The Isuzu 3V Show

As the country entered lockdown, the team here at 438 received a challenge from one of our clients to move one of their most important events of the year online. Christie Rolley spoke to the team to find out more.

‘In these unprecedented times’ has become the phrase of choice for anyone commenting on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But ultimately in this case, it still serves us well. The agency world, indeed any professional world, has faced enormous pressures to adapt and react quickly to the ever changing set of circumstances. Truly our clients and by extension our agency have never dealt with anything like this before. But thankfully at 438 we consider ourselves an adaptable bunch and we never shy away from a challenge. So, when Isuzu approached the team with a wish to bring their annual presence at the Commercial Vehicle Show online, our team jumped at the chance.

The Challenge

With just two weeks from concept to delivery, the team had to work quickly and collaboratively with the client to ensure the event was a success. Isuzu Account Manager Steph Shaw told me ‘Although we do a huge amount of event branding and lots of digital, combining the two into a virtual event was a first for me and despite it being high pressured at times, I loved every minute of it. Every day we were doing something different, whether that was setting up the registration forms for the initial sign up or streaming the final video to 100s of people on YouTube.’ The team’s agility was further demonstrated through the creation of a comprehensive social media plan to support the event. ‘We created a full social media strategy and implemented it in just 24 hours’ said Mirela Dedic, Digital Exec. ‘It was really exciting as we haven’t seen this sort of thing from the automotive industry much before.’

Working Differently

It certainly felt the team were breaking new ground as they worked on the new event, encountering challenges but ultimately delivering the vision. Complexities included tactically hosting the event one day ahead of the CV Show in order to reach journalists before competitors, as well as segmenting the audience to create exclusivity for key customers and journalists and broadcasting the event ‘live’ with the Isuzu team conversing with the audience throughout.

438 pride ourselves on agility but that doesn’t mean providing a seismic event such as this within such a tight turnaround wasn’t a stretch for the team, many of whom put in hours over the weekend to bring the event together. Having said that, in some respects the creation of an online event rather than a physical one had some upsides. Senior Designer Andy Fryer commented ‘from my perspective it was easier than doing a real show because there was less collateral involved, when compared with all the print materials we’d normally have to produce for an event.’ Working from home has also been an advantage Creative Artworker Ian explained as there are fewer distractions and more space to work creatively.

A New Normal

The team’s hard work and creativity paid over. The results far exceeded expectations as the event content was viewed over 4000 times and gained press coverage worth more than £125,000 – we also reached over 17,000 people on social media and Isuzu are now looking to host their next event online too.

Ultimately turning such an important event into a whole new event under tricky circumstances proved to be a brilliant challenge for the team. Client Services Director Helenka Hodnett told me that ‘turning a negative into a positive was massively rewarding. Although it was fast moving and a logistical challenge to do everything on time and safely, it was such a good demonstration of what happens when an ambitious client meets a determined agency. We worked together to overcome a number of bumps in the road with a joint vision to make it happen and make it brilliant too.’

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