15 May 2020

COVID-19. Your Company’s New Digital Innovation Leader.

There’s a new kid in the office that is causing unrest: COVID-19. Your founder, CTO and Digital Innovation Specialist are no longer the driving force behind your organisational innovation. This pandemic has become an unanticipated agitator for technology adoption and digital thinking. The worldwide community has been forced to manage business scenarios that even now, amidst the height of the pandemic, seem surreal.

How are companies responding?

In light of these circumstances, some companies have welcomed the uprooting of our conventional global climate with open arms (okay maybe not open arms, but as much as you can right now). We are seeing companies that have been forced to very quickly embrace virtual platforms to continue communication with their clients. We are seeing event companies pivot into content generation, membership and virtual events. And we are seeing great results for those companies that have invested or have recently invested in any kind of eCommerce.We have found some formidable players riding the tech innovation wave.

01. Brisbane-based Saas OnAIR

Have you heard of EventsAir? Maybe not. But you've most likely been to an event that is managed by their software. EventsAir boasts clients from your SMEs through to large-scale conferences and events. Think the Commonwealth and Olympic games - yeah they're big. So what happens when a lockdown prevents the events and conferencing industry from hosting events? OnAIR—a platform that connects events and conferencing virtually. You may be thinking, this sounds like a hyped-up Zoom alternative. You're wrong by a long stretch.OnAIR offers synchronised video to manage speakers across timezones, live Q&A, facilitated networking groups, exhibitor marketplaces, e-posters and so much more. Too much for this article so go check it out yourself.

Our Lamb team are proud to have designed the core modules and styling for the OnAIR platform. We love digital transformations and this is a major pivot for EventsAIR and the events industry holistically. OnAIR has just been launched with the Girls in Tech Australia leading an interactive and educational online event.

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02. Eat in with the Atlas Dining Masterclass

Very few restaurants are recording profitable days after the hospitality industry was thrown into chaos. Atlas Dining has. All whilst keeping their doors closed. Months ago it would be a costly experience to marvel at a top chef’s table and enjoy their creations. Now, Atlas is selling meal kits accompanied by a cooking masterclass with the head chef.

The restaurant initially drew upon social media to gauge consumer interest. With a loyal following they were able to retain ideation and real-time feedback from their customers. Within days an online store was published and instructional videos released. Watching master chefs within their own kitchen creates an authentic, genuine experience which strengthens brand loyalty. Will be interesting to see how this translates once the industry returns to normal operations. 

03. Friday drinks? Virtual Bar from Singapore

Yes, you read that correctly: a virtual bar that offers digital drinks. Confused? William Grant & Son’s in Singapore is offering Zoom bar sessions from the comfort of your couch through the ‘1887 Virtual Bar’.

Each session features a new location, bartending hosts and regional brand ambassadors. Attendees purchase digital cocktails which can be redeemed in person once the world reopens. Willam Grant & Son’s is further matching each purchase to the value of $1000 per bar. An altruistic and unconventional form of support for an otherwise stagnant hospitality industry.

04. World’s First Virtual Design Festival

It’s no surprise that the conferencing and event industry has taken a particularly severe hit in recent weeks. Social distancing and face-to-face networking are not friends. Yet those within the design industry are fortunate enough to attend the world’s first Virtual Design Festival from 15 April to 20 June. The event is backed by digital magazine Dezeen who saw an opportunity to maintain the industry network event despite the pandemic. The online platform strives to display movies, project launches, interviews, lectures and music events. The initiative will allow for the network of designers, architects and creatives to learn and support supply chains.

What do you think of these digital approaches? Let us know your thoughts.

While such initiatives are typically viewed as constructive, accusations of financial opportunism have bubbled below the surface.





Greg is the Managing Director of Lamb Agency, a digital agency focused on creating industry-leading websites.

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