Welcome to the latest episode of Meet Intrado Digital Media.
We’re experiencing an extremely high demand for virtual events right now. As businesses continue to adjust their communication and event strategies, digital environments are becoming essential.
As we think about how to best construct these spaces, it’s critical to create experiences that are both engaging and authentic to your brand.
In part two of my interview with Intrado Digital Media graphic designer Katie Farrell, we discuss ways to create virtual environments that are not only practical, but entertaining as well.
Check out the full episode below. If you’re interested in learning more about our Virtual Events solution, you can watch the on-demand version of our recent product demo.
Thank you for watching!
Ben Chodor: Alright, so before we go into what you do, with everything that’s going on in the world right now, like coronavirus, fires, people trying to travel less, ESG, where social responsibility is “let’s take a smaller carbon footprint” - has there ever been a better time for what you do?
Katie Farrell: Yeah, you know, I don’t think so. Virtual Events have so much power to provide great content, engage attendees, provide resources, and where I come into play at Intrado is making sure that those spaces and those Virtual Events look good, and they become that destination for attendees to experience.
Ben: Do you think adding gamification to these events is really important?
Katie: Absolutely. Attendee engagement is so crucial to Virtual Events, and there’s nothing like a little competition that makes attendees really want to participate. And I think it’s a great way for attendees to move through the environment. If they’re trying to find certain ways to earn badges, that means they’re clicking into all the spaces, they’re engaging with other attendees, they’re engaging with experts on the client side - it’s a great way to promote engagement.
Ben: Alright, give us one or two tips for people who want to step up their game but then also give them the pitfall. What rabbit hole should they not go down?
Katie: Okay. So, tips and tricks, I think - I love when clients have their own logo created for that specific event. I think it gives brand to that event, and I think it encapsulates what they’re trying to achieve within that event. So, obviously content is king, but the way we deliver that content, and the way that it looks is really important to attendees. If they can receive incredible content and resources and also have a really creative visual to accompany that, I think there’s a lot of power in that.
Ben: Alright, I’ve got a couple more questions, then I’ll have a game with you. So, does your team that works on this, are they all over the world, or are they all based in Chicago?
Katie: So, it’s a small team. Right now it’s just based in Chicago, but it’s mostly just myself working on these virtual environments, which is great, because a lot of our services department is located in Chicago, so I work with wonderful with PMs and directors in services that are great to work with.
Ben: Alright, so my next question for you is to start having some fun with you. I have some rapid-fire questions. Last show you binge-watched on Netflix?
Katie: Peaky Blinders.
Ben: This is the first season where at the end Thomas didn’t get everything he wanted! Were you blown away with how it all backfired?
Katie: I know, I feel like this past season is setting up for the next season, which I think might be the final season, but I’m worried about him, I don’t know. He might not be in the right brain space.
Ben: I read a fact online about him, that he has smoked the equivalent of 20,000 cigarettes in the five years this show has been on. Because - for those of you that don’t watch it - he is always smoking, and he went from regular to herbal cigarettes just to have less nicotine. So, it’s crazy.
Alright - favorite holiday?
Katie: Favorite holiday is Christmas, probably. Time with family.
Ben: Uber rating?
Ben: Another one! Very impressive!
Katie: And I take it very frequently too.
Ben: Alright, see, so I’m really impressed with that. What city were you born in?
Katie: I was born in Lake Forest, Illanois, which is a suburb of Chicago.
Ben: Tough commute you have! You’ve really left the nest, I’m proud of you for that one.
Dogs or cats?
Katie: Dogs, all the way.
Ben: Favorite food?
Katie: Oh gosh, I don’t know. That’s a hard choice.
Ben: How long have you been part of the organization?
Katie: It will be four years on the 22nd of February.
Ben: Was this your first job out of college?
Katie: Close to it. Not the first one, but the second one.
Ben: Alright, I’m gonna change it up. You can ask me one question if you want, anything.
Katie: What has been one of your favorite things that you’ve seen in virtual events?
Ben: Alright, I love that question! Because, I’m the biggest fan of virtual environments. I came from the streaming space, and I’ve always thought virtual environments were the movie theater for everything we do, but the movie theater better be nice, right, and there better be a lot to do.
I think there’s two. I think the one we just did for our Sales Kick Off was one of the most fun. So, everyone should know, all the executives, we had a time period and we had to dress up. So, like I had the eighties and I dressed up as Axel Rose. Other executives were Fresh Prince and it went on - Kurt Cobain - and it was engaging and fun, and we still had serious points. That was one of my favorites, and I think everything we’ve ever done for HIMSS, from the environment to creating HIMSS TV, and seeing the reach.
What I love about environments is that you can really transform them to make you feel like you’re actually at the event when you can’t be there.
That was a great question.
Hey, I want to thank you. You are one of the best people in the organization. Everyone raves about working with you. So, those of you watching, if you have a chance and you do a virtual event, working with Miss Farrell is incredible. She’s gonna treat you like family, it’s one of the things we’re trying to do all through Intrado - clients first and employees first.
Thank you for making us a better company everyday.
Katie: Thank you Ben, that’s so nice of you to say. I’m so happy -
Ben: It’s true though! Alright, you have a good day, I understand the weather isn’t great in Chicago today, so get home safely and have a great day.
Katie: Thanks Ben!