We live in a day and age where technology is central to everything that we do — be it using smartphones to check our social channels on the morning commute, working off of a laptop all day, or joining a Google Hangout conference call with colleagues on the other side of the globe.
The modern consumer exists in a simultaneous online and offline state. They are present in the physical world and engage in live, face-to-face communication daily, and they also play in the online realm day in, day out. Consumers increasingly expect brands to acknowledge this, by ensuring a seamless transition between the live and online experiences that they create for them.
This is where the FreemanXP TrendLab concept of the ‘on live’ experience comes into play — it’s where the creators of live events use online content — such as interactive video, polling platforms, and live social feeds to name a few, to enhance rather than take away from the live experience.
Heading On Live with Seamless Integration
It’s now incredibly common to see integration between the offline — or live world — and online world, which means there are in fact very few truly offline experiences today. Practically every modern event includes some sort of technology element. This could be from an attendee’s first interaction at an event, for example, the badge they receive at registration might have a tracking chip in it, or it could be focused on the content programme, where second screen technology has been incorporated to encourage audience participation during sessions.
Technology integration is commonplace, yet the ability to create a truly seamless on live experience for the attendee can take a little more thought. It’s important to ensure that the technology in use at an event plays a relevant role, and ties in with a brand’s overall messaging.
Avoid use of what I refer to as ‘stand candy’ — tech that is used to impress attendees and draw them in, yet might not necessarily have a real purpose or reflect a company’s event objectives. Virtual reality (VR) for example, is a great way to engage audiences, but brands need to ensure sure it complements the content they’ve shared about their brand elsewhere at the event. The tech could be used to take attendees on an immersive journey through an event they’ve recently delivered, which adds an extra dimension to the video they might be showing on their stand, or brings the online case study they’re displaying via touchscreens to life.
Choosing The Right Tech for an On Live Experience
There are a number of things to consider when it comes to comes to determining what type of technology to incorporate into an event, in order to successfully create an on live experience.
First things first, take a step back and determine your key event objectives — what are they, and how can technology potentially build on the live experience you’re looking to create? Secondly, consider your audience — are they tech savvy and do they need to be constantly ‘on?’, or are they less reliant on technology? Which sector do they play in? Technologies that work for some audiences may not work for others.
True on live experiences exist beyond the event too — it’s about creating pre and post-event online content so you’re in conversation with your audiences all year round. It’s important to consider what content will work in the live environment, and which types of content will be better suited to the online realm, for pre and post-event communications. On live experiences play across multiple mediums, however, they always complement one another.
The brand experience industry is undergoing rapid growth, and at the same time, people continue to become more connected. Consumers’ penchant for on live experiences is showing no signs of slowing down, which means it’s time to embrace the live and online, to create memorable and measurable experiences for brands and their attendees.