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Photo Credit: Cannes Lions

#MAKEMEETINGSWORK

In the past week, I was busy presenting my colleagues the hybrid model of events at the quarterly Meet-Up of Kongres Magazine. Participants were astounded by the concept of the WRC (World Rally Championship), organised by WRC Promoter GmbH, a company owned by Red Bull Media House.

The WRC as we know it today is actually a textbook example of a HYBRID EVENT. This was already the case before the corona crisis. It seems that WRC organisers figured out the benefits of hybrid long before the pandemic struck. For at least a decade, their audience has been made up of both live spectators and an online audience. The number of fans attending the 2020 season of the World Rally Championship exceeded 4 million, while 140 million watched the event online.

I have elaborated on the fascinating data with a comprehensive analysis of what we can learn from WRC. More details can be found in the article at the following LINK.

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WRC Croatia 2021, Photo: www.wrc.com/en/archive/news/

In the second part, the participants were even more flabbergasted by the example of the Cannes Lions. The event recognised as the creme de la creme of the marketing industry was once notorious for its costly ticket prices. Today still, if you wish to register your project for the festival, not much has changed. The most elite competition maintains its high threshold for the competition part.

However, the major novelty fans of the festival observed throughout the year was the festival’s breakthrough into the subscription economy. Needless to say, companies such as Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon have reached exponential growth. Common to all are:

– Community
– Interaction with the community
– Prices of subscription plans

It was only a matter of time when event organisers too should embark on the path of the subscription economy. The Cannes Lions are among the pioneers, and I strongly recommend taking a detailed look into their business model. I was most impressed by the content their subscription packages offer:

– COMMUNITY
– EDUCATION
– INTEL
– CREATIVE DROPS

Isn’t that the basis of every event and the essence of the AC/BC paradigm? As event organisers, we had to ensure all of this before the corona crisis; however, now everything has moved a step forward, driven by digitalisation.

At the end of the presentation, I included the exceptional project Grohe X, produced by the German company Vok Dams. It is a holistic platform that saw the light of the world during the corona crisis. As the pandemic brought the flow of the company’s promotion at the leading trade fairs and conferences to a halt, Vok Dams developed a platform that is very similar to WRC’s solution or the platform of Tour de France, taking place during these days. Their platform connects live and online events and enables constant adaptation to the ongoing situation. Also cooperating in the digitalisation process was IBM, enabling a safe and efficient hosting of complex hybrid events. Furthermore, the project includes a robust video library with a series of on-demand content segments. To find out more about the platform, head over to https://www.grohe-x.com/en/.

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Photo Credit: Grohe X

Above all, LIVE STREAMING  platforms ensure the show goes on anywhere & anytime

What is the silver lining of all three examples? They are hybrid solutions that enable clients the media and social reach that other classic events cannot offer. Such platforms offer flexibility when it comes to the current epidemiological situation. Above all, they make sure the show goes on anywhere & anytime. That has long been a known paradigm of Red Bull, which they have immensely successfully implemented on WRC. Their global reach in numbers for 2020 is remarkable: 836 million TV spectators, 4,1 million followers on social media platforms, 140 million views on their videos and 1,4 billion online views. The numbers speak for themselves.

The additional value of such events has significantly improved. Unfortunately, hybrid solutions are challenging both from a technological and execution aspect. The threshold for executing such events has been raised considerably. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you cannot use at least a fragment of what has been written at your next event.

As far as I am concerned, the future is hybrid. To what extent you decide to go hybrid depends on you and your community. If you have an interest in your community, you will have to thoroughly transform your events, particularly the segment of uncompromisable content and digital activation.

LIVECOM ALLIANCE EUROPEAN INDUSTRY SURVEY

An intriguing and valuable source of information is the research named LIVECOM ALLIANCE EUROPEAN INDUSTRY SURVEY. I kindly recommend that you take a closer look at the research at the following LINK. The research offers numerous valuable tips and ideas for the future of our industry. In my opinion, the most relevant segment is the one on the importance of staff skills to master future work. The scale from 1 to 5 is as follows:

4.46 Creativity
4.38 Digital competence
4.37 Self-management competence
4.22 Interpersonal and relational competence
4.17 Business innovation competence
4.14 Organisational and leadership competence
4.00 Strategic competence
3.93 Analytical and methodical competence

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Photo Credit: LiveCom Alliance

The entire industry is quickly and effectively transitioning itself among creative industries. In this context, I try to understand numerous colleagues who are convinced that everything will go back to normal soon. My reply to them is a simple analogy from the world of films and cinema. To me, a visit to a cinema is a romantic act full of nostalgia and pleasant memories. My new reality, on the other hand, has become the consumption of films, TV series and documentaries on Netflix.

#MakeMeetingsWork