06 Oct 2020

Creative communications group DRPG’s flagship thought leadership event DRPGBIGtalk usually hosts 150 delegates. With this year’s move to virtual, the event attracted over 1000 delegates from across the globe. Hosted in a virtual world theme park created using cutting edge browser based WebGl modelling, the three-day event brought communications professionals together online to see what is possible in the world of virtual events and provide them with the key insights needed to help futureproof their comms strategies in the current climate.  

Each interactive ride within the virtual theme park was filled with engaging content from information on wellbeing, D&I, technology, CSR and research and insights, to gamification, social walls and a virtual reality roller coaster.  

Streamed from five of DRPG’s studios in Worcestershire and Windsor as well as remote broadcasts using AR, coming in from around the UK, Germany and the USA, DRPGBIGtalk was made up of a mix of live and on-demand sessions. Speakers included June Sarpong OBE, the BBC’s David Meade, Professor of Happiness Bruce Hood, Lord Digby Jones, Justin King and Ortis Deley from the Gadget Show. Many of the sessions were joined by experts from the DRPG team, clients and the wider creative industry, providing valuable insight into a wide array of comms topics from events to digital solutions. 

Live interactive case studies from corporate clients such as Nationwide, Direct Line and PDSA gave delegates a glimpse into examples of comms work and allowed viewers to ask questions and interact with the speakers while lively interactive debates encouraged audience participation through question and polling portals. 

The event culminated in an evening show on Thursday 1st October, in collaboration with talent sourcing agency Performing Artistes. Hosted by Pete Firman accompanied by comedian Lucy Porter and chef Tom Court, Step Right Up! was a fully interactive TV-show style experience with a cook along, challenges guests could take part in at home, games and prizes to be won. 

CEO Dale Parmenter commented, “We have found over the years that DRPGBIGtalk has tremendous value for our clients and we wanted to provide them with this same value despite the circumstances. The type of development and innovation needed to create an experience like this always means excitement mixed with trepidation, challenging moments and big learnings, but the end result has been a truly collaborative effort between our events, digital and comms teams. DRPGBIGtalk was truly successful virtual experience which we hope will set the tone for future virtual events.” 

Keynote speaker Professor Bruce Hood commented, “Taking part in the DRPGBIGtalk extravaganza gave me a glimpse of the future for communication and it looks exciting!” 

Dagmar Mackett, global development director at DRPG, talks about the global benefits of virtual events “By focussing on valuable content delivered in an unique and engaging way, we set out to prove that virtual events are a viable and in many cases a preferable alternative to physical ones. Virtual experiences are the future and there is no question that they are here to stay, so let’s get them right. Without the limitations of a live environment, the geographical restrictions of a live audience or the physical limitations put in place post Covid, it is fantastic to see how the imagination is given free rein and the how the event world pushes technology further in times like this. We had delegates log in from Hungary, Australia and Germany and panelists joining us from the Netherlands and Russia as well as many other locations; a truly global experience.” 

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