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Exploring virtual ways to keep communicating

by Saul Leese

Tech expert James Morgan investigates virtual alternatives to keep conversations flowing.

Right now, the event industry is demonstrating the incredible resilience it’s renowned for. We’re great problem solvers, and with so many cancellations and postponements of events, it is clear that the industry still needs to engage with its customers, and some of this this can be done through innovation in technology.

Let’s take an example from the Burning Man festival’s engagement strategy. They use content rich online engagement as well as live engagement before and after the event. The organisers activate the ‘Burner’ communities world-wide to get messages out.

Burner communities in major cities around the world come together live, and online to share their experiences. This engagement strategy not only supports the super-fans going ‘cold turkey’, but also motivates future attendance. The strategy also allows the organisers to get out key messages and propagate involvement for the following season. Is this type of engagement strategy – where networking takes place, knowledge is exchanged, and experiences are shared – something that might work for show organisers in the current climate?

I think we can learn from their strategy. After all, the show must go on, even if it is later in the year or next year. So, how about engaging virtually by promoting sponsors, exhibitors and off course engaging with visitors?

There is a mountain of programmed content, speakers lined-up and ready with presentations, as well as show sponsor and exhibitor content out there. It hasn’t been used, so let’s use it. We offer organisers some suggestions on providers of virtual exhibitions, virtual networking and virtual content delivery.

 

Expoplatform

Exoplatform’s first online exhibition went live on 23 March for Cloud Expo Europe 2020, organised by CloserStill Media. The virtual show is running for a month, allowing people to connect and interact via online meetings. The meeting system integrates into the networking platform  for a ‘no-installs experience’. The system can support multiple meeting formats including one-to-one meetings, speaker sessions, product demonstrations and webinars.

 

V-Ex Virtual Exhibitions

The company has been producing virtual exhibitions and interactive online environments for 10 years. The platform was designed to support large trade shows and conferences, and allows owners of venues and live events to expand into the virtual world 24/7; offering exhibitors the chance to engage with a global audience. V-Ex combines 3D rendering, animation, HD photography and digital movies with a simple backend that includes a Content Management System (CMS) and visitor analytics.

 

Ubievent by Meetyoo

With its virtual event platform, you can organise virtual trade shows where visitors can move around like at a real trade fair. Visitors can make direct contact with exhibitors via video or text chat. The virtual experience includes virtual information points, exhibitor stands, an entrance hall and lounge as well as a virtual auditorium handling of several thousand visitors simultaneously. Visitors can move their avatars around the virtual exhibition grounds, visit individual exhibition stands, the lounge, conference rooms or the virtual auditorium. Live content can be streamed into the virtual show too, and there is a reporting tool for exhibitor success measurement and lead generation.

 

FeedsFloor

Business networks, exhibitions, chambers of commerce and city councils can host their own virtual shows. Virtual visitors can meet exhibitors and browse their products and services. They can contact exhibitors directly or FeedsFloor offers a matchmaking service between the visitor’s business needs and specific requests with relevant suppliers. The platform has users from more than 140 countries across 27 industries primarily within B2B industries. The technology is highly optimized for search engines and trade shows can be open all year round, or for a limited period.

 

Brella

The matchmaking platform has had a virtual event platform in its portfolio since 2016. Show visitors can access content and watch live streams through the native or web apps via multiple streaming partners. Visitors can get matched with the most relevant people due to their intent-based AI matchmaking tool for virtual one-to-one meetings. The platform also offers a virtual exhibition floor with sponsor stands that where visitors can schedule online virtual meetings.

 

Network Tables Virtual

This software tool allows event organisers to help event attendees meet relevant people at hybrid and virtual events. The platform integrates with video webinar and conferencing tools such as Zoom, gotowebinar and Skype. Event attendees directly join sessions from one platform. The company has had over three years of experience in facilitating online conferences from 30-35,000 attendees per event with global audiences. This includes plenary and interactive sessions as well networking in one-to-one meetings.

 

Grip

Grip Virtual offers a set of integrated features, turning the AI-powered matchmaking solution into a virtual event solution. The platform features virtual meeting rooms as well as content delivery sessions via webinar and streaming technologies. All meetings and the virtual event schedule are shown in the visitors’ local time zones.

 

Teooh

With an interactive, avatar-based platform, Teooh is able to capture the atmosphere of in-person events. It is a complimentary tool for existing video solutions, introducing post-event networking and group discussions.

What else is in the April issue of EN? – We hear from people from across the industry about the effects Covid-19 has had on their businesses and ideas to help cope with the crisis, predictions on how the industry will evolve post-Covid-19, tips for selling in a crisis and the latest EN roundtable with DBPixelHouse on how to use technology to improve events and more…

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