Introducing Live@ODILeeds

Helping our sponsors with the future of events.

Over the last year - we have been helping our sponsors stay in touch with their customers, staff and partners with our virtual events offering now branded as Live@ODILeeds. We thought a case study story would be useful to demonstrate how we might be able to help you with the future of events.

#LAF21 Leeds Apprenticeship Festival 2021

Leeds City Councils Employment & Skills hub usually hosts a number of events throughout the year. One of them is the supersized Leeds Apprenticeship Fair targeting young adults 16-24. Last year this was hosted at the First Direct arena and over 6,000 guests packed into the space over 4 hours.

The Challenge - How to recreate this experience online?

Fitting 6,000 faces featuring more than 120 employers into a Zoom room was just not going to cut it. Likewise the tech savvy target audience would see right through a static directory list of employers with links to standard corporate YouTube video as not relevant or interesting to them. It needed to be engaging, personable, real, usable, and be live to give them a reason to tune in. Fortunately, ODILeeds has a strong and unique skill set of event planners, web developers, tech experts and data analysts. So after a virtual team planning meeting we designed a bespoke virtual 'festival' website with an exhibitor arena, ticket hall, video vault, and a helpdesk.

Unlike some other fair and festival providers we didn't get distracted by making the technology the star of the show with virtual lobbys, VR headsets, and guest avatars. We stuck to what we do best - building and delivering something that would work efficiently and effectively. Crucially it had to have the end user in sight. It had to be easy to use, accessible, informative, reliable and do its job, which was putting apprentices in touch with apprenticeship providers.

The Festival website
Credit: ODI Leeds

The Live Bit

To make it feel as much as possible like a real fair we used a virtual software platform called Airmeet. Tables staffed by real employers were displayed and apprentices could take a seat and have a chat. There were different ways to get involved - video chat, text chat, polls, live presentations and live Q&A. It worked really well and the feedback was fantastic.

It was very good. I like the platform. It was a good way of doing it virtually. I didn't know what to expect when joining a virtual fair, but it exceeded anything I could have imagined.


It is a really good platform that is easy to use, and the festival is very interactive.


Did it work?

We can let the data speak for itself:

  • 53,429 website views so far
  • 1300 tickets sold for the live events
  • 12 live events attended across the week

Did it cost a packet?

Less than you think and a lot less than the competition, plus unlike a physical event virtual events have additional benefits:

  • sustainability - no travel or food costs
  • permanence - creation of an asset that can be re-shared
  • higher reach potential - no venue capacity constraints
  • measurability - we can tell you exactly how many people came and interacted with your event
  • feedback - its really easy to collect user feedback with a simple online form
  • flexibility - there are multiple options
  • time - without travel to factor in virtual events are less time consuming for all involved.

So if you have a conference, recruitment fair, workshop, team meeting, away day that you have put on hold until all this goes away, then get in touch to see if we can help plan your next event.