Trends Shaping the Future of Executive Briefing Programs in 2022

January 19, 2022 by Darby Mason-Werner
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What tech trends are we likely to see taking shape within executive briefing centers throughout 2022? Here are some thoughts.

As the corporate world continues to adapt to an evolving pandemic, briefing professionals are turning to new technologies to bridge the gap between on-site and remote engagements.

Here is a look at how these technologies are shaping the success of briefing programs today.

1. Utilizing Virtual Platforms

Briefing program teams recognize that they will need to accommodate virtual attendees and experiences moving forward. Some people aren’t comfortable with meeting face-to-face just yet. Whether due to health concerns, their company’s reduction in travel budget, or a preference for virtual efficiencies, customers are becoming more accustomed to engaging virtually.

As a result, many briefing professionals have mastered the use of collaborative tools, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and BlueJeans. However, there is still opportunity to elevate the customer experience beyond these one-dimensional platforms. That’s where a virtual briefing platform comes in.

Virtual EBC Platforms versus Video Conferencing Tools

Virtual briefing platforms offer the next-generation of personalization for the customer. They provide a more professional and fully branded environment for engaging with them. These platforms demonstrate the briefing program’s identity as an important and strategic function for external guests and stakeholders alike. In addition, they offer a host of resources that improve nearly everything about the customer experience, from communication and collaboration to establishing regular feedback.

Thanks to integrations with existing tools, such as scheduling or software-based marketing tools, the efficiencies gained from a virtual EBC platform offers valuable benefits. As a result, virtual EBC platforms allow briefing teams to focus more of their time on curating meaningful engagements that build trust and close business deals faster.

Virtual briefing platforms are especially powerful in the pre and post briefing phases. They assist the pre-briefing phase by driving engagement with customers ahead of time. Also, they can be used to collect and parse feedback prior to the briefing date, thus ensuring that the right priorities are identified and organized for the upcoming engagement. 

Following the briefing, the platform becomes a central repository for all briefing materials and resources, including recordings of sessions, content, and beyond. What’s more, those resources remain available throughout a engagement, so customers can always refer to them later. Attendees can access agendas, leader bios, personalized content, and more, without ever having to manually reach out to briefing program managers for support.

2. Leveraging Interactive and Immersive Experiences

Teams managing virtual briefings are seeing more C-level executives and decision-makers in attendance, especially since briefings have been shortened from all-day events to a few hours. Despite this change, virtual and hybrid experiences still need to provide the same white-glove treatment.

After 2021, many briefing program managers finally have the budget to create immersive digital experiences. They understand now, more than ever, what’s required and what’s at stake if they don't evolve their virtual and hybrid briefing programs.

Delivering an Immersive Experience

Briefing program teams, as well as sales and marketing, understand that 3D, immersive representations help the customers see the value of a product, not just through their own hands-on experiences, but also in the context of real-world situations. This is why immersive, 3D experiences are crucial to today’s briefing programs - they can offer a highly detailed and life-like demonstration within an accessible digital portal. Briefing program managers can then use this technology to emphasize and highlight the most important details of their offering and make it easier for their executive audience to grasp their value, remotely.

Interactive 3D experiences may include:

  • Hyper-interactivity with realistic 360° renderings of your facilities, products and services 
  • In-depth specifications on multiple aspects of your solution with a zoom, hover or click 
  • Contextual resources like videos and PDFs that are seamlessly blended into your portal 

One approach for generating this kind of interactive content would be to design and build them into modules. By allowing multiple internal teams to share in the costs and burdens of this effort, each team can update their own modules as needed. This provides the most up-to-date content for different segments of customers to view, prior to, during, and after their briefing. 

Building the content in phases also allows teams to test those modules on active audiences, using analytics and feedback to determine which content and what experiences are the most interesting. 

All in all, an interactive 3D experience is your opportunity to create an exciting journey for your customers. Through them, briefing programs can provide digital immersion into their offerings, making it easier for an executive audience to grasp the full value of their product or service and increase the likelihood of a successful engagement.

3. Building a Broadcast Studio

To keep up with virtual attendees, many briefing programs are installing high-resolution broadcast equipment in their centers. This equipment makes it easier to engage customers in new ways such as through live streaming and webinars, pre-recorded workshops, and much more.

What Is a Broadcast Studio?

The term 'broadcast studio' can take on different meanings for briefing centers. Generally, it refers to a stationary set with equipment such as chairs, a backdrop, cameras and lights which team members can use to broadcast their content from for discussions and demonstrations.

Another way to set up a broadcasting studio is to place the equipment throughout the briefing room to create a more engaging and intuitive experience for all virtual attendees. With this set-up, customers can get a glimpse of the ground floor and a first-hand view of everything that’s happening. They can witness the same demos and presentations as in-person attendees, and although they might not get to use their hands, they can still see presentations of what that would look or feel like. Examples include robots with screens or camera gimbals that give attendees a closer look at a demo space.

Producers, showrunners, and even broadcast or tech professionals are needed, to both operate the video equipment and create the resulting experiences. So it’s no wonder that those with theater and media backgrounds are in high demand in the briefing space.

At this stage, briefing program teams must consider what level of broadcast technology they want to implement, taking into account the needs of their average virtual or hybrid audiences.

The Future of Customer Experience

2022 will provide briefing professionals a unique opportunity to revamp and reshape what’s going to be the new normal. While customer demands differ across channels — in-person versus virtual — briefing professionals still hold the power to shape what their new normal will be. It is up to us, our industry, to create those experiences and truly wow our audiences. We are better prepared now to face future shifts in the world and address new challenges as they arise.

To move forward, we must review the information we have available and deliver it on all touchpoints. Every customer, regardless of how they prefer to engage and attend briefings, should be given the same experience, the same opportunities, and more importantly, the same resources.

Things may ebb and flow in the industry, but hybrid customer experiences will be a dominating factor, and how, when, and where you show up as a brand will be of the utmost importance. Organizations must identify what works best for their customers and culture — not all will go hybrid, as we’ve seen. Some teams may try to stay fully in-person, while others will remain fully virtual.

These trends will only grow in importance as teams look to better serve their customers and colleagues, now and in the future.

Darby Mason-Werner is the Senior Director, Client & Partner Strategy, focused on Executive Briefing Centers and helping briefing program colleagues simplify their lives with more effective technology to create engage experiences for their customers.