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Stop saying millennial

When was the last time you met 75.4 million people who are all the same, asks Hayley Lawrence, director of events at agency Brand and Deliver.

Millennials. They want everything for free and think offices should have slides. Bloody millennials, am I right? Of course not. But for every silly stereotype about the 18-34 generation you can be sure there’s a brand sincerely looking to tap into it. When “because Snapchat” is your rationale for a campaign it might be worth taking a step back.

Let’s get one thing clear: the age group is a lucrative market. You should absolutely target it. But if you’re lumping 18-year-old girls in the same market as 34-year-old men you’re missing a trick. In fact, 18-year-old girls aren’t exactly identical to 18-year-old boys.

No, what I’m saying is the word millennial needs to go. Because when you talk about millennials, you mostly just mean everyone.  According to a Pew Research Center analysis of US Census Bureau data people aged 18-34 now make up 34% of the workforce, overtaking Gen-Xers to become the largest in America. And as of April 2016 they’re also America’s largest generation, with 75.4 in the population. While that data is from America it’s not unreasonable to suggest there’ll be a similar pattern here in the UK.

It’s not going to stop there, either. PwC estimates that millennials will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020. (You’ll even find people suggesting that number will climb to 75% by 2025 but good luck finding a reliable source for it.)

So how do you engage the largest generation in one fell swoop?

In a word: Events. In a few more words: For a generation who’ve mostly accepted it’s far less likely they’ll own a house, they might as well enjoy the cash they’ve got. It’s experience millennials value and if something is brought to life they’ll go. You think people are paying serious money to go to Secret Cinema to see the film itself?

Those who fear young people are stuck online are ignoring the evidence that ‘access’ is everything. Events are far from a dying side of promoting your brand. No. They’re more vital than ever. Even if they’re only at those events to get content for social media, who cares?  People used to talk about what festival they’d go to that summer, now they talk about what festival they’re going to that weekend. The adult colouring craze helped the sale of printed books rise last year (while e-books fell) and tickets to see Harry Potter on stage are more sought after than a black-market kidney.

After all, what else are they going to fill their Snapchat stories with?

You could try and force engagement by adding a few reaction gifs and dank memes to your marketing plan or you could host an exciting event and let the social media create itself.

Hayley Lawrence is director of events at agency Brand and Deliver.


For more opinion on experiential, check out our blogs.

Five experiential trends emerging from Drupa 2016

Kim Myhre, the senior vice-president and managing director at Freeman XP EMEA, takes us through some of the key experiential trends he has picked up while attending the current Drupa exhibition (31 May-10 June).

The Drupa exhibition is currently taking place in Dusseldorf, Germany

It’s all action here at this year’s Drupa event in Dusseldorf, the traditionally every four – now every three – year gathering of the global print industry. The forces of change in the world of print have got this year’s Drupa participants actively searching for answers and looking for ways to innovate and grow their businesses.

The sense of urgency to re-invent and re-fire opportunities in print is palatable at the event, and clearly articulated in this year’s ‘Touch the Future’ tag line.

Drupa is a ‘big’ event with 17 halls of the Messe Dusseldorf crowded with over 300,000 visitors. It feels busy and the participants appear to be very enthusiastic about what is here to experience. So, what trends have got everyone fired up?

Show and tell – One of the things about an event like Drupa is that you can see the products – in some cases printers as big as a bus – in action. Brands’ printers are printing, their sorters are sorting, and their cutters cutting. It’s noisy, engaging and frankly pretty fascinating to see these big machines in action.

Intersectional integration – It seems pretty clear to the print industry that some of the best future opportunities lie at the intersection of traditionally siloed industry segments. This year exhibitors are working hard to demonstrate that integrating these segments like 3D printing with product packaging or functional printing on new, previously unprintable substrates can create compelling new opportunities.

