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What happens when we view our screens as portals?

“How do I find the right pod for me?”

“What’s the ideal pod size?”

“Where’s everyone going for leaping practice these days?”

These were just some of the questions from our dorsal-finned Zoom participants at a recent virtual gathering of marine mammals at Atlantis Paradise Islands in the Bahamas.

Only kidding, of course 😁

But it could well have been, if any of us human mammals in that Zoom spoke dolphin!

When Liz Lathan, (CEO of Haute Dokimazo, our US-based partners in virtual experiences and unconferences) first started referring to screens as portals, we thought we’d be doing the ‘virtual thing’ for a couple of months and yes, that’s a great way to reframe screen use!

But now, 16 months into this new normal, we’re starting to realise that’s the only way we should be thinking about our screens. They are a gateway; they provide us the opportunity to go places we’ve never been, and create memorable moments with humans (and marine mammals) we’ve never met.

The key is in thoughtfully designing the entire virtual experience from start to finish - and ensuring that it’s purpose-built for the virtual world, not simply tacked on.

Many virtual events today talk about ‘engagement’, often referring to a chat function or polls, maybe gamification of some elements within the online environment. These are great, and definitely better than nothing; but why not take it to the next level?

“Let’s take virtual events and transform them into experiences and adventures

UC followers will know we’ve recently been a part of some awesome examples through our involvement in CONVO 2021, started by our friends at HD, with the ambitious goal of building profitable relationships anchored in genuine connection - all online.

Each gathering sees us beaming into, and being immersed in, a unique, often hard-to-access environment, LIVE. The above example with the dolphins was the most recent, and you can watch the video here for your daily dose of dopamine. We’ve also walked the rooftops of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and gone diving with sharks and manta rays off the coast of Mexico.

Arguably, these sound like great experiences on their own - especially when many of us are still stuck at home - but the magic continues in the virtual unconference that follows, always thematically linked to the shared adventure. Where participants get to vote on their biggest pain points and successes relating to the topic du jour, and then break out into lively ‘camera on, mics on’ discussions with their peers. No PowerPoints or soapboxes - just honest conversations and co-created toolkits.

If this sounds like something you’d like to explore for your team or community, get in touch - we cover all time zones and work with amazing partners all around the world to craft these experiences that leave you feeling energised, and connected, something we can all do with a bit more of these days.


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