Festivalisation and the ‘New Normal’: Creating multi-sensory event experiences both off and online

What is festivalisation?

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, the global workforce is becoming increasingly dominated by millennials and Generation Z, and this younger demographic is driving exciting change within the events industry. 

 

With a strong conviction that even business events can (and should) spark enthusiasm, this generation has fuelled a collective recognition of the fact that a forgettable, ho-hum event is a losing scenario for both organisers and attendees. The question this age group started asking is, why can’t all events be more like festivals?

 

Festivals differ from other events in their unique capacity to foster a sense of community. They bring people together in a profound sense by creating a space for lively interactions and communal enjoyment, with the result that participants leave with shared memories

 

Festivalisation, therefore, attempts to harness this emphasis on engagement and togetherness by using elements commonly associated with festivals to make other types of events more dynamic, interactive, and memorable. It exploits the ideas that information should pop and events should be ‘experiences’, and it is one of the most worthwhile trends currently influencing the events industry, even–or perhaps especially–given the recent shift to online platforms.

 

The ‘new normal’ has made it more difficult, but also more essential, to create these enjoyable, memorable shared experiences, and festivalisation offers useful tools to achieve this in both off and online scenarios. In a world where many face-to-face interactions have been replaced by virtual ones, it’s an idea that might be more important than ever.

Variety and Personalisation

The festivalisation process begins and ends with the concepts of ‘variety’ and ‘personalisation’; the two ideas go hand in hand. Variety is achieved by providing numerous ways to engage with the content you’re offering. It allows you to address a range of preferences and learning styles and avoid a one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter atmosphere. Your event feels more organic and authentic, attendees are able to create their own agenda, and everyone comes away feeling like they’ve had a personalised experience. 

 

Two of the best ways to build variety and personalisation into your event are by telling stories with your content and taking full advantage of modern technology.

Telling Stories with Your Content

The kinds of interaction offered by a ‘festivalised’ event attempt to bridge the gap between business and entertainment to create a richer, more memorable experience on both sides of the coin. One technique for accomplishing this is to apply the power of narrative. 

 

Stories are effective because they elicit an emotional response. More conventional ways of presenting information encourage emotional passivity, but when our emotions are involved, we are more likely to form lasting memories. Storylines can be woven into every aspect of your content and the experience you provide. You could give your whole event a plot, even a hero. 

 

Telling stories is also a powerful way to foster that all-important sense of community. When you watch a film with a group of friends, what’s the first thing you talk about afterward? Stories form the basis of conversations, and nothing creates community like getting people talking to one another.

 

Incorporating Technology

It has long been established that the more senses that are involved in an experience, the more memorable it is, and technology provides the ultimate path to multisensory engagement. Thanks to the tech revolution, we have more ways than ever before to create varied, interactive content, and the use of technology is an essential aspect of any festivalised event, whether online or in person. 

 

Online events can take advantage of the fact that every participant will be using personal technology to get people to collaborate with one another. This can be achieved via gaming elements, augmented reality, apps, and internet-based activities. In-person events can go a step further to incorporate platforms such as virtual reality and wearable tech. 

 

Like stories, tech-based experiences create shared memories and provide excellent conversation starters, both during and after your event. They even allow you to take the storytelling idea one step further by directly involving your attendees in the story creation process.

Festivalisation and event promotion

Importantly, festivalisation should also be taken into account during the promotional phase of your event. You want your pre-event content to be as engaging and interactive as the event itself.

 

The promotional tools associated with social media are perfect for creating a “festivalised” pre-game buzz. Apps and hashtags help you to create a mini social network which corresponds exclusively to your event, and they are an invaluable tool for helping attendees connect with one another even before your event begins. 

 

Another important strategy associated with the promotional side of festivalisation is creating FOMO, or fear of missing out. You can take full advantage of the various types of content social media allows you to post–text, images, and video–to share ‘teasers’ containing enticing details about your event. By giving attendees a taste of what will be on offer, you create an insider experience that helps them form a connection with your message or your brand, as well as a spirit of anticipation for the event itself.

 

For online events, it is especially important to set the stage with excitement and establish an early precedent for engagement. Finally, keep in mind that the more dynamic an experience you create during the promotional phase, the more your attendees will post about it on social media, and you can harness the power of ‘sharing’ to get your participants to promote the event for you.

More than a buzzword

Sure, ‘festivalisation’ is a buzzword, but it has become a buzzword for a very good reason, and it is really much more than that. The sense of community and shared enjoyment it creates are two of the most powerful experiences you can associate with your brand. 

 

The lack of physical interaction which is an inevitable aspect of online events creates undeniable challenges, but festivalisation provides exciting tools to mitigate these obstacles. Tactics like telling stories and using technology make people feel like they are part of something bigger, something exciting, and they can be applied to both virtual and ‘real-life’ events. 

 

Whether online or off, creativity is key at every stage of the process. Rather than one-dimensional consumer encounters with your brand or your product, festivalised events create multi-sensory, interactive experiences that engage emotions and create lasting impressions.

 

Written by Angie Harms, Copywriter/Proofreader

Why is video marketing so important?

Audiovisual content is an undeniable hallmark of the digital age in which we live. According to Forrester Research, when compared to written text, a single minute of video is worth 1.8 million words to an audience. Many leading companies have recognised the power of video to effectively deliver brand information, both internally and externally, and have thus expanded their digital ecosystems to include video marketing as an essential component.

 

In our modern world, the benefits of using video as a communication channel within your company cannot be overstated. Here is a list of our top five:

1. It’s a simple way to communicate.

The human brain processes images more easily than words. For this reason, many people feel more comfortable watching a video than reading a text. According to BrainShark, the word ‘video’ in an email subject increases open rates by 19% and click rates by 65%.

