With social distancing, new working environments, and much uncertainty, the world is rapidly transforming into a ‘new normal’. The screen has become both a window to the world and our stage for workplace video calls, Zoom social events, online-only concerts, and virtual summits. 

While audiences remain motivated by the need for connection, an influx of virtual events and more time on video for regular work duties, coupled with stay-at-home orders and a crippling virus, has made more people come down with a case of virtual event fatigue. 

Experts surveyed by Culture Intelligence from RED, a leading think tank on media, marketing and the culture, envision that brands that desire to stay on top of their game will have to look for ways to stay connected to its core audience despite restrictions in physical movement. 

“Experience – that’s what consumers are looking for. It doesn’t matter if it’s a networking, brand, or educational event,” says a culture expert in the social sector. “As an event organiser, can you give them something to talk about when they are with friends? Do you have new information they can share with their colleagues? Can you provide them with an experience they will never forget? Many organisers have made the mistake of relegating this new opportunity into a Zoom link and a bunch of PowerPoint presentations. People will get bored and move on relatively quickly.” 

As Nigeria battles a new wave of Coronavirus, brands and businesses that depend on virtual experiences have a significant opportunity to keep audiences engaged. 

“Brands cannot be disconnected from their events. It has to be an extension of how it resonates with its core audience and should be customized to the brand personally,” said a community manager and culture expert. “If you examine the transition of Verzuz, what we initially saw as just live battles have transformed to become the celebration of music and black culture. You enjoy the music, the conversations, comments and reactions, liquor, and jewellery. It is also a collection of branded experiences that they all offer – Ciroc, Apple Music, Verzuz, and Spotify from every product brand involved. This makes the event feel more considered, refined, and ensures it is compelling for everyone.”

The Culture Intelligence from RED weekly report showed that 62.5% of its consumer panel say they had attended virtual events this year, while 37.5% say they have not. Only 29% explained that they would like to join a virtual event this year, while 70.8% claim their interest has waned. However, when asked to rate their experiences at the virtual events they attended over the past year, 69% of the panel scored the events above average.

Culture Intelligence from RED supports companies, governments, and change makers with data-backed insight for evidence-based decision-making. It aggregates the ideas, opinions, and behaviours of consumers to solve problems and identify growth opportunities.


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