Case Studies Archive | ZiaBia

The DMC Advantage Virtual Showcase

The Event In Numbers

Event Date: Tuesday 15th June 2021

Duration: 7½ hours

Destination Management Companies (DMC’s): 18

Session Types: Mainstage, DMC sessions, Expo booths

Countries: 19

Platform: Hopin


Challenges we faced…

Time Zones – it’s kind of in the name… DESTINATION Management Company. One of the largest challenges of the delivery of this event was juggling time zones around the world, this was relevant to both comms and rehearsals. We made sure we worked to each individuals time zone when organising rehearsals and allowed plenty of time to receive deliverables from each individual so that we were not to the wire with any elements.

Language – one thing we hadn’t initially accounted for was the fact that Hopin would be in a different language dependent upon the individuals laptop settings and location. This meant that explaining what we could see and read on our screen was not necessarily going to work as it could appear differently on the DMC’s screens. We adapted quickly, finding work-arounds to the problem and managed to successfully have rehearsals with all of the relevant contacts and got them set up on Hopin ready for the event!

Managing 18 DMC’s – this one is self-explanatory. Co-ordinating 18 DMC’s from the pre-event process with a familiarisation session, collation of all assets for Expo booths and presentation rooms, through to the delivery of the event took a lot a time, planning and attention to detail. We ran multiple rehearsal slots during the weeks prior to the event, having some DMC’s come back 2 or 3 times to ensure they were entirely comfortable using a new platform to them. The process was helped by the DMC’s being so determined to get things correct, the time and dedication they put in was reflected from start to finish – we all know by now the success of virtual events lie in the pre event preparation of familiarisation and rehearsals and they all embraced this!



The entertainment sections were arguably the stand-out elements of the event. There were a total of 7 entertainment segments within the agenda, each one being led by one of the DMC’s to showcase their destinations which included a mixture of video format and live broadcasting  -

A Yoga Session! From the glorious surroundings of the Vouliagmeni Lake on Athens Riviera, Vista Events broke up the morning with some simple stretches to copy at home.

Crepe Party. Too early for wine, so how better to bring France to you than with crepe making from the Ikebana office just outside Cannes?

Spanish action. Factor 3 Events Spain brought one of the most exciting attractions in Europe, the Camanito del Rey, an awe-inspiring adrenaline rush near Malaga.

Fagradalsfjall, or Icelandic Volcano to you and me. Sena DMC treated us to what’s going on in Iceland and there’s nothing more NOW than the eruption near Reykjavik.

Interactive Vienna. Nowhere reflects the buzz and history of Imperial central Europe than Vienna, Imperial Connection DMC brought this to life for us.

Tango lesson! Live from Buenos Aires, the opportunity was there to learn some basic tango moves courtesy of Café de los Angelitos, one of the city’s premier tango artists and venue.

Cocktails from Malta. Live from the rooftop bar at the newly opened Hyatt Regency Malta, Summer Fizz cocktails to finished the day!

We spent a large amount of time ensuring all the entertainment worked in the various formats, whether live or pre-recorded. We worked with each DMC testing all the technology multiple times over to iron out any issues. We also spent time with the live acts getting the correct lighting, framing, and testing audio.

The ‘host’ of the day was James, Founder of The DMC Advantage,  who embraced this fully as he kept everyone fully updated on what was happening when and participated throughout the day with making crepes, a fabulous yoga demonstration and of course was joined by Co-Director Simon in the cocktail making session to close the day. A host role is so vital to ensure the whole day aligns together well and we had the contingency of Simon to support should he need to step in at any point.

A notable mention must go to Araceli and Pablo from Passion for Events who arranged for Ramiro and Sabrina, the incredible Tango dancers, to perform the magnificent Argentine tango. We were witness to their first dance back since the pandemic began and emotions were very high. It was a truly incredible moment to experience and the attendees were very much in agreement.


Virtual Event Platform

Hopin was chosen as the platform to deliver the showcase on due to its versatility and broad functionality. The platform is set up as a reflection of a venue including a reception area, mainstage, breakout session rooms, networking area and expo area – with all of the platform being utilised for the event.

