The broad trend of integrated events
Lawrence Chia
Chairman, Pico Group

The past two years have seen many brands move their events online to enjoy the format’s advantage of not being limited by time, enabling them to create more emotional touchpoints and attract a wider audience. However, in-person events’ immediacy and immersion are still irreplaceable.

Event planners may regard this as an ‘either or’ situation; but by taking a different perspective, they can harness the advantages of both types with an integrated event. In such events, the audience experience is enhanced while the distance between brand and audience is narrowed.

Utilisation of technology is one way to effectively enhance the on-site experience and ‘compensate’ your online audience with exclusives. One example is Pico’s activation of ‘CENTRESTAGE 2021’, which catered to its offline audience with a blend of real, virtual and fantasy with XR technology, and the online audience with a live broadcast with AR effects. Even though they lacked the offline sense of presence and stimulation, the online audience still enjoyed a spectacular visual feast.

Brands can also foster audience interaction by turning online events into personal experiences. Last year’s ‘HKTDC Lifestyle Sourcing Show’ by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council included thematic seminars and an offline exhibition as well as an online exhibition with 3D virtual booths promoting brands and products. Online, the show also featured an AI business matchmaking platform and a range of communications options. The online experience was no worse than the offline, and thereby ensured business opportunities.

Offering unique pre-event engagement opportunities is also key; for instance, creating an online platform to warm up the audience. Catalog, a local fashion brand, once collaborated with Disney to use a cartoon character for a new series. An online game with the character allowed players to win vouchers for offline purchases. While stimulating sales, the brand also interacted with customers.

Through integrated events, audiences can enjoy the best of both worlds, immersive and personalised, while brands can obtain valuable data on their preferences which helps in planning more targeted events with higher marketing effectiveness. With the pandemic driving rapid change, industry professionals must keep abreast of the situation and respond flexibly.

The full version of the article above was first published in Headline Finance on 13 April 2022 (in Chinese only).

Headline Finance has granted Pico permission to publish the article on all online and offline communications channels operated by Pico, as well as the channels of all our subsidiaries and affiliates.

Source: Headline Finance (webpage version), 13 April 2022