Across all industries, brands are transitioning to digital events to launch new products and connect with customers.

As the demand for high-production virtual events continues to grow, so are the risks of prelaunch leaks of confidential information. How to make virtual events leak-proof?

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Remember the days when an event was something you went to? Now, we can all attend the latest product launch or digital runway show from the comfort of our homes. 

Today online events are reshaping the way brands launch new products, connect with customers and build loyalty with their retailers and distributors. 

Perhaps you saw it firsthand as your clients transitioned to digital events during the height of the pandemic. As agencies scrambled to shift to online-only shows, they had to find innovative ways to capture the magic of in-person shows and events.  Who can forget when Apple in 2020 launched its line-up of new products in a virtual-only event—for the first time in its 30-plus years of big-show culture.

 

WWDC2020 official video screenshotApple’s first all-virtual 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference where the CEO, Tim Cook, walked onto the stage of an empty Steve Jobs Theater on the company’s campus in Cupertino, California. (source: Apple’s official WWDC 2020 video).

The movement to digital events has meant that production and event agencies must develop new marketing skill sets and be technology savvy to better serve their current and future customers. And this trend towards online events isn’t expected to end any day soon.

Across all industries, marketers discovered the benefits of virtual events, and it is predicted they will continue to give them a prominent place in their business strategies going forward. LinkedIn’s The State of Virtual Events report, a survey of 1,830 event marketers from 13 countries across all regions, found that they expect to run more virtual events (40%) than physical events (34%) in the future. 

In the next normal, where online product reveals and launches will continue to take center stage, brands will rely on event agencies to recreate the excitement of onsite events. And as popular technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality become commonplace, brands will expect even more high-end productions, events, and experiences. As a result, the competition to wow is getting stronger and harder. 

A new report by Grand View Research, Inc predicts that the global virtual events market size will reach $404.45 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 23.2% from 2020 to 2027.  

As the demand for high-productions continues to grow, so are the risks of prelaunch leaks of confidential information.

New risks and challenges

The organization of digital events not only means learning new technologies and emerging platforms; it also means enlarging the circle of trust among third parties. As event marketers develop technical knowledge of newer events platforms and ways to improve the visual experiences of attendees, understanding how to adapt the agency’s workflow is critical.  

As new third-party stakeholders are integrated into the production process, understanding how to protect clients' digital assets needs to be thought through. And this is heightened by the integration of newer virtual events platforms—opening the door to more risk of potential leaks before the launch date.    

For example, in 2020, a global car manufacturer moved its onsite distributor show online. To ensure that employees and distributors didn’t share images from the online show, the automaker turned to IMATAG’s patented invisible digital watermarking solution to secure images and ensure that if a leak did happen, it would be spotted immediately. This was especially important as event attendees often perceive online events as a free-for-all, where snagging and sharing visual content and data is their right. By embedding the event video with an invisible watermark, even if an image were screen-captured and later shared online or even in print, the automaker would be able to trace it back to the source. 

Impact of a prelaunch leak

As brands integrate online events into their marketing mix, so do the risks of a prelaunch leak. Because information moves so quickly online, the ramifications of a leak are substantial. Not only is the ‘buzz’ of the new product or model compromised, but it often impacts current sales. As one marketer of an agency that creates videos for a major automotive manufacturer said, “a leak 24-hours before a car reveal is a bit like opening a present before Christmas and then putting it back under the tree.”

And with the increase in high-end productions comes a longer development time. This is making agencies rethink their workflow and seek out tamper-proof technologies such as those used in the film industry to combat piracy.

Protect your clients’ prelaunch digital assets

With the rise of virtual events, it’s vital to find the right technologies to keep your clients' online events and digital assets safe. Integrating an invisible watermarking solution into your workflow means that you’ll be able to track and monitor your clients’ digital assets during the production process and prelaunch events. Quickly knowing how your clients’ images and videos are being used and by whom is essential to stopping illegal and damaging usage.

Ready to learn more about protecting digital assets and the technologies that allow tracking images? Then you'll want to read our new ebook, Branded Content Protection—How to Track Your Images and Videos Online.

It will set you on the right path to a successful product launch, and help you protect your agency and your clients' digital assets.

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Christine Deschaseaux

Christine Deschaseaux

Expert in digital strategies and innovation and CMO at Imatag. Christine’s 20+ year career is guided by her taste for technologic innovation and her customer-oriented mindset. Her skills mix engineering, digital economy and marketing of innovation.

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