Breakdown of what took place and where –

Mainstage – Opening and entertainment

Sessions – DMC presentation rooms

Expo – DMC expo booths

Networking – A drop in coffee lounge was created and the all important Cocktail bar for the end of the day so people had somewhere to drop in and chat

Although we are well versed in the use of Hopin, from the pre-event build all the way through to the post-event analytics, we did have a rather large hurdle to jump when the team logged in on the day to find the backstage area (used for accessing the mainstage) had been updated overnight. This meant that we had a completely new piece of technology to learn to use shortly before the event was beginning. In true ZiaBia fashion, we took this in our stride and made it work! We even set up an additional practice event to use to test out the functionality of the technology during breaks in the event agenda!

Illumio’s Zero Trust Summit

The event was targeted at their corporate clients and new prospects with the aim of building relationships and showcasing Illumio’s expertise in the field of ‘Zero Trust’. The event took place in May 2021 and was purposely online to enable Illumio to reach as large an audience as possible due to the difficult pandemic times. Invitations included people working in the corporate sector responsible for their organisation’s security and technology plus partner organisations who support and provide for the sector.

The Zero Trust event featured a combination of sessions from practitioners, customers and vendors. There was also dedicated 1-2-1 networking time built into the agenda for attendees to meet their peers, the Illumio team and speakers attending the event.

Critical to the success of the day was the perception of Illumio to their clients and prospects, therefore attention to detail needed to be high and consideration of the attendee experience was forefront of our minds throughout.


The event in numbers


ZiaBia’s role

We were engaged to project manage all logistical elements for the event including support with delegate management, platform research and recommendations, speaker onboarding, creation of roles and responsibilities, rehearsals and production team management. Our production partners were TechPro, who were responsible for delivering the technical elements and ensuring all activity on the main stage was of the highest quality.

A key remit was to create and agree the timeline, manage the weekly project meetings, track and progress actions and monitor deadlines.

And of course, we were also there to manage the event delivery on the day!


The event platform

With any face-to-face event, the right venue is of high importance. For a virtual event the right platform is essential. So, for Zero Trust Summit it was crucial to find the right platform for the desired event format. The very first task was to select the event platform. Based on the required outcomes we narrowed down the options to two recommendations for Illumio and arranged a demonstration of both.

These demos helped Illumio visualise the look and feel of the event from both a speaker and an attendee perspective. It also gave them a good understanding of how the functionality could bring their vision to life and how they could maximise the delivery of their messages.

Hopin was selected as it offered the interactivity required and attendee experience sought, based on the event programme:

From platform selection to event day, we managed the platform build based on the agenda. Ensuring event assets and event and company descriptors in place; schedule kept up to date and that the speakers were registered, bios and headshots uploaded and linked to their sessions; pre-recorded content received; and networking scheduled in correct timeslots and by ticket type.

We ensured all elements of the platform were tested ready for launch date, rehearsals built and the reporting required were set.


Speaker management

Another key area of the event was the speaker onboarding. The speakers were a combination of senior Illumio staff and external Zero Trust experts and Analysts both in the UK and America. The programme sessions were a variety of formats from plenary to breakout, fireside chat to panel discussion. Due to the profile of the attendees, and desired outcome of the event, it was critical that the content was delivered seamlessly so considerable care and attention was given to this element.

Of the nine sessions, six sessions were live and three pre-recorded with one of these speakers then joining live for a panel session at the end of the event.

To support the variety of the programme and the speakers, we produced bespoke speaker packs which outlined key information relevant to the particular speakers. A tailored complementary walkthrough video was shared with all as we were aware that people learn and communicate in many different formats.

We set up a rehearsal event on Hopin. Each live speaker had their own individual rehearsal slot to ensure they had dedicated time for their briefing, time for platform familiarisation and to test the experience from their perspective. As a contingency we also recorded their full sessions in case of an issue on event day.  There was also a specific rehearsal for the participants of the panel session, as this is important to ensure everyone knew how the panel session would flow and expectations. All of these elements were critical in making the speakers as comfortable as possible when presenting virtually on the day. 


On the day

On the day, it was our role to deliver the event and manage the attendee experience.

Attendee engagement was a key success factor for this event and we were using the new Slido integration on Hopin to help with this. Polls and word clouds were utilised strategically throughout the day and results discussed by the event host to demonstrate that Illumio were taking notice of the attendees’ opinions.