 

Videos can transmit large quantities of information quickly, comfortably, and effectively to both consumers and employees, and Shocklogic’s video production team can help your company take advantage of the popularity and practicality of this means of communication. For example, we created this video for AIM Group International to promote their products and services.

2. It helps you stay competitive within your market.

In a world where large companies use video marketing consistently and extensively as a communication strategy, you can demonstrate a progressive business ethos and stay ahead of your competitors by tapping into this trend. Popular modes of video production include product summaries, interviews, and live event recordings, among others.

 

Furthermore, according to Cisco, by 2021 more than 80% of all Internet traffic will consist of watching videos, so early implementation of this format will improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), meaning that your company’s webpage will appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

 

Here is an example of a video we produced with The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) to celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2017 showcases the potential for video to increase an organisation’s visibility in a competitive market.

3. It catches consumer attention.

The web today is saturated with an enormous amount of information, and your company must therefore generate content that stands out. According to SmallBizTrends, videos generate 12 times more ‘shares’ than text and images combined.

 

Video provides an ideal medium for showcasing creativity and can allow your company to present products and services from a less-traditional point of view, broadening the aim of your message beyond your target audience. This playful example is a video we produced for CIRED about their mascot, the ‘Cowduck’.

4. Videos make people act.

Videos have proven to be a powerful means of persuading people to take action. Your company can take advantage of this to convince consumers to purchase your products or services. According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing Survey, 84% of people say they have been persuaded to buy a product or service by watching a brand video. 

 

This video is an example of an animation we created for AIM Group International to invite people to the 2019 IMEX exhibition in Frankfurt as well as promote their Eco-bottle.

5. They create emotional connections.

According to an Origin study, giving your product a story is much more powerful than simply supplying a description, and video provides a dynamic, visual means to accomplish this using a variety of editing, production, and animation techniques to influence the viewer’s emotional response.

 

By creating this kind of emotional connection with your audience, video marketing can add an important level of perceived value to the product or service you offer. 

 

Don’t worry, it’s not too late.

If video marketing is not yet an essential aspect of your communications strategy, it should be. The good news is that at Shocklogic, we can help you get up to speed. It’s not too late to step up your video marketing game to deepen your impact and reach a wider audience. Here is a summary of what Shocklogic can do for you.

 

Written by Samuel Peña, Marketing Associate

Shocklogic wins Gold for ‘Favourite Event Technology Supplier – The People’s Choice Award’ at the 2020 Event Technology Awards

 

Shocklogic has been voted ‘Favourite Event Technology Supplier’ at the 2020 Event Technology Awards ceremony held on the 5th of November. The awards celebrate excellence in the events industry by recognising the achievements of companies delivering technology solutions to event planners. The presenters noted that despite lockdown, a record number of votes were cast for this year’s People’s Choice award. 

 

Shocklogic has been supporting the events industry with passionate people power and innovative technology solutions since 1997. The company’s history with the Event Technology Awards dates back to 2015, with shortlistings in several major categories every year. Shocklogic has previously won the bronze and silver awards in the ‘People’s Choice’ category. In addition to this year’s win, Shocklogic was also shortlisted for ‘Best Technology Partnership’ in conjunction with the Royal Academy of Engineering and AMMP.

 

Commenting on the victory, Shocklogic CEO and Founder John Martinez said, “We are absolutely delighted. In a year where the events industry has been more dependent than ever before on effective technology solutions, winning the ‘People’s Choice Award for Favourite Event Technology Supplier’ is an enormous honour”. 

 

The 2020 Virtual Event Technology Awards ceremony can be viewed in its entirety here.

 

 

Written by Angie Harms, Copywriter/Proofreader

Meet with us at Event Tech Live!

The Shocklogic Team will be exhibiting virtually at Event Tech Live from Monday 2nd November – Friday 6th November. There are several ways you can interact with us next week.

 

SCHEDULE A 1-2-1 MEETING

We would love to chat with you personally about your event and technology needs. Visit our virtual stand, and book a slot so we can have a live conversation!

 

First, make sure you have registered here. Then, simply type “Shocklogic” in the “exhibitor” section and request a meeting with either Johnny or William

ADD OUR SPEAKER SESSIONS TO YOUR DAIRY

Our CEO John Martinez and Head of Marketing and Business Development Johnny D. Martinez will be leading three exciting sessions during the conference:

 

Learn how to adapt virtual events to a variety of needs and circumstances with John in Virtual events: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on Monday, 2nd November, 11:00 – 11:30 GMT on The Other Stage.

 

Learn how to create a more engaging and dynamic event experience using ideas traditionally associated with festivals with Johnny in Festivalisation: Creating the ultimate multi-sensory event experience on Tuesday, 3rd November, 10:00 – 10:30 GMT on The Live Stage.

 

Learn the latest tips and tricks to improve your social media marketing strategy with Johnny in Tips for boosting your social media strategy on  Friday, 6th November, 10:00 – 10:30 GMT on The Other Stage.

JOIN US AT THE EVENT TECHNOLOGY AWARDS

The Event Tech Awards are part of the event programme and will take place on Thursday, 5th November from 19:00 – 20:00 GMT. We are very excited to be nominated for two awards: “Best Technology Partnership” with the Royal Academy of Engineering and AMMP, and “Favourite Event Tech Supplier”.

 

As you can see, there is a lot happening next week! We hope to see you there.

 

Written by Lorena Fasui, Marketing Coordinator

All you need to know about Shocklogic at The Meetings Show 2020!

The Meeting Show 2020 starts next week, and we can’t wait! This year’s edition will be completely virtual, and runs over three days, from Monday 19th to Wednesday 21st October. Here is how you can interact with us over the course of the show.

