More like “physical” distancing. Instead, we feel more “socially” connected than ever.
Now, we have found ourselves consistently having more social and emotional conversations with co-workers, clients and family members and relatives.
Work From Home
The convenience of attending a webinar while sitting at home is, well, not at all that bad. With many virtual webinars and events, we have noticed the attendance has significantly increased over the past few months.
Turning Downtimes Into Opportunities
We are presented an opportunity to problem solve on large scales, one way or another. At DHD, we have accepted the challenge and are moving forward with evaluating and elevating our technological platforms. This comes with leveraging the plethora of collaboration tools available to business and consumers.
Watch our full, live-recorded webinar on our experiences with the overall COVID-19 Business Impact in the video production industry.
I’m joined today by my brother, business partner and DHD films, founder Shezad Manjee next is Shezad. We have one of our very talented team members and sought after public speakers, Elliot Mayen, senior producer at DHD Films. So gentlemen, thank you for being here today. Really appreciate it. Absolutely. So let’s kick it off with Shezad. Sure. In the invitation video for this webinar, your comment about physical distancing, versus social distancing has really garnered a profound response from our online community. In the last 48 hours, I have seen many people comment, repost it and share that phrase from our video. As of this morning it even made the front page of psychology today. Can you give some color and context on how
the two are different? So I wish I could take credit for coining it. But you know, I must admit that the term social distancing is new to my vocabulary and uh, I probably first heard it in mid February and you know, never having kind of Googled it. Something just didn’t feel right about hearing that. I knew that there was something just not sitting well. And then fast forward three weeks, or so last week, you know, as schools extend the spring break, uh, people are working remote. I’m at home with my family and my younger sister, Zora is explaining the concept of this concept and she used the word physical distancing and I think she used it because it would be easier to understand for our six year old niece and all of a sudden a light bulb went off because as I reflect just in the last week, you know, I, I’ve spent more quality time with my family, with our family, um, than I have perhaps in last three months.
And that’s also true in the studio. I’ve noticed that we’ve checked in on each other. We’ve had more transparent, more, open conversation. We’ve shared our fears and concerns and so, you know, to me it’s anything but social distancing. I feel like we’re more socially connected than ever. What we’re really, what the CDC and the healthcare professionals rightfully so want us to do is physical distancing. And I would even, you know, venture out further and say we’ve yet to, you know we’re just starting this journey, but I see if there’s anything that’s going to get us through this, it’s going to be emotional connections and social connection. So, you know, I’m glad that people are talking
about it and people are recognizing the difference. And it’s a conversation starter. Absolutely. Thank you, Shezad. So Elliott, in your role as a senior producer at DHD films you connect with a broad cross section of clients, what concerns are you hearing from them today? Yeah, so I’ve also been checking in with my clients, trying to keep connected with everybody as we all have been. You know, we’re physically here today, but we’ve been remote, uh, for a while now. So we’ve all been checking in with each other and with our clients. And obviously the first thing that everybody heard about in regard to our clients being affected by the pandemic was all of the events that were being canceled. So conferences, even just large meetings, all of that started to happen at first. You know, we went from something like 500 or fewer people, now we’re at 10 in between all of that we had the travel ban or the travel restrictions, right?
There are some that are official and some that, you know, companies themselves are taking action and saying, Hey, maybe you don’t need to go to even a different state. Maybe you don’t even need to live, leave the city. Right? So all of these things have affected business. No doubt. We’ve seen it all in our own lives. And to me personally, the clients that I’ve reached out to, first of all, I’ve been very optimistic and there’s a lot of traction moving forward. People want for business to continue and they need to, and one of the things that’s going to help quell the fear is really for things to be as close to normal as possible. So within that context, one of the biggest questions that clients have been asking, and you know, I challenge everyone else to think about is, is that campaign or is that message that we had planned for?
You know, this time period, maybe six months ago, maybe three months ago, is that still relevant? Right? Is that the right timing? Is this the right time of, you know, the year to be doing this with all of the stuff that’s happening? So a lot of questions about what do we do? What do we say? How do we say it, and how do we move our operations online, in a more concerted effort to keep everyone safe? You know, I could just reflect on our own experience as a small business. And I think it’s really challenged us to evaluate the technological platforms that we, uh, we have and we utilize, um, that many of our customers have. Right. The Slacks and I think we figured out more features within Slack in the last 48 hours than we’d done, you know, for the last three years. Right? So this is an opportunity to really, to dig deep and be problem solvers were saying. One of the things that, um, as I talked to our clients, and I’m going to reference one call in particular, we have a startup client in New York. Elliot is already getting, keeps that stay clean. He’s got his own personal bottle. So, you know, when you come into the studio you are going to be protected.
But you know, specific to this one conversation I had yesterday with our startup client in New York, as many of us know, some cities and States have had more of an impact, more of a lockdown. And so I just called to see how, this client and his team were doing, uh, they’re uh, you know, uh, and I was surprised to his response. I was surprised to the optimism. I was surprised to the business. You know, how quickly they were able to migrate, uh, to a virtual environment. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re a startup, but here’s, here’s a data point and this is, it’s too soon to have a, you know, a qualitative data, but an anecdotal evidence. So this client does webinars, to educate their prospects. And the two webinars that they did this week, the registrants versus attendees on the webinar grew over 100%.
