Like many of you in 2020, I attended virtual versions of events originally designed for conference venues. The worst part of this forced process was enduring the events on conference call technology that was not designed for running events online – Zoom, Teams, Skype et al.

I also had to teach university classes using Zoom and Teams – these are definitely not media designed for teaching, let alone learning. Talking to screens with cameras switched off is painfully difficult.

Definitely not the most efficient way to run events…

These stop-gap measures were forced upon us due to the pandemic. Companies scrambled to keep scheduled events going (and not lose revenue) by migrating them to conference call technology – known affectionately as a phone call with pictures. It became immediately obvious the video conference technologies were no substitute for the real thing – a conference centre with staging, speakers, catering, exhibitors and delegates you could mingle with face-to-face over a drink.

But if you’re considering a repeat performance for your annual event in 2020, using a phone call with pictures, you’d better rethink your plans. The forced 2020 solution will not cut it in 2021.

Organisations have no excuse to force delegates to attend an online event using conference call technology. They’ve had 12 months to move on from the emergency option and must now invest in professional event platforms designed for engaging your audience, speakers, exhibitors and sponsors.

I’ve trialed a couple of technologies, there are many and varied suppliers. e:volve by Synergy Effect offers all sorts of options for fully online virtual events or hybrid ones simultaneously combining delegates at a venue and with those attending online.

The immediate benefits will make you reconsider what’s possible with online events:

  • Unlimited options for virtual stages and backgrounds
  • Whatever you can imagine can be created
  • Stream speakers live from anywhere in the world
  • Integrate face-to-face audience with virtual audience
  • Conduct live Q&A between delegates and speakers wherever they are located
  • Checkout the demonstration video below

You can even run a live online Awards Event linking presenters and award winners in real time:

I’ve also attended a webinar using the ON24 platform, which is a much better webinar experience than the standard technologies.

So, if you want to do the right thing by your delegates, guests, speakers, sponsors and other stakeholders, invest in a decent online event service. You might just surprise yourself at the results.

And you’ll be pleased to note I didn’t use the jargoniser and mention “the new normal“.

But I have to go now – I have a Zoom meeting to attend…