There is no better education than one you can find in the real world and in the last year, there was no better teacher than being forced to put digital-first. A scary step for some and for others, like Digital Event Strategist graduate, Jonathan Tok, it was a proving ground. Learn how the DES program helped guide Jonathan in the planning and running of unique virtual events for his clients.
Tell us a little bit about what you do and what made you pursue DES in the first place.
I’m Jonathan. I’m currently the Platform Lead of Now Comms Asia, an events agency that focuses on delivering virtual and hybrid corporate events. My role requires me to lead a team on building the NowEvents Hybrid platform. A virtual event management platform that heavily focuses on engagement and establishing virtual connections between participants and organisers.
I decided to pursue my DES as I was compelled to learn more and expand my knowledge beyond what I’ve learnt in school. The digital space is unique and everchanging, and I felt that the DES would be a great place for me to pick up new skills and knowledge that I might not have known and, most importantly, stay up to date with the most relevant virtual resources to surprise and delight our clients.
What key learnings from the DES course have you implemented in the event(s) you’ve worked on / are working on?
The DES was very helpful in guiding me to plan and run unique virtual events for our clients. One of the key takeaways was about crafting and delivery of content to virtual attendees. I have worked with our account managers, event specialists and creative teams to create unique and exciting content for our customers. One such would be how we managed to transform one of our client’s regional virtual sales kick-off call spanning multiple countries to have it reimagined to become a “live” award show through special effects, a 3D virtual studio. Our special guests were executives instead of country managers invited onto a panel discussion to share their personal experiences and success stories. In the award ceremony segment, the host was placed on a virtual stage to announce the winners, which allowed us to replicate a virtual Oscars for our attendees.
These new engagement tools of storytelling have allowed us to push the limits of how virtual events are done and alleviate the attendee’s experience, driving higher engagement and record higher satisfaction ratings. This is just one of the many examples we have worked on to deliver a unique virtual experience to our clients.
Virtual events have enabled us to reach a wider audience. We expect a wave of regionalisation of events when hybrid events become our new norm, and the learnings from DES will be more critical than ever.
If a friend or colleague is on the fence about taking DES, what would you say to nudge them?
I would definitely recommend anyone who’s on the fence about taking DES to not hesitate and go for it. Because DES provides up-to-date resources about virtual events, and some are very applicable to hybrid events as well. Clients will demand more from planners and suppliers to deliver a more engaging and personalised experience in the future of events, and DES will provide you with the fundamentals to have your next, most exciting, compelling and heart-stopping event yet.
The Digital Event Strategist Spotlight series features Digital Event Strategists and how they are making an impact in their work through digital and hybrid events.
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