GTECH was given the opportunity to build a fully functional Virtual Event System for Misk Art Week. In partnership with HQ Worldwide Shows, we conducted a thorough study on the event and customised the website that reflected the event’s purpose and delivered a smooth virtual and in-person event experience. A detailed workflow was created to ensure a friendly UI and UX; this encouraged the users engage in the event’s networking system.
The Misk Art Week (MAW) is an annual event that provides an interactive platform to foster creativity. This 5-day event, under the flagship of Misk Art Institute, aims at encouraging creative conversations, instigates critical thinking and problem solving while creating a positive impact on the creative community.
Due to the unprecedented times, the key objective was to convert this traditional community event into a hybrid event that helped the client host and stream informative and engaging content. It was imperative to have the event available to all the attendees of interest, both virtually and physically.
The client’s vision was to maintain elements from the previous editions the attendees know and love. This five-day event was categorised into panel discussions, keynote presentations, master classes, workshops, film screening, exhibitions and roundtable conversations.
The theme “Culture Re-cultivated” was inspired by the constant change happening before us causing us to reshape our behaviours and ideologies. Known to eventually redefine our idea of culture, the theme of this event helped explore notions of cultivating our culture as we live it.
The registration process was quite simple. It required the users to create an account by filling a form and purchase a ticket or book a pass to classify as an attendee. It was mandatory for users to register to be able to attend the event both virtually and/or physically.
The User Dashboard consisted of a page with the attendees’ personal details, their scheduled programmes and a list of their bookings.
The website was further categorised into Workshops, Creative Forum, Virtual Exhibitions, The Showcase, Speakers and Networking. GTECH custom-made these modules to suit the needs of the client and attendees. Below is a detailed description of all panels:
Workshops were divided into General Workshops and Master Classes. The purpose of hosting these workshops was to unlock creativity amongst attendees and help them learn new techniques under the guidance of creative professionals.
General Workshops & Master Classes
After signing in, the attendees were required to choose from the list of workshops offered. We analysed the type of workshops and designed a page that segregated general workshops from more complex ones. General workshops did not require a prerequisite knowledge and were suitable for all levels, whereas experts the likes of who ranged from interior designers, photographers, artists, publishers and more, hosted these master classes. Some of these workshops were hosted physically and had a limited number of seats available to pertain to safety protocols.
Details of these workshops informed the attendees of what the workshop would entail including the name of the instructor(s), the required qualification of attendees, timings, language (including Arabic language support), the type of attendance required (virtual/physical) and location, if applicable.
Registration was mandatory for every workshop an attendee enrolled for. The Misk team then did a background check (designation, interests, demographics, etc.) on whether the requestor qualified for these workshops. Virtual workshops were hosted via Zoom whereas the physical workshops required QR codes to authenticate visitors.
GTECH provided a back-end access to the client to moderate content and users through these workshop bookings. It was a matter of hours before the client witnessed workshop requests flooding in. The Misk Team were able to accept or reject an entry based on their eligibility as an attendee.
An email confirmation was sent out to all attendees on their acceptance or rejection via Mailchimp. The attendees who were accepted received an email confirming their participation along with the workshop location and personalised QR code. The barcode scanning helped validate the attendee through a check-in system that displayed all the relevant information regarding their participation and time slots – this ensured the right people were showing up for the right event.
There were five sub-themes allotted throughout the duration of the event. The agenda here was to align these sub-themes to the cultural theme and allocate programs strategically. GTECH created a panel called “Creative Forum” under which were a collection of keynote speeches, panel discussions, film screenings, round table discussions and Q&A sessions; all these programs were live streamed with live chats feature.
Besides the classification of the forums, information like timing, name of the moderator, speakers, duration of the video and a brief on the topic of discussion were presented, this made navigating through the list of videos easier and helped gather relevant information at first glance.
Unlike the idea of having pre-recorded videos, we recommended live streaming based on the client’s requirements. Hence why all forums were broadcasted live, the attendees were invited to join these forums via Zoom and be part of a bigger discussion but in any case attendees were unable to attend a forum or wanted to refer back to the discussion, they could opt for the video playback option. This option would play the video, uploaded on YouTube, without leaving the screen. We also added a feature to share these videos on social media platforms to increase engagement.
The Misk Art Institute consists of three-exhibition halls wiz, Mukooth, Imprint and Safouh AlNaamani: Preserving Time. We wanted the viewers to experience the look and feel of the exhibition halls at the comfort of their home. Each of these themed exhibition were designed uniquely, and so created a virtual tour of the halls within the website. The virtual exhibition halls were created by following the floor plan and placing artworks exactly how they are in the physical exhibition halls.
GTECH not only created a virtual tour under this panel but also added additional features like adding an Issuu link (in English & Arabic), adding a bio and video of the artists, all within the website.
This platform invited young artists to display their artworks and interact with the audience. Not limited to just displaying, MAW was serving as an ecommerce platform by granting artists the access to sell their art pieces. Amongst the list of artworks, each artwork had its own name and the name of the artist mentioned under. This platform helped budding artists share the idea behind their inspiration and a direct link to communicate with interested buyers.
In order to make this an online networking event, a third party tool “Spotme” was utilised. The API integration helped with a Single Sign On (SSO), this synced data between the website and Spotme. Once the user registered for the event, they automatically registered on Spotme as well.
With the help of Spotme, we were able to activate the networking system, help attendees connect with each other, stay updated about on-going discussions and attend breakout sessions smoothly. This gave attendees an opportunity to connect with inspiring creative and professionals through these unique networking features.
Misk Art Week was able to feature over 65 pre-eminent experts in fields varying from arts and culture to architecture and entrepreneurship. GTECH handled the entire activation by integrating Google Analytics and Spotme to complete 360° reporting. We were also able to provide the client with accurate real time stats. We managed the web development and integrated components to build an on-demand complex hybrid event and provide digital solutions successfully.