Brand worlds – Exhibitors that create experiences where attendees enter into a ‘brand world’ in which they are completely immersed in the brand, its products, its people and even its culture are becoming much more effective and, importantly, more popular. At this year’s Drupa, brands such as HP, Kodak and Agfa have done a really great job of creating powerful brand worlds that are well designed and very engaging.

3D me – Fancy having a 3D printed model of yourself to sit on your desk? If so, you can get one of these at the show. Much like virtual reality (VR) at mobile industry events, 3D printing is the stand candy at Drupa. Let’s face it – it’s fascinating, it can be fun and more importantly it is changing how products will be prototyped and even produced in the future. What’s not to get excited about?

Transformational content – The conference programme at Drupa, known as the Drupa cube has been designed so as to focus on the intersections of print industry technologies and market segments. The cube’s keynotes were delivered by Frans Johansson, CEO of The Medici Group and author of the The Medici Effect. The programme’s more than 40 sessions brought print leaders from within the industry’s different sub-sectors together to discuss where intersectional opportunities might exist in the print industry.

The most interesting thing about Drupa is how the 60+ year old event is still able to re-invent itself. Drupa and its exhibitors are well aware that the print industry is undergoing a radical transformation, and they are embracing the future head on.

FreemanXP devised a bespoke conference programme for the Drupa cube at Drupa 2016.

Will experiential save the high street?

Ian Priestman, head of experiential at Blackjack Promotions, discusses why smart retailers are scrapping traditional retail design in their physical stores in favour of more immersive environments.

There’s a major shift taking place in retail and it will take bricks and mortar stores to a new level.

There were fears that the seemingly unstoppable rise of e-commerce would turn our city centre retail zones into urban deserts. And if stores retain the traditional shop format, this may well be the case. However, the rise of people doing their retail research online or on their mobile and then purchasing offline in a store (or ROPO) is a clear sign there is still plenty of appetite for the physical shopping experience.

More and more retail brands are realising the potential of this growing trend, and the smart ones are changing their shopping environments to suit, looking at creating a far more inviting, engaging, and more importantly, inspiring experience for shoppers to convert them from browsers to buyers.

Shoppers who browse online, but find that they need more convincing before they buy are unlikely to be swung by racks of clothes or piles of products. With this in mind, two major retailers are transforming their retail environments, incorporating experiential techniques to create a far more interactive, exciting and ultimately rewarding experience for shoppers, allowing them to ‘live with’ the products they are considering to buy.

In their new approach, John Lewis and Harvey Nichols are essentially taking the live product demo, sampling campaign and pop-up brand experience in-store to create an exciting and entertaining retail ‘destination’ that shoppers will enjoy as an experience rather than simply a purchase point.

John Lewis recently opened a 1,000 square foot space showcasing smart tech home products at its flagship Oxford Street store in London, which it believes it is the largest of its kind in the UK. Rather than the usual product categories, it features four zones, which include ‘kitchen’, ‘entertainment’, ‘sleep’ and ‘home monitoring’.

Developing more creative and engaging in-store experiences is a key part of the store’s strategy going forward, as it has seen customer demand for physical experiences before committing to purchase increase.

This is particularly the case with smart home products, where John Lewis hopes the new retail space will help to demystify the technology. And this isn’t simply a physical change for the retailer, John Lewis it has also re-trained its staff to provide added value and help guide customers along the smart home journey.

Harvey Nichols, meanwhile, has scrapped branded concessions in its stores altogether to provide a more intimate and intuitive shopping experience. The 28,000 square feet space in its central London store moves away from the traditional shop-in-shop format and instead features a collection of specialised areas – Contemporary, International, Off-Duty, Tailoring and Accessories.

Another important aspect of the new design is the introduction of Project 109, featuring experiential zones within the boutique store ranging from a café-cum-cocktail bar, a barber shop and an installation space showcasing pop-ups and immersive experiences.

