Q&A with Brandlive CEO on virtual events

What if a virtual event was as binge-worthy as your favorite show on a streaming service? Brandlive CEO Sam Kolbert Hyle began toying with the concept in 2020, when he reinvented the online platform from a shopping site (founded in 2010) to “a solution for large enterprises to create video experiences”, a- he explained to BizBash.Q&A with Brandlive CEO on virtual eventsSam Kolbert-Hyle, CEO of Brandlive.Photo: Courtesy of Brandlive

“There’s been a revolution in the way we all consume video content in our personal lives – it’s mobile-first, cutting-edge and styled to stand out,” he said. “But when it comes to webinars, meetings and virtual events, marketers are still churning out content that looks decades old — talking heads in little boxes or more of a web conferencing look. from guest conference rooms.”

Cue Brandlive, which Kolbert-Hyle describes using verbiage such as “video events”, “creative assets”, and “high-end sets and cameras” as opposed to “event technology”.

And that’s because the platform “exists to bridge the gap,” he said, adding that with “a mix of live and pre-recorded [content]”, Brandlive” makes the event look more like TV. ”

Keep reading for more on Brandlive’s work, as well as how Kolbert-Hyle is leading the way into the future of what the “virtual event” means for the industry…

What did you learn from the process of launching and building Brandlive?
Events can be stressful. People remember the great ones, those who make them feel something. People forget the average ones that look like a web conference. Our brand is the sum total of everything we do, every interaction with our team and our products. In our business, having a big brand market by smiling at customers after milestone events is paramount.

How did you manage to differentiate yourself in a market that has become very saturated?
Brandlive is focused on providing enterprise marketers with a video platform to produce and host large-scale TV-quality webinars and events. Our products make it easy to create video assets and audience destinations that fully reflect your event’s identity, from URL to footer, so you’ll never be a host on someone’s platform. ‘other.Q&A with Brandlive CEO on virtual events“When it comes to webinars, meetings and virtual events, marketers are still churning out content that looks decades old — talking heads in little boxes or more of a web conferencing look for years. guest conference rooms,” Kolbert-Hyle said of the current virtual events. countryside. Brandlive wants to change the game.Photo: Courtesy of Brandlive

What is account-based marketing (ABM) and how do you use it to make internal decisions?
ABM is a natural fit for any business selling a premium product and toolkit that facilitates workflow and long-term event results. ABM allows us to tailor our messaging to specific customer needs. Events are not a single product. Our customers use our platform for a range of use cases, so we market to reflect that. Additionally, ABM is cost-effective because we only target relevant accounts. It’s the start of our long-term customer relationships, which grow over time as they find more and more value in Brandlive.

[To put ABM to use,] we focus on finding commonalities between the best shows on our platform – looking at length and types of content – ​​and making sure customers can measure the impact of the event. Turns out, big events have a lot in common. There is a formula for high production value events, and we use our data to teach clients that formula to ensure impact.

How many events has Brandlive produced so far?
More than 50,000 events and 75,000 hours of streaming for 30,000,000 viewers.

Can you tell us about a significant event?
Picking one is quite difficult, but if I had to, I’d say it’s not just one event, but a series of events that Nike runs throughout the year. You may or may not know that Nike has a team of DEI experts who focus on telling the stories of underrepresented and marginalized populations in the sports world. Q&A with Brandlive CEO on virtual eventsBrandlive led the production of the Nike Be True Summit, a two-day event last summer that focuses on meaningful conversations around the LGBTQIA2S+ community in the sports world.Photo: Courtesy of Brandlive

One of the events in this series was this summer’s event, “Nike Be True”. This event was a celebration of pride and progress that immersed global audiences for two days in meaningful conversations with 26 different speakers to inspire change and create a more accepting environment for the LGBTQIA2S+ community in the world of sport. Nike has created similar events that tell stories in African and Black Diaspora, Latinx and Native American communities. They do all of this on our platform to deliver a fully virtual event that ensures Nike employees and the general public can be part of the conversation.

Q&A with Brandlive CEO on virtual events“It will only be more imperative for brands to meet their audience where they are and communicate in a way that is more like the content we consume in our daily lives,” Kolbert-Hyle said of the future of virtual events.Photo: Courtesy of BrandliveThe typical guest of this [Nike Be True] the event would first interact with the landing page, which featured a fully customized trailer of the event, speaker bios, and a color palette complementing the message. It was also important to ensure access to the event was just as inclusive as the event, which is why Nike adopted a simple registration page that only captured name and email. mail.

Once on the home page, attendees received a teaser video and links to session pages. Inside each session page was a timed agenda and highlights of each speaker speaking that day. Nike led with engaging videos and graphics that kept the show going day after day. Not only were they able to have powerful conversations about important topics, but everything was done on a page that looked and felt like the brand.

Can we expect virtual events to be here to stay in 2023?
Absolutely yes! Events like Nike Be True and so many others will not only continue, but I think the webinar marketing and event use case will grow. As audiences become more distributed, continue to prefer on-screen content consumption, and businesses reduce travel, it will only be more imperative for brands to meet their audiences where they are and communicate from a way that is more like the content we consume. in our daily lives. Webinars and events have the added ability to capture more data about your audience than you can in an in-person only experience. Who watched what? For how long? What did they miss? What resources did they download? Were they engaged?

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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