Case Study: How FMX Wowed a Demanding Audience at Their First Virtual Conference

About FMX

FMX is one of the world’s largest trade conferences for animation, effects, games, and immersive media and is organized by the Animation Institute of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.

Virtual Event Technology

FMX used EventMobi’s:

  • Event Space
  • Full Data Management
  • GoLive! Production Services

Meet The Person Behind The Magic

Professional headshot of Mario Müller, the Project Manager at FMX

Participants

Participants included international professionals and students from the fields of animation and special effects.

Event Objectives

FMX had two primary objectives for their May 2020 conference “Reimagine Tomorrow”:

  • To promote exchange within the industry
  • To offer a high-quality program with prominent speakers
FMX 2021's "Reimagine Tomorrow" virtual Event Space's homepage, complete with Program, Speakers, Partners, and Sponsors widgets

Planning The Event

FMX has been held annually on site in Stuttgart since 1994 – but the 2020 event had to be cancelled at short notice due to the pandemic.

“We weren’t able to crank out a professional online conference in just six weeks. Zoom calls and poor image quality, that’s not us. The discussions with EventMobi then led to us saying we’ll do it.”

— Mario Müller

A new attempt was then made in 2021. Originally conceived as a hybrid event, FMX ultimately took place
entirely online. The team was supported by the creative agency Langenstein Communication, who in turn suggested EventMobi as the technology provider. The FMX team’s goal was to mirror online much of what normally took place on-site in Stuttgart. They were encouraged by the fact that comparable industry conferences had already mastered the switch to a virtual format.

Preparation of The Event

To get to know the features of the EventMobi platform in detail, the FMX team received one-on-one training from Event Success Manager Pirkko Sprengel. Before and during the event, she was available to answer questions and give tips to the organizers.

When setting up the virtual Event Space, the adaptability of the open EventMobi platform proved to be a major advantage. The chosen registration provider, XING Events, was already included in the package as a standard integration, so that participant data flowed seamlessly from the ticketing system into the EventMobi backend.

The high-profile program, featuring many industry greats, required special protection so that video links, for example, could not be shared with third parties outside the platform. That’s why Mario and his team opted for a custom integration of the Kaltura video player. In addition to the security factor, the tool also offered the high image quality that the visually-oriented professional audience expected.

All the stops were also pulled out when it came to design. CSS was used to design the virtual Event Space portal completely in the FMX branding. This function is included in all EventMobi packages by default. The program overview of the website was integrated via iframe to implement the desired appearance 1:1.

“We were very pleased that the EventMobi team was professional and always responsive. The fact that customer support was included in the basic package and that you knew right away who to contact with questions was something I liked.”

— Mario Müller

How Attendee Participation Was Encouraged

A calendar view of Reimagine Tomorrow's line up of speakers, workshops, and presentations

The extensive program at FMX was split 50/50 between the two central goals of the event: networking among professionals and students, and sharing knowledge. An important cornerstone of the conference has always been the atmosphere among the visitors – “how easy it is to talk to each other, have a beer together or approach speakers,” says Mario.

It was clear to him that the exchange within the industry would take on a somewhat different form online. The EventMobi platform offered many opportunities to get into conversation – for example, during Q&A sessions with speakers or via the participant Live Chat.

Highlights of The Event Space

Live Chat

In the public chat, participants were able to talk about the current lecture and engage in an exchange with the moderators or speakers.

Zoom Integration

The existing integration of Zoom and EventMobi made it easy to implement video chats between speakers and participants. As an alternative to Zoom, EventMobi also offers Interactive Breakout Rooms directly within the platform.

Private Messages & Appointment Booking

“The fact that you could write to others directly via the participant list and invite them to a video call was very cleverly solved and a practical additional benefit,” thinks Mario.

Successes of The Event

The switch to the virtual format was a major challenge for the team which made Mario all the more pleased with the consistently positive feedback from those involved. “The presentation and implementation of the platform went absolutely great,” he enthuses. “People were really satisfied with the outcome.”

For once, it was possible to attract Hollywood celebrities as speakers who had never been able to come to the on-site conference in Stuttgart before. Mario’s highlights were visual effects legend Douglas Trumbull (2001 – A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner) and Victoria Alonso, Executive Vice President of Production at Marvel Studios.

Reimagine Tomorrow's event results, including the attendance of 388 speakers, 178 presentations, 100 live Q&A sessions and 2200 participants from 45 countries

“We were able to run the entire FMX 100% on the EventMobi platform. People were happy about that and we received a lot of positive feedback.”

— Mario Müller
Image: A product tour banner with a “Watch Now” call-to-action button.