e4m e-Conclave 2020: ‘Collaborative, Caring & Contactless is the way forward’
Roshan Abbas, Co-Founder-Kommune, MD-Geometry Encompass, and Brian Tellis, Co-Founder & Group CEO, Fountainhead, MKTG discuss how Experiential will shape up in this zero-touch world
The main leverage point of the Experiential Marketing Industry is to interact with consumers, inciting a connection with the brand whilst giving them a feel and touch of the product or service. It was a great strategy to build consumer interaction and engagement. With the lockdown, this has been restricted. However, this period has also become a Bootcamp for the Industry to recoup and calibrate the experiential industry as a whole.
The second virtual session of the e4m-e-Conclave shed light on the topic: ‘How Experiential will shape up in this Zero-Touch World & Future of Virtual Events.’ Sharing insights on this topic were Roshan Abbas, Co-Founder-Kommune, MD-Geometry Encompass, and Brian Tellis, Co-Founder & Group CEO, Fountainhead, MKTG. Dr Anurag Batra, Chairman, and Editor in Chief, BW Businessworld & Exchange4Media group was the moderator for this session.
Starting off the virtual session, Abbas remarked, “We're in the business of hugs and handshakes. But this pandemic has made me think of different ways to build a loyal audience and ardent followers. I feel this pandemic has brought out a lot of efficiency. I have gone into hyperdrive and now shifting to cruise control.”
Tellis sharing his views on how digital can amplify experiential events said, “We need to focus on the new elements going back to the purpose. The purpose is to further certain agendas. Last Sunday, we were privileged to be at the heart of ‘I For India Concert,’ which was a completely digital-driven forum to raise funds. Experiential put it together. We created experiences and served the end purpose that was to be achieved. We approached it from an amplification medium and made that a driving channel for the purpose of raising funds for COVID-19. It was a strategic change of focus. The objective was the same and the results I think were even better. It is a question of adapting and adopting change. We get stuck in purpose. We create events for purposes. We can still achieve the purpose.”
Abbas spoke about how one can reinvent themselves in this period: “The first thing I tell people is that this is going to be a new universe many people are entering. Digital use to look at physical and say we don’t do that and Physical use to look at Digital saying we don’t understand that. The first thing is not to panic, take a pause and look around you and say what you are in the business of.
“Every brand should get a bunch of creators and some technologists and work together. This is the time to sow a hundred new seeds. We need to find ways to innovate to be prepared for future companies.”
Abbas added that brands that do nothing in this time will lose relevance. “Invest in creating your own digital communities. Build digital avatars for the physical work we do. Concerts have happened online but people need to work on the experience agenda”, commented Abbas.
Tellis believes that we have experientialized principal mediums of engagement. He remarks, “We need to embrace this change and use it to our advantage. Grab the opportunity and take it forward.”
According to Abbas there are missed opportunities. “Brands need to realize this is the time to make revenue and be out there. From a sharing economy, we're moving to the caring economy", he shared.
Tellis says we need to understand what our strengths are. He stated that the 3Cs- Collaborative, Caring, and Contactless economy- are the way forward.
Abbas says the metric of reach engagement views is far more quantifiable and authentic but we need to take a human action for people to participate. “Beacon technology, heat sensors, GPS were used to see how many people were gathering up at booths, attending events. We need to use virtual tech to quantify the same now", commented Abbas.
Tellis sharing his views on when the experiential business will get back on track shared, “It is a no brainer that in our business, Q1 and Q2 is a bit low and Q4 picks up. Q4 is when we are hoping there will be a sense of normalcy that will be restored.”
Abbas feels that a ZOOM certified emcee will be the highest-paid emcee in the future. “If you can learn to balance physical and virtual settings, you'll be big. It's about integrating the right tech and using the talent to engage viewers”, says Abbas.
On a parting note, Tellis remarked, “The term 'Phygital' will come up strongly. It’s the balance between physical and digital. One will not replace the other but will determine effectiveness.”
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