This creates a ‘destination’ for the consumer, the idea being to keep people in the store for as long as possible by providing fun activities beyond traditional shopping. The experiential approach is a key future strategy for Harvey Nichols’ physical stores to create more engaging experiences for shoppers.

Far from disappearing, it looks like high street stores are likely to be better than ever, adding real value to the consumer experience that can’t be replicated online, and taking experiential marketing into a new and exciting sector.

How might a Brexit affect the events industry?

Claire Gapper, managing director, Brand Brewery, discusses the potential impact a Brexit could have on the UK events industry, and what issues she is taking into consideration.

Claire Gapper from Brand Brewery discusses the issues that might impact the events industry following a Brexit

After years of debate, Britain is finally having a referendum on leaving the European Union. There is a sense of uncertainty and confusion that has overtaken the Brexit debate, with a major question mark on what will be best for Britain and, in turn, how it will affect businesses. As a brand experience agency with multiple European ties through clients and employees, we are watching and assessing the debate intensely. The topics at the forefront of our mind are:

Workforce

As we employ non-British EU nationals, what will the Brexit mean? There are suggestions that border controls may remain open in exchange for access to the open market, but on the other hand it could lead to tighter border controls with EU nationals having to present proof of employment and submit to a visa system. Will a visa system have to be implemented for existing EU nationals within our business and what are the time frames? Will it also limit the flow of talented individuals entering the UK? As a small business, HR already has an impact in terms of time and finance – therefore any changes to laws and recruitment may create an added pressure.

Trading with the EU

As an agency that thrives on active and ongoing work from clients based in the EU – we are already exploring whether there would be an impact for either party when servicing projects for our clients. On both sides of the campaign, when referring to businesses working within the EU, they only mention trade and usually in relation to import/export, but what about other service industries? There are reassurances that even if the UK leaves the EU, trade agreements would be put in place to ensure trade could continue, yet no-one can actually say what this looks like. Another consideration would be the departure of UK based businesses that we trade with; if they no longer have offices here, would they limit the need for a UK-based agency?

Bigger picture

In general our power as an economy and country is at the heart of many of the debates. The ‘IN’ campaign states that we are better off as part of a unified voice benefiting from stronger trade partnerships and the ability to impact laws and agreements more successfully from within. They have also hinted that other EU countries could potentially ‘punish’ the UK for leaving by limiting trade e.g. Germany and France import more from the UK than they export to the UK.

However the ‘OUT’ campaign states our voice is being lost and we are being dictated to by more powerful EU countries. They have also referred to the potential of the UK becoming a Singapore-style super economy – increasing our trading power on a global platform. This positive outlook is a tempting argument – could the UK become the trailblazer for further changes to be made to the EU?

Don’t fear the future, prepare for it

No-one can say with certainty what the right outcome will be for the UK, but we know that in order to make an informed decision we need further open discussions and access to more detailed information from both sides.

Regardless of what may happen after the 23 June referendum, it is better to prepare for the future and listen to the arguments now – reviewing the possible outcomes rather than face the inevitable panic and uncertainty that a Brexit would likely bring about. It feels as if the decision will come down to sticking with what we know or making a brave leap into the unknown.

Five things to remember when creating an immersive experience for your brand

Imogen Hammond, group creative director at Drive Productions, shares her tips on what you need to consider when creating an immersive brand experience.

Hammond notes five key things to keep in mind when it comes to creating immersive brand experiences

2015 saw a continuation of the trend towards brand marketing linking the virtual and the tangible. With online content reaching saturation point, many businesses are increasingly focusing their marketing on creating real-life experiences and touch points for their customers. If you’re a marketing director or brand manager thinking of creating an immersive event in 2016, here are five things you should remember:

Understand who your audience are

The immediate impulse when planning a big, impactful event is to choose an iconic landmark or high footfall area. While this can work well to garner column inches, there’s a risk your audience will be tourists or passers-by who have little or no association with your brand.

