Guide to Virtual Event Platforms
Everybody is talking about them. But not many people know exactly what they are.
Yes, we are talking about the virtual event platform, and the hybrid event platform.
Both these tech creations are largely an outcome of the pandemic. They did exist before, in a more basic manner. But the start of the Covid waves and lockdowns gave this technology a great boost.
I still remember that in mid-2020, we were all trying to find good virtual event platforms to run our events on. But we barely knew what these were, or even what we needed. Leave alone what’s available on the market.
The virtual event platform manufacturing industry took off soon enough. India, if after all, one of the fastest growing tech hubs of the world. Not surprisingly, Indian virtual platforms quickly made their presence felt everywhere.
At that time, many event companies went the route of trying to build their own virtual event platform. And many tech companies that built such platforms tried to quickly and directly reach corporates, and influence them to run their events on them without any event management help.
Both these situations lasted for about 6 months or a year. That’s about it. Because nobody quite understood that a virtual event platform is basically just a conference venue, just like a hotel is. And you need event managers to actually run your event for you at the venue. In the absence of that, the corporate gets so busy in all the co ordination, planning, staging, streaming and whatnot that they have no time to actually work on the content.
Once that realization dawned, the event planner was back in the picture. Platform providers began pitching to them rather than to direct clients. Corporates started looking for virtual event organizers and not platform providers.
Then, the pandemic moved to a slow, soft end. People began congregating again. In person events came back. But this time, largely in a hybrid mode.
That’s when people began looking for a hybrid event platform. What exactly is this?
Let me explain. With a real live case history.
A chain of global schools came to our company with a request for a hybrid event platform to run their annual interschool quiz on.
The quiz would be run from one particular school which, funnily enough, had not qualified to the finals. Talk about fair competition – this is as fair as it gets, when the organizing school actually does not make it to the final round!
So, we had a school in Renukoot, Uttar Pradesh, organizing a quiz for schools in other parts of the country. Each participating team had their small team sitting physically at their respective school premises.
They had to all be connected to each other and together virtually. In other words, it as a true hybrid event on a hybrid event platform.
As our company had, by this time, a lot of experience in this space, we eventually ran a great inter-school quiz with technology that proved who buzzed first, real time, even though there is otherwise always a lag when you live stream an event.
How we did that, and got around these challenges, is another story, to be told another time.
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