Bea World is an initiative that recognises and promotes excellence in events and live communication across the whole world and takes place in the context of Bea World – The International Festival of Events and Live Communication. Created in 2006 to foster and advance the importance of events in the marketing plans of large and smaller corporations, the Best Event Awards have helped agencies from 40 countries in finding inspiration and new ideas for their events, and are now acknowledged as the main and most challenging international industry recognition.
The worldwide unique Education City model in Qatar unites 9 international universities in one campus. Every year since 2009, the graduation of about 800 students was celebrated with one central large-scale event: The Convocation.
But in 2020 the Convocation was cancelled – and in 2021, more than one year into the global pandemic, celebrating the graduation of Qatar’s universities students together physically was still not considered safe. We had to find a new format. The main goal was to create a common experience for the 1.600 deprived graduates of the two classes that were fun, engaging and solace for them – in these times when everyone was in solitude at home not being able to come together and create positive emotions.
But none of the usual virtual formats was suitable for what has always been the core of this event: celebrating the students while they are part of the audience and the protagonists of the show. The core of the solution was a custom-designed digital experience, allowing the graduates to dial in remotely from 39 countries worldwide. Each of them was treated as a separate stream, allowing us to make them fully interactive participants rather than viewers.
The result was produced and live-streamed from a TV studio set with a 15m curved LED screen. Using the Virtual Life Audience Technology, all graduates were an integral part of the program. Deans and parents were integrated as well as a keynote speaker, VIPs and representatives from all 9 universities. The Class of 2020 and 2021 made history by graduating virtually for the first time ever. A Convocation re-imagined that successfully celebrated the achievements of the graduates in an emotional and memorable way – without having the possibility to meet physically.