Brand activation in a pandemic
Chan Wee Teck
Vice President, Pico+


With physical conferences and exhibitions canned during the current global pandemic, how do brands engage key customers, and how do service providers generate business?

Well, they can work closely together to achieve common objectives and best outcomes, said Chan Wee Teck, Vice President of Pico+. He shares insights on how their teams partner with brands in a collaborative manner to meet their goals in marketing, communication and conversion – even in a virtual world.

“We approach every opportunity or marketing challenge by understanding the ‘Whys’. From there, we look at the reasons why and how brands are looking to deliver an engagement. Through an insight-driven approach, one can develop the desired virtual experience in close consultation with clients,” Mr Chan said.

But what if the firm – like Pico – usually designs and manages live events to maximise the overall experience, be it an exhibition, conference or product launch?

“We combine our experience in set production to make the virtual event more professional and engaging. For example, through green screens to ‘stage’ the speaker and provide content in the background; recording speakers in a studio set so they are more relaxed; and generally, whatever it takes to create a better show for the audience,” he said.

Sounds good, but how does all this pan out in a live yet virtual event, especially one with global participation?

Mr Chan cited the biennial DBS Asian Insights Conference which brings together distinguished global thought-leaders, C-suite executives and subject-matter experts to address a top-level audience. With the pandemic curtailing travel and strict safe distancing in place, DBS decided to still proceed with its flagship event on July 23 and 24 – and thereby hosted its first digital edition.

“As DBS is a world-leading digital bank, we worked with them to create a virtual conference experience that was on-brand, immersive and addressed top-of-mind concerns. Virtual networking was a key component to enable interaction and exchange of ideas in navigating the next normal in this pandemic,” he said.

Attendees could navigate and experience keen insights, hear discussions and pose questions to speakers and panellists. Virtual spaces included a learning hub, networking lounge and main stage where brand resources, networking and keynote sessions respectively were delivered. Networking opportunities were available in groups as well as one-to-one.

“This virtual platform enabled DBS to position itself as a thought-leader, and seamlessly connect top-notch speakers with its clientele,” Mr Chan added.

While the Pico team worked on technical details, DBS curated the content for the conference, including securing top-rated speakers, such as former US Vice President Al Gore. The result was yet another spectacular event in keeping with DBS’ image, for the global audience of more than 2,200 delegates of government leaders, top business executives and investors from both the public and private sectors.

The article above was first published in Micenet magazine in August 2020.