So the percentage of people that registered versus the percent of people that attended, now they’ve been doing the same webinar series for many, many months. And he was, he was pretty hopeful. And I asked, you know, as any good marketer does when they don’t know the answer, I said, what do you think the reason for this, this spike is? And he said something that really got me thinking – pattern disruption. And I had him elaborate because we use pattern disruption in conversations with our client when we talk about video brochures and other things. But he said, people are, their patterns of being in the office, their patterns of having face to face meetings have been disrupted and they’re getting used to the new normal of being in a virtual environment. So they’re willingness to join a webinar, their willingness to be more engaged because they see this as a future. You know, and so that was, that was positive and hopeful as far as I’m concerned. Excellent.
Thank you both for sharing your perspective on that. I will say, folks have been very active on the chat, so thank you for that. Again, this is a guided conversation, so we want you to engage with us, tell us your thoughts, there’s an opportunity for you to submit some Q and A and we’ll be answering some of your questions today. So I’ve reactivated the polls and we’ll leave them up there for a little bit. So if you haven’t had a chance to post your response to the poll now, you will. And then we’ll just kind of look at it at the end of the webinar and see where we are. Um, so let’s go back to Shezad. Shezad. Has anything about this current business climate surprised you?
Yes, and it’s our resiliency, our resiliency as an industry, our resiliency as a community, a resiliency as, uh, a company. Um, you know, and our sense of humor hasn’t been lost. You know, just earlier this week, uh, we shared with our team, uh, that we were activating our emergency preparedness and our business continuity plan. And when we shared, one of the things was going to be we were going to be working in a virtual environment, a working from home. One of our team members asked a question, I wasn’t quite prepared for . And he said, uh, he said, do I need to work remote or can I come into the studio? And he was dead serious. And so I said, tell me more. And without giving too much information because his wife may be watching, uh, and I don’t want him to get in any further trouble. He said, my wife is at home, my kids are at home. I need a sanctuary. And the studio provides that. And I said, you know what, you’re going to be physically distancing yourself because nobody else is really going to be in the studio. So it’s all right. And guess what? He was here earlier this week. So, you know, I think people are just making the best of the situation. They’re, they’re, they’re not taking life too seriously. And that’s what’s been interesting to me
To build on that. One of the other things that I found surprising and I’ve actually got an email from one of our partners, you know, they uh, they have been working remotely this entire time. Many companies actually have been working remotely. So, I know several of our clients have essentially a decentralized workforce. There may be a building that everybody uses as hoteling when they’re in town, when they need to have these large meetings that we frankly can’t have anymore. But they were ready. So it’s surprising to me the number of our partners, our clients, our stakeholders that have been ready have been already operating in this ecosystem of being remote. Uh, you know, that discipline is there for them. It may be hard for some people to balance being at home with, you know, turning on your, your work hat, you know, that kind of thing. But some people are already prepared. To me, it’s been surprising how many of those people are already used to this. And I think on the other side of this, what will be interesting to see is how many of these learnings get implemented. You know, for the long term moving forward, many people I think are going to realize that maybe they can save a little bit here and there by cutting down on brick and mortar when all of their work or a lot of their work can be done from computers remotely.
Yeah. Excellent. I want to say one more thing. I was talking to one of our CMO clients from a Fortune 200 consultancy and he said something at, not this last week, but the week before a, at the beginning of this, I think maybe not quite when the pandemic, but large organizations had already started moving their workforce remote and had started activating their, business continuity plans. And he said that the top five consultancies haven’t been able to move businesses to digital over the last five years. So there’s been more progress in the last five weeks than there has been in the last five years. Wow. And, you know, digital transformation going digital IOT and machine learning. And I think we, we’ve made the jump, right. Uh, and I’m excited
to come out on the other side and see where we go. Excellent. Excellent. Well you don’t, let’s just take a quick question from the community. Kevin out there is asking, do you have any tips for businesses thinking about going to remote, either from your experience or what you’ve heard from clients? So I think Elliot you started kind of going down that path, build on that a little bit. I mean, what, you know, if you’re a business right now contemplating how do you go remote or this is completely new, many of our clients have done it for a long time. What advice do you have for them? What tips do you have for them?
One of the things that we’ve seen obviously is, you know, the most visible one is you can’t have meetings, you can’t have large scale meetings. There’s, there’s three of us here. If there were, you know, seven more people, we’d be at capacity according to the current guidelines. So the first thing that those businesses are thinking are how do we move those events, those large meetings, those important communications, whether external or internal, into a digital platform. And so we’ve had, that already happened with a couple of our clients. And it’s very soundstage. You know, people have come in and hosted their events that would have happened live before, you know, a couple hundred, maybe even a thousand people and have actually benefited by having this digital platform where as now more people can access it because some people probably couldn’t have traveled to that event. They cast a broader net by being in a digital environment.
