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Darren Gough, wine with purpose & a virtual tasting success story

Hosting a launch wine tasting event for a new South African wine collection via group video call is not what you would call standard practice, but for our client, Freixenet Copestick, and South African rhino charity, Care for Wild, it provided the perfect platform in the current circumstances.

We hosted over 70 attendees of media, buyers, VIPs and rhinos (yes, rhinos!) from all over the globe via a pretty impressive Zoom call with breakout rooms and Q&A sessions. Over 105 bottles of wine were pre-delivered in the luxury hampers, meaning all guests could experience a virtual wine tasting to launch the new collection.

So, how do you nail a product launch from the comfort of your front room? Read on for some of our top tips…

Don’t underestimate the dress rehearsal!

Running virtual events can differ greatly from practice to reality. It is important to ensure you have a practice guest or two who can listen to the audio and watch the video as if they were an attendee, to ensure all is up to scratch.

We had successfully trialled playing a video via screen sharing, but as soon as the 70+ attendees joined the call the technology could not handle the strain. Where possible, provide links or software for attendees to watch any video content using their own internet connection/devices, or break out into smaller ‘rooms’ to showcase larger files.

Contingency planning

This links to the previous point and is arguably the most important detail to consider when hosting virtual events. It is vital to ensure you have a contingency, or backup, plan in place to ensure that if the host loses connection or their device ‘dies’, there is someone to stand in and continue to move the event along.

This helps to prevent the event from looking unprofessional or disorganised and ensures you keep the attendees’ attention.

Quick fire tips…

  • Utilise ‘rooms’ – Zoom has a feature whereby you can split a group into smaller breakout ‘rooms’, allowing for easier conversation, greater attendee engagement and increased specialisation.
  • Lights, CAMERA, action – Try to encourage attendees to turn on their cameras, this can help both the host and viewers to engage, and provides a more pleasant event experience all around!
  • Utilise the chat – Asking attendees to submit questions via the text chat is beneficial in a couple of ways. Not only does it ensure that every comment is heard (or seen), it also means that you can continue to roll through questions without having any awkward pauses. Furthermore, it encourages attendees to engage who may not be willing to talk in front of a large group of people.
  • Record – Carrying out a virtual event means you can record the entire event for free with Zoom’s built in meeting recording feature, providing a great piece of content which allows attendees to re-visit certain moments and note any important information. This video content can then be edited to create further promotional content, such as this…

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