Virtuopo: A Lockdown Success Story

This year has seen everyone have to rethink how they do business. Lockdown saw almost everything go virtual with meetings, events and conferences all going online.

The rise in virtual events has led to pent up demand for someone who has the tech know-how and the equipment and technology to make a virtual event a success. That’s where Chris Holmes comes in. Previously the founder of Liverpool based company Zut Media, Chris has launched Virtuopo to help businesses bring the highest quality virtual events to their audiences.

We caught up with Chris to find out more…

Virtuopo is a brand new venture that’s come out of lockdown, can you tell us more? 

Yes, Virtuopo launched as a response to the growing demand for live streaming and virtual events, which has rocketed since the start of the pandemic. We are a specialist livestreaming agency, designed to help businesses stay connected through live video. 

Covid has changed the way we all do business and live video is no longer a novelty, it’s essential for businesses to survive. Our team has the expertise to deliver any type of online event from virtual conferences, events and awards ceremonies to webinars, virtual AGMs and online business meetings. 

My background is in live streaming, video production and marketing so it’s been an exciting journey towards the launch of Virtuopo. I co-founded Zut video production company with my former business partner, Alan Gaffney, in 2008, where I headed up the agency’s live video and online learning division, delivering live streams for household names such as Nokia, Talk Talk, Nestle, River Island and JCB. 

The rapid increase in demand for professional live streaming services, fuelled by lockdown, led me to make the decision to launch a separate business dedicated solely to live streaming and so Virtuopo was born. 

This is an incredibly exciting time for the livestreaming industry and I am looking forward to establishing Virtuopo as one of the region’s first specialist hubs for professional live video. 

How can our partners make use of Virtuopo over the coming months? 

The pandemic has led to marketing teams, event managers and business owners being expected to become experts in running virtual business events overnight. However, the team at Virtuopo has spent years building up the industry knowledge and expertise to deliver professional online experiences and virtual events. 

Our team is highly skilled at making sure virtual events run smoothly and many businesses, who are slightly daunted by the tech side of things particularly when there is a huge number of delegates involved, turn to us for support. 

Virtuopo has the expertise to help Marketing Liverpool’s partners to deliver all manner of online events from virtual business conferences to consumer facing online experiences and live video marketing campaigns. We work across a wide range of sectors and our clients come in all shapes and sizes from SMEs to global brands. 

Virtual conferences, online awards ceremonies and webinars are a particular area of specialism for our team. In fact, one of our first projects as Virtuopo was a virtual AGM for a global law network, designed to connect lawyers from 81 different countries. We also live streamed two separate virtual awards ceremonies during our second week of trading so it’s fair to say the business has hit the ground running. 

We are always happy to offer guidance on how to approach a virtual event and businesses can drop us a line via Chris@virtuopo.com for advice and support. 

As Virtuopo grows, what are your future plans? 

As part of the launch of Virtuopo, the business has made a significant investment in the latest remote and live production equipment to help us deliver the highest quality virtual experiences. In the coming months, we plan to invest further in a new range of innovative solutions, tailored to the remote environment including an exciting new live conferencing platform with a whole host of interactive features. 

We also plan to strengthen the team by recruiting more livestreaming specialists as the business grows. 

The pandemic has changed the way we do business, do you think virtual events are here to stay for good? 

Absolutely! I believe we will see virtual events continue well into 2021 and beyond and it’s likely we will see more hybrid events (virtual and in person) taking place too. I predict that virtual events will become much more sophisticated going forward with event planners coming up with fresh and innovative ways to keep audiences engaged. 

At the start of the pandemic, events that were scheduled to take place in person were simply being pivoted online. However, businesses are now planning for virtual and hybrid events with content that is designed specifically to engage virtual audiences. We are also seeing the introduction of new online conferencing platforms, featuring more interactive elements such as breakout rooms and enhanced networking opportunities. 

There are many advantages to virtual and hybrid events, which have the capacity to reach much larger audiences by eliminating the need for travel, which can be costly and time consuming. Virtual events also enable organisers to better monitor engagement, allowing for customised content designed to appeal to specific audiences. 

Virtual events are most definitely here to stay and while they are unlikely to replace in person events entirely, I predict that most future events will incorporate some kind of virtual element. 

As many businesses across the city are forced to adjust and maybe even change direction, what advice would you give them as they look to alter and adapt? 

As a business owner, I would always consider any period of uncertainty as a time to reflect and evolve to suit the demands of a changing market. Rather than stifling enterprise, economic downturn often leads to innovation with business owners responding by pivoting their business models and entrepreneurs creating innovative new businesses. 

Speaking from my own experience, I am a firm believer in the theory that change brings opportunity. I started a video production business during the downturn of 2008, which is still going strong and lockdown has inspired my next adventure with Virtuopo.

To find out more about Virtuopo head to their website here.