One positive is that organisations that were previously strapped for time are now prioritising technology improvements. Many leaders who were considering streamlining their use of technology, including CRM and Marketing Automation, are now committed to taking transformative action because their teams have more time and more flexibility to attend online calls and meetings.
The impact on our hotel customers was immediate and so we knew that we had to shift gears. Our events were suddenly no longer about acquisition; they were about education, knowledge-sharing and support at a time of genuine need and uncertainty. Our first virtual series brought together 5,000 hotel delegates within two weeks.
Generally, we will have small presentations with targeted people invited, followed by a Q&A session. We leverage that as a door opener to then follow up with those clients to gather feedback from the event and develop further dialogue with participants.
At Ingram Micro, we hosted a virtual Webex event for our customers. We invited industry experts from Cisco and Ingrammicro to discuss how we can Navigate this new normal together as business partners and how we can support our customers in this journey. As part of the event we had a virtual escape room and a Gin and tonic tasting experience for our customers which was great fun.
I don’t think we will see an immediate return to live events at the same scale we are used to, even when a vaccine has rolled out. We will go through phases from fully virtual, an intermediate phase where there are COVID-specific rules and measures in place, to going back to the capacity we were used to in a few years’ time. For the short term, this will mean fewer people, specific directional walkways and more sanitisers, which will create the need of running both live and virtual events at the same time in order to make the events financially viable.
Humans are pretty agile at adapting.That’s why we’ve survived. We've learned how to adapt ourselves and our family situations to cope with electronic meetings, not worrying if the dog walks in or if there are child wars going on because we all accept we're living real lives. The adaptability and speed of the change has been remarkable.
Face to face events can be time consuming and expensive. Webinars and virtual events are seen as cheaper and easier, however, getting the content and technology working in harmony means that actually the time taken to put both together are probably about equal.
I think physical meetings and events will always be an important part of sales and marketing, although virtual meetings have been a fantastic substitute, that are now very much part of how business will operate, there’s a rush to finish the conversation and get to the next thing. In a physical meeting, there’s more time to really build a rapport, and get under the skin of an organisation.
I feel like we are working a lot more during lockdown. Because we are working remotely there is little or no separation between our personal and work hours. This also due to the fact we are working in mixed time zones, I have colleagues in Europe, South America and North America. Rather than being in the office and then being at home, it all blends into one.
We haven’t had any events cancelled or postponed, they have all transitioned to digital. The content isn’t going away, you’re just moving the platform. The real selling point is making sure you have the right community, the right local and regional end users, and provide interaction through group chat, moderated Q&A sessions and so on. I think as a result our company will come out of this in a much stronger position because we’ve transitioned the business, rather than closing it down.
We offer mobile, on-premise (Digital Transformation Centers) and virtual co-creation environments that create a neutral space in which we run fast-paced, highly-focused co-creation and co-design sessions with our customers and expert partners. Using Fujitsu Human Centric Experience Design approach, we review together an assigned business challenges from different perspectives, such as that of the human beings impacted, and the wider company purpose, before reframing them into a positive vision from which we generate more transformational ideas and solutions concepts that can lead to rapid prototyping. We work at our customer’s pace, enabling to further their vision, and to generate new pathways to achieve transformational outcomes for their organization and their stakeholders. We combine empathetic, rational, and pragmatic thinking to move faster from a set purpose to concrete achievements.