So that’s, you know, the most visible thing. I think a lot of people are aware of the big events that were canceled and you know how those have managed to move online. It’s an indicator of where things are going. Then again, not everybody has events, right? So other marketers and other businesses are still out there trying to cope with the new normal and how do they do business in this environment? You know, in our world video production, we’re used to filming, but we’re also used to creating things from, whether it be existing stock footage that we’ve shot for the client before, whether it’s, you know, stock footage that can be accessed online from high quality vendors or even animation. So all of these things are, you know, creative products that can be created with a remote team. We mentioned earlier, our staff has already gone into their remote locations and we’re, you know, caring about business as usual.
We may not be able to talk to each other in person, but there’s a plethora of tools out there to help us collaborate that we’ve been leveraging. Fortunately in the past, even before we were remote, just to make things easier and to have, you know, visible track records of version control and all of that. So all of that is really coming in handy now that we’re distributed. But work can continue from a more creative approach. I think I’ve seen a lot of brands leverage the power of all of these consumers and fans sitting at home wanting to do something right. And so, um, you know, creative things like eliciting or sorry, soliciting user-generated videos to cut together. Right? Or even just taking a different tack, engaging the audience and saying, Hey, post your work from home setup. Something like that. Just taking a little bit of a creative approach, I think now is the time to really flex that flexibility and think about, you know, what can we do that’s gonna really impact the most people and you know, garner those views. Obviously being, you know, sensitive and tactful given the current situation. But there’s a lot that can be done still. And I think the key is try to continue communicating as much as possible, whether it’s internal, whether it’s external, you know, and keep, keep people entertained and keep your brand top of mind. Okay.
Excellent. Excellent. Awesome. Well, thank you for sharing that. You know, just so you guys have context on who’s tuned in right now, we’ve got, you know, a lot of that seems like about 30% of our audience is from professional services businesses. I’m sorry, 50% of our audience, is from professional service businesses. And then we’ve got 25% of our audience from travel and hospitality. Those are both, uh, industries that we know have been probably hit the heaviest right now. Um, you know, let’s kind of lead into, from a marketing point of view, let’s just talk about marketing for a few minutes. Uh, Sheryl Sandberg or Facebook on Monday said no one knows the impact of this pandemic and what it will do to the marketing industry. Shezad, what are your thoughts?
No, I first start off by saying if anybody is trying to guess the impact, I think they’re full of it, right? Nobody can, it’s too early to assess the impact to GDP, to unemployment, to corporate earnings. But what we do know is that organizations and brands aren’t going to be able to move forward by hustling their way through, you know, short term distractions and gimmicky ads. I think this is the time where brands and marketeers should and have to choose a longterm view versus a short term or near term view. I mean, this is something that we talked to our brands about even without an environment like this. But I think this is, this is really a catalyst, right? Do things that will build trust and reputation. And I’m going to share a few examples that we’ve seen just within our DFW community.
But I think it’s important to redefine the definition of marketing because so many of us think of marketing as a synonym for getting attention as a synonym for selling marketing. I think Seth Goden, I, I like his definition of marketing. Marketing is what we make, how we make it, how we talk about it, and what we believe in as a brand, right? So the opportunity really is defined ways to add value to your customers, to our customers, uh, to our prospects, to our community, right? And so I think that’s, that’s a real opportunity. So we’re challenging our customers, our clients, and our team. How can we add value? That’s excellent. You know, that’s going to build on one of the questions that came in earlier. Maybe, one of you, Elliot, maybe wants to talk a little bit about someone’s asking what is DHD doing to help its clients and community?
Great. Yeah, that’s a great question. I know that many of you have received the deluge of emails, right? From all of the companies that you’ve given your email to at some point telling you what they’re doing. So this is a great platform for us to inform those that haven’t received our communications. So the first thing that we’re doing to Shezad’s point is, we have something here at DHD called VTO. It’s not virtual time off. It’s volunteering time off. And so that is designated essentially paid volunteerism time that the staff gets to use at their discretion with local community foundations or organizations that help us out, as a community, not just in a business sense. So the first thing we’ve done is we’ve doubled that time so that those staff members that are, you know, wanting to do something to give back, help the community out, they can do that.
And that again, has doubled. So for us, that’s really important because we want to help as much as we can during these uncertain times. The other thing that we’ve done is obviously, I mentioned earlier, we’ve sent the whole workforce remote. That doesn’t mean that things can’t happen in the studio. Clearly we’re here at the soundstage today. But we’ve taken precautions around that as well. The soundstage is being maintained in a very, very sanitary, a lot of wiping down of surfaces, you know, sanitizing, sanitizing things in between shoots and making sure that the crews that are here are essentially the most critical people we’re at skeleton crews so that there’s no more than 10 people, oftentimes fewer than that. And we, you know, have years of experience so that we can do that and still maintain a high quality standard of production around that.
Yeah. Go for it. Go for it. Speaking of sanitizing, um, around that, the other thing that we’ve done is we’re extending I guess our soundstage free of charge to those productions that want to come in and get a message out there. Uh, so we’re waiving the fee on the soundstage. Uh, like I said, the crews will be skeleton. This space is still available. Work can happen here. Even though the workforce is remote, we’re still able to deploy them, uh, for those critical communication projects where we might have a CEO come in and give an address, things like that. So we’ve done a lot, I think to secure the health and safety of our staff, of any of the clients coming in. And then we’ve really tried to give back as much as we can to the community and enabled our staff to do so as well.
