Strategy, Planning and Creative

Pampered Chef Delivers a Record-Setting, Virtual Event.

CHALLENGES OFTEN bring about our greatest advancements. The current event environment is just one of those opportunities. Finding new ways to meet with those we serve has become the lead topic in many conversations. Since the beginning of the human gathering, mediums have been, well, just mediums. The real answer lies in connection, humanism and quality interaction. The virtual strategy you engage should embody that experience.

Using an example or case study is one of the best ways to see how a strategy translates through the planning, execution and evaluation process. Here is the story of how Pampered Chef developed and produced its first virtual, National Conference.

THE OBJECTIVES

The objective was to produce an exhilarating multi-day event that engaged their community of consultants, while serving as both their 40th Anniversary Celebration and National Conference. It needed to include product launches, annual recognitions, educational programming, presenters, social media engagements, entertainment and an energizing keynote address.

Additionally, a goal of the conference was to ensure a distinctive, high-quality immersive event through every attendee’s experience, thereby aligning with, and amplifying the legacy brand’s purpose of “enriching lives.” Lastly, the event’s fit and finish, transitions, spatial branding, design and interactive graphics were expected to be connected, seamless, beautiful and elevated.

THE CHALLENGES

Deliver the aspirational attributes of Pampered Chef’s historical live experience for its North American consultants—intimacy, energy and the self-improving ambition of “making every day better”—during a global pandemic which has become America’s constant contagion. We were challenged with creating, producing and executing an event where over 20,000 consultants could safely “stay away, while staying close” through feelings of intimate engagements and brand activations. In essence, we were tasked with creating what were termed “Being Together. Apart.” Historically, all brand events have been live, in person, at a centrally located U.S. large scale theater or convention center.

THE STRATEGIES

Build a supporting strategy. Pampered Chef was encouraged to dream along with the event production team confidently. So that indeed, an event could be designed to deliver the broadcasting of human connection. This was accomplished through a virtual live grid event system. The platform included inventive properties like four custom studio broadcast sets, live comments, social media aggregation, e-commerce integration, virtual breakouts, coaching portals and even live entertainment.

Each live studio broadcast set was designed as its own vignette, using the client’s corporate offices as the “safe, live space.” Next, each space incorporated an omnichannel approach, social and interactive on iPhones and iPads, and viewership on TV monitors, as well as large digital displays at various watch parties, creating human interaction and energy throughout.

Presenter stages were produced with video rolls and graphic content giving glitz and stylishly showcasing keynotes, while “conversation corners” were constructed for more intimate, two-way connections. Traditional sets were juxtaposed with a modern layering of mediums, engagements and scenes, positioning each interaction within a feel of personal premiumization—more like a live, well-flowing TV broadcast—professional, exciting and engaging.

To ensure that all experiences were accessible and easy to use, as well as convenient and comfortable to the user,the best practice information design and technology to journey-map the event’s entire architecture was employed.

MEASURED RESULTS

Deep insights were garnered for Pampered Chef through granular, real-time data points, offering impressive analytics of user movement, viewership, engagement, likeability, revenue and event preferences. Combining metrics with real-time attendee feedback allowed Pampered Chef to assess success in a very different way by measuring time spent on different aspects of the event.Attendance was five times greater than their traditional “live” event. Revenue doubled. Experience was irreplaceable.

Pampered Chef hosted a new way to meet. What was once in a ballroom with a maximum of 4,500 attendees, revenue capped, and space contained, was transformed into exponential attendance with nearly 24,000 participating consultants, revenue enhanced, and space unbound.

The emotional equity soared as well as attendees, called it the “best conference they have ever attended,” and stated, “the convenience was wonderful, no traveling…yet the experience remained remarkable.” Customizable, integrative and interactive—their brand was expressed beautifully, fully and safely.

This case study teaches us how delivering an emotional connection, strategic alignment and personal and professional relevancy is not driven by the event platform selected, but rather the creative impact you want your audience to feel. Here are a few tips to help you bring deeper value, what we call “knowing” to every attendee’s virtual event experience:

1. Identify specific event objectives. Is the objective to recognize achievements, introduce new products, train inspire, motivate, build relationships or a combination of several? Be deliberate and realistic with what can be achieved within your meeting time.

2. Build a strategy that supports those objectives and allows audiences to engage with them. Even if a concept sounds interesting and unique, if it does not support your strategy, wait and use it during a more appropriate event.

3. Approach content from a TV perspective, versus the traditional live approach. Keep segments short as opposed to traditional length keynotes, where it is easy for viewers to walk away from their viewing device.

4. Leave your audience wanting more! “More” is not always “More” in the Virtual Event Space.

5. If budget allows, offer giveaways, gamifications and entertainment elements to keep your audience engaged in the program.

If some of the tips above sound familiar to an in-person event, it’s because they are. After all we are still connecting people’s brands, products and services to one another.Translating these ideas via a virtual platform just gives us unique messaging opportunities.

By incorporating a live studio component, Pampered Chef was able to effectively deliver on their virtual event strategy. Pushing the stream through a robust online platform allowed for a thematic, brand-right experience that delighted consultants. For your next virtual event, begin with a solid plan and keep your audience’s experience front of mind.

 

BILL STOCK, VICE-PRESIDENT, CREATIVE & MARKETING L!VE (FORMERLY IACONO) BILL STOCK HAS BEEN DEVELOPING CREATIVE EVENT STRATEGIES IN THE DIRECT SELLING SPACE FOR IACONO AND L!VE FOR ALMOST 25 YEARS. HE WORKS CLOSELY WITH SALES, CREATIVE AND PRODUCTION TO DESIGN AND DELIVER EVENTS FOCUSED ON HIGH-TOUCH EXECUTION AND ENGAGEMENT