Virtual is Reality: Experiential Marketing in a Post-Pandemic World

The events of the past couple months have left everyone in the experiential marketing world – brands and agencies alike – reeling, as COVID-19 has caused marketers that traditionally rely on physical events to engage audiences to revisit their entire go-to-market strategy.

Yet while it may be difficult to bring people together physically in the near term, that doesn’t mean people will stop seeking genuine human connections, even if they must be achieved through increasingly virtual mediums.

Choosing the Right Format for Your Event

Determining the best format for events in the “new normal” may depend on a number of factors, including where we should be in the coronavirus curve at that time, and how comfortable people will be with attending public gatherings of various sizes.

Even once the pandemic passes, people will likely take some time to feel fully safe in large crowds. This creates an opportunity for forward-focused companies to present physical events that showcase best practices in social distancing and public safety protocols – think touchless registration, key-less check-in, sterilized sampling, smaller group interactions.

For virtual events, the possibilities and platforms are exploding, with everything from simple Zoom-like meetings to live, linked studio broadcasts and speaker panels, to interactive or avatar-driven experiences. An “attendee-first” approach is essential in ensuring a seamless user experience; bite-sized content is key, as is a robust online content delivery platform and audience engagement mechanism, and continued post-event conversation.

A great benefit of these digital formats is they add a layer of post-event engagement, trackability and ROI analysis potential that many physical experiences have struggled to deliver.

The most practical and plausible scenario moving forward is a shift towards a hybrid model, with condensed live elements and heavy digital extensions focused on online remote viewership or participation. A smaller live footprint will make in-person events feel more exclusive, while the complementary digital components allow for scale and continued exposure/traction long after the event ends.

One-Stop Solutions

Connecting brands with the right audiences in the most inspiring and engaging ways, whether in the physical or virtual world – or both – is what we do best at TEAM. Working collaboratively with you, we will help analyze your brand and business priorities to determine the best way to meet your – and your customers’ – needs.

If you’d like help navigating events in this new world order, give me a buzz. Or Zoom. Or Teams. Skype… Houseparty… The possibilities are “virtually” endless.

Contact Us To Learn More

Nichole Robillard
Group Account Director