How Virtual Experiential Event Platforms are Linking Regional Cultural Festivals to Global Audiences
by Piyush Gupta Industry Watch | November 3, 2020 | Guest Article
Piyush Gupta Kestone
Since the onset of the current pandemic, virtual engagements have done wonders for brands as they accelerated the pace of business continuity globally. Virtual event platforms not only proved to be highly effective for optimum utilization of lesser marketing spends, but in many cases, delivered greater benefits than their physical counterparts. Gradually, these virtual experiential platforms opened wider horizons other than just business engagements, and created a universe in itself where there is room for every need.
One such possibility which virtual event platforms offer is about empowering organizers who host cultural engagements. In the wake of the ongoing festivities and social distancing regulations, virtual event platforms can be leveraged to keep the spirit of celebrations alive and also to enable a large number of workforces who earn their livelihood from these cultural festivals. The cultural festivals are also considered as a viable medium for brand-building and branding initiatives. Hence, virtual event platforms can come in handy for brands looking forward to innovating their outreach game digitally this festive season.
The past month saw a lot of virtual engagement on the occasion of Navaratri, one of the biggest festivals celebrated by Indians across the world. Integrated with creative social media strategies, engagements like Virtual Garba and Virtual Ram Leela have been trending with brands crafting their festive campaigns around these themes. Since these festivals have a global appeal and promote the tourism industry considerably, a lot of organizers have used virtual events platforms to engage with global audiences. There has been a considerable spike in use of virtual event platforms by the Indian diaspora living overseas, as they have been able to connect to their families, friends and cultural roots, virtually.
Virtual event platforms have also been actively tried and tested for the Durga Puja festival, also celebrated worldwide. It not only helped organizers to keep the fervour intact, but also proved the capability of virtual event platforms in creating grandiose experiences which are just next to real.
PLANS FOR DIWALI
With Diwali just round the corner, a lot of social organizations, organizing bodies and brands can come together through these virtual event platforms. A lot of innovation on the digital and experiential front can be conceptualized around one of the biggest festivals as people are keen on consuming value added long-format content digitally these days. Exciting features of virtual event platforms like options to build realistic environments, real-time communication, plug-in features and multi-lingual facilities can be put to best use in this time of increased attention span, especially during the festivities.
There’s never been a better time to go virtual as a lot of global celebrations also have a special place in India, apart from just the regional festivals. Christmas and New Year’s Eve are two big occasions celebrated by everyone, irrespective of religion, caste and creed. Virtual event platforms can not only empower these festivals, but also make social distancing workable in the wake of these occasions when people tend to gather physically.
Apart from these major festivals, almost every region in India has its own version and the cultural flavour is so diverse that only virtual event platforms can do justice to each one of them without putting anyone at risk.
A lot of exhibitions and fairs during these festivities are life-blood to a wider community of craftsman, artistes, performers and the cottage industry as a whole. As far as empowering livelihoods is concerned, virtual event platforms can be leveraged to enable these communities through experiential engagements and reach-out programmes. It can be leveraged for a greater cause where brands, individuals and change-makers can come together to help these communities innovate and prosper.
(Piyush Gupta is the President of integrated sales & marketing company Kestone.)
The cultural milieu in India is so diverse that only virtual event platforms can do justice to all the festivals without putting anyone at risk.