The ZiaBia team managed the chat function throughout the day. This involved encouraging people to participate, post questions and introduce themselves as well as signposting where they needed to go next in the schedule. In conjunction with this we also managed a separate help desk in the sessions area in readiness to scoop up anyone with technical issues and resolve quickly.

The ZiaBia team were the point of contact with Speakers and worked with them getting them to where they needed to be and in advance of their session time.

Another key role on the day, included the facilitation of two of the education sessions in the breakout rooms. This involved welcoming the attendees to the session and introducing the speaker. Then after the presentation we moderated the Slido Q&A and wrapped up the session. We were also on hand to share the presentation in these sessions as a contingency.

An integral part of any event is to have a support area for attendees and with this in mind, a ‘help desk’ was in place and the location communicated to the audience. This ensured a clear central point for attendee support  -  information on the event,  a place to ask questions or technical support.



Our work didn’t stop just because the event had ended!

The post-event work is just as important as the pre-event for the client.

And finally as with any of our events, a debrief took place to capture feedback and learning for future events and evaluate feedback.

We are delighted that the event feedback has been really positive and it was a great experience working with Illumio on their first online event. More importantly, we know that the event was a success for Illumio and has delivered over 6x ROI in pipeline development. This shows the measurable outcomes and success criteria.

Mind Cymru Side by Side Cymru: Peer Support in Wales Virtual Event!

In February, Mind Cymru hosted their first virtual event in celebration of the incredible work that was taking place across Wales as part of the Side by Side Cymru: Peer Support in Wales programme! ZiaBia had the pleasure to work with the team to plan and deliver their event on Zoom.

The event brought people together to showcase various projects that were a part of the Side by Side Cymru programme from all across Wales. It highlighted the work that each project had been doing and the positive impacts it had had in their area. Inclusivity was important and with this in mind, the event was in dual language with attendees able to listen in Welsh with live translators.


ZiaBia’s Role

We were engaged to work on the event from the early stages, as we already had an existing relationship with Mind and their team having worked on multiple previous events. We were able to hit the ground running, bringing on-board our AV partners TechPro to handle the production side of Zoom so we could concentrate on the execution of the logistics, speaker management, delegate management and work alongside Mind on the event content and agenda creation. We of course were also present on the day to Event Manage and to work with the team and speakers to ensure everything ran smoothly.


Delegate Management

As part of our role, we managed an event specific inbox for all the delegate communications and any queries or questions from attendees. We were supplied with various delegate lists which we compiled into a master list to track progress and acceptances throughout the process. All communications were sent in both English and Welsh to ensure the event was inclusive, additional time was incorporated into timelines to allow time for translation.


Agenda Creation

The event agenda was full to the brim and included a mindfulness session, panel session and a live graphic artist capturing the event. It was important to keep the event short and within the desired 90 minutes. Instead of a break we introduced different elements to keep the attendees engaged and interacting throughout. We introduced Slido with two questions relevant to the agenda, one shared at the beginning and the other shared mid-way through which lead attendees to share their thoughts with answers being shown on-screen. We encouraged attendees to take a quick screen break and keep hydrated and take a chance to move and stretch!

Mind Cymru Side by Side: Peer Support in Wales Programme

We utilised the Miro Board feature in Zoom and created a map of Wales. Attendees were prompted to let everyone know where they were joining in from in the chat, which we then plotted onto the Miro Board to share during the event.



Planning is key and a full day of rehearsals for all speakers were held a couple of days before the event to ensure everyone involved was comfortable with their role and how the event would flow. These were essential to ensure all parties involved were familiar with the platform and had the opportunity to run through their sessions or presentation. It also enabled us to test technology and send out headsets to a small number of people who had issues with their audio! Additionally, we were joined by the translators to test the translation process and ensure they were familiar with the sessions they would be translating!

An additional drop-in attendee session was available on the morning of the event to offer additional support and allow for any technical tests.



The feedback received was outstanding - from speakers and attendees alike. It is always great to see how an event comes together, how ideas and creativity come to fruition and everyone involved feels engaged and included.

