Absolute Corporate Events launch a new digital communication agency in response to changes in the industry.
This week SITE hears from SITE member Chris Parham on his new business, Absolute Digital Communications (ADC), a sister company to his already well-established event management company, Absolute Corporate Events (ACE).
Congratulations on this new company Chris! Undoubtedly this concept was born as a response to Covid-19 and the drastic move of events into the virtual sphere. If Covid-19 hadn’t happened, do you think this need for virtual events would have arisen anyway, in time, or has it really come only as a direct response to the pandemic?
Thank you for your kind wishes Sara. My new company is most definitely a Corona baby, born of the pandemic, or rather as a reaction to it. But it has allowed me to advance a theory more quickly that I would have done. My theory for some time has been that the digital space is used for very current and reactive communication – social media posting, call-to-action advertising, etc, but seldom used for long-term strategic communication, which has long been assigned to the live in-person communication channel. Global events, and the birth of Absolute Digital Communications will hopefully change this.
In a nutshell, what do Absolute Digital Communications offer?
We craft communication for any digital channel, so for anything that doesn’t require an in-person event. We leave this to my other company, Absolute Corporate Events. These digital communication channels include virtual events, video production, web design and social media. We take a strategic message or objective and help to mould a digital vehicle to get this to the required audience with impact and lasting effect, this can often be a multi-channel solution.
In your opinion, what are the top 3 challenges of realising a successful virtual event?
Lack of experience, expertise, and preparation. I have seen that many producers of virtual events are happy with the definition of virtual; that a virtual event is almost an event, virtually as good. I don’t accept this. A virtual event requires the same planning, pre-production, design and vision as an in-person event does.
Many event companies have pivoted into the virtual sphere now. ADC is positioned around the idea of a “new approach to communication events – events with REAL FEEL”. Tell us what you mean by this?
This is where I think we can really differentiate. When producing a virtual event you have to accept that something important has been lost – the in-person experience. So something new has to be added, or the event will never be quite as good, only virtually as good. We look at adding new elements to the event that are only possible in the digital space. Budgets go further, there are no physical boundaries, there is a more relaxed concept of real time and real space, so creativity has no boundaries – this is how we create beautiful virtual events with REAL FEEL.
Do you think there are learnings to be garnered from the virtual sphere, which will actually benefit physical events in the future too?
I think there are always things to learn from any change or crisis. Speed to adapt is a good lesson that I take with me into the coming years, and also that anything is possible and nothing is guaranteed.
Setting up a new company during this time is a bold move. Do you see this as a short term business plan or a company that will continue to grow, in conjunction with Absolute Corporate Events, even after the disappearance of Covid in years to come?
This is very much a long term business plan, and we already have plans to develop new products and services within Absolute Digital Communications that will help address the needs of next-generation clients. One I am most excited about is ‘Incentives without travel’, which will not only be useful now while travel is difficult, but also in the future as next-gen employees are motivated by more personalised rewards.
What would you encourage others who are contemplating new business ideas to do at this time?
It’s always better to do something, than to do nothing, so give it a whirl. Without change, nothing happens.