Swindon firm's safe virtual studio a hit with clients

By Barrie Hudson - 3 August 2020


A virtual studio launched by a Swindon firm in March has become a popular choice for clients needing an alternative to live events.

  • The company devised its studio as an alternative to conventional live events

    The company devised its studio as an alternative to conventional live events

Hillmead-based Corporate Events devised its Virtual Event Studio to provide a fully-customisable service including an in-house design team.

The reason behind the move was to provide clients with a flexible and engaging alternative to live events as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, and to ensure they were present as a business during an unprecedented time. 

Since then, according to senior figures at the firm, The Virtual Studio has proved to be a popular, safe and effective solution for many businesses who continue to drive forward their communication strategies and event programmes in order to connect them with the people that matter most.

Head of Events Laura O’Bree said: “We all know that more than ever, event strategies need to be more flexible than face-to-face and more engaging than live streaming alone. That’s why we’ve created a secure and immersive space for clients alongside our creative design studio to provide the all-important creative content that’s vital for any online event.”

Pre-covid, Corporate Events provided event production and live events experiences, as well as creative design, for nearly 25 years. 

Managing Director Andy Ashley said: “Virtual events are not new to us - we have always provided this service for clients. However, due to Covid-19, our industry has had to adapt in ways we never thought. 

"When designing the space, we knew safety, flexibility and cost were key, as well as the option to customise elements such as lighting, furniture and AV. 

"For example, we can host a formal awards ceremony or a more relaxed presentation with more comfortable seating such as sofas and coffee tables for more informal Q&A or panel sessions.”

On 17 July, the Prime Minister announced that conferences and exhibitions would be permitted in England from 1 October, depending on data, and that local authorities would have powers to close events if there was a danger to the public, noting that there would be pilot events ahead of the reopening. 

However, on Friday 31 July, a day after some lockdown restrictions were re-introduced, the Prime Minister announced: “On 1 August we had hoped to reopen some of the ‘higher risk’ settings that had remained closed. Unfortunately, we are postponing those changes for at least a fortnight. 

"That means that until 15 August at the earliest, venues, bowling alleys, casinos, skating rinks and other close-contact settings must remain closed. 

"Indoor performances may not resume, pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centres will not take place and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted.”

Mr Ashley said: “We’re aware of a number of pilot events taking place, such as the behind-closed-doors cricket events recently hosted at Lancashire Cricket Club, which included welcoming international visitors in its bio-secure environment. 

"But there is still much apprehension around live events as we are hearing from our clients. 

"For now, we must continue to be adaptable, support our clients and overall hope that the Government gets behind the UK’s £70bn events industry.”

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