Side by Side Cymru: Peer Support in Wales Programme

UK Annual Social Prescribing #LinkWorkerDay2020 Awards & Conference

The goal of the #LinkWorkerDay2020 Awards & Conference

The National Association of Link Workers (NALW) had never ran their annual conference and awards online, although had experience of running training and webinars. In 2019, the awards and conference had been held in a live space and were due to take place again as a face to face event in April 2020. Due to Covid-19The Association had to make the decision to move the event online. It was important to NALW to still be able to capture the purpose of the event in the new format. We spent time with the team to really understand the association, its aims and values, and the
objectives for the event as part of the organisation and the sector they support. They wanted to celebrate the incredible work of their members, their projects and educate and inspire their attendees. So, the goal was to tie all of this into 2 days virtually.


ZiaBia's Role

ZiaBia were approached to project manage the conference and awards ceremony. The NALW team had the agenda, speakers, sponsors, event host and platform in place. Awards finalists had been
decided and entertainment to make the afternoon fun and engaging was in place. Event support was required to bring all of these elements together and to ensure communication, onboarding, planning and rehearsals took place pre event and then to event manage the event on the day.


Hopin was the chosen platform for the event, NALW had already made a decision to use this interactive environment. A great alternative to the likes of Zoom, Hopin has far more functionality
when it comes to hosting a virtual event in this format. The platform itself is set up as a reflection of a venue, including a reception area, mainstage, breakout session rooms, networking area and expo area – with all of the platform being utilised for both the awards and conference. We worked with a production company who supported with the technical delivery of the event on
Hopin. This allowed us to focus on speaker management, social media support, interaction and engagement, supporting award finalists and onboarding and general attendee technical help across
the 2 days.

Important things we had to consider –


Pre Event - 

Stakeholder Management
The pre-event management was very time intensive, in some ways more so than a face-to-face event, as the detail is in the planning. We worked hard to ensure all parties involved in the event had
familiarisation time on Hopin with the ZiaBia team and the production team and were comfortable to navigate the platform. Furthermore, we allocated specific time slots for the various roles within the event. Rehearsals for the mainstage speakers, session speakers, entertainment, award nominees, the hosts and the event team were all separate. You can understand how much time had to be dedicated purely to the rehearsals, with over 25 speakers and 20 award finalists to ensure were happy and confident.

In addition to the rehearsals, personalised NALW briefing packs were created for the host, awards nominees, and all speakers, which again took time but is totally necessary, alongside joining instructions that were sent to attendees. One major difference with an online event is not having the in-person support from the event team – so we needed to ensure everyone was comfortable with their own role and what was expected from them.

The Digital Event Brochure
A vital element of the event was the event brochure. Previously, the event brochure was a printed piece of collateral, but this year the decision was made to create a digital brochure that was fully
branded and formatted as a physical brochure. It was emailed out with joining instructions and available on the NALW website. We supported with creating the content for the brochure by
collating all of the relevant information for every speaker appearing across the 2-day event, including photos, bios and titles, and then formatting in an logical order to be sent off to the graphic


'Onsite' Management - 

We had 3 of the ZiaBia team virtually ‘onsite’ for both days of the event, alongside an additional 2 production team members. This enabled us to allocate roles and responsibilities to the team to ensure all actions were being picked up throughout the event and to reduce as much pressure as possible from the NALW team to allow them to focus on their own roles in the delivery of the event. It also allowed us to dedicate at least one of the ZiaBia team to looking after speakers, always.

Social Media Management
One of the clients goals from the very beginning was to have the hashtag for the campaign trending on twitter. We supported with social media on the day of the event and had access to the NALW
accounts. A tweetdeck template was in place, photos of the awards finalists, winners, and just general updates were set up with the event hashtag, to get the event being discussed on social media.
The hashtag #LinkWorkerDay2020 did in fact trend in the top 20 for the UK, a key success factor for the association - this was a campaign hashtag and was a cumulation of efforts from all that
participated .This included people who did not attend the conference but wanted to ensure the reach and exposure for Link Workers. We also supported in creating a competition on social media that rewarded the top interactors of the event! We began by creating a scoring system and writing full T&C’s for the competition, followed by sourcing a live, interactive social wall to display and rank the interactions with the specific competition hashtag.