Make sure the people that come to your event want to be there and when they arrive, they know it is a special happening created exclusively for them. You can ensure you’re involving the right audience by reaching out to your customer base with exclusive content in the months and weeks leading up to the experience you’ve created.

Use innovative storytelling

A classic mistake many brands make is to end the experience with a product message. Avoid killing the moment by interweaving the brand story throughout the narrative. Storytelling has a beginning, a middle and an end that should leave you thinking. Don’t try and hide who you are – if your audience is the right one, they will want to buy your product. Great events are a conversation. Continue the dialogue by inviting your customers to feed back on what they’ve seen and where they’d like you to go next.

It has to be 4D

A truly immersive experience deals in all the senses and, if done successfully, will linger in the memory far longer than an amazing animation or impressive piece of projection mapping. For our work with the London Boat Show, we controlled the climate with tropical scent, wind generators, temperature changes, lighting and smoke effects to augment the immersive seascape projections. With Ralph Lauren, we used scent machines to fill New Bond Street and Madison Avenue with the latest Polo Ralph Lauren fragrances.

Don’t shy away from emotion

Create truthful moments that give your audience goosebumps. Any great immersive event – whether it be cinema, theatre or a brand event – should ignite waves of adrenaline in the audience. It should be an experience that evokes authentic emotions and leaves people feeling inspired.

#EscapeTheFrame

Think about it. The real world doesn’t have corners, the real world is all around us. Why only present your brand on screen? Experiences empower your audience. I guarantee 2016 will see an increase in 360 films and virtual reality content where audiences can navigate their own way through the world of your brand.

Top trends from Mobile World Congress

Jane Baker, commercial director at 2Heads, shares key trends from Mobile World Congress 2016.

More than 100,000 attendees arrived in Barcelona this week to join the world’s biggest and most influential mobile event, Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016. After a busy few days supporting exhibiting clients, there’s been time to explore the show and take in the trends that may impact the events industry in the future.

Microsoft, Huawei and Sony each used natural wood textures to add warmth to their stands

Virtual reality

As expected, virtual reality (VR) is the main experiential draw for a number of stands at MWC. SK Telecom, Ford, Lenovo and T-Mobile are all using VR experiences to encourage attendee engagement but, for me, the standout one came from Samsung and its partnership with Oculus.

Long queues of intrigued attendees, me included, snaked around the Samsung stand waiting for a turn in the Gear VR Theatre with 4D, where groups of 28 attendees could enjoy a fully immersive roller coaster experience. The super-realistic screen content was accompanied a safety briefing, seat belts and seats that moved in time with the footage. Queuing time averaged 15-30 minutes but was worth the wait.

Once the session started and my carriage ticked its way up the first big climb, my chair tipped back and I felt my heart rate increase just like it does with the real thing. Into the downward twists and loops, my chair tipped forwards, jolting in time with the content. Despite knowing full well that I was in an exhibition hall, I found myself gripping the armrests, grateful for the seatbelt.

Used well, there is no doubt that ambitious brands can do great things with VR. But beware – used badly, it’s just another technology gimmick.

5G internet

While there were few big innovations at this year’s show, 5G is the hot new thing that everyone was talking about. The technology promises a huge boost to internet speeds and network capacity, exactly what is needed to support high resolution content such as holograms, augmented reality and virtual reality as well as a multitude of products now connected as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Whilst many of the major exhibitors talked a lot about 5G, in reality, it’s not going to happen until 2020, and then only with massive global investment in infrastructure.

For brand experience planners, a 5G reality will make video THE content marketing tool. For event venues and public spaces, it means a new investment to keep pace with the expectations of those marketers and their event attendees.

Inclusive experiences

In the past when I’ve visited MWC, if I ignored the logos, it was sometimes difficult to distinguish between the many super-bright white stands. These stark and sometimes clinical spaces were often roped off, visible to the visiting masses but with access allowed for just a select few.

