Expert Hour Insights pull questions asked by students during the weekly live expert hours in the APAC Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification course. Darren Chuckry, Founder, Managing Partner, HK Initiative, and DES APAC Expert for Module 3: Audience Engagement + Content, was asked the question: How do you engage your audience throughout the year?
The industry’s landscape had changed drastically with virtual events growing in relevance. In this new climate, event planners have to ask themselves, what new opportunities are out there in the digital space that I can leverage?
Darren shared his philosophy where he challenged the confines of traditional event formats that focus only on actual event dates. ‘If I can start releasing content to my audience ahead of time, why do I have to do the event over only two days?’
“As an example, Business of Design Week was a week-long conference. They had events all over the city with multiple tracks, but ultimately, we’re building the annual BODW to become an all-year connection now. We realised that we remembered the audience, we’ve kept them, we brought them, we built a community around them. So why are we not engaging them leading up to the conference?
For the live component, perhaps this is then where we interact and ask questions. One of the biggest things I said was, if I could have them watch something ahead of an exhibition or conference, then let’s have sessions where we come in and interact with key speakers and people. So, you start to design events in this way and build it over a course of time. Don’t just build it any more with the thinking that, ‘Oh, this is two-day event’. That’s not the current and right way of operating anymore. It’s ‘how do I build my audience, keep them interested throughout the year’, and the content builds to a conclusion in a big hybrid experience or exhibition.”
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Meet DES APAC Expert, Darren Chuckry, Founder, Managing Partner, HK Initiative
Darren is an award-winning industry expert who has developed more than 1,000 marketing campaigns and brand engagements over a 25-year career with an area of focus in brand experience, digital technologies, 360°marketing and content production. Darren is the Founder and Managing Partner of HK Initiative, which brings together outstanding talent and companies from across the globe to design and create digitally connected immersive experiences.