2020 showed global marketers that the art of being nimble is worth its weight in gold. SXSW, an annual festival in Austin which was expected to bring over 400,000 attendees, was cancelled in March for the first time ever since 1987 due to coronavirus concerns, and live events have not been the same since.
KJPR has been at the helm of digital events since this abrupt shift in the world, walking clients through new event territory as venues closed their physical doors. The two main ingredients that yielded in successful results were: new technology to connect people more than ever before, and purpose-driven campaigns as the world peeled off a new layer of social consciousness.
We have compiled our favorite anecdotes from brands moving with graceful flexibility to keep us inspired as we get ready for a world that gathers again. Here are our favorite Digital Events from 2020:
Leading into Election Day 2020, Rolling Stone took their weekly political Useful Idiots platform and transformed the podcast into a live virtual event series. “Useful Idiots,” hosted by contributing veteran editor, Matt Taibbi and renowned comedian Katie Halper, was Rolling Stone’s platform to discuss issues around the 2020 election and its various political extensions while challenging political attitudes leading into Election Day.
The coolest part of the live event series? They partnered with KJPR's client Yappa, an audio and video commenting tool which allowed the audience the opportunity to share their voice throughout by submitting “Yaps”, short audio or video recordings. The most engaging yaps were aired during the live event and responded to by celebrity special guest Tinashe.
Daymond John, Co-Star of ABC’s four-time Emmy Award winning show, Shark Tank, alongside Medium Rare, presented a free global live-stream celebrating black business and entrepreneurship. Highlighted by Game Changer Conversations with Black business icons & performances from superstar artists featuring: Shaquille O’Neal, Gabrielle Union, Chance The Rapper, Jamie Foxx, Dwyane Wade, Robert Johnson, LL Cool J and more! Most exciting, Daymond was on a quest alongside The NAACP and awarded $250,000 to up and coming Black entrepreneurs! The free global live-stream celebrating Black business & entrepreneurship aired on October 24th and has since set records with over 7 million views.
On November 13 and 14, Lil Nas X dazzled the world with a virtual concert experience performed entirely within Roblox. Not only was this a first-of-its-kind achievement for both Lil Nas X and Roblox, but it attracted more than 30 million visits to this show-stopping spectacle across all four of the weekend’s performances. Creativity + Embracing new tech = Winner!
High School seniors across the country were getting ready to graduate, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, many milestones were postponed and/or canceled — including prom. So, to celebrate the Class of 2020, iHeartRadio threw a prom, hosted by Dua Lipa and KIIS-FM's JoJo Wright.
The iHeartRadio Prom was on on-air celebration for students across the country, and the four-hour event was broadcasted across stations nationwide on Friday, May. The prom also featured celebrity DJ mixes from Joe Jonas, Diplo, Marshmello, will.i.am, Martin Garrix, Dillon Francis, Loud Luxury and more.
Produced by Vox Media, this year’s Vulture Festival went digital in 2020 the last week of October. Complete with appearances by: Gabrielle Union, Jake Johnson, Lamorne Morris, Max Greenfield, Whoopi Goldberg, and many others, viewers were able to catch live Q&A’s between today’s hottest cast members and Vox Media’s award-winning journalists.
Our favorite part of the festival, however, was most definitely the Halloween Pet Parade.