the setup

The Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis (BAGI), is a 500+ member organization dedicated to promoting the region’s new-home construction, educating the industry and community, and providing industry networking. They work to keep both their members and consumers up to date on the home building industry’s standards, practices and happenings.

BAGI’s annual signature event, the First Internet Bank Home-A-Rama, features a tour of custom homes by the best builders in central Indiana in a prestigious neighborhood development.

Each year, Home-A-Rama draws tens of thousands of visitors over 3 weekends in the fall to tour these stunning homes. However, 2020 brought new challenges to the organizers of this event, and they turned to Haven Media to help produce an innovative solution.

challenges

The challenges started early in the year with BAGI’s downtown builder showcase, the 2020 INDYRAMA. For the urban home tour, Haven Media worked with BAGI to create a video, photography, and planbook package to promote the show. After coordinating all the necessary shoots and interviews and producing a detailed book to help guide visitors through the tour of homes and neighborhoods, the global coronavirus pandemic arrived. At that time, BAGI decided the best solution for the community was to cancel the in-person tours and pull the plug on the show.

This left everyone now wondering, what about the upcoming Home-A-Rama in the fall? Eleven of Central Indiana’s best custom home builders were already hard at work building stunning homes in Zionsville’s Holliday Farms.

Leaning on the established relationship with Haven, BAGI’s Director of Communications and Special Events, Kristen Bowen, reached out to present their dilemma. According to Bowen, “Although we were hopeful that things would get better in time for the show, we needed a game plan for Home-A-Rama and we needed to be intentional in our preparations.”

A call with Haven’s leadership, not long after INDYRAMA was cancelled, turned into a brainstorming session, and soon the idea of creating a virtual experience was born.

Bowen says of the plan,

“We needed something we could fall back on heavily or lightly if needed. Although this fall turned out as our best-case scenario with a really successful in-person show, being prepared with the virtual experience gave us the confidence to move forward.”

the solutions
The 2020 Virtual Experience

Haven and BAGI coordinated to develop a multi-media strategy for the show. Print, photo, video, and digital campaigns were designed to tell the unique story of each home, builder, and all those involved in the show. Haven’s multi-faceted marketing approach and out-of-the-box thinking was evident in the creation of an all-new experience for BAGI’s 2020 Home-A-Rama at Holliday Farms in Zionsville.

  • Website design and implementation included a show overview, ticket sales and tracking integration, a QR code for People’s Choice Survey, and creation and execution of the Virtual Experience.
  • The innovative and distinctive Virtual Experience included not just photos and videos of each home, but also an interactive 3D tour featuring details about some of the products used in each home, as well as additional information about the builders, the interior designers, and their vendor partners.
  • High-level planbook production and coordination with 11 builders, the Holliday Farms development, City of Zionsville, and BAGI.
  • Photography – Haven coordinated with all 11 builders to photograph each home as the finishing touches were added just before the show.
  • Videography – Videos that highlighted some of the most unique elements from the show homes were filmed and edited for inclusion on the website and promotion on social media.
  • Virtual Tour – Working with the builders and Matterport photographers, a 3D tour of each home was created.

Virtual Experience visitors could view these 11 beautiful homes from the safety of their own home, save photos to a favorites folder for inspiration, ask questions of the builders, and tour their favorite home again and again. In-person visitors also received access and were able to revisit the tour virtually.

View the virtual experience

There was initially some worry that a virtual experience could detract from the in-person show, but we learned instead that it is a great complement to the live experience.

“Being able to offer the virtual experience, not only as a supplement, but as a way to attract people who couldn’t attend such as relocation buyers, goes far beyond just COVID needs,” says Bowen. “The fact that we were able to offer all of the additional details about appliances and finishes in an interactive way, it allows people to go back and revisit what piqued their interest, then connect with the builders.”

Although the live tour was limited with a guest count cap for half hour blocks (that completely sold out!), there were still 11,375 attendees who showed up to personally tour the showcase homes. As the show sold out each weekend, there would be an uptick in virtual sales. Even after the live show was over, the virtual experience continued to be of value to consumers, builders and vendors alike.

summary of goals and results

Onsite Attendance
Goal: 5,000
Actual: 11,375

Event Website Analytics
50,656 Unique Users (32K previous year)
30% Return Rate(15,112 users came back to the website at least once)
282,673 Pageviews (39K previous year)
86,262 Total Sessions

 

 

 

Virtual Attendance
Goal: 3,000
Actual: 4,284

Virtual Experience Stats
35% of our virtual sales occurred after the official “sold out announcement”
1,257 total unique virtual tickets purchased prior to free release in 2021
4,653 unique users have visited the virtual experience with their unique link
at least once, 37% of all attendees (in-person and virtual attendees combined = 12,632).

the haven difference

“At Haven, it’s all about understanding our client’s needs and then partnering with them to find solutions that help them achieve their goals,” says Haven Founder and CEO, David Decker. “Often these suggestions are tried and true staples, but frequently they might include a new and exciting idea like the virtual process we created for BAGI. By combining our industry acumen with creative solutions, we are able to help our clients succeed.”

Learn more about the Haven Difference, our process that integrates expansive knowledge and experience in the design and construction fields with insight into what works — and what doesn’t — in marketing and advertising. Connect with us for help creating your own unique virtual experience to meet the needs of an ever-changing world.