Solita Frontline Summit

Virtual event in 2020

Solita Frontline Summit 2020

“The coronavirus pandemic got us to execute a fully virtual event for the first time. We thought to ourselves: ‘now is a good opportunity to do things in a new way – go big, or go home!’ We scaled the event internationally and reached valuable contacts not only in Finland but also in other countries where Solita operates in. The virtual event offered us a great opportunity to support sales and recruitment goals in other markets as well.” 

– Milla Kortesoja, Head of Events and Experiential Marketing, Solita

Events are central to Solita’s marketing. They serve sales, marketing, as well as recruitment. Various encounters are of great importance and seen as an excellent way to illustrate the skills of Solita staff, and to share information both within the company and externally.

Solita organises some 50 to 60 events annually and one of the most significant ones is the Solita Frontline Summit. The event has previously been held in Helsinki for about 300 participants. This time, the coronavirus pandemic changed everything and the Frontline Summit was transformed from a live event to a virtual one in the space of two weeks. The event broke its attendance record when, for the first time, some 650 participants from eight different countries tuned in. The virtual event was held in English and streamed to an international audience.

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From a local gathering to a global virtual event

We planned and implemented this virtual event together with Milla Kortesoja, who is responsible for event marketing in Solita. We asked Milla what kind of experience the first virtual event resulted in.

What was the biggest surprise about the implementation of the virtual event?

How you can scale an event up to an international level with just a few small changes and with relative ease – and how excited it made us all! We didn’t want to stop at a simple streaming service, but rather chose a more advanced virtual event with a green screen studio, as suggested by TAPAUS. The end result was functional and really high-quality.

Which areas felt most significant for success?

The content must be brilliant and well-planned for the target group, but also inclusive, so that the participant stays tuned throughout the event. It is good for talks to be short and the moderation to remain active. We were praised for the sharp and to-the-point talks, as well as the relaxed and competent facilitation. Also, the activation of the participants through both questions and polls supported the overall experience.

Due to gathering restrictions, not all the event’s speakers were able to enter the studio. How did the combination of live and pre-recorded talks work?

Everything worked great despite the fact that only some of the speakers were live in the studio. The diverse talks brought a nice extra kick to the event and we were able to conveniently gather both participants and speakers from different countries together.

What did you learn about running virtual events?

It was liberating to set aside the norms of live events for a moment and create something completely different! We learned something new when we got to design the look and content of the virtual space, which can be realised in more than just a physical way. The collaboration between the experts from TAPAUS and Solita worked great.

In the future, I would reserve more time for interaction and audience participation. Now we turned a live event into a virtual one at the blink of an eye, so the implementation was restricted by the programme, which we’d previously agreed on.

Are virtual or hybrid events here to stay?

Solita has a strong growth rate and our operations are expanding across several countries, so we see virtual and hybrid events as a fascinating new opportunity. The state of emergency is a good time to challenge your own thinking regarding event organization in the future, and whether virtual or hybrid implementation will be able to bring people together in new ways.

What would you say to those considering a virtual event?

Be bold and go try something new! The coronavirus crisis does not necessarily mean giving up events and avoiding encounters – they just change their form. I believe that companies that bravely try new implementation methods will be remembered from this period in a positive light. The advantages of a virtual event are scalability and independence from a physical space. In this way, an even wider group of relevant participants can be reached.

We are satisfied with the virtual event implemented with TAPAUS. It allowed us to turn a local event into an international one without compromising on quality.

Would you like to see what the Solita Frontline Summit looked and sounded like? See the recording of the event here:

The TAPAUS team:

Account Manager: Minna Vilkko
Executive Producer: Krista Saarikko
Producer: Taru Suokas
Production Coordinator: Samuli Tiitola
Creative: Arttu Kallio
Visual design and identity: Jyri Majalahti, Petri Rantonen and Sanna Lukkarila

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