Make it Edinburgh Live!

Human-focused Virtual Events for EICC

The Client

Continuing our partnership with the EICC, and when it was clear that the traditional approach to delivering conferences required a rethink in 2020, we were approached to help realise our client’s ambition for ‘Make it Edinburgh Live’, their custom online events platform.

Clear Objectives

  • To develop and evolve through listening, an online events solution; not off the shelf but tailored to EICC’s clients’ specific needs
  • To capture the experience & essence of an in-situ event – through an inclusive and inspiring approach, whilst honouring pre-booked events
  • To create new business opportunities and mitigate losses due to the pandemic
  • To provide job security for EICC’s internal team and help to protect Edinburgh’s events industry

Capturing EICC's Brand Values

EICC's approach centres on a belief that conferences have the capacity to spark ideas, drive progression, and change the world for the better. This platform needs to provide the most authentic event experience possible in the current circumstances by delivering the event either partially or fully online, whilst being adaptable to the client’s unique vision and needs.

Our creative and UX experts worked closely with the Team at EICC to craft a solution which allows our client to offer positive alternatives to running in-situ events and the assurance that their clients’ event and participants are in the safest of hands.  

Discovery & Planning

Flexibility and expandability is at the heart of this online solution; enabling ideas & innovation to thrive and reflecting EICC’s in-situ Events approach. Through our initial Brand Discovery phase, we grasped the essence and attributes of an in-situ event and combined this with UX feedback from other leading online event offerings.

This established the blueprint for the core offering, allowing the EICC to engage and inspire the market and leading to deeper discussions around specific needs and how they would be met.

Richard Lloyd, Technical and ICT Operations Manager was pivotal in translating all EICC do in a real-world events environment into a hybrid one.

"Part of this planning phase was to look at the products & services already on the marketplace, test those and decide which would best fit the needs of our clients."

Flexible & Tailored - Not Off the Shelf

Many clients have certain services already in place, such as polling systems, which can all be integrated. Equally in-built features can be switched on or off as needed.

“This flexibility is part of what makes our service unique,” says Richard. “We didn't want to be in a closed environment, forcing a client to take every piece of the service. If they already have a piece of the puzzle, then we can integrate it.”

 

Reflecting EICC’s World-Class in-situ Delivery

Central to successful planning involved harnessing the meaningful interactions and connections experienced in person. 

  • Supporting the full range of presentations and plenary sessions
  • Creating opportunities for audience participation, and for delegates to break into smaller groups for meetings / discussion
  • Enable attendees to enter networking spaces divided by subject matter
  • A virtual green room for speakers to prepare and liaise with the stage managers
  • Allow the integration of sponsors and exhibitors - a vital element of events for many of EICC’s clients
  • Facilitating partial event broadcast using EICC’s facilities & technical team

Feature-rich Core Offering

Online user profile

  • Online profile to identify user and interactions, fully GDPR compliant
  • Single sign on - user access to multiple software platforms with one convenient login               
  • Find other delegates to set up and arrange meetings       
  • Book sessions with other users in advance                          
  • Calendar integration to invite users to meet on specified date / time       
  • 1-2-1 sessions as well as groups of up to 6 - by invitation only      
  • In built chat box functionality     

Virtual trade stands

  • Interactive portal for exhibitors - based on custom exhibitor plan / artwork / hotspots – visual

Streaming platform

  • Seamless integration to leverage pre-existing streaming platform capabilities

Video Chat Function      

  • Allow users to network in pre-assigned rooms and schedule 1-2-1 meetings
  • Ability to schedule and conduct meetings with exhibitors
  • Report on user behaviour

Dashboard / Reporting                               

  • Infographic report - auto-generated / exported – for a visually engaging bird's eye view across each event’s key metrics – available to organisers, exhibitors and attendees
  • Interactive dashboard – live-tracking a range of stats / behaviours during an event and post – current talks / audience / who's attending what / drop-off rates
  • Supporting marketing segmentation - location / subject matter interests / exhibitor & delegate connections

P2P networking

  • Search and connect with other delegates / chat rooms - like What's App / on the fly video conference calls / schedule off-site meetings

With the core product defined, we designed and built a prototype to allow EICC to approach the market with confidence and a genuine opportunity.

Michael Wood , Radiator Digital

Making it Live!

Make It Edinburgh Live was launched on May 21 2020, and the EICC team supported Street Soccer with their online Gala Dinner at Home on Saturday 30 May. The event was a huge success, and with a turnaround time of only ten days from the initial conversation with the client, it was a real testament to the skill and adaptability of all involved!

Street Soccer

Street Soccer Scotland’s aim is to use the positive power of football to help people affected by homelessness, mental illness and social exclusion.

Fearing their annual gala dinner would be cancelled, Founder and CEO David Duke hit on an idea - getting dressed up; enjoying the atmosphere; good entertainment; a delicious meal served; and an auction to top it all off.

We had begun to build a really good line-up. Scotland captain Andy Robertson; Harry and Sandra Redknapp; Judy Murray; Tom Grennan on music. But we knew it wouldn’t be enough as just a show on a screen, so we started to think about how we could make it unique. What I really liked about it was that it involved the whole family. It was more accessible, too - we had people from all over the world tuning in." David Duke, Street Soccer

 

Remote Coordination & Expertise

The EICC’s expertise and support came to the fore for Alt Cop’s Environmental event and RSPB’s Nature of Scotland Awards. In both cases, EICC’s ‘show-caller’ liaised live and discreetly with the event hosts using in-ear technology to coordinate proceedings and operate remote cameras.

For RSPB this required multiple contact with Steve Backshall from his home on the Thames and Euan McIlwraith in the Highlands – and for ALT COP, live contact with the host, Dr Tara Shine from Cork; ensuring remote and successfully coordinated online events. 

 

Listen, Refine and Improve

EICC is constantly working with their clients on continual improvement and being online, there are more opportunities to track an increasing level of user interactions

This evolving ambition is based on success and includes a ‘Show Stream’ feature, allowing guests to ‘mingle’ before, during and after an event - introduced via Street Soccer and rolled out for RSPB & Green Energy.

 

Make It Edinburgh Live has been a resounding success for the EICC. From quickly reacting to a significant shift in circumstances, to listening and refining with each client roll-out, this platform offers EICC a truly global opportunity moving out of this Pandemic.

Nothing replaces a visit to Scotland’s capital but whether delivered online or blended, this platform and evergreen event content can be watched by a global audience in their own time – expanding the reach and impact of the EICC’s reputation, whilst driving down the environmental impact of an in-situ event through reduced travel, printing and packaging.

Developing Make it Edinburgh Live last May has enabled us to offer our clients a positive solution to go ahead with their conferences online, during a time when events all around the world were cancelling or postponing.  This important development has gone some way in protecting our business during the pandemic, as well as futureproofing our long-term offering, as we move towards events which are likely to comprise a hybrid of online and in-person experiences.

Marshall Dallas , Chief Executive, EICC

Key Skills

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Umbraco Development 
  • Custom Built Animation 
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) 
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