 

Visit our virtual stand

Browse through our virtual stand and check out our virtual solutions! We offer various visually immersive virtual event experiences for different types of events. We can support you to create value and engagement for all your stakeholders.

 

Book a 1-2-1 meeting with us

We would love to learn more about your technology needs. Book a slot so we can have a live conversation!

 

First, make sure you register here. Once you’ve registered, you can connect with our team members through the Swapcard platform.

 

Simply type “Shocklogic” in the exhibitor list and connect with one of our team members. Once connected, you can select an available slot to book a meeting.

Join our educational sessions

Our Head of Marketing & Business Development, Johnny D. Martinez will be talking about “How to create immersive online event experiences”. Have you ever wondered, what do online environments need to have to be able to satisfy the needs of attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and organisers? Here Johnny will guide you through different scenarios of visually virtual event experiences including tips and tricks that can help drive value to all stakeholders.

 

Our CEO, John Martinez will be speaking about “Leadership: is it “work-life balance” or “work-life harmony?” This session will outline real life wellbeing practices that we have applied at Shocklogic over the years, and will also include a live guided mindful breathing exercise.

That’s it from us, we look forward to meeting you at the virtual show!

 

Written by Samuel Peña, Marketing Associate

A recap of Event Wellbeing Month 2020

Event Wellbeing Month 2020 was a campaign run by EventWell that took place in September. This year’s #EventWell20 campaign message was about “the importance of a commitment to providing better support for employees and talent, and to making a positive change to workplace culture and mental health”.

At Shocklogic, we define ourselves as a value-centred company. We are guided by a set of values like “360 degrees of care” and “Be kinder than necessary, because everyone that we come across is fighting their own battle”.

As long-time supporters of EventWell, we wanted to add some of our own messages to the Event Wellbeing Month campaign. We decided to speak to some of our own team members, about how they look after their own wellbeing, inside and outside the workplace.

 

 

Daily breathing exercises

“Our daily breathing exercises are definitely my favourite. These really help me calm myself down and also get to know myself better and my teammates. When I have a busy day and I’m stressed, I take 5 minutes and simply breathe. It’s important to acknowledge when you need a bit of time just for yourself.” – Elvira Roger

 

Speaking to our company counsellor

“I believe that it’s really important to have someone to talk to, both personally and professionally. Our company counsellor helps me to feel supported, and offers me a different perspective on how I’m feeling or seeing the things around me.” – Samuel Peña

 

“Thanks to sessions with our company counsellor, and personal advice from my CEO, I’ve been able to prioritise what is important for me and what truly makes me happy. I believe that it’s essential to pursue our own wellbeing as a priority in our lives.” – William Villalobos

 

Daily check-ins

“I feel that it’s very important to constantly communicate with your team especially during these times. Opening your camera and having daily check-ins help stay connected with your team and understand that someone is there to help.” – Xane Richards

 

Mindful meditation

“Mindful meditation is a great way to develop patience, and focus on the present moment. Practising mindfulness on a daily basis helped me stay focused and keep my feet on the ground. I also practice pilates, yoga and ropes in my spare time which gives me mental clarity and calmness.” – Ana Maria Sully

 

“We all have both good and bad days. Meditation helps me keep positive. Even if you’re not feeling great, it can help to bring out the best of you.” – Natalia Calcetero

 

“I love meditating because it pushes my mind in a different direction. It really gives me the time to be in my own thoughts and realise who I truly am. I also practice Reiki which is a hands-on healing technique that helps with stress and anxiety. When I’m anxious, I tend to grab a notebook and write down my thoughts which brings me mental clarity.” – Ian Premasada

 

 

At Shocklogic, we know how stressful it can be to organise events. We make it our priority to look after our teams, and will continue promoting mental health awareness.

 

Written by Samuel Peña, Marketing Associate

Is it possible to be productive WFH?

2020 has been a big year of change! We have all been forced to adapt to new circumstances, with most meetings moving to the virtual space. Many of us who were used to going to the office on a daily basis, have had to adapt to working from home. But, is it really possible to be productive from home?

The answer is: YES! You even have the chance to increase your productivity levels. But in order to achieve this, you should consider certain aspects of your work environment. We spoke to some members of the Shocklogic team (many of whom already worked from home before the pandemic), to hear how they manage to be productive from each of their homes.

Define boundaries: Lorena Fasui (based in Calimanesti, Romania)

“One of the first things you should do is talk to those who live with you. Even though in my hometown it is not normal to work from home, I spoke to my parents (who I am currently isolating with), from day one. I let them know my working hours, so they are very respectful when I am in meetings, and don’t interrupt me. That also means they know the hours when they can count on my support to do housework, or to have a chat!” 

 

Build your throne: Glen Vasquez (based in Bogotá, Colombia)

“Even though the main point of working from home is flexibility, it is very important that you establish a fixed workplace. You need to design a comfortable space to work in, where you are at ease during all working hours”.

“For this reason, things like lighting, decoration and style are of great importance in order to achieve the necessary concentration to finish the job. The office has to be the throne of work; put in some plants, a painting, or anything that motivates you to keep working from that place”.

 

Get in the mood: Natalia Calcetero (based in Lyon, France)

“Take a shower, get dressed and get ready so that you can get into the idea that you are going to work. Dressing up and putting on make-up helps me to become aware that I am going to work”.

“This does not mean that you should put on your best dress or suit, but rather something comfortable that helps you mentally assume that you are at home, but that you are working. I think it’s important not only to get your mind right, but also for other people to feel that you’re ready for what they need”.

Focus on a single task: Marisol Moreno (based in Miranda, Venezuela)

“Short-term goals need to be established. Working at home gives you a wider picture of all the assignments you need to accomplish. That’s why sometimes we fall into trying to solve all of them at the same time and that makes us get tired gradually”.

