For many, months of planning went into their first (or even their only) events of 2020. Those months of planning far too often fell into the Covid abyss of cancelled events and what were seemingly lost hours, efforts, and planning. But what if there was another option? What if speakers didn’t have to be cancelled or content wasted? What if the handshake was temporarily replaced with the quick hello via a chat feature or a smiley face emoji? For those that can say they have successfully navigated the live event landscape in the first half of the year, they do so by having gone mostly virtual. As social distancing guidelines were put into place across the country, along with cancelled trade shows, conferences, and even smaller meetings, the pivot to virtual quickly became a race for those companies and agencies that wanted to hold their events.
This was certainly the case for Ford. As plans to be involved in-person at Essence Festival were derailed in the face of Covid, Ford leaned on UWG in partnership with Bluewater to quickly find a solution that would engage a virtual audience and allow for content to be front and center. With having been involved in Essence Festival for years, we knew exactly what to do and sprung into action. Restrictions on in-person gatherings didn’t slow Ford down, it just shifted their priorities and their strategy. As a long time sponsor of Essence Festival, Ford knew it needed to remain involved somehow. When Essence said the event would go on virtually, Ford teamed up with UWG and Bluewater to create an Essence experience that will not soon be forgotten.
The result was a fully virtual booth experience for Essence Festival. The booth includes the ability for virtual participants to explore Ford vehicles, including navigation into the interior and even video content. Additionally, there is a virtual Ford stage where one can view all live and on-demand content associated with Ford’s presence at the event. A virtual Ford owners lounge is also password protected and accessible only to Ford owners or premium giveaway recipients. This space also includes a celebrity meet-and-greet. Lastly, we teamed with UWG to create a photo activation that allows users to choose an overlay, take a photo, and download it for use in multiple places. This virtual experience is the first ever of it’s kind for Ford and will be available for you to interact with both June 25th-28th and July 2nd-4th.