This year, I’ve seen many more examples of more inclusive designs, with less access control to the main booths and a greater use of colour and texture to create a more welcoming and sophisticated environment.

Microsoft, Huawei and Sony each used natural wood textures to add warmth. T-Mobile/Deutsche Telekom, LG and Lenovo used colours from their brand palette to add visual interest. ZTE, Intel and Huawei used enclosed ceilings to create both interesting architectural features but also to dampen external noise – Huawei, in particular, created a peaceful sanctuary for visitors away from the crowded main aisle.

This more inclusive design approach feels sure to support efforts made by the organisers of MWC to increase attendance, something they’ve done successfully over the last few years.

How is creativity complementing digital and tech at MWC16?

Jordan Waid, vice president brand experience at FreemanXP EMEA, gives three examples of how creativity is complementing digital and tech at this year’s Mobile World Congress (22-25 February).

Mobile World Congress is taking place in Barcelona this week (22-25 February)

Invisible Creative

“The future is already here. It’s just unevenly distributed.” This William Gibson quote sums up the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is this invisible force that is working hard so we don’t have to, and Intel is helping us to understand this with their “Experience What’s Inside” campaign. The Intel Smart City demonstrated the invisible connectivity of our urban environment giving the visitor the chance to interact with various forms of the urban infrastructure – from a city train to wind turbines. Intel is perfectly poised to not only usher in the IoT, but to distribute it evenly.

Immersive Creative

‘We all live in a 5G submarine’ – SK Telecom created the most sub-immersive or submersive experience of the show. Last year they took us up in a hot air-balloon for a 4D VR experience. This year, they have taken us to new depths with an underwater 4D VR experience. Get in the queue, wait your turn, four at a time, in a yellow submarine – for a six minute experience accompanied with motion as you “Dive into the platform” – their theme for this year’s show. Visitors were then given an official ‘dive’ card and blue aquatic energy drink in a transparent pouch.

Interactive Creative

‘BB-8 is here’ in the form of a carpet drone from LG. It is actually cooler than theStar Wars: The Force Awakens version. You are the driver of a low-level security drone that films, records and investigates any situation on the ground. This little object is fun to watch run around the creative little racetrack, complete with miniature trees, bleachers, people and billboards.

The visitor could control it from an LG mobile device, and focus on different details with the camera. This was all part of many creative experiences LG had to offer under their theme “Life’s Good When You Play More” – with an old school mix of analogue and digital. Grab an experience map postcard, complete all five experiences based around ‘play’, collect the stickers and get a headset…with BB-8 rolling around in the midst of it all.

The most creative PR stunts in recent years

Jane Carroll, head of corporate development at Manchester PR and creative agency Peppermint Soda, looks back at some of the most creative PR stunts in recent memory and why they stood out.

Carroll revisits some of the most creative PR stunts in recent memory

PR stunts are designed to raise eyebrows with the general public. However, despite all the great work out there, there’s no real formula – apart from sheer creative genius – for what makes a stunt work.

The idea could be simple. It may have been planned for months, or perhaps it involves a skydive from the edge of space. There’s no limit to the lengths public relations agencies and creative teams will go to for column inches or to create a positive buzz on social media.

I’ve put together a few examples of PR campaigns which have made a real impact, whether the stunts were designed to promote charitable causes, pop-up restaurants or were quick, reactive ad spots such as the example below from Carlsberg.

Reactive PR

New digital technologies have enabled reactive PR stunts to be rolled out almost instantaneously. Just take a look at Carlsberg’s response to Protein World’s controversial ‘Beach Body Ready’ campaign in May 2015.

The drinks company displayed its ‘Beer Body Ready’ ad across London’s Underground network adjacent to the original in the days after it was first displayed and in doing so, joined the body type debate; which saw an online petition reach 60,000+ signatures calling for the withdrawal of the original campaign.

Technology

Despite being instrumental in making the idea a success, Dolmio chose to deride technology with its ‘Pepper Hacker’ campaign in 2015 in which a prototype gadget was developed inside a pepper grinder.

