• Emily Goh Yi En

How To Make Virtual Events As Impactful As Onground Events

Ever since the whole COVID-19 situation, one of the biggest marketing tools was thrown right out the window - Events.

As much as we believe in the power of digital ads and social media to drive various marketing campaigns, we know that there is something very special and unique about on-ground event activations - especially when it comes to creating buzz or celebrating the launch of a new product. We have seen many different forms of virtual events trying to fill the gaps, such as countless FB/IG Live sessions that have flooded our social media timelines. However, it just does not seem to be able to create a similar impact on our target audience the same way on-ground event does. With this in mind, our team here in Crunch By Nuffnang decided to take the plunge and create a virtual event launch for our client from Guardian to activate a brand launch for Kundal, which is exclusively sold at Guardian Malaysia. What was our main objectives of activating this event:

  1. To create a virtual event launch to highlight the product USPs of Kundal’s hair and body care series.

  2. To recreate a comprehensive brand experience for the engaged influencers that replicates the impact and engagement of an on-ground event.

With these objectives in mind, here is how we curated the virtual event launch to create a brand experience as close to an on-ground event as possible:

1. Why did we choose to use Google Hangouts instead of FB/IG Live?

When you are in a shopping mall just minding your own business, and you see an event held in the concourse area, what do you do? Perhaps take a peek, if its really interesting you will probably stand around and look for about 5 - 10 minutes and then go back to your own agenda right?

Photo Credits: The Star

Likewise, with FB or IG Live, as much as there is a perceived bigness of the virtual event, it may come across as just something for the target audience to drop by, take a peek and tune out and go about their social media activities. With that behaviour, our retention rate for the event will take a hit, and we are not able to truly convey the messaging of the virtual event effectively. Hence, we decided to host the virtual event launch on a closed platform like Google Hangouts (you could always opt for other alternatives like Crowdcast, Zoom etc) to replicate the exclusivity of an invite-only close event that aims to create an experiential event for the attendees.

A close, invite-only event can create a stronger connection with your target audience. Other than the experience of the attendees, by hosting the virtual event launch on this platform, we are able to also see and interact with the engaged influencers on screen - which can definitely add to the star factor for the other attendees.

And the cherry on top of it all, with a closed platform, we are able to truly engage in a two-way communication and interact with the attendees in a more personal way.

2. How did we further strengthen the brand experience with this virtual launch?

To recreate a brand experience from an on-ground event, going down the route of hard-selling the product would not work to create an authentic connection with the target audience. Hence, we curated the virtual event launch as closely as possible to an on-ground event where we had a haircare segment with a professional hairstylist to share hair care tips and styling ideas with the audience. To further encourage a more interactive experience, we shared the pointers via an interview Q&A session with the hairstylist, which also facilitated more questions from the rest of the attendees.

To further add value to the attendees, we also had a segment to highlight the benefits of the key ingredients of Kundal products via a recipe sharing session. We invited a holistic nutritionist to create recipes with honey and macadamia nuts (the primary ingredients of Kundal’s hair and bath care series) to share with the audience.

That way, we are able to create a stronger impression on the health benefits of the ingredients, not just used topically, but for our health in general - positioning Kundal as a brand that is natural and can be trusted by the consumers.

3. How did we further encourage participants to engage in the session? Aside from the haircare and recipe session, we also hosted giveaways in between the segments to encourage the engagement of the attendees. Besides creating further hype within the virtual event, this can also drive product trial and gauge the interest of the audience in trying out Kundal’s products. Based on this event, across 8 giveaway sessions, we foster total participation of 791 answer submissions to win Kundal’s products. This also further strengthen the retention of the brand’s USPs as the questions were very much driven to product information such as what are the key ingredients in Kundal’s hair and bath product series, what fragrance variants are available etc.

Through this virtual event launch, the team at Crunch By Nuffnang showed that a virtual event launch can be made to replicate the authentic experience of an on-ground event, as long as the ideation behind the event is well thought of while ensuring that the event substance will bring true value to the target audience.