The mixed reality technology at Marina Bay Sands’ Hybrid Broadcast Studio is one tech innovation that Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder and editor of Web in Travel (WiT), is interested in using for future hybrid events.
We asked event tech experts this question: What technologies and tech companies do you have your eye on to make a big splash in the business event tech space in 2021? Take a look at what they’re following.
Annett Polaszewski-Plath, CEO, Interprefy
1. Virtual networking technologies
The downside of hosting digital events is that platforms haven’t been able to deliver that personalized, engaging, and exciting experience that face-to-face events bring.
To make them truly stand out from the crowd, organizers are looking at tools to tackle this issue. Platforms such as Wonder.me are becoming increasingly popular as the events industry gets used to delivering a digital-first experience, allowing organizers to create personalized breakout spaces that function and feel closer to the real thing.
As digital events came to the forefront, the need for technologies that deliver personalized event experiences in the language of the audience’s choice was also a must. From our own point of view, we’ve partnered with several technology companies such as SpotMe, Intrado, ON24 and more throughout 2020 to bring remote interpretation services to companies and events across the world. Microsoft has also invited us to develop an integration into Microsoft Teams, allowing meeting and event organizers to offer a seamless multilingual experience to their audiences.
2. Technologies that connect hybrid audiences
Even though some small events are starting to take place face-to-face in some parts of the world, for the most part, 2021 will likely see a similar level of disruption as 2020. Hybrid events will, I’m sure, become prevalent to cater for both offline and online audiences.
In fact, prior to COVID, events were becoming more of an “experience” than just another plain old conference — a festivalization of business events where attendees would come away feeling not just educated but entertained too. This will be even more important online and in a hybrid set-up to bring both worlds together.
In 2021, adopting technology that provides this best of both worlds will be critical to event organizers — hosting the event in a central location for people on the ground and broadcasting it live for online audiences.
Hybrid events can deliver an experience that feels relevant for all sorts of organizations, not just large enterprises, but it’s important not to forget about the material on offer to attendees, as this is still the No. 1 thing to drive foot traffic — the technology simply allows you to deliver that material.
3. AI-driven web-conferencing technologies
From hyper-targeting audiences for more niche events and creating tailored schedules for attendees to gaining actionable insights from post-event analytics, intelligent AI-led conferencing will change the way we plan and organize events for the better in 2021.
The personalization of events in the new year will be key. Imagine, for instance, a global event that looked and felt like it was organized just for you.
AI allows for the personalization of events to tailor experiences to key individuals and even entire audiences. With AI-powered events, organizers can help attendees discover sessions specifically related to their interests and needs.
AI can also help create a more immersive experience for online events, as seen by Microsoft’s virtual stage technology, while companies such as Krisp offer AI noise-cancelling technology to minimize any unforeseen disruptions while speak- ing. Nvidia have recently offered a sneak peek into smart AI-driven ways of enhancing the virtual meeting experience.
Automated scribing of presentations, screen-resolution improvement, chatbots, background filtering, and even facial recognition — these are the benefits of AI-driven web-conferencing platforms that will drive online event engagement in 2021.