Today we visited the Age UK HQ in London and set up a Google+ Hangout to record a Roundtable event and showed how Google Hangouts can be used in Marketing.
The meeting that took place was with property portal WhatHouse? , some leading retirement residential companies also took part in the discussion. Well known television presenter and journalist Esther Rantzen joined the meeting to give her opinion on how retirement homes are perceived in the UK.
This would not be a normal Google Hangout set up but far more complex. The challenge being multiple microphones and multiple camera positions to capture all guests – this is a more advanced form of Google Hangout Marketing.
It was decided that we would go through a ‘YouTube route’ when recording the meeting. The reason behind the decision was that we could then privately share the recording with everyone who attended on the day – as trust in this platform grows we need to make people comfortable with the process first. In the future there is no reason that events of this magnitude and importance could not be streamed live to the outside world to invite questions, feedback and interaction – obviously this is the ultimate aim given the importance of such discussions.
In this case, if we went through the Hangout On Air (Hangout On Air) route through Google Plus the meeting would have been streamed via Google Plus and Youtube. However, because we didn’t invite any guests or have an option for public viewing or public debate we chose to record the event via the Youtube aproach.
The meeting went well and the recording was a success. There were some initial sound issues which would always have been the case with such a complex set up but was resolved. Although we are constantly learning about the semantics of the digital world, today we really got an insight into how old people perceive retirement homes (a lot of them have negative connotations associated with the fear of getting old and having to downsize). It was particularly interesting to find out that in other countries such as America, retirement homes are very popular and the consensus over there is that being sixty for example is celebrated. One of the speakers mentioned that in the state of Florida, around four hundred retirement homes are built every month.
Esther Rantzen mentioned that old people should be marketed in a more positive light and that the media have had a tendency to focus on negative portrayals. She recommended that residential homes should be promoted in a more fun and social way. In addition, she made an interesting point about inter-generation should be key with regards to town planning so young and old can integrate and be educated and create meaningful experiences.
The notion of trust was also mentioned, I found this particularly interesting because in the digital world we also need this if we want to be successful as a brand in both an online and offline environment and making sure that both of these concepts mirror one another. This is one philosophy that we should all adopt, no matter what industry we are apart of, being honest and open is paramount.
All in all it was a great event and showed how Google Hangout Marketing can be incorporated into particularly serious discussions. It showed how this sort of meeting can be streamed live, regardless of the complex set up and equipment needed to make this sort of meeting work well in a public live format.