Why we decided to expand during a pandemic

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By Laura Roberts, managing director, [INVNT GROUP] APAC

Right from the beginning of the global outbreak of COVID-19, we encouraged our clients not to go quiet on their audiences, but live and breathe their purpose and communicate with them more instead of less.

Why? Because consumers look to brands for advice, support and resources to help them navigate difficult times. A recent Kantar survey, for example, found 78 per cent of consumers believe brands should help them in their daily lives amid COVID-19.

With all of this in mind, we wanted to practice what we preach and live and breathe our purpose as we’ve been encouraging our clients to do. So, instead of putting a halt on our [INVNT GROUP] launch plans – a strategy and positioning we’d been working on for two years when the pandemic hit – we’ve expanded our offering so that we can help our clients help theirs in this new world order.

A response to the changing marketing landscape

With integrated campaigns on the rise, clients were coming to us not only for our live physical and virtual services, they were seeking us out for integrated campaign support.

This, however, often involves multiple disconnected agencies with different agendas, and a ton of red tape, whereas we were finding our clients wanted less layers, fewer gaps and to avoid confusing inter-agency structures.

So, while we’ve created a holding company in [INVNT GROUP], we’re still independent, we all operate on the one P&L, and our different brands share resources when it’s right to do so. This means the client’s interests – not those of our individual brands – always come first.

The need to evolve during uncertain times

This year has proven difficult for the events industry in particular. But it also represents a time to re-evaluate. To consider why you exist, who you exist for and what your offering should be.

In many ways, COVID-19 accelerated the launch of [INVNT GROUP] because it required that we pivot our offering, and pivot it fast. Now we’re able to not only provide live physical and virtual experiences to clients, but brand strategy in Folk Hero, branded content in HEVĒ and culture consulting via Meaning.

These services will be vital as we begin to emerge from the pandemic, as I anticipate brands will need to re-jig their brand story to reflect consumers’ changing needs – something that we’re now able to do in house with Folk Hero.

Phygital events that combine the best of live with the best of virtual will represent the next phase as we begin to move away from purely live virtual experiences, and we’re now able to leverage HEVĒ to ideate, produce and distribute content that complements the stories being expressed live.

With employee engagement a key focus for many, Meaning will also play an important role as organisations begin to move back to their offices – think virtual experiences that bring teams together, remind them of company values, educate them about best practices in the workplace and more.

The events industry is a resilient one, and while there’s nothing more potent than a face-to-face interaction, it’s also important we’re constantly evolving in response to the world around us. This is what will give an organisation its competitive edge and explains why we launched [INVNT GROUP] – a project we’ll constantly enhance and build on – during COVID-19.

[INVNT GROUP] is a global storytelling agency, with offices all over the world. The company strives to “challenge everything” and takes an innovative approach to brand communications and live events.

Why we decided to expand during a pandemic
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