When Ingram Micro, a California-based distributor of global technology and supply chain solutions, considered how to make its first-ever digital event span the multiple time zones and languages of its audience, the company partnered with Freeman to take a “follow the sun” approach.
That meant making the November 2020 three-day Ingram Micro ONE event conveniently accessible for its 12,000 participants — three times the number of attendees at its 2019 in-person event — located around the world. ONE paired global content with customized regional content, enabling worldwide attendees to participate in the event that aligned with their time zone and region (North America, EMEA, APAC, and Latin America), and their language. Captions were translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German, among other languages.
Customized local content was included in the program for the first two days of the virtual event. On the third day of the event, “we got even more localized where countries within each of those four regions had the option to include their country-level content, which included the U.S., Spain, Benelux, the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa,” said Holly Niedzielski, Ingram Micro’s director of event marketing.
Via Freeman’s OnlineEvent Pro platform, 270 speakers gave solo presentations or engaged in virtual conversations, with none lasting longer than 15 minutes. Ingram Micro and Freeman also coordinated
“facilitated distractions,” such as musical entertainment from up-and- coming artists and curated happy hour packages that were shipped out to attendees across the globe.
“We created a large library of musical artists from around the world,” Niedzielski said. “Each region had the opportunity to choose which artists from the library they wanted to display during their live broadcast.” There was also an on-demand library on the event site called Backstage, she said, where participants from any region could watch all the artists Ingram Micro had selected on their own time.
While each happy hour was unique to each region, one universal offering was a “pong” arcade game Ingram Micro created, Niedzielski said. But this also was localized — when participants clicked on the game, displayed on a tower banner on the event site, they could select the region they wanted to represent and play the game to earn points for their region.
Highlights From the Virtual Event
Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene.