October 19, 2020 Andrea Bartman
No one expected 2020 to be commandeered by a global pandemic. But when the lockdowns and stay at home orders went into effect, event marketers went to work on making the most of the situation.
Their solution for remote conferences and summits: Digital experiences that emulated and went beyond in-person events.
We wanted to highlight a few organizations that raised the bar on virtual events, so we created the first-ever Virtualized Digital Event Awards. Below is a recap of the categories and the winners.
Best Event Experience: Beyond Trust
Beyond Trust’s Go Beyond Virtual Partner Summit won the award for the best overall event experience. This event featured a music festival theme and all elements of the event followed that trend. The engagement tools were renamed to be on-brand: Now Playing became Main Stage, speaker bios became On Stage Now, content resources became Resource Backpack, customer case studies became Customer Unplugged. The engagement hub was tailored to have tents with a festival feel. Other fun activities were hosted in their Beyond Fun Zone which featured a concert from Spinphony, a yoga session, a coloring PDF for kids and the ability for participants to create their own playlist.
Best Event Environment: FIS
The FIS InFocus 2020 virtual event, themed Rise & Thrive, won the award for the best event environment. FIS created a virtual event that was amazingly immersive for participants. It featured multi-dimensional and 3D elements with different rooms participants could enter. They created an expo hall with virtual booths, general sessions with keynote speakers and breakout sessions. They were even able to secure Giuliana Rancic as a host. There was an abundance of downloadable content, networking events with different lounges for different languages, message boards, yoga and meditation sessions, a scavenger hunt and a Dierks Bentley concert.
Best Event Branding: Informa
Informa’s Restaurant Rise event won the award for best event branding. With COVID-19 drastically impacting the restaurant and foodservice industry, this event featured inspirational presentations to help people in that industry figure out what they’re going to do next. Their webinar console, promotional materials and website featured excellent logo placement and frequency, industry-relevant graphics, an incredible color scheme and superb sponsor promotion.
Best Virtual Engagement/Networking: RedGate
RedGate’s Streamed event won the award for the best virtual engagement and networking. This multi-day event featured presenters in eye-catching costumes and puppies. They offered a multitude of engagement opportunities for participants including chat capabilities for attendees to interact with each other and the presenters. Other engagement tools were content downloads, future event sign-ups, podcasts, virtual booths to visit and a trivia event with built-in polling and a leaderboard.
Best Globalization of an Event: Juniper Networks
Juniper Networks’ Where AI Gets Real won the award for the best globalization of an event. This event was excellent for people all around the world because they offered real-time presentations and session tracks in different languages. This event featured a drop-down menu at the beginning where participants could select a different language for the presentations. Juniper Networks really thought ahead and planned different tracks and topics for different languages. They had participants from 122 countries and six different language options.
The Humanize Award: Runway of Dreams Foundation Sponsored by SAP
The Runway of Dream Foundation sponsored by SAP won the Humanize award. This award celebrates an organization that is trying to do something good for their community and helping the world become a better place. This event was created by an organization that is aimed at helping people with physical disabilities be included in life and culture in ways that they should already be included but are not. This event featured neat videos of people proudly walking the runway to raise donations and lifting up their community.
The ROI Award: Janssen Korea, Ltd. – a Johnson & Johnson Subsidiary
Janssen Korea’s Focus web-symposium won the ROI award. Medical device and pharmaceutical companies typically rely heavily on in-person events and calls to grow their business, but Janssen Korea proved that isn’t always necessary. They hosted an omnichannel digital event with interesting and engaging multi-dimensional experiences with medical presenters and panel discussions. They saw 24% growth over the previous year and 40% budget savings by taking their physical event into the virtual world.
Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees. Your creativity, ingenuity and passion for your field changed digital marketing and digital events forever!