As experience designers, we like to play with the senses, and talk about what one sense might evoke in another. So, we began with an Event Design Workshop to work with Certified Angus Beef on thinking through how “taste” of their incredible product translated into sight, sound, and the other senses. We landed on a sense of authenticity, togetherness, transparency, and community to connect the entire supply chain. Another purpose of the Design Workshop was to identify the core components of the event that needed to stay in the virtual agenda, and what may not be as effective in an online environment. To that end, we helped the team rethink and adapt their awards and scholarships programs – building out specialty, dedicated pages within the platform to highlight each accordingly.
Annual Conference: An Authentic, Community-Driven Virtual Event
Can you taste something through a screen? No, seriously. That question governed our strategy for Certified Angus Beef LLC – pivoting their traditionally in-person, food-focused Annual Conference into a powerful, engaging, and satisfying virtual experience centered around community, relevancy, and togetherness.
Authentic, Brand-Focused Design
An “Eat With Your Eyes” Site
Working hand-in-hand with the Certified Angus Beef team, LAI built a platform that encapsulated their values – not only allowing attendees to “eat with their eyes,” but also staying true to the energy and community that are hallmarks of their brand. We custom designed a website – beyond the template provided by the platform – to take advantage of tasty and panoramic industry visuals, and created an environment where attendees didn’t need to be in a ballroom to know they were at a brand event. From concept to execution, we made sure to stay true to their community vision, authentic brand, and reflected that through a visually stunning website.
Content that Creates Community
It was important to the Certified Angus Beef team that their programming be timely, relevant, and tailored to the challenges and opportunities presented by the current environment. And to ensure virtual polish, LAI Live provided broadcast-quality production for their multi-day agenda, which included multiple general sessions and a handful of breakouts. To help break the virtual wall, we built out ways for participants to submit their questions both in the registration process, as well as through the platform, so the team could address these topics in multiple ways during the program. We conceptualized a “10 in 10” rapid-fire session, where company leadership – livestreamed from their in-office studio – answered 10 questions in 10 minutes, tailored to a specific industry. We then produced a longer town hall session that answered broader scope questions and rallied the entire community together to share their success stories.
Tasting Through the Screen
A major part of the Certified Angus Beef ® brand Annual Conference is its Taste Drive exhibit hall. This is not your traditional hall made up of multiple exhibitors, but rather an opportunity for them to showcase their delicious product to their attendees. So how can you get people to interact, sample, and taste your offerings virtually? First, in the spirit of relevancy, our team built out and organized a visually appealing and branded virtual hall that could filter the product first by audience industry, then by product type. Each booth featured different recipes and factoid sheets tailored to the industry, as well as chef demos to bring in attendees and keep them truly engaged. But what’s a taste drive without actual taste? The team also got creative and distributed a gift card to all attendees, which they could use to shop at the Brand's Store, serving as an additional, fun way to engage with the brand.