Flow Communications

There is little doubt that corporate eventing has changed forever, with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing brands to reassess and radically adapt the way they hold events. According to inbound marketing agency IMPACT’s global industry report, video and web conferencing will account for 80% of all internet traffic in 2021.

With virtual events here to stay for the foreseeable future, the question is: how do brands keep these events interesting for their audiences?

Keeping audiences engaged is a huge challenge, especially since people’s attention spans are reportedly much shorter online. In fact, one study suggests that our online attention span has fallen to eight seconds. That is almost as bad as that of a goldfish!

But all is not lost, if brands remember that an engaged audience will still pay attention to what is said and done during an online event. This presents organisations with a golden opportunity to add interactive and engaging functionality to their digital events.

And that’s where Flow’s online event platform comes into play. The platform, developed in-house by the Flow team, was designed after many of Flow’s clients expressed an interest in using a bespoke, interactive space that moved away from Zoom’s grid of talking heads and death by PowerPoint.

Audience participation remains key

When Flow set about developing its platform, the development team designed several features to ensure that delegates’ interest would be held during an event. On the Flow platform, participants can comment, take part in polls and Q&As, engage directly with the expert or moderator panel, and download additional content – all in one visually rich space.

In October 2020, Flow hosted the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation Lecture, where participants even wished the Arch a happy birthday and donated to the foundation.

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Keeping audiences socially engaged

On the Flow platform, social media feeds are integrated into the space, allowing delegates to track and engage with conversations that are taking place outside the online event space.

“The best example of this is when we hosted President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address. As you can imagine, Twitter was alive with different comments and opinions. People watching the event on our platform could still see what was happening without having to leave the space,” says Thrishni Subramoney, head of online events and training at Flow.

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Flow has hosted numerous online events, including the 2021 virtual State of the Nation Address.

Branding is still the cornerstone of awareness

The Flow online event platform is also fully customisable, allowing brands, partners and sponsors to “own” virtual spaces within the event, such as the homepage banner, dedicated pop-ups, title straps and login and registration pages. In July 2020, Flow hosted the 18th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, delivered by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres for the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

“We had people attend this event online from all over the world, so it was important to build a space where the foundation’s brand was prominent and visible to this large, global audience,” says Thrishni. 

Google Analytics reported that the Nelson Mandela Foundation Events App received 3 769 unique users, and 4 835 unique sessions on the day.

Technical support can make or break an event

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For many brands, hosting online events is new and so the full support of an experienced technical team is imperative to the success of the event. Flow provides a technical team that is well versed in the platform’s tools and the technology for each event – after all, we built it. A Flow virtual-event producer helps to bring the different technical components of the event together to ensure a valuable and cohesive experience for all participants. This was the case when Flow assisted the European Union to deliver its Team Europe Climate Diplomacy Week in South Africa online.

Watch the video below to find out how the Flow online events platform could take your virtual event to the next level, and then get in touch with Tara Turkington: tara@flowsa.com.

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