Audience Engagement and Entertainment
Audience engagement is key for NALW, they wanted to make sure that they delivered from both an educational angle and audience enjoyment! So the awards ceremony was opened with a live dance demonstration with a Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer and encouraged people to join in and share their photos and videos on social media. The awards ceremony was structured so that attendees were entertained during the food courses and encouraged them to also share their photos on social media.

To continue the audience enjoyment through to the conference element of the event, day 2 opened with another live dance session as an energiser. There was substantial time built into the agenda or breaks and networking. The attendees also had access to a fully branded virtual photo booth that the NALW team had arranged that could be used throughout the event, again being encouraged to share their photos on socials.

PeerFest19, West Bromwich

PeerFest is an annual one-day event which brings people together to celebrate the significance, power and diversity of peer support. It is a friendly, welcoming and inclusive event. Peers can share their knowledge and experiences through workshops, creative activities, discussions and The Marsh Awards to help others.

Taste of Bath Networking Event

Our relationship with Taste of Bath

The relationship between ZiaBia and Taste of Bath first began when Vicky and Helen met through a shared contact at a networking event in Bristol. It was very obvious that there was a natural synergy between ourselves and Taste of Bath. We also share a feeling of how we both want our clients to feel when the final product/service is delivered. Along with very similar core values and work ethics, the potential to work together is endless.

As a result of this, ZiaBia has a great understanding of Helen’s needs and the best way to deliver the event to fit her brand and goals. Over the past two years working on the event, Taste of Bath has become ‘The Event’ to attend in the Bath area. This has increased exposure for both Taste of Bath and ZiaBia.

Event Type

The purpose of the event is to invite current and potential customers and significant figures from across Bath and the South West to network and celebrate local produce. It also offers exposure to the incredible suppliers of Taste of Bath and encourages the creation of new business connections. This reinforces the role Taste of Bath plays within the Bath business environment.

Our Role

ZiaBia handled the logistics of the event. This included onsite management to ensure a smooth delivery and to reduce the pressure on Helen. The worth of having an events team onsite can be invaluable to a client, highlighted by this event. We managed set up alongside the venue and Taste of Bath team, managed the producers ensuring all their requirements had been catered for and then provided support throughout the entirety of the event.

TechFusion 2019

What is TechFusion?

TechFusion is an event to connect Blackstar’s current and potential clients with their suppliers therefore helping to strengthen old relationships and create new ones.

The two essential elements of the event are the exhibition for sponsors and the seminar sessions.

What was ZiaBia’s role?

ZiaBia were engaged after the team at Blackstar had already contracted a venue – We The Curious. ZiaBia’s role was to support with the logistics and sponsor/partner communications. Included within the these aspects were:

Our Approach

One of the most important aspects of the services we offer is to make sure the client always feels like everything is under control. With this in mind, we ensured that strong communications were in place throughout the process by scheduling weekly calls and arranging face to face meetings. Furthermore, in the initial stages of planning ZiaBia created and shared an event timeline to keep all parties on track for the end result.

Residential Sales Conference 2018

The residential conference took place over two days and brought together a competitive sales team of roughly 120 people. The objective is to update everyone on upcoming targets and products and to share knowledge and best practices. Achievements from the previous year are also recognised with awards presented throughout the day and at their Gala Awards Dinner.

Payments Performance

The brief for the event in 2017 was slightly different though. Instead of being held over two days, this year Elavon required a 1 day event with up to 100 attendees. The style of the event was to be informative and educational, discussing what is new within the Payments Industry. The day also had to incorporate networking.

Peerfest17, Bristol

The aim of Peerfest is to celebrate the importance of peer support. A peer is a valuable part of the charities network where in a peer uses their own experiences of mental health to help others, using community groups, mentoring, self-help and support groups to connect with each other.

A nationwide tender has been used for the last three years for Peerfest with Bristol Independent Mental Health Network and Changes Bristol winning the right to host and deliver Peerfest17. The event was held on Monday 9th October 2017 at We The Curious (formerly known as @Bristol), Bristol.

Approximately 270 peers came together for a varied, fun and inspirational event. There was a mix of stalls, interesting workshops, creative and interactive activities and a thought-provoking debate. It also included The Marsh Awards, recognising excellence in mental health peer support. The whole event is a chance for peers to network and share their knowledge.