From Skeptic to Believer: One AniMate's Tale
Tue, Aug 28 2012 05:20 | AniMates, Audience Engagement, Best Practices, Case Studies, Client Testimonials
This is not always the case, of course, but sometimes an AniMated character is like fireworks: a video or picture just doesn't do the concept justice. You have to be there.
We recently had a client whose advisers had seen an AniMate in practice. The client was skeptical, but the advisers--seeing the widespread success of the AniMate at the event they were at--insisted that she use an AniMate for there event.
The client was, to say the least, skeptical. She wasn't sure how it was going to work. The event included their best clients...what if it was embarrassing? She went so far as to inform us that she would be waiting in the ladies room during the opening monolog just in case everything bombed so badly that there was no hope for recovery.
We assured her that in 20 years of event experience, we have NEVER had an AniMated character fail to be a hit with the audience. Ever.
Why an AniMate works:
- The AniMate is the voice of the audience; they get to express their questions, support, skepticism and inside humor.
- The audience relates to the AniMate. He/She IS the audience.
- It provides an unprecedented level of interaction at an event.
- It keeps the audience engaged throughout the ENTIRE event (no matter how dry the other material can be) with both humor and content material.
- It puts the audience in a positive emotional state and suspends their disbelief.
- It's a new experience for the audience; it's not just meeting-as-usual.
- They can introduce and interact with speakers; creating strong "what's in it for me" relevance for the audience.
- They can reinforce the corporate brand.
- They react to the presenters, the audience and the event LIVE--making the meeting an organic, interactive, changing thing.
- AniMates can influence and persuade the audience in a subtle, covert way.
Now in the case of our skeptical client (as in every other case) their audience LOVED the AniMate. Not only did it receive anecdotal rave reviews, but in post-event surveys on a scale from 1-10 the AniMate was rated 10.2. Attendees had actually filled in extra boxes and raised their ratings to express their enthusiasm for the character and its impact on the event.
But that wasn't all. After the event, we received this letter from our skeptical client:
Well, I must take my licks – I have to admit that I was definitely short-sighted on what Live Spark would bring to our conference. You guys were awesome, and were a vital part of the success of [Redacted Event Name]. After a few tense moments on Monday morning, when none of us were sure what the reaction would be, it took off – successful beyond what I think any of us imagined. As I have de-briefed with various members, we’ve all agreed that it was, by far, our best conference on record. There was something about the energy and engagement of both [redacted] members and clients alike. And as I think about what [Redacted] said about starting the day in a positive frame of mind, I truly think this was the beauty of what Live Spark/[Character] brought – we started each day laughing, and then left the room charged up and ready to go. The energy and positive feeling was truly different, and had a direct impact on the success of the conference.
I’m glad we took the time to really focus on the voice and persona of the animate – you really nailed it, and it was clear that you listened to us. But it was also evident that you maintained your level of creativity and originality. Thank you for all you did, and you can now list me as an official Live Spark convert!
Thanks again, and looking forward to 2013.
We would say that the success of the AniMate speaks for itself, but the amazing, overwhelmingly positive feedback from our clients, the audience, and past clients is what *really* speaks.