Excellent. I was going to say, she’s on, I want you to add, actually, not just from a D H D perspective or what have you seen in the DFW? What have you seen across the nation where brands have really stepped up to support their community? Can you build on that? Absolutely. So I want to build on what, one of the big things that our clients really have value even prior to this current environment is our network of creative professionals, filmmakers in most major markets. And now this has become even more important, right? Because we don’t have to go against the advice of the healthcare professionals. We don’t have to request anybody to come on a plane, um, you know, and, and so we can deploy a filmmaker in Chicago and still get a CEO’s address to his team. Um, so, you know, I think that’s, it’s allowing us to flex that muscle.
Right. But the other thing that I’m always looking for is a small business owner and wanting to share is what our other peers doing? A big and small boat. So I want to share a few examples. We know that the most, the most at risk population here is, is our seniors, is our elderly. And so dollar general has reserved the first hour of operations for this at risk population, right? So they, they’re not exposed unnecessarily. I think that’s a great step, a small step perhaps. But a big impact. Right? Um, so that’s a big company, right? But then you don’t have to be a big company to do. So in DFW, there’s a distillery in Lewisville, Texas who’s taking the alcohol byproducts and creating hand sanitizers. Right. And they just this week, and we’re not even at the end of the week, just this week, they have distributed 1500 bottles to first responders to healthcare professionals, to their customers that they’ve opened up to the community members.
You don’t have to buy anything, right? And this is a small business who doesn’t know how long they’re going to be able to you know, what the impact is, but they’re stepping up. And I think that’s, that’s inspiration. And then we’ve even seen, you know, there are sectors, industries that typically don’t have a good rep in terms of customer service or, you know, taking, you know, long hold times or whatever that may be. But we’ve seen the Telecom providers, the internet service providers within DFW, but nationally, uh, want to give a shout out to spectrum and Comcast, they have committed to providing complimentary broadband internet to any family that does not have internet access. So their K through 12 students can continue online schooling. That’s going to make it a big difference, right? They have the infrastructure and guess what, when we come out of this and we will come out of this, those brands are going to be remembered and that loyalty is going to last way further than any ad campaign. Again. So, you know, I hope this inspires some of you, you know, to think in little ways or big ways you can do for your audience. Well, I want to stay on this topic is so interesting. But I, I know that there’s a question, kind of taking us back a little bit to uh, maybe something Elliot you can answer, but, uh, David was asking what are a few collaboration tools that we have been using, and then maybe you’ve seen clients using to keep business moving forward.
Yeah, I think a lot of the online collaboration tools have seen just a surge. I know that in preparation for the virtual event I was discussing earlier that we produce here with a client. We were using zoom and zoom had a record usage during that period. So where we were even having a few connection issues here and there just because of the sheer volume of people that were on zoom. We use Uber conference here in the studio to host our digital conferences. Slack was mentioned earlier. Slack also has video conferencing capabilities. In addition to that, there’s tons of, you know, interactive tools that you can use. Whoo, clap. We’ve also used that here a lot. We’re coming at you live on several streaming platforms, Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, even Instagram, all have these kinds of capabilities. I actually attended a couple of Instagram, you know, events that were essentially just using Instagram live to broadcast their message. So I think, you know, right now is really the time where that industry is going to be thriving, but it’s also really good because it’s going to give them a lot more usage data that they can then leverage to perfect those tools. Uh, and as we keep talking about, once we come out of this on the other side, it’s a high probability that a lot of these, you know, remote by force workforces are going to be moving into a remote by choice or really by benefit to the business.
Absolutely. This reminded me of something I read earlier this week just, and I hope so. I want to share a couple of thoughts. Number one is, you know, the, and you guys may have heard me say this, the one thing more contagious than COVID 19 is hope and it’s something that we should be spreading. With that said, I think when we look back at past crises, whether it’s healthcare or not, when we look at 2008, the financial crisis, the mortgage crisis there are companies that are, you know, names that everybody knows Uber and Airbnb. They were launched and built and perfected during that time. Why? Because people had limited income, right? And they had to make their dollars go further and they had to make, you know, so they had an extra room. They were going to leverage and monetize. They had, you know, vehicle that wasn’t being utilized or extra time they were going to leverage. Right. So I’m already thinking about what are the companies that are going to come out of this and how can we help our clients be one of those companies, right. If we take it take, you know, that, that longterm view. Sure. Right. Wo, you know, hope keeps spreading it. Guys. Thank you. You know, I think Elliot, you kind of answered this question, but maybe if there’s anything left to build on someone’s asking the question of
have you been using or learned any new platforms to deliver live content in an interactive way? Uh, I think, you know, we tried to build in some interactivity today with polls and other things, but I mean, do you have any other tools for who’s asking that question? Yeah, I mean, I think again, the tools that I listed, there’s plenty more that you can go on and, you know, poll me, I think is one of them. Slido is Slido. We experienced a just a few weeks ago and many, many of these have a track record of being used in live events, right? So at South by last year, obviously we’re not having it this year. You know, you’re sitting in the audience and you can interact with the speakers there. It’s no different than that. And I think that’s really the key here is that we’re able to replicate a lot of those experiences with the tools at hand.