“In order to prevent burnout, you have to focus on finishing one task and then move on to the next. Don’t do everything at once. The performance is not the same being multitasking. If you say ‘I am going to focus on this’, you are much more efficient”.

 

Draw your lines: Emma Powell (based in Shropshire, UK)

“At home work can become our only distraction, leading us to work uncontrollably for hours on end. That is why it is necessary to separate when you are working and when you are not”.

“I am a perfectionist, I would work more without a problem but it is necessary to draw a line between your life at work and your personal life. In this way, the boundaries will allow you to concentrate and relax, respectively”.

 

Stay healthy: Santiago Lopez (based in Florida, USA)

“Did you know that many people forget to eat or even drink water during work at home? This is an extremely important matter for people’s efficiency. It’s amazing what helps you concentrate your hydration. I recommend establishing schedules for drinking water and respecting meal times”.

 

Give yourself a moment: Juan Zada (based in Odense, Denmark)

“It is necessary to finish your work, but it is also important that you take it easy. Working at home gives you the comfort to give yourself time to relax. It is not bad that you stop working and come back in five minutes or an hour, what matters is that you accomplish what you should do”.

“It is not balance, it is harmony between your wellbeing and work, so you should not be hard on yourself, you should allow yourself a break from what you are doing”.

At Shocklogic we believe that if you apply this advice, and look after your wellbeing, you will be able to boost your productivity levels from home. You can find out more of our working from home tips here.  

 

Written by Samuel Peña, Marketing Associate

Eventex announces John Martinez one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the Event Industry”

 

Eventex, the premier global event awards, just announced that our CEO, John Martinez, has been selected as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the Event Industry”.

You can read the official press release from Eventex below.

 

 

The results are in as thousands of event professionals across the globe cast their votes for the people who have left a mark on the industry with their creativity, vision and capacity for innovation in 2020.

“As the event industry’s ultimate benchmark, Eventex always provides various ways for companies to get meaningful recognition for their excellent work deserves. But behind every successful company, there are people tirelessly brainstorming ideas, solving problems, and coming up with new ways to create memorable event experiences. People whose work usually doesn’t get the attention it deserves. We are changing this with The 100 Most Influential People in the Event Industry index.” – comments Ovanes Ovanessian, Co-founder of Eventex.

The top 100 was decided entirely by the public who got to nominate and then vote for the people they believe have influenced the industry the most lately. Voting was conducted between the 21st and 28th of August 2020, with over 5500 event professionals casting their vote to decide who makes the prestigious list.

People from 26 countries made the top 100 – USA predictably leading with 32 people, followed by the UK, Poland, Canada, and Spain. Industry behemoths like Kenes Group, BizBash, and IMEX are impressively represented by more than one person on the list.

To see The 100 Most Influential People in the Event Industry list, visit: https://bit.ly/2Dh5VhN

 

Written by Lorena Fasui, Marketing Coordinator

5 tips on how to improve your mental and emotional health

While we are all trying to find new ways to adapt to the “new normal”, too often we tell ourselves “I am too stressed”, or “I can’t get my work done”. Event professionals are definitely no exception, with our fast-paced environments, full of endless tasks and tight deadlines.

 

Nowadays we often try to tackle stress and anxiety from a single direction. We tell ourselves that the psychological stress from overworking can be reduced with a 10-minute meditation exercise once in a while, or a weekend road trip to escape the crowded city and “unwind”. In reality, it’s all about consistency and finding that “peace of mind” state with yourself.

Let’s be clear, not all stress states are bad. Our “fight and flight” response has been developed over 3 million years ago to protect ourselves when we experienced all types of real threats. This is when the “amygdala” (a key component of our emotional brain), is triggered as an alarm system for trouble.

 

The more stress we experience, the more likely we are to have less sleep, make bad food choices and drink more alcohol. Here are some tips on how to control our stress levels and find that balance between our body, mind and soul.

 

1. Put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others

We are reminded of this every time we take a flight. In order to be able to take care of others, you must look after yourself first. When we are under prolonged stress and fatigue, our rational thinking can deteriorate and fall into a state of “cloud decisions”. In order to avoid this, it’s important to make self-care non-negotiable. Try to allocate 10 minutes of your time to stretch while at work, eat a piece of fruit, or go for a short walk each day. Spending time in nature can reduce stress, and help you to be more mindful.

 

2. Find your “raison d’être”

The French phrase “raison d’être”, or “reason for being” is challenging us to ask ourselves: “Why do you get up out of bed every morning?”, “What is your purpose and ultimate aspirations? Is it that because you have an endless to-do list the next day, or do you purposely get out of bed to get closer to your goals? Even though we’re going through a pandemic, it’s important to stick to our goals, and remind ourselves of everything that we’ve gone through to get where we are now.

 

3. Know your limits and reframe your day

We tend to work long hours, then continue ruminating about work in the off-hours, which can eventually lead to burn out. One way to know your limits is to monitor the end of each day, write it down and think about how you can improve it. If you’re struggling to reframe your day, ask yourself: why does it matter?

 

4. Nourish relationship with others, and yourself

During these times, our industry is more connected than ever. We tend to think that nothing beats “face-to-face”, but online is building communities, nourishing relationships and engaging individuals. Now, more than ever, we need to stay connected, and give/ask for help when it is needed.

 

5. Prioritise self-care

In today’s climate, when we are constantly trying to be our very best versions of ourselves, it is not uncommon to run ourselves into the ground. Right now, self-care is more important than ever. It’s easy to slip into the habit of sleeping late and eating junk food and spending all day in your pyjamas, but looking after yourself is essential for your mental health. 

Since self-care is only about yourself, there’s no prescription on when or how to do it. Try creating and sticking to a routine that involves evening walks, morning stretches, calling your loved ones, or anything that really makes you happy. Self-care means sticking to habits that give you a life you don’t need to escape from.

