Same same, but different
Same same, but different
The pandemic has taught us that events can also function excellently virtually and hybrid - as long as they are designed and executed with the appropriate know-how and flair. There have been enough reports and discussions about this in recent months and years. Since it has become increasingly possible to hold events with a large number of participants again in this country, however, something else has also become clear:
The desire to meet with other people in the same place still exists. After this challenging time, this may be described as a basic human need – without exaggeration. The physical live encounter remains not only the most intense and immediate, but also the most holistic form of communication.
No other format makes it possible to perceive the emotional resonance of event visitors to the same extent. Conversely, guests can only perceive and experience events with all their senses in this format. The Corona crisis has shown us that this coming together should not be taken for granted and has thus increased the appreciation for it.
We all had to forgo physical live events for a long time. That’s why we appreciate the opportunity to participate in them even more today; we consider it a privilege. In the same way, our customers consider it a privilege to find guests who want to attend their events. In addition, regular limitations on the number of participants have underscored the character of the physical event as an exclusive experience.
New challenges also bring new opportunities
Face-to-face encounters remain the foundation of live communication, as there is no substitute for them in terms of their emotional impact. But the experience that agencies as well as clients have gained in a good year and a half, with virtual and hybrid events, also shows that there are opportunities for new, creative approaches in live communication.
Understanding events – may they be physical, virtual or hybrid – as isolated constructs is no longer considered “keeping with the times”. Instead, they should be viewed as highlights in an ongoing, well-thought-out narrative and dramaturgical communications strategy.
To achieve this, customer journeys must be created that begin before the event and continue beyond it. The correct use of different communication channels is indispensable for this purpose. For example, well-produced and posted social media content about an event that has already taken place can significantly increase the desire to participate in a follow-up event.
The new wow – event and video merge
People want to share their experiences with each other – also digitally and virtually. In the private context, this desire was expressed years before Corona as part of everyday communication, primarily via social media. But brands can clearly use this need more strongly and efficiently to their advantage. By thinking narratively and using commonly available communication channels tailored to their characteristics.
Never have the possibilities of combining physical events with moving image content been so numerous and promising: live streams, teasers, and social media snippets can make physical events tangible for those who were not there themselves – and can bind participants emotionally to them once more.
The basic prerequisite for making this successful is the willingness to think holistically and narratively in the long term. This also entails a change in the way the agency sees its role.
From event manager to live communication specialist
Logistics, catering, hospitality, participant management – all of these are still very important. But events can do more than that. Properly conceived, pre-communication, live event and post-communication can be combined as part of a coherent dramaturgy and turn participants into protagonists of a hero’s journey.
In addition, there are new opportunities to stage virtual worlds and constructs as veritable experiences, the potential of which is currently only recognized in exceptional cases outside Generation Z. If the creation of a metaverse or its integration into such a metaverse is not seen as a mere gimmick or trend hunt, brands have the opportunity to attract the attention of a young target group with their pioneering spirit and courage.
Pioneering spirit is honored
Artists with their finger on the pulse have already recognized this potential and used it to their advantage. For example, US rapper Travis Scott’s concert on “Fortnite” has reached a live stream audience of a good 12 million users.
NFT is also already being used as a medium by some of today’s most prominent artists. Damien Hirst caused a stir with his idea of presenting buyers with a choice between a digital artifact or a physical object. What works in art can also put an exclamation point on the brand world with the same courage in idea generation and realization.
Crosslinking the measures
All in all, it can be said that the future of live communication will be characterized more and more by the increasing networking of various measures. Different formats have different strengths – the challenge is to use them all correctly.
Professionally produced live streams, a comprehensible and narratively coherent integration of new trend topics such as NFTs and metaverse to promote brand presence in virtual space, or even the development of a community consisting of various stakeholders – all this must be considered if you want to communicate live successfully. Thus, it can be said that live communication is not only becoming more networked as a consequence, but also more strategic, conceptual and thus more consulting-intensive.
Managing Partner | Founder
Maximilian studied marketing in Bern and culture management and drama in Liverpool. Before founding Live Lab in 2015, he held a range of management positions within the event industry.