PR from your PC: online event boosts press relations for Belgian Meat Office (VLAM)

Like a Suiss watch. That is how certain you could be that every year, near the end of summer, Belgian Meat Office (VLAM) would organise its Round Table for food professionals. From all over Europe journalists would head over to Belgium.

They would meet with colleagues and experts, and dine, so to speak, on insights into production, food safety and the state of the trade. Especially the data provided by a highly regarded research institute would be savoured; fresh data the guests would be the very first to sink their teeth into.

But it’s 2020. Gone are the real-life meetings.
The CO-word, you know?

That’s why Belgian Meat Office decided to turn the tables
and organise an online event.

Online event? Do start offline

But. An online event does not necessarily have to start online, does it? No, first, we delivered an ‘experience box’ right to the front doors of the journalists. A package with all sorts of ingredients to have your very own mini barbecue at home – except for the meat.

You can actually make people join your online event through paper

Your invitation can be so much more than an html email, you know?
And you can actually make people join your online event through paper.

Proof: all 25 journalists who were invited decided to join in virtually – but for one.

A live tv show

Some journalists expected a series of PowerPoint presentations, but they got more, a lot more. Warning: coming up quite frequently now, the word ‘live’.

Live from the online event studio, Belgian Meat Office – for the official part – and a professional actor – as entertainer and presenter in between – took their virtual guests by the hand.

All presentations were brought live in front of the online audience, both from the studio and various locations.

Not only were the presentations subtitled in every journalist’s native language, the speeches were simultaneously translated as well by interpreters on location. (All done live, indeed.)

And to round up? A live Q&A session, of course. Journalists asked their questions, which were translated into the right languages, and then got the proper answers by the speakers.

Oh, and one attendee won a table barbecue in a fun live raffle.

All packed into a 2 hour event. Coffee break included.

Can you generate offline impact online?

We all know journalists like to be spoiled, once in a while. So what happens when they have to deal with mere content, without the seasoning? In other words:

Can an online event create the same impact as a real-life meeting?

As far as the Round Table 2020 by Belgian Meat Office concerns: yes, it can. We did not only get our usual round of PR coverage. We made it straight to the cover of the renowned Meat Management magazine. (Though we tend to prefer our artwork in terms of style over the actual image on the cover.)

Meat Management magazine

In short: making your online event work?

Your story matters, first and foremost. Make sure you have got news.

Then add:

  • a healthy dose of resilience
    not easy at all for Belgian Meat Office to let go of their traditional patterns and step into the unknown virtual world. But they did get rewarded for their resilience
  • some creative seasoning
    honestly, who likes to sit through a series of slides? Add a professional host, a wonderful setting and make room for some true interactivity. Come up with an inspiring theme, and make sure it all looks great too
  • proper WIFI
    Duh.

Want to join us?

Such great memories. A lot of hard work, sure, we got but plenty more inspiration out of it. And since we at BBC do not like living in the past, we are already looking forward to the next online event.

How about you?
Mouth watering yet?

Do get into contact with us.

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