Catalyst | Symantec, a Division of Broadcom

Three live show days. Different regional audiences. Ten different time zones. Six virtual events. All created and produced during the country level challenges of a world-wide pandemic!

Catalyst was a global, full-scale virtual conference for cyber giant Symantec, a division of Broadcom. Symantec was recently acquired by Broadcom and the purpose of this event was to enable them to reconnect with their most important customers and partners around future direction.  

That’s where etm productions came in.

Our Directors & Producers began by running a series of strategic workshops with Symantec’s core marketing team to determine key objectives and goals. These workshops resulted in the development of the red thread of the virtual conference and laid the foundation for all Catalyst 2020 planning. Following the workshops, we were able to propose an agenda; a mix of keynotes, breakout sessions, live exhibitions and discussion forums.

With the audience demographics defined we set about the task of driving attendees to the event, through a variety of marketing tactics, with messaging tailored to audience type. Registration followed with five categories of attendees and pathways configured to ensure each type had the correct access to relevant sessions – all individually tested ahead of the event.

As with all the events we produce, content is king, and virtual events are no different. Our content team developed the entire show script, whilst our writers and speaker coaches worked individually with each presenter to create sessions that were engaging and relevant. Concise, interactive and impactful keynote segments, fast-paced documentaries and live collaborative sessions, all blended with social activities including a celebrity chef and house band entertainment. Now that’s quite an agenda!

etm was able to recommend the best features, navigation and functionalities of our virtual event platform to create maximum cost efficiency and viewer interest. Our design team created specific branding throughout the site with a crisp and modern look and feel, emulating the attendance of a physical conference experience. Interactivity was considered at every attendee touch point including, live polling, Q&A, networking and live video chats with experts. Attendees could even request their favourite cover song for our band to play with a shout out to the requests made.

In order to create a wow, professional production we commissioned two temporary studios - one in Chessington, UK and one in California, USA. With a whole bunch of COVID-19 restrictions in place and a difference in policies between the UK and USA, we carefully planned how to follow guidelines without compromising the quality of the filming. We had speakers in attendance at both studios, in addition to remote speakers that we live streamed in on the filming days. Our production team worked closely to coach speakers on how to overcome the challenge of adapting their sessions to a virtual audience. After all, presenting to camera rather than a live crowd requires very different skills! Once rehearsed, they were positioned on stage and the technical crew jumped in to adjust lighting, sound and shots, before the camera’s started rolling. Presenter kits with backdrops, cameras, lights and mics were distributed to all remote speakers. Our Show Caller and Producers managed every aspect of the filming, from calling each shot to furniture changes, wardrobe, make up and everything in-between!

With raw footage in the can, we began the task of editing; knitting all the content pieces together, adding stings, lower thirds and background effects. Add to that a celebrity chef demo and a 15-minute band play and we had a show, completed and ready for broadcasting ‘as live’ on our platform. Live days were supported by our tech team with the event made available on demand for 30 days post event.

The event was measured against an agreed set of objectives and responses to post event survey achieved by offering a great give away.

And so there you have it…Catalyst (well, a snippet at least!)

Three live show days. Different regional audiences. Ten different time zones. Six virtual events…sounds easy right?!