Whilst looking like an everyday pepper grinder, it actually contained technology which allowed parents to turn off household technology – including WiFi – for 30 minutes at a time.

The ad took a satirical view of contemporary family mealtimes and the fact this once shared – and sacred – experience is being lost to technology, as children and parents are both increasingly distracted by mobile phones, tablets and television.

The accompanying TV spot resulted in plenty of distraught children throwing tantrums. Unfortunately the pepper hacker isn’t real and the stunt was an April Fools joke, however the point was well made.

Raising awareness

In 2015 the €2 t-shirt campaign placed a real vending machine filled with cheap clothing in the middle of a busy Berlin shopping street and promised passers-by ‘fashion for a bargain’.

After trying to make a purchase, a video appeared which confronted them with the terrible conditions where the clothes are made, revealing the suffering felt by children who are taken advantage of by big fashion corporations in sweatshops across the world.

The stunt was devised in a bid to test consumers, and see if they would decide to buy the products, or opt out. Eight of the ten shoppers in the video chose not to buy when the video revealed some hard truths.

The campaign was put together in an attempt to increase transparency and make consumers think about where their clothes are from and start a ‘fashion revolution’, with the stunt coinciding with Fashion Revolution Day which takes place on 24 April every year, in memory of 1,133 workers who were killed when a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed.

Social media

Social media is now almost entirely intertwined with our daily lives, whether that’s by sharing thoughts about the TV show we’re watching on Twitter, or connecting with business associates on LinkedIn.

On that theme… in 2014 Birds Eye opened pop-up restaurants in London, Manchester and Leeds which tapped into the ongoing trend for people to upload photos of their food onto social media or ‘food porn’ as it’s known.

By snapping a photo of their food at the store and uploading it on to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, with the #BirdsEyeInspirations hashtag, they could get a free meal.

The three Picture House restaurants were opened to help promote a new range of meals from Birds Eye, while the campaign helped add to the 90 million photos of food which were on Instagram at the time.

Event marketing

Finally, the big one and by far the most extreme example on the list as we head into outer space.

In 2012, for their Stratos stunt, Red Bull arranged for the now world famous BASE jumper, Felix Baumgartner to skydive back down to earth from the edge of the atmosphere.

On 12 October he donned his spacesuit and freefell 39 kilometres over four minutes from a helium-elevated capsule above the desert of New Mexico.

This stratospheric PR stunt was out of this world and further increased Red Bull’s strong ties with extreme sports, adding to the Red Bull Air Race, Red Bull Racing Formula One team and niche events such as the Red Bull Soapbox Race and Red Bull Cliff Diving.

If marketing didn’t exist, Red Bull would just be a canned energy drink. However, it does exist and the drinks company is now synonymous with adventure and is able to pull off incredible PR stunts that enable the brand to lend its name to maximal living.

Projection mapping is just the start

Ed Daly, managing director of Seeper, talks about his belief that projection mapping is just the start for brands when it comes to using creative technology to provide immersive consumer experiences.

I was inspired to write this article after reading Event’s round-up of the five best projection mapping stunts of 2015. Seeper – the digital arts studio I head up – has pioneered projection mapping since 2009 with events such as our Branchage festival that same year.

The technique and the technology is now well understood, so – like stained glass, photography and cinema – while the media is no longer a sensation in itself, the messages conveyed can continue to have impact.

This said, while some people are familiar with projection mapping, and see unoriginal examples as rather passé, I’d wager less than 5% of the general population have seen an architectural projection show on the screen; and that less than 1% have witnessed it at a live event.

This was illustrated recently at Lumiere London, where a circus-themed show was projected onto the warehouse in Granary Square, attracting so many crowds that King’s Cross Station had to close and people were asked to stay at home.

