January 7, 2022
Times Square's New Year's Eve Celebration Goes Virtual
Here's how global audiences came together remotely to celebrate one of the world's largest NYE celebrations.
If there was anything the world could collectively look forward to in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, it was undoubtedly the start of a new year. Usually, we’re accustomed to seeing massive crowds gather together to count down the final seconds before the year ends, with large-scale celebrations being broadcast around the world. The famed Ball Drop in New York City’s Times Square is perhaps recognized as one of the world’s most iconic and historic New Year’s Eve celebrations. In previous years, the event drew crowds in the hundreds of thousands stretching all the way to Central Park to experience the Waterford crystal Ball, along with millions more tuning in live from around the world.
This year, however, the festivities had to be reduced to just 15,000 people for health and safety reasons, which prevented audiences from participating in the bustling event as they have in previous years. Many people who needed a hopeful celebration to start off the New Year were still faced with separation and isolation from others.
The Times Square Alliance and Kiswe thus sought a creative solution to enable viewers at home from all over the world to come together and celebrate New Year’s Eve together. The Alliance embedded a widget on their website powered by Kiswe Fans – a remote fan engagement platform for broadcasters and sports leagues.
The platform allowed viewers at home to tune into the live webcast and easily submit a selfie video or fan cam of themselves. On the organizers’ side, moderators were able to select and create a grid of live audience videos with hundreds of others throughout the night, cheering together as they ushered in the New Year.
“It was a pleasure to see so many people from around the globe engage with our webcast thanks to Kiswe,” said Times Square Alliance President, Tom Harris. “Everything about Times Square New Year’s Eve is global, and we are constantly seeking new ways to engage with the world through new technology like this.”
“We are honored that the Times Square Alliance chose Kiswe to be a part of one of the most iconic and noteworthy New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world,” shared Kiswe Co-Founder and Kiswe Fans product leader Wim Sweldens.” It was especially meaningful that our technology was used to bring people from around the world to experience the excitement of the countdown together after a difficult year.”
By the end of the night, the Kiswe Fans platform saw people check in from 140 countries and over 430,000 digital “cheers” where people actively engaged during the event. Additionally, over 10,000 people submitted their fan cam videos to be a part of the live celebration. This event was the first time the Times Square Alliance had used this technology to make audiences at home feel like they were part of the live event.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Kiswe Fans can provide live fan and audience engagement to your next event, please contact our team for a demo.
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