As the pandemic progresses, virtual events seem to be getting better and better. With media presentations, line showings, and other key aspects of the seasonal buying cycle moving online, industry players are adapting quickly. Communication is getting slicker as processes are refined.
Momentum Media PR and Akimbo Communications may have taken another step forward with the kickoff of their Virtual Showroom series today—a new kind of media event that focuses on cutting the fluff from brand presentations and condensing information into the most functional, streamlined format possible.
Today's event was less than an hour long and featured five brands—Smith, BOGS, Ecco Outdoor, Stanley, and Superfeet—that showed prerecorded five-minute presentations of new products. There were no live speakers, no Q&As, and no explanatory interludes from moderators. Instead, the platform used to host the event, Brandlive, offered a wealth of information packed onto a single interactive page. While the video presentations played, attendees could simultaneously download product catalogs, request samples, and chat with other participants.
"Our primary goal was to create a new kind of connection with media focused on just the highlights. These weren't meant to be entire line presentations," said Momentum Media PR founder Alycia Cavadi. "At the same time, we wanted a robust platform, which brought us to Brandlive."
"Some of the feedback we’ve gotten about platforms like Zoom is that they're good for real-time personal connections, but not the best for delivering information and securing follow-up. We wanted a one-stop shop that would be as beneficial to attendees as possible," said Akimbo owner Kate Gaeir.
Among attendees, the format was a welcome change.
"They cut straight to what was new, which was great," said Sal Vaglica, former senior editor at Men's Journal. "The interface was easy. I expected it to be more loose and informal, but when I found out everything was pre-produced and quick, that was the best case scenario. It felt like the best version of someone escorting me around a showroom in person. I hope more brands pay attention to this format."
"I really liked it. It was short and sweet," said Ross Collicutt, editor-in-chief of PureOutside. "We could get a hit of new gear and then be on with our day. Pre-recorded, rehearsed pitches really made the production quality feel higher while preventing technical issues. I'd love to see regular virtual showrooms like this."
Indeed, we will. Momentum and Akimbo plan to make the series part of their regular schedule of programming, even after the pandemic ends. The next installment will take place in mid or late summer, said Cavadi, and feature snowsports products. After that, the Virtual Showrooms will roll out roughly every two months.