2020.4.7 Case Study

Is it hard to successfully run a B2B webinar in Japan?!?

There are many marketing events being postponed or canceled because of the COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus.

Although there are cases where companies are switching their physical events over to online. At Bigbeat, one of our clients made this very decision themselves. Bigbeat had been involved in the venue organization and operation management of the seminar and we want to tell you about this sudden change in format of the event.

Our client, Veritas Technologies was originally planning on holding their physical partner community event, VERITAS Tech Symposium 2020 ~Winter, on February 25, 2020. The event, which is highly praised by Veritas Technologies’ partners, is held twice a year and the 2020 Winter edition was the 15th time this event was held.

This year, we supported Veritas in planning a Tech Symposium that was supposed to provide a more open place for Veritas and its partners to talk as equals, more so than any of the previous events.

Website-VERITAS Tech Symposium 2020 WinterVeritas Tech Symposium 2020 Winter event site

But after the COVID-19 began spreading in Japan, Veritas came together with Bigbeat to discuss how we could still hold the event while simultaneously protecting the health and safety of the attendees and our employees. But as the situation further deteriorated, it was determined that holding a physical event would be irresponsible. So, in the last minute the event was changed to an online (on-demand) stream. We would like to tell you the flow of events after that decision was made.

8 days before original event date:
The decision to change from a physical event to an online was made.

-A meeting between Veritas and Bigbeat was held to determine the logistics of changing to an on-demand webinar.

7 days before original event date:
Announced on the event website that it was changed to an online event.

-Notifications were sent to those who had registered.
-Scheduling for the speakers’ filming sessions began.

Day of the original event date:
Filming of the speakers began in a studio. Filming took a total of 4 days.

-Preparation for the video streaming page began.

23 days after original event date:
For a limited time, the video streaming page was opened.

Tech Symposium originally had one keynote session and 2 different track sessions. While physical events meant that attendees must choose which track sessions they want to attend, by streaming every session online, attendees who wanted could see all sessions without having to miss out on any content they may have been interested in. It also allowed for Veritas’s partners to choose when they watched the sessions, allowing them more flexibility for when they would consume the content in their busy schedules. For these reasons, Veritas choose to upload their Tech Symposium event online instead of postponing or outright canceling the event.

Website-VERITAS Tech Symposium 2020 WinterVeritas Tech Symposium 2020 Winter - Streaming Video Page

During the same time, another client of ours who were going to host a marketing related event also chose to host their event not physically but stream it online in the wake of the Corvid 19. In the lead up to this outcome, our client and Bigbeat held many meetings and discussions on how we could possible still hold the event, looking into safety equipment and measures to safely hold a physical event. But, in the end, it was decided that the only way to hold the event and ensure the safety of everyone involved was to change the event from physical to an online stream. The schedule from this decision to stream day was as follows.

1 week before event day:
A notice of measures to combat the Corvide-19 virus was posted on the event site and sent to those who had registered.

-At this time, we and our client were preparing to allow for attendees to either attend the event in person or watch a live stream.
-Food and drink services were canceled along with the reception party.

Night, 2 days before event day:
All plans for a physical event were canceled and the event was switched over to an entirely online event.

1 day before event day:
A notice was sent out to all registered people and those involved with the event that it would be held entirely online.

-The email was sent to the registered people was set to notify us when opened. If a notification email was not returned to us, informing us the person had looked at the email, we called their phone to make sure they knew the event had been changed to online only.
-Preparations for an entirely streamed event were made.
-Using the clients social media accounts, more announcements were made about the switch over to an online stream were posted.

Because our client valued the feeling and atmosphere of a physical event, they did not want to stream the video on-demand but instead live and prepared banners, a backdrop, etc to make sure viewers could still feel the themes and goals of the event during their viewing experience.

5 important points to remember during a crisis

5 important points to remember during a crisis

There have been many events that are being changed from physical to online to combat spreading the Corvid-19 virus. These are just 2 examples of how Bigbeat and our clients have handled the current pandemic.

In Japan, particularly at large or long-established companies, there is a culture that people who are wearing earphones and watching videos during work hours are seen as not actually working. While some companies have begun to slowly adopt webinars as a viable marketing tool, most companies still opt for physical face-to-face events.

But due to the recommendation of the government, many companies are requesting employees work from home and avoid gathering in groups. For this reason, many webinars and other online events have not seen a decrease in their audiences but instead are able to reach and engage with a large number of people from all over the country.

We believe at Bigbeat that these types of physical events will become more common and accessible to people.

At Bigbeat, we have our own in-house developed registration system that many of our clients use for their events, but it is also possible to live stream or stream on-demand using this system. If your company is interested in hosting a webinar in Japan, please do not hesitate to contact us here!

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