More than 160 buyers attended Virtually Live London over the 21st and 22nd April, the industry’s first virtual FAM event. Virtually Live is a series of online events providing organisers, agents and buyers the opportunity to ‘visit’ a destination remotely.
Attendees from as far as Singapore and the West Coast of America got to take guided tours around over a dozen London venues during the two-day event. The tour even took viewers on virtual trips between venues to familiarise them with the surrounding area and transport links.
Attendees included well-known agencies such as Amex GBT agency, Trinity Event Solutions, Conference Care; booking teams from online agencies such as eve, HireSpace, HeadBox, Canvas Events and Venue Search London, as well as event managers from a range of companies including Financial Times Live and Dods Group.
The innovative format saw venue managers personally showing viewers around their venues followed-up with a Q&A session. Rowan Kitching, Director of Catering and Events at The HAC said. “The format was fantastic; I think it’s the most buyers I’ve ever presented to in one session and it was great to be part of something bringing the event community together.’
Laura Pearce, from CH&Co, representing RSA House said, “It’s a great platform to show off our spaces and the audience seemed engaged; every session ended with a handful of really good questions which were great as it allowed us to answer in front of the entire audience”
After an overwhelming reaction from the industry, Patch plan to host a second edition of Virtually Live and is currently accepting suggestions on their next theme.
Jackson Clark, Managing Director of Patch said: “We launched this to bring venues and event organisers together at a time when it would otherwise be impossible to conduct site visits, but what really struck me was the appeal of togetherness. Any buyer could visit any of the presenting venues’ online and look at their virtual tour any day of the week. What brought 150 people together was the feeling of community spirit and the privileged position of being shown around by the venue manager, benefitting from their insight and experience of the venue”.
Jenni Sannia, venue sourcer of Amex GBT agency, said: “It was a great way to familiarise with 13 venues and get to know venue managers, I can see this being a great tool for people wanting to view venues from other cities and/or countries without the hassle of travel. I think this format has a future due to the ease and speed it allows attendees to visit venues and become aware with their capabilities”.
To register your interest in future Virtually Live events or to suggest the next theme, please contact Patch at firstname.lastname@example.org