Like any art form, there is the good and the bad. Building as we have on 3D animation, we’ve quickly progressed from the cave painting stage (perhaps the equivalent would be projecting Gail Porter onto the Houses of Parliament) but I suspect we’ve yet to see our equivalent of St Peter’s Basilica – now that would make an awesome canvas for 3D mapping.

So projection mapping is far from over. But I believe it can certainly work harder for brands, and we now have the technology, and skills, to do so much more. Traditionally, projections are artworks viewed at a distance, this has reduced the potential for direct interactivity, rightly seen as important for engaging an audience (just one of Event’s top five, Faberge, included an interactive element in its design).

But looking beyond shows projected on a looming façade, we can now use projection to create completely immersive spaces. We are able to transform any venue: a restaurant, nightclub, or exhibition space with imagery conjuring worlds and stories without limit. And not just imagery – we believe experiences should be multi-sensory, using audio, smell, touch, and through interactivity, our minds, to lay down powerful, lasting memories.

Why is this important? Because our most vivid memories are knitted together by the interplay of all our senses and, if we remember something, our behaviour is more likely to be inspired by it. Influencing behaviour is the driver behind any experiential campaign, so events need to create experiences which are unforgettable and will lead to action in the future.

Here are some examples of R&D we are carrying at Seeper to whet your appetite: Using internal projection on objects to avoid the need for external mounting of equipment – and turning all sort of objects into interactive displays; combining projection with live scanning of environments to enable projected content to behave as if it were physically there (perhaps, digital leaves blowing in the wind); tracking people and faces to bring live audiences directly into projected content.

Looking forward to the next decade of projection mapping, we’re excited by the potential for both technical innovation and in improvements in the craft and artistry that experience brings.

Ed_Daly_seeper

Ed Daly is managing director of Seeper

Periscope – the positives and the pitfalls

Sarah Baldock, chief executive and founder of Be-good Events, talks about the popularity of live-streaming mobile apps, such as Periscope, and why event professionals should explore their potential.

Live-streaming mobile apps, like Periscope and Meerkat, are huge. In just ten days, Periscope had one million users, and by four months they had 10 million, watching 40 years’ worth of content every day.

It’s the fastest growing social network, and an unrivalled way to truly connect with and engage audiences with the action as it happens. People, brands and organisations are all trying it out for size. Right now, events industry professionals need to be all over it. What better way to support clients in broadening the reach of their event than interacting live with a wider audience?

But, despite the spontaneous feel of Periscope, the nature of live coverage and events means you must be prepared for the unexpected. When Periscope is used by someone with no experience, the results could do more harm than good, and they may not do the content justice or promote the great participation this tool could so easily generate.

I recently had an alert for a live-stream on Periscope. It was from an event hosted by a pretty significant brand, that I would have given my right arm to attend. A key speaker was about to take the stage, so I logged on eagerly, feeling like I had a back stage pass and was going to be privy to some insights that would put me ahead of the pack.

But no. All I got was a wobbly view obscured by an elbow precariously close to a wine glass and a very fuzzy vision of the speaker murmuring incoherently in the background. It wasn’t exactly what I expected. I guarantee it wasn’t how the person filming was experiencing it – and it really was not at all how the speaker or brand would want to be portrayed.

So, how do you maintain the energetic, spontaneous participation of live-streaming and ensure viewers can at least see and hear what’s going on? How do you ensure production values are at a level that the client deserves and viewers expect in order to interact with content?

No news here…you must consult with the professionals. I’m not talking about setting up a recording studio in the event space, just making sure you have consulted with experts who have tested the set up, identified any pitfalls, lighting and sound issues, thought about the speaker or activity, the content and the delivery, and maybe even stabilised the device. And here’s a really important question: do you have enough bandwidth?!

It doesn’t begin and end there. Give your audience warning that you’re about to stream, get them excited and gathered. Once the live-stream is over, your lovely producer can help edit highlights to share across social media platforms.

Periscope for events? It’s good, but only as good as your event production.