 

Written by Lorena Fasui, Marketing Coordinator

Why being “kinder than necessary” is so important, especially right now

Each week, during our General Scrum (a meeting where our full company gets together), a team member has the opportunity to explain one of our company values. Reshma Rao (who is the PA to our CEO, and also our HR Coordinator), recently shared the value: “Be kinder than necessary, because everyone that we come across is fighting their own battle.”

We thought that Reshma’s words were so relevant, especially during these current times, that we wanted to share them. You can read them below.

I chose this value, because during this time especially, I am connecting with it more. I haven’t had much of a physical, mental or emotional change during this pandemic, which has led me to communicate and interact with others as though they are untouched by it too.

However, after hearing from friends and family, I’ve realised there are quite a few people struggling with either loneliness, anxiety, paranoia of the future, financial difficulties, relationship difficulties and the list goes on. This applies all year round, pandemic or not!!

So what does this value actually require from me? What skills do I need to have to execute this, live and breathe it?

I would say in my experience, patience, the ability to keep my mind still, control of emotions, communication and a sense of balance.

It’s easy for most I would say to be nice, but what happens when someone isn’t doing what you’re asking for or acting and behaving in a way that you can’t understand or that you disagree with?

This is when these skills come into play. If we use the work environment for our example, when someone repeatedly doesn’t do a particular task, we can choose to get angry and speak aggressively or rudely (and please remember your reaction is a choice you make and not something that happens to you), therefore we can choose to react with both parties in mind so we create a win win situation. Stop before speaking and assess what your first thoughts are or first words that are about to come out of our mouth, seek why this person has not done the task over and over again, is there a communication breakdown, could it be from your end, if not then ask them what needs to happen and begin a conversation where they are comfortable to open up, you might find that it is actually something else going on for them that is a huge block, maybe they’re going through a divorce and struggling with this daily and you being harsh doesn’t help them or you!!

What does not being kind actually do to me and do to the other person, it’s a lose lose. We usually don’t feel great walking away from a situation like that, frustration is still present, and usually solutions are not put in place, just an exchange of harsh words or one person talking frustratedly and the other listening with resistance or feeling deflated, so there is nothing moving forward.

I’ve added balance, because it’s not about being kinder than necessary without knowing how to express that whilst being objective enough to move forward for the both of you.

These are skills we need to be working on constantly as for some this isn’t instant. Shocklogic is a great place to explore and develop these as we have meditation, us actively working with these values as part of our company culture, going over these values at least once a week at the general scrum, English classes, Osteopathy for our physical well being, coaching sessions, leadership courses, self development courses and a place you can be open to ask management if there is a particular area you would like to grow and focus on whether it be in a course or a conversation.

I hope this has been clear and useful to you.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Virtual Events: a webinar with John Martinez and COCAL

Shocklogic has been working with COCAL over the past few months, to host several webinars. For the 10th and final webinar in their current series, our CEO, John Martinez was the guest speaker.

With a title like “Virtual Events: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, it was no surprise that John chose to open by playing some of the famous film soundtrack from Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western. John also paid tribute to the film’s composer, Ennio Morricone, who passed away this July.

 

 

John then went on to showcase a variety of virtual event scenarios that suit multiple needs and budgets. When organising a virtual event, we need to make sure we satisfy the needs of the attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and organisers. By doing this, we can boost engagement, and increase the overall life cycle of our events.

Some of the features that should be available with webinars include: 

  • Branding (personalise the platform with your own branding)
  • Browser-based (an easy and effective way for your attendees to get access to the platform)
  • Waiting room (to be able to prepare pre-event)
  • Moderated chat (you can have complete control of what is displayed in the chat)
  • List of attendees (for your post-event reports)
  • View speakers and slides simultaneously
  • The ability to download handouts/ slides

Shocklogic’s own solution, “Webinarlogic”, was the platform for this webinar, which featured COCAL’s own branding. The webinar was presented in Spanish, with a live English and Portuguese translation. It had a wide audience from 19 different countries, including the USA, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Slovakia and the UK.

 

 

To find out more about how Shocklogic can help you host your next virtual event, contact us at info@shocklogic.com.

Written by Lorena Fasui, Marketing Coordinator

10 tips for your virtual events: if you are a speaker

Up your virtual event game! At Shocklogic, we have been helping our clients to host virtual and hybrid events for several years now. Here is a list of our top 10 tips, if you are planning on speaking to a virtual audience.

 

  1. Turn off applications
    When presenting, make sure you turn off any applications that you don’t need. Particularly anything that shows notifications, eg Skype, WhatsApp, or Google Calendar.

 

  1. Check your internet
    Make sure that you have good internet connection and bandwidth. If you are at home, check that no one else is streaming anything during your presentation.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid of silence
    There will most likely be a 3-10 second lag, so consider typing a question, before asking it out loud. This will give your virtual audience time to think and respond.

  1. Use a headset
    We highly recommend that you don’t speak directly into your laptop microphone, use a headset or an external microphone instead. The best way to avoid feedback is to update your computer’s audio settings, so the input and output is assigned to your headset.

 

  1. Use the mute button
    Make sure you always mute yourself when you are not speaking. Try to isolate yourself, and be mindful of background sounds. Check your surroundings for any other noises that might distract you, or your audience.

 

  1. Check your appearance
    Be mindful of what you wear, and what you have in the background. Bright clothing is always a winner! Also consider the use of a branded virtual background, to enhance your presentation Before presenting, test how you appear on camera. Remember that your session may be recorded, and be available online for many others to view for some time!

 

  1. Adjust your camera
    Adjust your laptop or webcam, so that your head and shoulders take up the majority of the frame. Be mindful not to cut off the top of your head. For formal sessions, make sure your display is landscape, without any black bars on the sides. If you need to, place your computer on top of some books, to position your camera at your eye level, and get the angle just right!

