Due to Covid-19, IBM needed a new way to bring they’re in-person experiential offerings from The Grammys, The US Open and the Masters to their clients. Gather developed a unique offering called a Virtual Client Experience (VCE) to marry the best of produced live broadcasts with the interactivity of shared video conferencing platforms.
In preparation for a Masters tournament in April 2020 that was set to kickoff as the world was locking down, Gather proposed to IBM’s Sports and Entertainment Partnerships group a new approach to client experiential events; a Virtual Client Experience featuring sports celebrities, moderated by notable sportscasters and featuring IBMers sharing their case studies. The Gather VCE would have the high production value feeling of watching your favorite sportscaster or celebrity on a sports or news show with the interactivity and low-latency two-way dialogue enabled by the “Brady Bunch” view from a WebEx or Zoom session. After a significant amount of technical trial and error along with postponed sporting events, Gather VCE was launched for The US Open in September 2020.
Gather VCE combines the professional camera and sound, full screen and overlay graphics, and pre-recorded video packages audiences have come to expect from highly produced TV shows with multiple video sources, live switching and encoding, and video conference platforms, for a truly exceptional client experience. An audience member describes it best as, “its like watching TV, but I get to talk back to it and the TV then talks back to me. So cool”.
Gather VCE has been deployed for other IBM events including The US Open 2020, The Masters 2020, The Grammys 2020, The Grammys 2021, The Masters 2021.
One measure used to determine success for VCEs is Net Promoter Score (NPS). An NPS score of 50 or above is excellent. Gather has helped IBM score consistently in the 80s and higher for their virtual events – considered a world class success rate, particularly for online events.