MediaMonks’ New LiveXP Builds Presence and Connection into Live Digital Events

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Media.Monks

Some cities and countries around the world may have reopened, but large-scale events will be the last to return–and in the meantime, brands have taken their events and experiences online.

But despite operating in a time of immense experimentation and rethinking the way we use online tools that bring people together, many brands seek to translate their existing experiences to a digital format, when they should rebuild them from the ground up to take advantage of the features that make livestreaming a unique medium–and build a sense of presence and placemaking in the process.

Unfortunately, popular livestreaming technologies lack that creative potential. Forced to rapidly pivot their event strategies, brands have latched onto platforms and tools that are familiar to them, designed for conference calls—but a video conference platform isn’t a livestream strategy. Meanwhile, setups like those used to capture live events for TV are clunky, complicated, and difficult to coordinate for production teams that remain remote.

Building on years of developing live experiential events that take place online and off, our experiential team has taken our learnings about what truly brings a live experience to life, and has developed a proprietary livestreaming suite that enables brands to take control and build dynamic experiences through a fun, lightweight and intuitive interface: LiveXP. You may have seen some of the experiences that LiveXP has enabled before, like our virtualization of BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival.

“The strength of the suite is that it’s so open and customizable that anything can be done,” says Rafael Fittipaldi, Partner & Creative Tech Director at MediaMonks Sao Paulo. LiveXP takes the baton from several of our previous live experiences–like Old Spice’s Foam Zone–and enables an even greater level of interactivity and versatility that’s missing from so many virtual events today. “Built for creatives, by creatives, the tool offers unprecedented freedom to power live, digital interactive.” Through this versatility, brands have an opportunity to develop more meaningful experiences for their at-home audiences.

Make the Live Experience Unique to an On-Demand One

Placemaking and presence might seem at odds with one of the primary benefits of a virtual event (or even a livestreamed version of an in-person one). After all, you can always catch a recording later, rather than be part of the live experience. But there’s still fun in anticipating the “big moment” and enjoying it with friends, especially when you add digital venues and game platforms into the mix. This need to partake in a collective human experience offers creative opportunities to build a sense of excitement and anticipation–and even a bit of FOMO.

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LiveXP gave the digital Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival an intimate feel with chat-led Q&A's with artists and more.

“If you’re going to SXSW for example, you’re going to be going with friends and attending a lot of parties,” says Ciaran Woods, Executive Producer Experiential & Virtual Solutions at MediaMonks. “Can you expect the same for people attending something virtually—that they’ll block out their day and set things up for an optimal viewing experience?” The same goes for professional events; the value is not often on stage as much as it is in the handshakes and conversation that happens in the hallways between sessions.

Brands can try to capture this magic by building in a sense of exclusivity—that cachet of saying “I was there”—by offering digital “swag” rewarding engagement, or by including direct opportunities to participate in what’s happening on the screen. The virtual Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival used LiveXP to play to this advantage by highlighting chat comments, offering trivia questions and giving the community a chance to engage directly with performers through Q&A’s–whether they were watching on YouTube or Facebook. These indelible moments are critical to modernizing the livestreaming experience and delivering on the true potential of the medium.

Two-Way Interaction Redefines Virtual Presence

We’ve long called for digital interactivity to be baked into a live experience, though we often find that brands aren’t leaning into it enough. Consider all the webinars you’ve watched on a video conference platform whose interactive element is limited to a chat in the sidebar (or if you’re lucky, you might be given a Twitter hashtag to network or backchannel there). These tools are useful, but they fail to really capture what makes being at a live event exciting: building memories through engaging with others in the moment.

Monk Thoughts It’s not just a remote in the hands of the audience, but also giving the speaker the ability to listen and react.

Livestreams should go further than being treated as just a one-way broadcast. This doesn’t benefit the audience alone; an event’s performer—whether they’re a musician, a conference speaker or athlete—thrives on seeing the energy of the audience at physical events. This has prompted the MediaMonks team to flip the focus not just on what’s happening on a digital stage, but what’s happening in the audience, too.

“We want to visualize a sense of presence,” says Woods. “That’s always something we’ve been pushing for in a livestream. What we’re seeing now is that it’s not just a remote in the hands of the audience, but also giving the speaker a sense of presence and the ability to listen and react.”

There are many ways this can play out, depending on the event itself: webinars can track real time interactions to topics throughout a talk, a live viewer count can translate into visual effects in a virtual conference, and cheering from the sidelines in the chat can trigger audio cues as athletes play over a livestream. Spectatorship is an important part of such events, and modern livestreams must reflect that.

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You've seen it before: way back in our Foam Zone livestream, our team used LiveXP to scrape viewer chat input–which directed participants across a precarious arena of foam.

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You've seen it before: way back in our Foam Zone livestream, our team used LiveXP to scrape viewer chat input–which directed participants across a precarious arena of foam.

By connecting seamlessly with livestream platforms and their communities, our proprietary LiveXP suite allows us to enable these interactions and more, powered by dynamic 3D assets and interactive overlays that can be switched up on the fly. Built for creative storytelling in mind, these streams elevate audiences from mere viewers to the role of true collaborators.

Of course, equally important to what happens during a live event is what happens before and after. When planning a digital live event, consider the total end-to-end experience. “What we’re focusing on is covering the entire journey—not only registration and communicating in the lead-up, but also thinking about teaser content and how to make even those interactive as well,” says Woods.

No matter what platform you’re hosting an event on, LiveXP’s versatility enables bespoke experiences to achieve your brand’s specific needs. “This isn’t about licensing a webinar tool and adapting your content to its limitations,” says Fittipaldi. “In collaboration with our clients on live experiential projects, we can customize the tool internally to fit unique brand and creative needs.”

From content that builds excitement to analytics-driven takeaways that can aid in lead nurturing or recommending further content down the line, there’s great potential for brands to upgrade their livestream strategies and connect more directly with audiences online. Building a space that enables digital presence may seem challenging, but new tools and ways of defining digital events offer opportunities to drive impact. With LiveXP powering the live digital experiences we build for audiences today, MediaMonks is able to enable these projects faster and with greater impact.

See for yourself what LiveXP can do.

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