Here at FG|PG, adaptability and nimbleness make up the foundation of our organization’s DNA.
With the live event industry’s shift from in-person to digital/virtual practically overnight, we’ve spent countless hours in the lab, researching and experimenting with the elements and ingredients needed to make up a successful digital event. What we’ve found truly reflects the vastness of the digital world itself: the possibilities are as infinite as our imaginations.
We recognize that the boundless possibilities can be daunting, so where do you turn when you’re overwhelmed with options and don’t know where to start?
Look no further! We’re here to help simplify the process at put our clients’ minds at ease.
In our research and development, we’ve come up with three main categories of offerings when it comes to digital/virtual events. All three are customizable to suit our clients’ needs. We’re confident that, with your vision and our expertise, we can successfully bring your event to life in the digital space as seamlessly as we execute physical events.
To help us break down the three options and how to discern which option is best for you, we have enlisted the help of our Senior Technical Manager, Justin Truluck.
First, let’s quickly name and break down what these main offerings are.
Over the past few months, we’ve researched and narrowed down three broad categories of solutions that we can offer our clients:
Web Browser-Based: An event platform option based on accessibility via common web browsers (ie. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, etc.). Of the three categories, this one will be our simplest and most scalable solution; it can be as basic or as robust as our client’s needs dictate. We consider this our generally most accessible option; the only thing an attendee would need is access to a web browser and they’re ready to go.
Application-Based: An event platform option that involves a fully immersive virtual experience. This option is based on using a custom-built standalone application. If clients are looking for something more custom, engaging, and cutting-edge and have the appropriate development time to execute, this would be our best recommendation.
Hybrid Platform: The utilization/combination of components of both the browser and application-based options.
What types of features are available through each of these options?
In terms of features available when the platform is live, most features are generally available on any of the three options, such as registration/ticketing, video livestreaming and/or prerecorded on-demand video content hosting, product demos, and live interactivity between attendees (ie. virtual event lobby, games, chat, etc.).
Live collection of event metrics and post-event metrics capture is also available through all options, though the specific types of capture vary between options.
How much lead time would clients need to consider when developing a virtual event?
Depending on the chosen platform, we’d suggest 1-5 months for a browser-based event platform and 5-10 months for an app-based event platform.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that these development timeframes are very basic. Of course, as clients choose to add more features to their digital event, the lead times increase as well, especially if those features are custom to the event itself.
Aside from the timeframe, are there any limitations that clients should be aware of when choosing a platform?
Browser-based platforms can be a less-immersive experience than app-based platforms, which means that attendees tend to not be as engaged with the platform itself (though not necessarily with the content). Browser-based options also tend to be more templated, meaning fewer custom configurations options are available.
App-based platforms tend to require a much larger budget, since they are fully-custom, ground-up builds. Applications are also generally only built for one operating system (ie. Apple iOS, Microsoft, etc.); to make an application accessible for all attendees, we would need to develop separate versions of the same app for support over multiple operating systems.
As with anything tech-heavy, there is somewhat of a learning curve to navigating custom apps, which makes it harder to engage if users aren’t very technically savvy. Lastly, more development is needed to integrate other existing platforms (ie. social media like Facebook/Instagram, video-hosting like YouTube/Vimeo, etc.).
How would you recommend clients choose which platform suits them best?
Choosing a digital event platform is not a one-size-fits-all concept, and is mainly dependent on many factors such as the type of event (ie. tradeshow exhibit, proprietary conference, live product demos, webinar, etc.); goals and objectives for the event; comfort level with the technology for both the client and their end-users; the event’s target audience; and budget and timeline.
We understand that there are many options to choose from when it comes time to partner with an agency that will bring your virtual event to life. We also understand that this might be new territory for a lot of people. Digital/virtual events have only been forced to the forefront of the experiential marketing industry as an alternative to in-person experience because of safety during these challenging times.
So why, you might ask yourself, choose FG|PG?
If you’re familiar with our work, you’ve experienced our work ethic first-hand.
We put the same amount of creativity and care into developing our virtual event platforms as we do with our world-class live/in-person activations. The in-person aspect of events may have been temporarily put on hold, but our standards for flawless executions have not.
We have assembled a world-class team of experts in the digital event space to devise and deliver the same level of quality of service we would typically deliver for live in-person events. Our team has dedicated time and resources towards research and development on the most successful tools and solutions for our various digital/virtual event platform offerings, all while keeping the needs and objectives of our clients at the forefront.
Not sure exactly which platform is right for you? We’re here to help!
Our team also possesses the expertise to advise on which platform will work best to meet your goals and objectives. We’re cognizant that choosing a platform is not a one-size-fits-all experience, but our experts can help you find the best fit for you and your event.
We understand brands need to connect to their audiences now more than ever, and we’ve dreamed up exciting ways that allow our clients to do just that. Whether you are looking to develop a small intimate environment to a large digital conference, FG|PG has the skill and experience to help bring your vision to life in the virtual space.