  1. Make eye contact with the camera
    No matter what is happening on screen, make sure that you look directly into the camera, as you would with a face-to-face meeting. This includes when you are listening to your audience/other speakers, and not speaking. When you are not looking directly into your camera, it might appear that you are not paying attention. If you are sharing your screen, make sure it is the screen that contains your camera.

 

  1. Don’t be scared to say “I don’t know”
    During the Q&A portion of your session, attendees might ask questions that you don’t actually know the answer to. It is ok to say “I don’t know”! This will give your audience/other speakers an opportunity to give their own answer, and facilitate further discussion. You could even encourage attendees to Google a question, and share the answer with the group.

 

  1. Assign a virtual moderator
    Running a virtual session is not as simple as it seems! If you find it overwhelming to multitask between speaking, keeping up with the written chat, and moderating the discussion, assign a virtual moderator. Your moderator can then perform these audience engagement tasks, keep an eye on the chat room, and feed you questions. Empower them to speak up if there are any audience questions that you have not yet answered.

 

If you would like help in hosting your next virtual event, contact us at info@shocklogic.com to book a demo. 

A recap of the webinar: “How to create a visually immersive event experience”

Our CEO, John Martinez recently hosted the webinar “How to create a visually immersive event experience”, with the Association of Association Executives.

With our current shift to virtual events, this webinar focused on new and innovative ways to deliver online event experiences. John explained that this is not a new concept here at Shocklogic, as we have been working with our clients to deliver virtual events for several years now.

 

 

We have identified that there are some key areas of most online event experiences:

  • Sponsors
  • Programme
  • Exhibitors
  • Networking
  • Support

These items can be connected using our “Virtual Single Profile eCosystem”.

 

 

John also shared the 8 key features that we believe a webinar should include:

  1. Branding (personalise the platform with your own branding)
  2. Browser-based (easiest access)
  3. Waiting room 
  4. Moderated chat (have complete control of what is displayed)
  5. List of attendees
  6. View speakers and slides simultaneously
  7. Ability to download handouts/slides

 

 

To find out more about our virtual offerings, view our brochure.

Working as an intern for Shocklogic: a farewell letter

Simona Garabagiu worked as a Finance Intern at Shocklogic in London for 4 and a half months in 2020. Recently, her internship came to an end, and sadly she needed to return back to the Netherlands, where she is completing her studies.

Simona presented a speech to our whole company on her final day, and it was extremely moving. We were so touched (there were many tears!), that we wanted to share it. You can read her full letter below.

 

Simona, Pritesh, Lorena and Johnny

 

I am very happy to have been a part of Shocklogic in the Finance team as part of my internship from my university in the Netherlands. Even if it has been a short period of time, only 4 months and a half, in a very short time, everyone became very close people to me as I have been welcomed warmly from the very beginning.

Thank you, John, for welcoming me from the first day when I entered the office for the first time. Thank you for showing me around, as I was so scared because of uncertainty and because of not knowing anyone. Thank you for motivating me to get to love this job and for your constant feedback.

Thank you, Pat, for being so nice to me and for continuous support. I love our daily calls and your way of being so positive. By being so, you encourage me and Avvan a lot on a daily basis to never give up and that we can always ask and work on tasks together, whenever we have any unclarities. Thank you for the clear and straight-to-the-point explanations that helped me to get to learn new abilities and get to the final results which I aimed for.

Thank you, Avvan, for having a lot of patience, explaining all the processes to me by small steps from the very first day. Thank you for being there every day, explaining again if needed. Thank you for your support while working with me on complex tasks to find a perfect solution together. Thank you for your understanding and attitude. You are unstoppable. Keep rocking!

Thank you everyone for the willingness to always help and answer the queries quickly whenever needed. Thank you for your effort and passion for work, which is really admirable.

Describing overall my experience at Shocklogic, I learned the basics of Accounting and Finance by doing the daily tasks, which I am very thankful for as this was my first working experience. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Shocklogic, is 360 degrees of care between all the departments. For me, it is valuable that there is tight cooperation among all the members and that there is always constant support. I appreciate this because it is very important how employees feel in a company. At Shocklogic, personal satisfaction leads to great results. This is what makes Shocklogic unique and I love Shocklogic for this.

Thank you everyone. You are amazing. I will miss you.

Lots of love,

Simona

Generation Z: How to engage with young digital natives

Up until now, millennials were described as needy and the most talked about generation to date. A new group is making its way onto the workforce landscape: Generation Z.

Generation Z (those born from 1997 onwards) are a generation who have been raised under the social web umbrella, and are often described as being “sensitive”, “born to swipe” and “stay at home”. 

We are currently living in an era where producing your own content can turn you into an online “entrepreneur” – from a makeup guru on YouTube to an influencer in the TikTok community. These days, the internet has defined Gen Z as the new “global influence”.

According to GenZ Insights, research shows that 55% of Gen Zedders would prefer tuning into live-streamed events, rather than attending them.

Trends change from generation to generation, which means so must the strategies of meeting planners. So, what do we need to know about the expectations of Gen Zedders, and how do we design a meeting tailored to the “digital generation”?

 

Gen Z are more demanding

They place a higher value on factors such as personal experiences, sustainability and flexibility, and attach more importance to a brand’s ethics. Ask yourself: does your event contribute to a social or environmental cause that can drive impact?

 

They are constantly looking for experiences

Interestingly, over 75% value experiences over products which results in the rise of attendance of live events such as festivals, concerts and gigs. Figures have shown that 80% of meeting planners focus on curating immersive experiences including elements of festivalisation or tailored attendee experiences.

