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News: Associations News

Video and a Mascot: The most effective way to engage your event community

07 April 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Olivia Palmer
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Advances in mobile technology are causing widespread use of video, both in the workplace and the home. One third of all online activity is spent watching videos. It’s an effective way to build excitement, develop relationships and motivate audiences and it’s clearly a medium that’s set to grow and play a key role in associations.

Louise Clarke talked to Annalisa Ponchia, Chief Executive of the European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT) and to Shocklogic, the association event management technology specialists, about their use of video for storytelling and engaging members.

Maggie Bruk from Shocklogic explained how Shocklogic worked with ESOT to create a mascot for their upcoming BigBangBarcelona Congress. After lots of brainstorming Gaudino, the Gaudi dragon was born. See

The dragon was first introduced to members and delegates in December 2015, long before the Congress in September 2016.

In April 2016, another video was released, asking the audience for name suggestions for the dragon: Naming the dragon.

This created a really fun way to encourage engagement - and there was a valuable prize - free registration to the Congress!

In February 2017, a video was released featuring Gaudino explaining how delegates could submit abstracts for the Congress:


“The creation of the Gaudino character was an excuse to engage with people; an easy and funny way of communicating,” says Annalisa Ponchia. “Using a storytelling technique through text and video, the dragon has become a familiar and very popular character, communicating key messages to ESOT members in the run up to the ESOT 2017 Barcelona Congress in September.

“In the most recent video Gaudino explains the options to Congress delegates for presenting their abstract submissions. In the animation he’s going up and down in an elevator when he describes the ‘elevator pitch’ option, for example.”

The storytelling techniques are used to encourage viewers to follow the familiar character Gaudino in order to keep up to date with Congress news and maintain contact in between events.

The Gaudino character was a great way to engage with delegates. They were even invited to have their photo taken with him and share pictures on social media in return for winning a surprise gadget. Gaudino really brought the Congress to life, even introducing the Scientific Programme Committee.

What are the benefits of using video for associations?

  • Video is the missing link needed to keep your members constantly engaged, even in between events.
  • Video gets your message out there in a memorable way that written instructions never could, and lets you include a lot more information. For example, written joining instructions can be replaced with a video.
  • People prefer to watch a video than to read.
  • By telling a story and holding your audience’s attention, this will encourage them to continue the conversation.
  • Video boosts open and click-through rates and accounts for almost 70% of all internet traffic.

Video vital to content strategy

Video is clearly a very powerful medium and will become an absolutely vital part of any successful content strategy in 2017. Other expected trends include a lot more marketing efforts directed at video. Plus:

  • Instagram and Snapchat users will be on the rise, Facebook Live will become even more popular.
  • Live video in general will become more popular - for example live streaming of speaker sessions at events.
  • Consumers will start expecting content to be in video format, soon there will be more video searches than there are web searches.
  • More video will be integrated into web design.
  • More video will be designed to play without the need for sound.

There will be a dedicated Stream on video at the Associations World Congress 2-4 May 2017, in Vienna. It will cover devising and implementing video and TV content strategies and developing relevant video content.

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