Virtual Spotlight On: #2 SEMSU

Virtual Spotlight On: #2 SEMSU

It goes without saying that this is a difficult time for event organisers. Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has made us rethink a lot of our plans and overall approach to future events. We want to show you that whatever your situation, you’re not alone.

We’ve caught up with event organisers that host a range of events to understand challenges they might have faced during lockdown, provide inspiration and share learnings that can help those of you in similar positions.

In this blog we speak to SEMSU, Southampton's electronic music society (unofficially attached to the University of Southampton).

Tell us about your event?

SEMSU is Southampton’s electronic music society. We aim to bring underground music and live pop up events to the student population.

How has the Covid-19 situation affected your events?

Lockdown has meant that we have not been able to run any physical events. More specifically, we have had to cancel planning for our end of year boat party event, which for many of our student resident DJs was the last event before they finished their time at university in Southampton.

We were still keen to run events and stay in touch with our audience so we looked to move some of our events online where possible.

How have you moved events online and what benefits do you see from this?

The first action we took was to discuss the logistics of moving events online and the resources we had available to make it happen. We caught up with artists that were due to play at some of our original events to understand their availability and appetite for working with us as part of a virtual set-up. Running events online has meant we’ve been able to feature more resident student DJs than we would have done in a physical space and cater to a wider breadth of genres, as well as reaching a bigger audience.

We recently ran our Ticket Tribute Fundraiser live stream event, in aid of the Society of St James, Hampshire’s largest homeless charity who are doing amazing work in Southampton. The event had a really positive response and we’re super grateful to everyone that donated to the cause. It has allowed us to understand best practice for live streaming and larger online events in the future.

We’ve also been focusing our efforts on planning for the new academic year and used the time to look at new events that we could bring to Southampton for the first time.

How are you keeping your audience informed of the changes and any updates?

We’ve been using our social channels to communicate with attendees, as well as the email feature on FIXR. Both have meant we’ve been able to update our audience quickly and maintain a constant point of communication.

Any other thoughts to add?

We recommend using this time to communicate with audiences online and test unique formats for events that you wouldn’t have considered previously. Event lovers are keen to understand what’s next in the events world so this is the time to utilise that.

Key takeaways:

  • The pandemic has had a massive impact on our events and the wider events industry and has encouraged us to look at putting on more frequent events when it’s safe to do so.
  • We also recommend tailoring content to make sure it works for an online event and trying to outline any logistical or technical considerations from the outset to ensure you and your team are as prepared as possible.

How can we stay in touch with SEMSU and what you’ve got coming up next?

You can find us on Facebook and Instagram

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