Some of them are going to be easily accessed by consumers. So obviously there’s a big difference between streaming via Instagram, uh, to that, you know, following the format of it. The interactivity that is is one thing. Uh, and then something like what we’re conducting today or even on a larger scale, the virtual event that we hosted for the client I referenced earlier, the couple of clients actually those have a lot more moving parts. There are both asynchronous things that can be streamed. There are live events such as this. There’s collaboration tools, there’s polls, questions. All of that, you know, is a different breed of animal that we have a lot of experience deploying, both in a live environment in person and now, uh, in a virtual event. You know, so I think Google is your friend if you want to do something out of the box. Uh, but obviously we’re here. If any, any of our client’s customers want something that’s a little bit more substantive, because of technology threshold is there, a lot of, a lot of these things can crash or can not go well if you don’t have the experience to set them up correctly. So I think there’s a, there’s a vast gamut there. Like I said, start with Google and then if you have any questions, that’s what we’re here for. Yeah.
Excellent. I think I would just add, you know, depending on the messaging and the mission criticalness of it, right. That’s, you know, that’s where you, and we’re happy to have that conversation. We’d love to have that conversation because we, that’s, that’s what we get excited about, telling stories and helping brands tell stories, whether it’s in a live environment, in a prerecorded environment, in a virtual environment. Um, so that’s, that’s exciting. Have I received any shout outs yet or saying, ah man,
You know what actually I gotta give it to you. I’ve got to give it to you. David said she’s on, I love that quote. Hope is more contagious. So you do have a fan out there. David send me the invoice. Seed me the invoice out of the 70 plus people that tuned in. I think it’s great. You did get a shout out. Now there’s just a kind of building on a couple things. There was a Q and a question that came in. Maybe she’s odd. Your best to kind of answer this, I’m guilty of this. I actually did it on today’s webinar, but difference between a webinar, a webcast and a virtual event. Yeah, I hear them being used, entertained interchangeably. Is there a difference?
Well, if you’re saying there isn’t a difference because I’ve heard him say all three of them, uh, just in the last 35 minutes. So this is, a webcast is a one way communication. Think about the Tesla model three launch. Most of us watched it live. Some may watch it on demand. There wasn’t a two way communication. So that’s a, that’s a webcast. A webinar is similar to this where there’s a live interaction component. You’re asking live questions, somebody answering, uh, people are responding. There are webinars that are prerecorded, uh, and this one will be available. Many of you have asked it if this is going to be available from the beginning. So you could certainly have that. And then a virtual event is a combination of the two really. So where you have multiple webinars and multiple speaking sessions going on. And the easiest way for me to describe that to our audiences. Imagine being at South by where you have multiple talking tracks and you can pick between that or at Sapphire or at, NAB, whatever the trade show of your industry Ursa, uh, for the healthcare fitness industry. You’ve got simultaneous sessions going on, you pick which one you want to, you know, and, and so that’s really the difference. So this right here is the closest to a webinar, right? Uh, I hope that made sense. You’re saying absolutely it did.
did. Um, I’m building a new poll question just to put it out there just to see how people are finding value in, uh, what we’re presenting today. So let’s, uh, show this question out there and um, and then I’ll publish the results here in a few minutes. Uh, let’s go back to one of the Q and a that came in. Uh, this is a Q and a from Maddie. What is the best way brands can navigate through COVID messaging? Um, Elliot, you want to take a stab at this? I think, you know, if you’re familiar with bear Grylls, if you’ve spent any time on the internet, you may have seen this,
Improvise, adapt, overcome. This is a very special time because people have been pushed into thinking differently and thinking creatively. We were talking earlier about brands pivoting a little bit to be less sales forward and maybe just staying top of mind, whether that be by reporting things that they’re doing good news in the general community or other efforts like that. This is a time where the marketers have to be a little bit more creative and go for that soft sell. Even just reassuring people, entertaining people, you know, a lot of people are at home, they have a lot of spare time on their hands, or maybe they’re just looking for an escape from all of the things going on. You know, and so that’s, that’s another tack to take. Isn’t that what Tic Toc is for. Yeah, that’s exactly what tick-tock is for neither, neither broadcast or webcasts this week.
You know, there’s a lot, there’s a lot out there that we can do. And I think the other thing that we can do during this time is really reach out to those networks and reinforce them. Because you know, business can keep going on. And those business relationships, whether they’re with peers, with partners, with employees, again, internal communication, it’s critical to keep all of that going and to reinforce it now because it’s going to be super important once we get to the other side of this. And all of those campaigns that were put on hold right now start getting activated. The other thing that can happen right now is all of the pre-planning that happens for all of these things to even be a product, right? So whether it’s building new products or working on the preproduction for videos that can be filmed, uh, after the fact, you know, once we get out of this environment, that’s the kind of work that can happen right now. Um, and again, there’s a lot of opportunity here. We just have to look for it.
