The City of Philadelphia strives to create seasonal events for its residents and visitors. This year, everything went virtual with the help of an event social media feed.
Powered by the slogan “There’s no place like Philadelphia for the Holidays”, the Philly Holiday Experience offers Philadelphians and visitors new ways to celebrate this holiday season. Adapting to the distancing requirements during the pandemic, Philadelphia has found a way to keep the usual festivities alive while also keeping everyone safe. This year, the Philly Holiday Experience has gone virtual with socially distanced holiday traditions and an event social media feed.
From a virtual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony broadcast live on local TV, to encourage residents to share their holiday arts and crafts, the Philly Holiday Experience can teach us how to throw a successful virtual event.
Rocking around the virtual tree
Philadelphians initiated this year’s holiday festivities with a virtual-only tree lighting ceremony at the beginning of December. The ceremony was even broadcast live on 6ABC, one of Philadelphia’s local TV stations, allowing viewers to participate in their seasonal tradition from the comfort of their homes.
The tree is located at the Wawa Holiday Plaza and decorated with almost 5,000 feet of multi-colour LED lights and hand-designed ornaments, including custom-made ornaments honouring the Black Lives Matter movement. The Philadelphia Holiday Tree is accessible to everyone at any time, as it’s broadcast live 24/7 on the Philly Holiday Experience website.
The festival lasts from mid-November through the New Year and consists of several virtual events. To make the virtual holiday experience even better, the Philly Holiday Experience has embedded a social media feed right underneath the virtual tree live-stream on the website. The social feed not only increases the event’s engagement but also displays current social media content that helps promote up-to-date announcements of all celebrations, such as the Boathouse Holiday Lighting ceremony for Hanukah.
In addition, the posts encourage viewers to share their holiday arts and crafts on Twitter, as well as those special “winter moments”, using the hashtag #6abcholidaysathome. All those posts are then displayed on the social feed, creating a beautiful holiday-themed event social media feed.
Connecting a community with virtual seasonal events
The Philly Holiday Experience isn’t Philadelphia’s first foray into virtual events. Earlier in 2020, Welcome America, the city’s annual 4th of July celebration, was moved online and combined with a social media event feed as well. The virtual event involved concerts, educational activities, museum tours, cooking demonstrations, and more — all made available to people online. You can read all about the Welcome America virtual experience in our Social Media for Virtual Events roundup.
In the words of Philadelphia’s mayor, “It has been a challenging year for our city, our nation, and the world, but we are looking forward to keeping the spirit of the season here in Philadelphia.”
Adjusting to the new normal often requires going virtual. Philadelphia’s two successful seasonal online events show that enhancing virtual activities with an event social media feed provides a huge benefit to organisers and users alike.
An embedded social media feed is a great way to keep website visitors updated with current information about ongoing events, celebrations and even last-minute changes. At the same time, you give the public a way to engage with the event by posting their own messages, photos and videos to the social feed using their social media accounts and a hashtag.
An event social media feed adds joy and a feeling of togetherness to virtual holiday celebrations. It creates a sense of community and belonging, and that’s something we could all use as we say goodbye to 2020.
Featured image copyright: VISIT PHILADELPHIA®