event. The guide is designed to help brands know what to consider before engaging an agency partner, what to ask when briefing, and simply, how to get started… Ready? Steady? Go!