Can I build on that, Hussain, real quick, because that was going to void. One of the points we’ll have a choice. By the way, can I say no? Um, if you, if you do have a few fans out there, Shezad out that have just jumped in There was somebody that’s just, Shezad the man! Okay. Thank you. Thank you. Because I can use that boost of confidence. You know, I, I want to just build on Elliot’s point because in talking to our, customers and I, one of the questions I ask is how is the setback impacting your business? What are some considerations that are, uh, that you guys are debating with or having? Because number one, we can learn and number two we can share, right? Uh, and a few of them, you know, talked about maybe putting a pause or halt on the development, right, product development or brand refresh.
A lot of brands, you know, uh, a new decade, you know, had been working on this, right? Launching a new, a new branding and brand guidelines, um, UX, UI improvement, customer experiences, never been more important user experience and user interface. And what I am, you know, and after hearing them, what I, what I’ve told them is innovation can’t stop, shouldn’t stop. We can’t afford to spend stuff on stuff, can’t stop learning stuff. And if you just look at, you know, just this week, right? So we’re just at the tip of this Apple launched is its most advanced iPad. The iPads got a LIDAR radar built in just a few years ago. This would have been a $25,000 feature set, right? Slack just yesterday announced. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a platform many of us use, many of our clients use since its inception. It’s most robust update. Right? And I hope this trend will continue, right?
This is an opportunity to, to bring those ideas that were off to the sidelines. Right? Because you have capacity, you have people that are focused, right. And you know, one of the things I’ll ask this group is what other time in history would we have seen a 645,000 square foot hospital get erected in 10 days. You wrecked it and functional in 10 days. So I’d submit to you that out of conflict, we can come out stronger. There’s growth out of conflict. Right. And so I just want to make sure, you know and I, I know we’ve heard you say to our team, conflict leads to growth, right? And I think what we’re going to see very quickly is a next generation of businesses and business models are going to start rising to the surface. Thank you. Thank you. It looks like Shezad,
Your topic of the four letter word hope is trending right now. Um, that’s, that’s awesome. I mean, let’s, let’s take this another question. I know I’ve read it a few minutes ago, but I think it might be a good time to kind of switch over to this. Do you think event marketeers and field marketing teams can deliver MQL and SQL in the virtual environment? Now, for someone like me, what the hell is an MQL and an SQL? That’s what you have Google for. Let’s find out. Yeah. So MQL, uh, marketing qualified leads, SQL sales, qualified leads, right. And we support a lot of field marketing teams for enterprise brands. A lot of the content that we’ve historically created gets launched at a large shows. And that’s the lifeline for the, for the businesses, right? For new, we were talking about each show can have 200, $300 million worth of, uh, these, uh, leads and business conversation. So pretty, pretty important stuff. But here’s, here’s how to respond to that. When you have brands like Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, Google, all announcing
that they’re going digital, right? And then on top of that, you have Warren Buffett is going digital, right? I mean, that’s, I mean, so if he can go digital with the Berkshire Hathaway 2020 conference, I think we all should go digital. I think the, my answer is a resounding yes, we can absolutely deliver on business outcomes. We can deliver on, you know, metrics. It just, our way of measuring that is going to have to change. Right? And to add, to add to that, I mean, and to kind of tied the last topic and this one together, this is an opportunity for those teams that maybe haven’t to flex their digital muscle, right? If you haven’t used social media to its full extent, now is the time. A lot of those businesses that are pivoting are doing so on social media, on all the websites that people are sitting at home, you know, consuming content on.
It may not be that tick-tock is the best platform for your message, but Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, you know the list goes on LinkedIn, LinkedIn, all of these platforms can be leveraged right now to create a measurable outcomes and you know, that’s an area for growth for a lot of people. It might be a completely new skillset, but that’s the kind of thing that’s going to be necessary during this climate. Just the adaptation and the flexibility. It may be that you even roll out a subset of services that you didn’t have before. I know we mentioned earlier that there’s a lot of people in the hospitality and the food sector maybe that are on the call, sorry, on the webcast webinar. And even here in North Texas, we’ve had some creative creative solutions. I know one of our favorite restaurants in the area has switched from serving dine-in food, which they’re not allowed to do anymore to creating, you know, curated cook at home kits, right? So there’s a lot of creativity that can happen right now, a lot of muscles that can be flexed. And I think that that’s going to be a resounding reminder to people about the hope that Shezad spoke about that, you know, we have to continue marketing and we have to continue consuming on the other side. We just have to be cognizant of the sensitivities around this issue. But the more that we can reinforce normalcy for our customers, our clients and our partners, the better that we’re all gonna come out on this. On the other side,
I told you we can’t name any clients in this conversation. We love you Cognizant. So I just want to add, because we’re this, we’ve been talking to marketeers, right? Many of our, many of our clients are communicators and business leaders and marketers. I think what we’ve learned and what’s front and center is you have to constantly reassess. Just because you assessed a situation last week doesn’t mean, you know, we can move forward. I mean, we’re talking about hourly assessment. So, you know, uh, I’ll give you an example that one of our clients, whose, industry conference got a postpone, right? Pivoted to a virtual pivoting to virtual and the big impact, right? When the shutdowns, the quarantines, I don’t know if quarantine is the right word, but, when the limit on, public, at what, you know, you, you get the point, a big impact.
