Anika Ved of Anika Ved Events and an Eventprofslive member, discusses the pros of emerging technology and how platforms need to keep up with corporate demands.
Before March 2020, event technology would be used mostly as registration software and events companies didn’t even think of digital events as an option. The only reason to use conferencing software was for internal meetings, which would be a last resort.
Fast forward three years, conferencing software has become commonplace for our external events as well as internal meetings. Many of these conferencing platforms have had to increase their level of functionality to keep up with being the best platforms on the market. Event professionals have had to upskill by becoming producers or old fashioned ‘AV techs’ as events are no longer housed in a physical venue, but in people’s homes, and troubleshooting often needs to take place remotely.
With the ever increasing importance of sustainability, we can now see the pros of using event technology, not only to canvas a bigger, global, virtual audience, but also speakers. We no longer need to budget for speaker travel and accommodation, instead we can focus on getting the technology right and ensuring their hardware and software is set up correctly. Speakers themselves can fit in their family lives around conferences, being able to log on just for the hour they are needed to speak and can carry on without clearing their diary for a few days to travel. This can increase productivity, and speakers can fill their diaries with even more speaking engagements.
Now we are on to the next iteration of event technology – the metaverse. This is an exciting phase, moving from the 2D world, into the 3D world and one that will shape our industry moving forward. The metaverse is a blur between the gaming and events world, often with developers moving over from the former into virtual events. There is a fine balance between hi-res graphics and still having strong engaging content.
For the past three years, the motto for our virtual events has been ‘content is king’ but there is an added layer of getting the graphics right, which needs to stand up to the load of hundreds, possibly thousands of users on the platform without compromising on the streaming quality of content. Most attendees do not have gaming PCs, which also needs to be considered, along with bandwidth of home set-ups. There is so much potential in this new age of event technology, with talk of NFTs which were even spoken about in the midst of lockdown between peers (remember Clubhouse?), creating that sense of a one-time-only experience that formally only in-person events could give us.
With the releasing of restrictions across the world, live events are coming back with a vengeance. Virtual platform providers have their work cut out to meet the demand of corporates wanting quality technology along with content. The next 12 months will show us if event technology can really match up the appeal of in-person events our delegates have been craving.