Why planners should balance virtual and in-person event formats
Tay Ling
Vice President, TBA Hong Kong

In-person events are back, but there is still value in online meetings. Here’s how to reach a happy medium between the two.

Tay Ling, vice-president, TBA Hong Kong sees in-person and virtual events as extensions of a consumer journey that gives a brand constant touchpoints with its audience. The agency has brainstormed with its clients to create this kind of seamless transfer of content between in-person and virtual events.

“We helped make the latest edition of Centrestage fashion show [hosted as a physical event in Hong Kong from 10-12 September last year] the first in Hong Kong to apply extended and augmented reality – XR and AR – onstage, on the runway,” says Tay. “The result was a new kind of visual experience – very impactful and immersive for the audience. The show was also live streamed, with additional AR effects for the online audience.”

If you have to choose between staging an event in-person or virtually, what are the best criteria to use? Each has its pros and cons, and it’s often not necessary to choose one or the other – you can capitalise on the strengths of both in a well-designed integrated event. But, says Pico’s Tay, if you have to choose just one format, use the channel that the audience ‘sits in’.

“In the same way as you wouldn’t use Facebook to reach out to Gen Z, each format attracts its own audience,” he says. “Don’t choose a format solely due to budget; choose one for its effectiveness in creating a brand experience for the audience.”

The above was extracted from an interview of Tay Ling, Vice President of TBA Hong Kong, published online by M&C Asia on 6 May 2022.