And they had so much awesomeness that they wanted to share with their, their customers. But what they realize is when a thousand of their customers had to close indefinitely, over a weekend, it was going to be tone deaf to go out with new feature set to release a new brand and to talk about growth, which is all true as of last week. But it was, you know, and so they made the decision to pause the contingency. So I think in my 20 years, this has been the first time where we need a contingency to a contingency. And I would challenge our friends, our partners, our, our clients to really have that right. Because we don’t know how protracted this is going to be. We’re, we’re, you know, and so, you know, just reassess and we’re doing that. A DHD of it. Well, thank you guys.
We’re almost coming to the end of our time together. If there are any more questions, please, uh, keep on flowing. We’ll try to get them answered on this webinar. Otherwise we will take it offline and try to follow up with you. Kevin asked a great question, Elliot, that I think you might be able to build on. I think you touched a little bit on this, at least I feel like I heard it, but what are some storytelling techniques that don’t require shooting of new footage? Yeah, right. So obviously
in-person gatherings of any kind, including filming are going to be affected by this. I mentioned earlier that we’re at I think a limit of 10 people, at least here in Dallas where we are, that may shrink down. But even if it doesn’t, people are uneasy about being out in the streets, being around a lot of gear that they may not know. You know, where it’s been, where it hasn’t, even though we are taking the precautions to, as I mentioned earlier, sanitize everything thoroughly, keep our staff, you know, as minimal as possible. Some people will just don’t want to take the risk or don’t want to expose themselves or their crews or their teams to filming. So in lieu of that, you know, we can look at animation, which is wholesale created inside of, inside of a computer. As I mentioned earlier, we have our animators currently working remotely.
We’re proofing things that kind of business doesn’t have to stop. Sometimes animation can add a levity that we probably all need right now in this time. But aside from that, there’s also stock footage as a solution. And for many of our clients who we’ve been working with for many years, we have a library, an archive of footage, uh, that we can use to just re message, rinse a little bit, reorient and create brand new, you know, videos that can go out to their clients, to their partners and stakeholders and really take advantage of what’s already been done. So a lot of work can still happen. And it doesn’t really have to depend on in-person filming. I know that that’s one thing that we have been used to. But it can be, it can take a lot of forms and the social media ecosystem is also really friendly to gifts, right? Or to just small snippets of things here and there. Even, I know we joked about it, but tech talk, that’s a whole different platform. Companies are sinking a lot of money into influencer, curated and created content. So those platforms are something that if your brand is more aligned with that market, you might look into
Can I add one more thing? So what Elliot was talking about is if you need content tomorrow or in three days or three weeks or even three months. But what we know from working with many of our larger clients is sometimes messaging takes time. There’s an elaborate preproduction process. So it may be three months before we start filming, which that’s okay. But there’s so much of the heavy lift, the creative lift doesn’t require a crew, right? Right. So, and this, the silence, this pause is a really good time to get that creative energy, right? People don’t have, you know, meetings after meetings and so they can actually, so we’ve actually gotten, surprisingly, so we’ve gotten more timely responses from our client base in the last two weeks, right? Because I think, again, it’s pattern disruption, right? They’re in a different environment. So, I think a lot of greatness can come out of this.
Thank you guys. There is one question that I want to try to get to before we run out of time today. I think it’s an interesting question and it’s about virtual reality. So I’ll let you guys marinate on that for a minute. There is a poll currently open around does your business have a plan to communicate your response to COVID 19. We’re just curious and it looks like right now, multiple votes have come in, so, I’ll publish the results, multiple votes have come in that yes, people are communicating this internally and externally and a handful of them are just communicating internally right now because they’re still perfecting their message for their external audiences, whether it’s their investors or, you know, customers, partners, vendors. So yeah. Good. Thank you for engaging in the polls. Uh, let’s jump to this Q. And. A. Sean is asking, do you think VR content will become more streamlined and how do companies leverage these techniques at a time? Like,
this, can I take a shot at that Elliot?
Sure, absolutely. I think one of the things that people really look for from the kind of digital conversion, if you will, of events that we’ve been discussing is the ability to feel like they’re actually there. So if you’re talking about being at a conference, putting that on a screen, it still gives you kind of a siloed view. One that we’ve done already before any of this happened, for a couple of clients is actually hosted their events virtually through three 60 video. So that allows you to pan the camera around and you can at least see who you’re sitting next to. You can read the audience, uh, you can see the reactions and feel a little bit more immersed. You put that on a headset and that takes it up just a thousand percent because it really feels like you’re actually there. So I think that for those markets where they have that tolerance to have that kind of technology, absolutely.
I think virtual reality, mixed reality, augmented reality, whatever you want to call it, I think that there’s as much jargon confusion there as with webinar webcast and all that. But yeah, I think VR, whether on a headset or whether in a group VR large scale display, um, or even just kind of the, the truncated VR experience of manipulating a computer and turning around even within your own screen, that’s really going to help people feel like they’re there. And especially when you have a lot of interesting content, you know, that really amps the experience for people when they can feel like they’re immersed in that reality. That’s gonna really build that brand adherence. And you know, your message is going to get there stronger.
