Last November, leaders from the technology, academic, and investment sectors gathered in Beijing for JD Discovery — the fourth annual conference by one of China's biggest e-commerce giants, JD Group.
With the pandemic sealing the staying power of online shopping, the tech brand fine-tuned its conference towards gathering insight on digital intelligence trends, best practices, and future developments to ride the e-commerce wave.
Keen to reach not just local, but global customers, JD Group tasked brand experience agency, Pico Global, to deliver a physical conference in Beijing while managing production of a virtual platform and live-streaming activities.
Themed ‘Digital Intelligence Interconnection and Shaping the Future’, JD Group aimed to use the event not just for brand promotion, but to also demonstrate its technological achievements, such as its shopping platform, Jingxi, which was designed to fight off rivals Alibaba and Pinduoduo.
Experts across different disciplines and industries were brought in to deliver testimonies of their use of JD technologies through one main forum, six sub-forums, and multiple online thematic discussions.
To ensure attendees stay engaged, Pico used striking visual effects to "create a memorable, futuristic and conducive atmosphere for the conference... a visual representation of digitalisation and intelligence," a spokesperson shared with M&C Asia.
The result: technology-driven design that unified the physical venue and online platform.
In total, 1,432 attendees joined the physical forums, of which 1,000 engaged in interactions. As well, the conference recorded 102 media sign ups, with an impressive 78% participation rate.
To further merge the physical and virtual worlds, Pico live-streamed activities so virtual attendees could feel as if they were right there. The agency also recorded, edited and broadcast materials from the online thematic forums.
Photos from the physical event were also uploaded instantly for immediate access. A day after JD Discovery ended, the entire conference programme was made publicly accessible via the online platform.
"We foresee that the future of events will be hybrid. This edition of JD Discovery demonstrated our ability to ensure that activities and processes between the physical space and the online platform can proceed seamlessly," added the Pico spokesperson.
• Use different platforms to connect with different audiences
• To bridge the online-offline divide, incorporate live content and social media feeds
• Use a single design theme to unify a hybrid meet
• Share content in a timely manner to encourage further interaction on-demand