According to Ryan Jenkins, Millennial & Generation Z expert, 87% of meetings and conferences worldwide are held at hotel venues, conference centres or resorts. What if, organisers would use intriguing places such as an airplane hanger, haunted mansion or a huge open aquarium? We need to think of ways to make conferences fresh and exciting.

 

They are consumer communities

Gen Zedders value online communities because they consider that they are created by causes and interests, and not by educational levels or economic backgrounds (based on a study conducted by McKinsey & Company). Event planners should consider creating meaningful events that are on-brand, and that meet the needs of the community that they’re trying to connect with.

 

They want to be “social media” connected

This generation is always looking for instagrammable moments, and opportunities to share quick snaps from every place they visit. They are “quick” content consumers, with an attention span of just 8 seconds,  so they don’t like to go through a lot of effort to get their latest news.

If you are looking to place your event at the forefront of this generation of youngsters, thinking strategically of what they consume and what their preferences are like, is very important.

According to Forbes, they value influencer marketing, so they are more likely to attend an event that involves their “role models” and share their values and interests.

 

They are very tech-savvy 

Compared to their predecessors, Gen Zedders have grown up with technology, and have no resistance when it comes to tech. They expect innovation and want to see high tech experiences from the latest trends, AI, augmented reality and gamification elements.

Meeting planners need to adapt to the new “digital” generation and understand their behaviours and learning preferences. Events are all about creating lasting memories, so it’s important to understand how to engage the new generation of youngsters and create immersive experiences.

Written by Lorena Fasui, Marketing Coordinator.

Eventex Connect announces John Martinez one of the Top 50 Virtual Meetings & Events Innovators

Eventex Connect, the online trade show for virtual meetings and events, announced Shocklogic one of the Top 50 Virtual Meetings & Events Innovators in the industry today. The list acknowledges the growing importance of virtual events and the people who stand out with their creativity, vision, and innovative approach.

“The global pandemic made pivoting to virtual one of the hottest topics in the events industry, but the people behind these groundbreaking changes just don’t get enough recognition. We feel now is the perfect time to rectify that” – comments O. Ovanessian, co-founder of Eventex.

 

 

What makes this recognition so tremendous for John Martinez is the top 50 index is decided by the people in the event industry. Everyone on the list was nominated and then voted for by their peers. The Eventex team, carrying out the final preparations for Eventex Connect on June 10-11, wants to congratulate everyone who made the top 50 innovators of great virtual experiences and events –  kudos and keep up the fantastic work!

More information about Eventex Connect and the full Top 50 Virtual Meetings & Events Innovators list can be found at https://eventex.co/connect/.

John Martinez interviews Elie Dagher from “Lead from Within”

On 19th May, our CEO John Martinez interviewed Elie Dagher, founder of Lead from Within, live on our Youtube channel.

Elie is a professional certified coach and the founder of Lead from Within, a self and collective leadership practice, coaching professionals on developing emotional intelligence, leadership, and communication skills.  

John, together with many of our team members attended the Lead from Within workshops which helped us develop both self-management and leadership skills. At Shocklogic, we are big advocates of leadership and terms such as awareness, vulnerability, compassion and kindness are deeply rooted in our culture.

The interview focused on three pillars: emotional intelligence, team dynamics and optimal engagement. Some of the best bits from the interview are below.

 

 

JOHN: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where does Lead from Within come from?

ELIE: I am the founder of Lead from Within which is a leadership and coaching development organisation. At the core, I am dedicated to the development of human potential. I have found ways through my education, experience and interests to be able to support individuals and teams. Some of these ways are deep coach processes, emotional intelligence and team dynamics.

 

JOHN: How would you explain emotional intelligence?

ELIE: There are five most important skills that describe emotional intelligence, as we develop them, it’s going to serve specific intellectual topics: the awareness of self (mindfulness), the ability to manage oneself, social (surrounding awareness), managing the relationship with the environment and empathy.

 

JOHN: Why do you think emotional intelligence is important in leadership? How would you define leadership?

ELIE: I’d like to make the distinction between management and leadership. Management are the individuals that have the responsibilities to manage an environment, to create a culture. What I call self-leadership is the leadership from within, the concept that we are all leaders at heart, leaders of our own lives. With more emotional intelligence, there’s more wellbeing.


JOHN: What can we do to improve our emotional intelligence as leaders?

ELIE: I think it’s important to realise that working on emotional intelligence is like working on any other muscle from our bodies. There needs to be a clear commitment to want to improve our emotional intelligence. First of all, It’s important to know your goals and what you are aiming for. For example, do you want to be better at communicating? Or have more self-management in times of crisis? It has to start small and by practicing it day by day, we can become masters.


JOHN: Can you give some examples of techniques on how to improve our emotional intelligence?

ELIE: First of all, we have to learn how to pause and how to be aware of the present moment. Also, self-awareness is not all about being present, but also the awareness of who we are. What are our triggers? Our values? What are the things that satisfy us? One method that we can practice is just to sit down and answer those questions.


JOHN: Can you tell us a little bit about the framework of the 5 dysfunctions of a team?

ELIE: The framework was created by Patrick Lencioni whose premise is very simple: the concept is to bring to life things that are intangible when it comes to team dynamics. The main pillar is the absence of trust which can affect team effectiveness. If there’s no trust, conflict cannot be approached and can affect the commitment of every team member. In the end, this translates into the absence of accountability, and the results can be affected.

If you missed the live interview, you can watch it here.

Written by Lorena Fasui, Digital Marketing Associate.

A recap of our webinar “Managing remote working during a crisis: how to look after ourselves, and our teams”

On 28th April, Shocklogic hosted our very own webinar with our partners, Visit Belfast. The webinar was called “Managing remote working during a crisis: how to look after ourselves, and our teams”. With many of us swapping the office for our homes recently, this was a great opportunity for us to share our experiences, and have a discussion between our industry peers.