Excellent. Thank you. Do you want to add anything to that? I think Elliot did a really, I mean, I the only, the only thing I would add actually to that is I’m, I think there’s going to be a, an uptick because of the, the, the trends of gaming, right? Because that is a virtual environment. And, one of the things that I, recently read in the Richards group, 2020s, top 10 insights was the biggest growth in that community is females. 30 to 35 or 30 to 34. Never would have thought. So I think there’s a great opportunity to explore VR.
Thank you. We’ll take these last two questions cause we’re almost out of time. One is going to be an easy one, Elliot, and it’s going to be a give me, but I think you can I get a that one? So I’m going to give you the tough one. Um, so Jason’s asking what do you recommend for live streaming, YouTube or Vimeo? And just to build on that, he’s saying what do you recommend to be the best gear set up in the livestream for an event. So if you want to just touch that a little bit.
Yeah, I mean, I think both platforms are solid. It really depends on what you’re trying to achieve. We’re currently using the polling functionality, for example, a Vimeo. So if that’s something that’s critical to your web cast or webinar, that would definitely be a tool that you can look at. YouTube has a little bit more of market penetration, so that’ll maybe give you a broader net, especially if it’s public. If it’s something that’s a little bit more curated, and you need that feature set, then Vimeo might be the way to go. And again, I mentioned this earlier and I wouldn’t discount it if your brand aligns with the market that exists in Instagram or even Tic Toc, but definitely Instagram, a lot of brands are moving, there, I wouldn’t say less important, but certainly a little bit more authentic webcasts under those platforms.
They also allow you to do a little bit of interaction where people can chime in, give comments, send emojis, that kind of thing. So those are the platforms, um, that, you know, off the top of my head I can think of that are pretty popular right now in terms of a gear setup. Again, it really ranges depending on the level of sophistication that your audience needs. So right now we’re in our studio. We’ve got two cameras. You’ve probably seen the switch are happening. These are HD cameras. These are the same type of cameras that we would fill them any kind of production with. We’re just hooking them up to a switcher that then hooks into the computer. So that can be, you know, a live webcast. But you can do this with, you know, lower tech gear. You can do this with a web camera. Most of our laptops now have, you know, the camera built in. So it really depends on that, that level of sophistication that your audience is looking for. But there’s plenty of tools out there, many of them you know, in your pocket. You know, we’re
not going to have a lot of time to answer this next question, but maybe I’ll take a stab at it because of my personal connection to the nonprofit work that you guys know. I do. So Susan’s asking, I represent a lot of charities who are considering having their gala go virtual. Any recommendations on affordable software for online auctions and fundraising, such as text to give. So I think just real quick, what I would say to Susan is, you know, I represent a large global nonprofit and the work that we do in the central region, and we’re actually looking at how do we do things in a virtual environment for the rest of the year, right? Because the need is still there. And the need’s going to get greater with some of the local nonprofits like the food banks and things like that.
They have to communicate and connect and, engage their audiences now and they won’t have the undivided attention that they would typically have at a gala. So they’re looking at storytelling, they’re looking at videos, uh, you know, building a social community online to do that. And then we’re, I can tell you from my perspective, we’re looking at monthly giving and we’re looking at how can we improve our monthly giving, programs that we have to make sure that people have an opportunity to give. Maybe we’re not able to attract the typical Gallo like audience, but how can we get thousands of people engaged to give $3 a month? Right? And so that’s something that we’re looking at. But I will definitely come back to you with some other tools. Let’s kind of wrap it up today with any going away comments that you have, any thoughts? As we wrap up into less, let’s say we’ll give you 60 seconds to make closing comments. Who wants to go first? I just say thank you for joining us. This has been as informative for us in preparation for this. And I, it’s been informative
for you. We don’t see this as a one and done. We look forward to having this curated conversation in the coming weeks and months, because again, we’re going to get through this together. So thank you so much. Be safe, and have your own bottle of hand sanitizer like Elliot and Hussain do. I just washed my hands guys. Have a terrific rest of your afternoon, your evening. Can I just sign off? Well before you sign off, we gotta let Elliot..,
okay. I get the last word here. All right, so I’m just going to echo what Shezad has said. Uh, you know, this is an interesting time. It’s a time to be hopeful. It’s also a time to be creative and you know, hopefully this has been helpful to you. We’re going to have more of these. If there’s something that we didn’t get to or something that you even just want to have a deeper conversation about, please reach out to us. We’re here. Maybe not in the studio. We may be on the internet at different locations, but our Mindshare is here to help anyone out to figure out how to navigate these coming months. So yeah, please reach out to us and thank you for being here. Thank you. Can I get up
Thank you. Can I get up and show people my shorts? No, that’s, that’s for the, that’s for the after hours webinar.
Above all, virtual events are not going anywhere. Hence, investing in technological platforms is more vital than ever. Want to know how you can smoothly transition into a virtual environment, while maintaining high production value? Read our Executing a Great Live Event and Maintaining High Production Value or listen to our The Show Must Go On(line) Podcast for more information.