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What to do if you have to cancel a live event

When the show must go on.


In a world where video conferencing is a daily norm, there’s a certain magic to live, in-person events. But what if circumstances beyond your control mean you can’t host an event or your clients can come?


Recently, global public health concerns over COVID-19—commonly known as the new coronavirus—have caused major industry events to be cancelled out of caution. However, business can’t just grind to a halt; announcements need to be made and your community still needs to be reached somehow. So what are you supposed to do if one of your planned events is disrupted?


At Centerline, we understand your concerns deeply. That’s why we’ve been working for years to innovate with unique approaches to both live events and digital experiences to help position our clients as industry leaders no matter the form their presentations take.


Go beyond the traditional webcast

The traditional webcast format is typically a combination of slides and semi-scripted presentation. This can get the job done, but is it as captivating as your executive presenters and high-profile customers deserve?


Centerline has worked for years to innovate with unique approaches to both online events and digital experiences to help position our clients as industry leaders no matter the form their presentations take. We have a passion for solving complex communication challenges, and have found a number of successful approaches to giving digital experiences the same immediacy and pull as a well-produced live event.


We’ve pushed the boundaries of traditional webcasting by blending powerful content with impeccable design for the Large Format Stage Presentation (LFSP).


LFSPs combine high-quality video of presenters onstage with high-impact graphics to deliver messages that engage the audience and leave a lasting impression.


LFSPs  boast a number of key advantages.

  1. Presenters can be filmed in multiple takes, making it easier to craft a message and perfect delivery, while reducing stress and anxiety.
  2. Multi-camera filming enhances the production value and creates a polished high-end look.
  3. In post-production, the green screen background becomes a customizable palette for compelling motion graphics to enhance the story.

Simply put, the LFSP delivers all the charisma of a live event while eliminating the cost, risk, and pressure that is sometimes associated with an in-person production.


We first introduced the LFSP to help IBMR launch both its Power Systems and IBM zEnterprise EC12, we immediately saw benefits from this new approach. IBM told us they saw a threefold increase in engagement over their traditional webcast formats. Over 90% of attendees watched the entire 45-minute presentation and stayed for an additional 45 minutes to participate in a live question-and-answer session and explore the site on their own.


Change the format, boost retention

We look at the unique aspects of a brand’s strategy when developing creative solutions. Last year, Centerline once again partnered with IBM to support the launch of the latest iteration of its enterprise computing platform, the IBM z15TM. Rather than make a traditional product launch video, we instead looked to late-night variety shows for inspiration.


We leveraged a well-known industry influencer, Ray Wang, to host the variety show. He interviewed an array of IBM subject matter experts and served as a stand-in for the audience, asking the SMEs questions about the features, benefits, and technology behind the z15 in one-on-one interviews.

Giving the presentation a fast pace with multiple segments and an energetic host livened up the deeply technical content of the conversations and empowered the IBM representatives to deliver their specialized knowledge in a digestible and deeply engaging way. As with our previous LFSPs, the benefits were readily apparent. Normally, anything more than 50% is considered a success when it comes to a video’s retention rate. 89% of viewers tuned in for the entire 24-minute z15 variety show. Watch the full webcast here.


Enhance the digital keynote

These are just two examples of successful digital experiences we’ve created. There are many more forms your presentation could take. At Centerline, we work closely with our clients to make custom-built digital solutions to tell your story in the most compelling way possible.


We’re always working on new ways to cultivate connectivity in and around our digital experiences. In the past, we’ve augmented our pioneering webcast formats with things like live community chat, social engagement, and responsive Q&A’s. As web technology continues to evolve, so too will our innovative solutions for bringing your unique stories to life.

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