How CBRE Group, Inc. created thought-leadership around the ‘Future of Real Estate’ with a futuristic virtual experience


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About the client:

CBRE Group, Inc. is an American commercial real estate services and investment firm. CBRE or Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis, is the largest commercial real estate services company in the world. The firm is ranked 128th on the Fortune 500 and has been included in the Fortune 500 every year since 2008. CBRE serves more than 90 of the top 100 companies on the Fortune 100.

The CBRE Group, Inc. had 3 major objectives for their symposium.

In an evolving real estate landscape, spearheaded by the COVID-19 scenario, CBRE Group, Inc. wanted to create thought-leadership around what the future of real-estate in a post COVID-19 world will look like. The initiative took the form of a 3 day symposium, with close to 2000 attendees/participants comprising of Builders, Architects, Civil Engineers, & Real-Estate Business Leaders, engaged through a rich and interactive series of talk-shows, masterclasses, and solution booths, all simulated in a seamless virtual environment.

To accomplish this, the major objectives of project were decided to be as follows:

  1. Showcase the ‘Future of Real-Estate’ through a truly futuristic, seamless & flawless virtual experience.
    For CBRE Group, Inc. this meant choosing a virtual events platform that was more than just a speaker interface. They wanted avenues to create a truly immersive experience with engagement features, 2-way interactive communication, and virtual product/demo showcase, all stitched seamlessly into a zero downtime virtual experience. So it was critically important for them to host this Symposium on a reliable and powerful platform, with all these capabilities & more.

  2. Create an interactive experience for a multi-dimensional audience.
    The client specifically needed capabilities to create and run multiple tracks, with specific audience cohorts in real-time. This meant being able to break the audience into 30 cohorts, and assign them to different content tracks all running simultaneously, while the event is LIVE & running. The platform capabilities to run these parallel tracks is one thing, but the CBRE team also needed the back-end control and support to accomplish this.

  3. Create an inclusive environment for a global audience.
    Furthermore, with a global audience there was a strong need for the CBRE team to ensure an inclusive environment which caters to all in terms of the experience and accessibility. Hence it was crucial that the event be hosted on a platform that is easy to use, multi-lingual, and accessible to the specially challenged.

Why did the CBRE team choose Kestone to host this event?

The Kestone Virtual Events Platform was able to met all the above criteria,

  • It features an immersive virtual environment with capabilities for HD video streaming, 2 way communication, numerous engagement features like Networking Lounge & Gaming Zone, and customizable demo booths with content & resource hosting features.

  • A strong tech bundle to add custom features, which we were able to leverage to create platform capabilities to create and host 30 parallel tracks with real-time audience allotment.

  • Lastly, multiple accessibility features like multi-lingual closed-captioning, Keyboard Navigation, Contrast Settings, Text Size & Spacing Settings, and Dyslexia Friendly interface settings make the virtual event experience inclusive to all.

Furthermore, we understood the scope of the event very well and what CBRE Group, Inc. wanted to accomplish through it. It was paramount for them to create a flawless and futuristic experience around their content, brand and offering, and the Kestone Virtual Events Platform & team knew how to do that.

Other features & capabilities that won the CBRE team’s confidence were:

  • Immersive experience & 360 degree branding possibilities/properties
  • 2-way audio/video Communication Capabilities
  • Back-end Access and Technical Support
  • Speed & Security with zero downtime
  • Daily & Comprehensive Event Analytics & Reporting

How did the Kestone team plan the CBRE Symposium?

“I can’t thank the Kestone team enough for their hard work and responsiveness to everything we’ve requested.”

- Events Manager @ CBRE | Corporate Marketing

The project called for 2 months of extensive planning and preparation. With numerous live streaming sessions, pre-recorded sessions, break-out room functionalities, and a multitude of features being created and tested for the first time, exclusively for this project.

The first task was to curate the event environment and branding, starting from the

This was followed by planning the event agenda, and by extension figuring out the various functionalities needed to execute this agenda:

  • Keynote Sessions in the main hall for the 1900+ attendees

The Keynote Session saw the biggest attendance with all the 1900+ attendees in the audience. This required leveraging the robust account login & attendee hosting capabilities of the Kestone Virtual Event Platform. The platform further ensured HD streaming with zero downtime for any of the attendees, even those who might be logging in from low bandwidth areas of the globe.

A feature created exclusively for this project, to cater to the global audience of this Symposium was the closed-captioning (now a built-in feature/capability of the Kestone Virtual Event Platform). The closed-captioning tool presents subtitles in English to the content aired in real-time. This was crucial in helping non-english speaking audiences, or audiences with auditory impairments to have a seamless event experience. This, along with the platform’s accessibility features ensured an inclusive experience for everyone at the Symposium.

  • Breakout Rooms for the Masterclasses with real-time audience allocation, and parallel content tracks with 2-way audio/video communication

To create an interactive experience that met the client’s requirement, a 30 room break-out session with simultaneously running content streams was conceptualized. This in-event webinar tool needed to have a back-end access to assign participants to their respective tracks, with the CBRE team being able to do this in real-time during the event.

The tool was created as an added functionality (now a built-in feature/capability of the Kestone Virtual Event Platform) in the run up to the event. Furthermore, it required extensive content creation involving recording speakers from all over the world. All these speakers were reached out to by the Kestone team, to schedule and record their respective keynote addresses. All this content then went through extensive post production and programming to prepare it for the Virtual Event, with speaker introduction overlays and low-thirds.

  • Branded Booths with product demos and downloadable resources

Furthermore, the Symposium featured 5 booths serving informative videos on various topics along with downloadable resources for attendees to retain.

  • On-demand Content Hosting for 30 days post the event

And the entire content experience was hosted on-demand for recurring audiences over a course of 30 days with daily reporting & analytics on user interactions and content consumption.

Furthermore, the CBRE team also used the Kestone Virtual Event Platform’s CRM bundle to create a custom landing page for the Symposium (hosting all the event details - agenda, speaker profiles, and attractions), and handle the email outreach, registrations, and RSVP (with auto triggered mails based on an approval/rejection tree logic).

What support did the Kestone team offer?

“Thank you all for being so great and look forward to more to come!”

- Events Manager @ CBRE | Corporate Marketing

A 25 member strong team was dedicated to the project, for end-to-end support in planning the event, designing the virtual environment, back-end control, & real-time execution of the symposium.

Also, there were numerous dry runs organized connecting speakers from across the globe to practice their parts, and ensure a glitch-free event day experience.

 A huge success!”
- Events Manager @CBRE | Corporate Marketing

The event was a resounding success boasting a stellar showcase of content, experiences, and interactive engagements, and a promise for more CBRE events to be hosted on the Kestone Virtual Events Platform.

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