Behind the Scenes - Running an Online Event
Updated: Feb 5
2020, huh? What a wild ride.
With all the events of last year, the 2021 TET festival looked like it was a no go. With social distancing and a myriad of other health precautions in place, it seemed like the impossible had become reality; our team might not have run a festival in 2021.
But with new challenges comes new opportunities. Charged with the responsibility of continuing on the grand TET tradition, the team pulled out all the stops, brainstorming how to approach this with innovation and in the end, came up with a very contemporary solution: TET 2021 would be an online event.
From the get-go, the goal was always to bring the hallmarks of the TET Festival
straight to our audience. The sights, the sounds, the food, the culture, and the
spectacle of it all, needed to come through from our hard work right into the screens of our virtual festival attendees.
Our solution? Professional level videos with a distinct quality and made with a loving touch. And to bring this content to our audience, we needed a professional level platform. A digital festival space that we could build from the ground up, like our physical festivals in previous years.
After the concept was drawn up, our web and graphic designer, Christopher Teh, got right on the tools and started building what would become the showground of TET 2021. It took research, piles of paper sketches, and a truck-load of meetings and collaboration, but the platform was built up from scratch. We had our festival grounds in cyberspace.
It’s been a learning experience. Tackling new problems, learning new tools, and challenging ourselves to make TET 2021 something truly special and different than any festival we have ran before.
This was a big one. Taking on the responsibility of building the platform for the entire festival felt a bit like Atlas taking on his burdens at first, but these days more than usual, life is about stepping up and trying something new. Not to mention it keeps the mind sharp.
Admittedly, there were times that images of The Matrix entered my mind, of Neo’s late hours in front of a glowing monitor reflecting my own experiences, albeit with less sunglasses and trench coats. Isolation creeps in even at the best of times, but being able to work with a fantastic team staved off the worst of it, being able to toss around ideas and discuss at all hours. Lot of tea helped too.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Xuan Le, Katrina Lam, Lawrence Le, Damien Nguyen, and of course master of the screen arts, James Huynh, my website became chock-full of content, sights and sounds aplenty, and truly brought it to life. At the end of the day, my efforts are for the festival as a whole, and I hope you all enjoy the little show we’ve put on for you! - Christopher Teh