THE MOST FASCINATING TIME IN EVENTS
This is the most fascinating time in the history of events
In 23 years of running a creative agency, the closest we’ve ever come to a situation like COVID-19 was the GFC; however, while it impacted on our industry, it doesn’t even come close to the global pandemic we are living through today.
Challenging times, yes. Interesting times, yes. But also… stimulating!
Unusual words considering the environment, yet the notion that events are dead is completely inaccurate. That type of thinking fails to recognise the opportunities that we all have in front of us in the coming months, such as our need to be united while being apart; our need to be entertained beyond a screen while at home; and our need to find light in dark times.
Events have a unique ability to achieve these - even if it means a screen becomes the doorway to our ‘venue’.
Over many years, Fourth Wall has produced high-end global broadcasting projects that have produced a great number of highly emotive moments with long-lasting impacts through a screen. So adapting to the new environment has been, for us, just a shift. And in doing so we have embraced the digitile approach .
Digitile is what humans crave
Digitile is the merging of ‘digital’ and ‘tactile’ together, to enhance human interaction. The global tendency is to transform everything into digital, because it’s regarded as the ‘new normal’; especially as a result of the pandemic. However, digital is one part of the solution – and cannot be the whole answer. As humans, we want more; we desire human interaction, and that is why mastering and understanding ‘ digitile’ is essential to hosting successful experiences.
Digital channels for events are being forced upon us, and the path of least resistance is to just go with it and follow the status quo. This often results in companies choosing to merely stream their events, which is good for information dissemination, however, in my opinion, is ineffectual in inspiring behavioural change.
Layered on that is the increased time spent in isolation, where we are consuming more online content. It is my prediction, that this will result in a greater desire from audiences for far more engaging, and tactile experiences – and to stand out, companies will need to differentiate.
The key to success lies in understanding how to take digitile experiences from good to great and evolve them from operational competence to world-class production.
How do audiences relate to a digitile approach?
Before, guests had to enter our spaces – our venues, but now we enter theirs. These days, it is the norm to see into our clients’ lounge room, kitchen and children’s play spaces. We know more about each other than ever before, and we’re growing more comfortable with that. This leads us to gain insights we’ve never had access to such as hobbies, tastes, family structures and more, which allows us to understand our audience on a deeper level; the boundaries of what people are comfortable sharing are rapidly changing . In return, our audiences expect more personalisation and on a whole new level.
‘You saw my place, where can I put that?’
‘You know me. Do you think that is my style?’
Therefore, so too must our approach.
Business-to-business events and experiences that are delivered in traditional formats such as an all day conference in a windowless hotel room are like an annoying uncle; they won’t go away, they tell the same old boring stories, and they look well and truly worn out.
However, brands have realised that we are all consumers, and that the world of events and experiences can be far more engaging than a drape, a screen and a lectern!
This realisation inspired the move to the business-to-consumer environment – and the results were fantastic - take SXSW, TEDx, C2 and YouTube Unboxed , to name a few.
But we’ve shifted again. This time to B2i: business-to-the-individual.
Businesses now enter their audience’s homes daily, and we have to respect and understand that. Those conversations, meetings, interactions need to accommodate people’s lives. Brands that understand, embrace and master this concept will enter 2021 well ahead of the curve, and will create a new generation of raving fans.
In February 2020, in response to COVID-19 and the cancellation of most planned events, Fourth Wall created, developed and launched our new digitile inspired service EventCast™ - an immersive and interactive event delivered directly to clients’ online audiences.
EventCast™ powered by Fourth Wall is an innovative combination of a real-world tactile experience, digital interaction and immersive content, using of-the-moment technology mixed with human insights.
EventCast™ is the solution our clients are looking for and has allowed us to continue to deliver event experiences globally, retain stakeholder engagement, shift behaviour, and strengthen brand community and adoption.
These are fascinating times indeed.
Jeremy Garling, Managing Creator