Virtual experiences were few and far between for most people before 2020. It seemed like only those deeply rooted in the tech industry would appreciate them. However, as social distancing measures necessitated more virtual experiences than physical ones, they became demystified for most people around the world. As a result, a large number of virtual events sprung up.
Among these myriads of events, a few of them stood out in their various circles. Annual events that audiences had come to look forward to were especially affected, as their 2020 editions were at risk of being either postponed or canceled altogether. Nevertheless, from professional events to award ceremonies and gospel events, some organizers took a lot of plaudits for creating top-class virtual experiences for their audiences.
Across all sectors, these organizers of annual events had to be on their feet. As they sought to create and manage events to remember, they had to rethink their entire output. One of these events that went on to some aplomb, is the Salesforce World Tour Sydney Reimagined. The event was moved to a virtual one due to building safety concerns. The event was able to garner 80,000 Livestream viewers, Salesforce said. The one-day event also reportedly brought in 1.2 million video views across social channels. This event was especially noteworthy because it made related videos available to the public on demand.
The world of live awards also went through a number of changes, as catering to fans and music lovers around the world became more challenging. Event managers, planners, promoters, and organizers found themselves managing onsite tech teams and digital venues. A number of music infused shows were either canceled or postponed, as organizers were not able to cope with the demands of moving the shows online. On the other hand, a few shows actually met and surpassed these demands.
The MTV VMA’S and The BET Awards are two globally recognized shows that made valiant efforts to make sure the 2020 editions took place. Within the African landscape, however, The Experience 15 (The Global Edition), surpassed every other effort and held it’s own on a global level.
The pick of the 2020 virtual events, House on The Rock’s 15th annual edition of The Experience stood out as the only show solely created and managed by a religious entity, to host over 30 world-class performers from various countries around the world on the same night.
The first edition of The Experience was held on the 1st of December, 2006, at the Tafawa Balewa Square. 70,000 people came out to attend. Impressively, The show’s maiden edition featured top gospel ministers Kirk Franklin, Israel Houghton, and Donnie McClurkin.
In the 14th year (2019) of the concert, The Experience had shown significant growth. The show tagged #LetsWorshipJesus, featured performances from Nathaniel Bassey, Chioma Jesus, Tope Alabi, Tim Godfrey, Glowreeyah Braimah, Travis Greene, Don Moen, Donnie McClurkin, Sinach, Sammie Okposo, Planetshakers, Mercy Chinwo, Preye Odede, William McDowell and Todd Dulaney. It also featured Nigerian comedians Kenny Blaq, Larry J, Forever, MC Abbey, and Akpororo. The show went on for 10 hours and had up to 1 million attendees.
The 2020 virtual concert showcased musical performances from South African inspirational poet and speaker, Nokwethemba Mchunu popularly known as Nokwe the Poet. Brazilian worship leader, singer-songwriter, and leader of the contemporary praise band Diante do Trono, Ana Paula Valadão also featured for the first time at the 2020 Experience Concert. Making her first appearance at the Experience as well, was award-winning singer, Tasha Cobbs.
The Experience 15 also featured performances from Hillsong United, Sinach, Donnie McClurkin, Don Moen, Segun Obe, Chee, Eno Michael, Travis Greene, The Planetshakers, Nathaniel Bassey, Ada, Eben, Mercy Chinwo, William Mcdowell, Tope Alabi, Sonnie Badu, Chevelle Franklyn and Maverick City. All performances and speeches, messages, and talks were held remotely. One day after the main event, the concert is set to air continuously on Multichoice’s DSTV and GOTV to its over 50 countries’ viewership across Africa.
The virtual experience was the first of its kind for any Nigerian based concert, with an excellent delivery second to none. Its eventual global reach was what its organizers intended to achieve, hence the tag “The Global Edition”. Pastor Paul Adefarasin had expressed his excitement at the prospect of fellowshipping with worshipers across the globe, from different races and creeds. The show was hailed as an experience like no other before it, and was enjoyed by a combined over 2 million viewers across the globe.
Relive the entire event on The Experience YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqhOmzGcCSw&t=10s