When the government put a halt to large gatherings in March 2020 due to Covid-19, Studio Messa – an experiential events company – needed to find a creative solution for its own business and its clients. Finding a creative solution is what Studio Messa does best, so the team took the opportunity to further develop their digital expertise and offering in order to adapt to the current state of events.
“Covid-19 has given our industry a rare chance to reimagine the future. We’re seeing the creative community experiment and adapt in exciting ways and expect this to continue even as restrictions lift,” says Pete Pengly, Managing Director.
After a very successful 2019, Studio Messa hit 2020 with a year-long calendar of scheduled events, including the Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out and the American Express lounge at Vivid Sydney. However, as coronavirus case numbers started to escalate in early March, the team quickly realised the implications it would have on their business and industry. They were mid-way through a series of four live events that had to be suspended, and all other upcoming events were postponed or cancelled within the space of a week.
Taking the downturn in their stride, the Studio Messa team invested time and energy into evolving the business. “As events stopped, we focused on what we could do in response to the limitations, and honed in on content production and internal projects,” says Kate Blank, Creative Director. They helped clients move their events and audiences online by providing virtual production, photoshoots and immersive video content – one event being American Express delicious. Nights In.
The team also undertook research into AR, VR and digital streaming platforms,and produced their own three-part interview series, “Candid.” Featuring conversations between pairs of creatives, including Pete and Kate, “Candid” shed light on the impacts of Covid-19 on the events industry and the possibilities that have emerged.
Studio Messa has also produced a whitepaper titled “The New Consumer” about the current state of events in light of Covid-19 and other trends. “This brings together our research, expertise and insights for the benefit of our clients and consumer base. It’s about what people want, need and can do in relation to events,” says Kate.
With restrictions easing, businesses and organisations are beginning to schedule and plan events for later this year, including precinct activations to help reinvigorate retail sectors. “Strategies will be on helping and assisting communities to get back on their feet,” says Pete. And while larger gatherings are permitted to slowly resume, Studio Messa will continue to offer digital, virtual and mixed-reality solutions as events open up.
The “Candid” video series can be viewed on Studio Messa’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Vimeo and website.