We were lucky enough to have Helen Moon of EventWell as our moderator, plus Anna Clark from the British Pharmacological Society, and Johnny D. Martinez from Shocklogic, as our panelists.

 

 

Johnny started off the webinar by sharing Shocklogic’s company values, and a list of working from home tips that we put together. For example, we recommend that you start your day with stretches, and try out some mindful breathing exercises. Deep breathing can help you relax, and is a great way to lower the stress. Here you can view a PDF version, and a video version, of our full set of tips.

Anna followed with some great coping techniques that she’s using with her team, and some personal tips on how she’s looking after herself during work. She shared with the audience this article on how to stop feeling overwhelmed at work which is very helpful! One of the tips she tells herself is: “be kind, it’s okay to have some days where I’m not as productive as others,  and ensure I have a lunch break and turn my laptop off at the end of the day”.

 

 

We ended the session with some Q&A, that included plenty of questions from the audience such as how to implement mindfulness, and how to provide a counsellor within your organisation.

To finish the blog, we are going to leave you with some wise words from Helen: “There’s no perfect solution that fits everybody, so just do the best you can. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or try to achieve perfection.” “We’re all in this together. We’re all uniquely different, so we are all going through different situations, different environments in these challenging times. Remember, be kind to each other, have compassion and empathy towards people you work or live with.” 



If you missed our webinar, you can watch it back here.

To find out more about how Shocklogic can help you to host your next webinar, view our brochure.

Written by Lorena Fasui

Brightelm webinar: Creating value for your sponsors in virtual events

Virtual events have been picking up for the past few weeks as event profs adapt to the current global situation and strive to continue putting on events online.

Shocklogic has been hosting online and virtual events for a few years now, and were invited to be a part of a webinar with Brightelm on 24th April.

The webinar focused on how to create value for sponsors and exhibitors when using online and virtual events. One aspect of many events is sponsorship, which in this current situation can be challenging. Without physical spaces that can be used for brand promotion, what are the options?

The webinar featured the following speakers:

One thing that was highlighted by Gabrielle Mouterde was that in order to join the virtual events journey, you need to rethink many aspects of the event planning process. When it comes to online content, we need to consider how people consume it, and think of additional options. We need to start having conversations with the people that are getting affected, such as sponsors.

Dolores Cantelli Florido mentioned that “We have a voice that we can use to exchange information”. We have to look into the new expectations that come with the shift to virtual events. She emphasised the need of having a platform that allows a fruitful gathering with both current customers and new prospects, and freedom to implement activities in which industry partners can show and prove the uniqueness of their offering.

 

 


Caroline MacKenzie discussed the topic of compliance in a virtual environment, and explained that one of the most common concerns of sponsors is the importance of a virtual event to be compliant. You need to have that discussion with the sponsors and establish the format and quality of the content and you as an organiser, you need to have an idea of what you are offering from advertising, static content, Q&A and meet the expert, or many others.

 

 


Finally, Pritesh Mawdia spoke about the importance of data management in a virtual environment. Nowadays, we can collect data at any point from the registration openings to the event itself broadcasted live which is a great opportunity for sponsors to collect data pre-event. These allow sponsors to create pre-recorded content which gives attendees more credibility.

If you missed it, you can watch the full webinar here.

Written by Lorena Fasui, Digital Marketing Associate

Global Meetings Industry Day Goes Virtual

Every year, event profs from around the world come together to celebrate Global Meetings Industry Day. This year, we celebrated things a little differently.

On the 14th April, at a time when everyone was being asked to isolate themselves due to the global pandemic, the events industry came together like it has never done before, for #GMIDgoesvirtual.

The aim was to attempt to bring together 15,000 event profs to share knowledge,  and to break the Guinness World Record for most participants in a virtual meeting.

Looking into the future, Mélanie Joly (Former Minister of Canadian Heritage), shared “My message to the businesses out there, is a message of hope and confidence in our future. We need to make sure that we will cross the bridge together.”

With a total of 12,500 people connected online, #GMIDgoesvirtual was a triumph, highlighting the passion, creativity and connectedness of our industry.

 

 

Earlier in the day, Johnny D. Martinez, our Head of Marketing & Business Development at Shocklogic, was part of “Mind & body: mental and physical wellbeing” webinar hosted by  Events Industry Council. Johnny was joined by Mariela McIlwraith, Rachael Riggs and Stephanie Harris, to discuss three important pillars in the events industry: security, sustainability and wellness.

According to the IRF 2020 Wellness in Meetings and Incentive Travel study, two thirds of meeting planners revealed that stress has an incredible impact on their wellbeing.

Rachel mentioned “Today is the time to start thinking about your wellbeing and where you are with your job. Staying hydrated, maintaining a positive attitude and prioritizing self-care is essential.” She also explained that it is important to stay connected, and network with industry friends even virtual.

Johnny pointed out that we need to put our oxygen masks first, before helping others: “There’s no shame in talking to other people about your problems. As a millennial, I encourage others to step forward and acknowledge when they need support”. As a big advocate of mindfulness, Johnny explained the benefits of mindfulness and how it helps us stay in the present moment. He also hosted a live mindful breathing exercise.

 

 

Stephanie reminded us that amid the negative news on the global pandemic, it is important to keep track of the silver linings this crisis enables from a sustainability perspective: “We are living in a time of restricted access, so practicing sustainability has never been more on the forefront”.

We must think about the new habits that we can create right now, that can become more part of our lives in the future. From choosing to walk/cycle to work instead of public transportation, to being more conscious on how we can minimise our supplies to what we actually need. It really is an opportunity for us to shift our mindset.

To watch the full recording of #GMIDGoesVirtual, visit this link.

Written by Lorena Fasui, Digital Marketing Associate at Shocklogic