Royal Navy Virtual Outreach Programme REVS Up With Identity
The Royal Navy need to recruit a significant number of people each year to meet operational needs and the busy events outreach programme, which is exclusively managed by Identity, has a requirement to be both modular and scalable, with events often happening simultaneously. In 2020, as the impact of COVID-19 on physical events became known, Identity developed its bespoke Recruitment Event Virtual Solutions (REVS) platform, enabling events to be delivered within a wholly digital environment so that engagement and recruitment activity could be maintained. To date, a series of innovative and highly attended virtual events have been delivered for the Royal Naval Reserve and Submarine Service, alongside several Royal Navy “Showcases”, each of which highlighted the amazing benefits and opportunities available as part of a career in the Royal Navy.
Platform Development & Functionality
The Royal Navy virtual events were delivered via a bespoke, responsive, web browser-based digital platform framework, on a secure Royal Navy domain, designed and developed by Identity from the ground up. Features included: interactive waiting room/lobby area; large video screen broadcasting a mix of pre-recorded and live footage; moderated Q&A and polls functionality; moderated chat window; “ticker tape” news banner; plus two calls to action (CTAs) – “chat with the Royal Navy” and “Express Your Interest” buttons.
Attendees were acquired from “warm” and “cold” audience pools; curated from both the client’s existing recruitment CRM alongside a highly targeted digital marketing acquisition campaign developed and implemented by Identity. This provided the client with the opportunity to engage with both existing and new audiences simultaneously, utilising platform functionality and content to directly influence an attendee’s next steps after the event. A bespoke digital dashboard was built to provide real-time data and analytics, both live in-event and across the programme, which included total registrations, attendance, peak attendance, conversions, total chats, CTA clicks, device share, total minutes viewed and dwell time.
Broadcast & Content Creation
Positioned as “must attend” opportunities, broadcasted content for the Royal Navy virtual events had to be highly engaging to maximise attention spans and dwell time for the hard to engage 16-24 year-old target audience. This was achieved through the use of an innovative mix of pre-recorded and live content. The pre-recorded footage streamed in the event waiting room included: “did you knows?” and an energetic visual countdown to the show going live; sizzle intro and outro reels, and; behind the scenes footage and interviews looking at life in the various arms of the Royal Navy which was captured on-site at various Royal Navy bases and locations around the UK, both on land and sea.
Each of the events was broadcast live and presented by a professional host, with live footage including: an opening welcome; one-on-one and panel sessions with Royal Navy personnel; audience Q&As and polls with questions answered live by the Royal Navy team; a fast paced Royal Navy vs Royal Marines quiz, and; closing thank you and outro. The events were filmed at, edited and broadcast live from a mixed reality (MR) production studio which was fully COVID-19 compliant, with separate in and out entry/exit points for crew and talent and separate green rooms for contributors. To deliver the event, Identity designed and produced a bespoke, Royal Navy branded set that featured a 4-metre high LED backdrop. The live production broadcast was wholly managed by the experienced Identity digital content team who supported throughout with strategic direction, agenda scoping and scriptwriting, messaging and content development.
Speaker Support & Management
For each of the Royal Navy virtual events, Identity provided comprehensive training and guidance to all contributors involved to help build confidence and familiarity with the system. This ensured the delivery of a first-class event and optimal audience experience, with separate technical briefings for the host, Royal Navy personnel and special guests to address specific training needs.
These briefings included: demonstrating the differences between presenting at a virtual event vs a physical event, including interaction within the virtual environment; recommendations on where to position laptop/camera, lighting levels and background considerations for remote guests; recommendations on clothing to wear and presentation techniques; tone of voice and key messaging; audience interaction techniques; strategies to ensure speaker and panel discussions were highly engaging; managing and responding to Q&As and polls live and; managing your time and hitting show “beats”.
Technical Expertise & Customer Experience
Throughout all stages of the project, Identity applied their extensive knowledge of virtual event delivery to ensure the optimal outcome for the client, speakers and the audience, to deliver a seamless and best-in-class event experience.
This included the provision of an Identity “Showcaller” to ensure the event runs to schedule and all technical elements are coordinated. Pre-event rehearsals were managed by the highly experienced Identity digital production team, who provided strategic direction, messaging, scripting and content development, often having to implement changes at short notice and “on the fly” to adapt to last-minute changes in personnel or adjustments in content. A backstage area was facilitated to prepare speakers in advance, and rehearsals also included testing of connectivity and explanation of contingency plans.
Identity’s innovative Recruitment Event Virtual Solutions (REVS) programme has enabled the client to engage and interact with viable, targeted recruitment candidates in a safe and secure, digital environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dwell time for these highly attended events has exceeded all expectations, which demonstrates significant digital engagement success. Throughout all stages of project delivery, Identity applied its data-driven approach and dedication to continuous improvement to ensure the optimal experience for speakers, guests and the audience across the programme. This approach has progressed further as the future direction of the Royal Navy events programme evolves into a hybrid model of both physical and virtual event solutions to help us engage with the target audience more effectively.
Account Director Emma Morgan said, “When lockdown commenced in March 2020, we quickly pivoted to a virtual delivery model to ensure the Royal Navy could continue to reach and engage with their target audience throughout the pandemic. The REVS campaign has achieved unprecedented engagement and interactivity across these events, as well as significantly increasing attendance rates which we’re absolutely delighted about. Virtual events provide a wealth of opportunity for the Royal Navy to reach and communicate with their audiences in a totally revolutionary way and we’re excited to see what we develop for them next!”