The Lookout #37: Lessons from Samsung & Delta Variant vs Trade Fairs
For event nerds, some of the most important events we looked forward to were the yearly launch events by those big tech brands– Apple, Google, Microsoft… Alongside the products they present, these events showcase some of the latest innovations in event design and production. As the tech launches successfully moved online, the high production value and experience they create via Livestream continues to encourage event professionals to bring a similar, cutting edge experience to their own events and trade fairs.
This week’s Samsung Unpacked was no exception. Here were a few things about their event that stood out– and that I think event professionals everywhere can take away from:
- Constant movement. The pre-recorded livestream was just over an hour long, divided into segments for each product launch. But very few frames included someone speaking directly to the camera. Visuals were in constant motion, changing frames, camera angles, scenery, and views. With the constant movement, what comes next is entirely unexpected and hard for your audience to look away. Don’t slack with your video, more can certainly be better when it comes to keeping your at home audience engaged.
- The personal touch. No professional actors or moderators here! The entire production was hosted by a varying array of Samsung’s staff, with different ethnicities, accents and geographies presenting each product. The result is a delivery that is not always the most polished, but one that brings a human sense to the product and the presentation. You get to see part of the team behind the product– making the sleek tech on display seem more human while creating empathy and connection. Don’t forget– the human connection is the most part of any event!
- The big draw. Samsung is known for their collaboration with BTS, the Korean supergroup, who of course they featured in the livestream. BTS member Suga produced a new original song for the spot, guaranteeing attention for the live show from a wide audience– far beyond those who were coming to check out the new phones. If you have a big name to showcase, use them!
- COVID – 19 measures. A nice touch at the beginning and the end of the show transparently detailed how the production adhered to local coronavirus regulations. Add how you’re complying with regulations to your event too.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to optimize the use of video in your productions, and to unlock its real potential, Phil Liblin [CEO and co-founder of mmhmm and All Turtles, ex Evernote] is speaking at PIRATE Live later this month all about video. His keynote, titled “The Communication Superpower” explores how video can be incorporated to radically change how we work and connect with one another. Phil is an impressive speaker and the brief for this talk is right on point. Video is an integral part of events, and the Samsung experience shows that there is so much more we can do here.
- Europe’s biggest tech conference to be held in-person in November [Reuters] Web Summit is returning in person to Lisbon this year and will operate under Portugal’s Covid guidelines requiring masks indoors. Organizers expect 40,000 in-person attendees this year, in comparison to 70,500 attendees in 2019. Last year’s online-only event welcomed 104,000 attendees on Web Summit’s bespoke event platform.
- Edinburgh Fringe Is Back. Is a Smaller Festival Better? [New York Times] One of Europe’s signature summer events, the Edinburgh Fringe returns in person this year with a digital hybrid model. The significantly reduced program includes 850 shows, a third taking place online.
- Planners Show Interest in—and Concerns about—Hybrid Events [Meetings Net] Event planners are spending their money differently for events going forward– especially as producing viable hybrid events come with an additional price tag.
- Across the pond, the Delta variant claims several upcoming trade fairs. Among them, New York’s Fancy Food Show and International Antiquarian Book Fair, both scheduled for September. Stuttgart’s Fastener Fair 2021, scheduled for November is taking no chances. Postponed, it moves to March 2023.
- Messen Deutschland: Delta-Variante gefährdet Comeback [Handelsblatt] In Germany, the 2021 trade fair and exhibition year might end up being more costly than 2020’s with over 70% of trade fairs cancelled or moved online. The result has seen Germany’s location as a trade show destination diminish, as other countries, especially China were able to continue their large-scale trade fairs. Despite a majority of participants reporting they’d like to return to face-to-face events, the current situation calls into question the viability of Europe’s fairs, especially without the help of subsidies.
- Telekom and Messe München implement high-speed communications for IAA MOBILITY [WebWire] Elsewhere in Germany, IAA Mobility focuses on digital, with a new 5G capability inside Messe München.
How to do it:
- Welcoming back Hanna – the shift to the delegate-curated event [Conference and Meetings World] Interesting thought experience here that develops an attendee persona and examines different ways for participants to craft their own event. Participants should be at the heart of your event design decisions– so here’s a compelling way to get inside their experience.
- What will it take for trade shows to thrive in the COVID era—and beyond? [Business of Home] Jesse James, of product agency Aesthetic Movement, and the transformative trade show Shoppe Object describes his take on the future of fairs. His concept? A hybrid event that makes the most of technology to ensure an event that is valuable to both attendees in-person and at home, by removing friction at every opportunity.
- 4 Surefire Ways to Maximize Your Booth’s Performance [Trade Show News] For some exhibitors, it’s been a while since you’ve had to think about building a physical booth. For those returning to physical events, some top tips on how to make the most of your opportunity. But if you’re going hybrid, or entirely digital, you’ll want to check out Exhibiting with Excellence to make the most out of your trade fairs presence.
- 7 Things To Do if Your Tech Fails at a Virtual Event [BizBash] Possibly the worst nightmare of today’s event professional. But don’t let it get you down. Here’s how to create contingency plans for your contingency plans, and importantly– when to consider utilizing multiple platforms to ensure your event goes off without a hitch. Most importantly– being transparent with your attendees– and learning from your experience in case the worst does happen.
Don’t Miss it:
- Corporate events have shifted online, but will they ever return? [The Times] With the rise of online events, has the business community moved on when it comes to returning in person? It’s a compelling question posed here by Simon Duke, but one that event organizers should really consider. We’re seeing how the pandemic has shifted the ways people connect and how business is done. The efficiency gains for online events can be enormous. When it’s safe to do so, will there be a role for large-scale in-person events, as there was before?
- Interview zur Zukunft Personal Reconnect 2021 in Köln [Haufe] ZP Reconnect is taking place in a hybrid style next month here in Cologne. Organizer Christiane Nägler goes into detail about their event’s hybrid concept, and how they’re organizing within existing coronavirus restrictions (4,000 in-person attendees maximum), and making the most of the digital experience.
- Inaugural IBTM Wired results reveal 3,200 meetings took place at hybrid event [Exhibition News] The analytics from online and hybrid events are incredibly enlightening. And this example from IBTM Wired– shows the impact that digital technology can add to your online experience. 290 buyers attendees online + 100 attendees arrived in person = 3,200 1 on 1 meetings with suppliers is quite an impressive number.
- BlachReport 16.21 Sommer Edition [BlachReport] The latest edition of the BlachReport is packed with a ton of great features for event organizers and professionals. Inside you’ll find some insights on producing hybrid events, a whitepaper on the future of events, and some of the ins and outs of creating virtual experiences. I also had the chance to contribute to this edition– you’ll find it on page 26!
That’s all for this week’s edition of The Lookout!
ICYMI: You can pick up the PIRATEx free guide, “Exhibiting with Excellence” for exhibitors attending this fall’s online and hybrid trade fairs. You’ll find it for free, here.
Next week, PIRATEx is producing an event for our logistics community A2X. The event concerns all the ins and outs of sustainable logistics. If it sounds interesting, check it out here.
Let’s stay connected if we’re not already on Linkedin or follow the PIRATEx team on Twitter. If there’s anything you would like to read about when it comes to remote, or digital events, let me know! I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.
If you know someone who might be interested in reading The Lookout, please share it with them!
Until next Friday!