#VirtualUniverse 2020 – a digital success story
The major event originally planned as a live trade fair in The Hague had to be converted into a virtual conference within two weeks.
Digital transformation implemented within two weeks
Our marketing strategy had to be changed in record time so that the promotion could start immediately after the announcement of the virtual implementation of the Micro Focus trade fair. The result in cooperation with the client was spectacular: Due to our media strategy within the DACH region we were able to significantly increase the number of German-speaking participants. The hashtag #VirtualUniverse designed by the Micro Focus Social Team reached 18 million unique views in just two weeks.
This is what it’s all about
The Universe is Micro Focus’s largest annual event for customers and partners in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, focusing on digital transformation and IT security. In 2020, it was originally planned as a presence conference in The Hague, Netherlands.
However, the worldwide spread of the corona virus (COVID-19) made the originally planned event impossible. The challenge for THE DIGITALE was to change the event’s promotion in German-speaking countries and the originally planned on-site conference coverage to a 100% virtual event.
The results were overwhelmingly positive for Micro Focus, the conference participants and for us. A real success story about how digital transformation can be lived out in a very relevant scenario, exceeding all expectations.
„Around this event there was a hype that I had not expected. This proves that the market is willing to commit itself to a virtual program of this magnitude at short notice“
Lloyds Banking Group
This is how Allan Woodcock began his commentary on the #VirtualUniverse 2020. He described very aptly what we achieved together with Micro Focus in the few weeks at the beginning of the turbulent year 2020.
During the two-week preparation period, we were able to completely change the promotion of the live event to a virtual lecture event. In addition to the ad hoc change of the very complex marketing strategy, we also published revised professional articles, created new social posts and adapted the application on all relevant channels. All measures had the goal to make #VirtualUniverse with its top-class speakers and lectures a very special event despite the difficult environment. On the agenda in March 2020 were speeches by 30 well-known speakers from customers such as Lloyds Banking Group, MegaLabs, Carrefour, Spar and Verizon Connect as well as from partners such as PWC, Deloitte and DXC.
„Perhaps this could be a possible model for the future.“
The #VirtualUniverse, originally an idea born out of the Corona crisis, thus became a prime example of lived, digital transformation. The purely online event took place on the virtual stage with top-class lectures by experts in the field of digital transformation. More than 3,500 interested customers and partners attended, exceeding all expectations. The hashtag #VirtualUniverse literally went around the world with over 18 million unique views in just two weeks. A total of 1,435 clicks and 2.2 million impressions were achieved via Native Advertising on outbrain, which were supplemented by a further 1,124 clicks on Facebook. In this way, Micro Focus, together with customers and other partners, was able to significantly increase awareness of Micro Focus within a very short period of time and increase market opportunities with customers and prospects. “The transition to a virtual Micro Focus Universe was seamless, scalable and in line with the current business climate. Perhaps it can even serve as a model for future events,” enthused Tim Crawford, one of the world’s most influential IT leaders.
In addition to the rapid change in communication strategy, a particular challenge was to accompany the #VirtualUniverse online and to distribute the highlights in real time on Micro Focus’s communication channels. For this purpose, the content team at THE DIGITALE created over 70 social posts during the 3-day event, which were played out via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
During the virtual conference, but also throughout the entire project period, the Microsoft Teams collaboration platform was used to exchange information. This made communication within the team much easier and enabled joint work on documents and via chats.
After the successful execution of the live event, Micro Focus set up its own on-demand platform on which all lectures of the #VirtualUniverse were available for free playback. The aim is to use these recordings to address members of the IT industry and generate additional awareness for the Micro Focus brand. The digital marketing team promoted the presentations using paid social and native advertising.
Presentations can be accessed free of charge
All interested parties who were not able to attend the #VirtualUniverse or who want to review what they have seen, can view all presentations of the conference as recordings. The on-demand lectures are available free of charge on the event website.