Five Lessons from a Full Year of Online Events

Sponsored Content from Interprefy

Author: Jennifer N. Dienst       


Through partnerships with the world’s leading event platforms and language service providers, Interprefy provides unmatched language intelligence for the digital event landscape.

Throughout the past year, digital experiences have become a staple in the way we gather, work, and collaborate. As organizers of business events have embraced this new landscape, they’ve found success in relying on an arsenal of tools and strategies to streamline their digital events.

Interprefy is one such tool. A global provider of remote interpretation software, Interprefy is on a mission to democratize access to digital events by empowering people to join the discussion in the language of their choice, no matter their location, nationality, or technology.

The cloud-based platform — which has been used by some of the world’s leading brands, from Google to GlaxoSmithKline — provides real-time language interpretation on many common video-conferencing platforms, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex, and others, through a team of professionals working remotely.

“Our business increased sevenfold in 2020, helping establish Interprefy as the world’s preferred technology partner for multilingual meetings and events, from intergovernmental hearings to the world’s biggest sports events,” said said Annett Polaszewski-Plath, CEO at Interprefy.

For companies and organizations that are hosting an event on a digital format for the first time, relying on platforms like Interprefy can help ensure that the needs of attendees are consistently being met — and a more seamless event experience overall. What follows are five lessons from recent events (some Interprefy-powered) that were successful in making the big leap.


Digital events have grown into their own and the bar has been permanently raised.

1. Pivot with confidence. Hubspot’s Inbound, the go-to event for inbound marketing professionals, is typically held in person at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. When the pandemic forced HubSpot’s team to either cancel or make a full transition to digital, the team opted to go live with its first 100-percent digital experience in September 2020. High production value combined with top-tier keynote speakers, workshops, panel discussions, Q&A sessions, and an immersive platform kept more than 69,000 participants engaged from start to finish.

2. Leverage your brand’s voice and style. In June 2020, Apple kicked off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference with an all-new digital format. A significant investment in production allowed Apple to maintain its trademark professionalism and trendsetting style, giving attendees an experience that rivaled or even surpassed previous incarnations of the event. Key to that success was how Apple struck a balance between group and individual/small-group engagement by providing a mix of formats, including open forums and by-appointment workshops, like developer labs, just as they would have with a physical event.

3. Make accessibility a priority. In July 2020, the World Boxing Association (WBA) brought its global family together during a 100-percent digital version of the WBA 99th World Convention. With the help of GoToWebinar, GoToMeeting, YouTube, and Interprefy, more than 2,000 attendees from around the world were able to hear from sports leaders and weigh in on issues such as equality and gender and the fight against doping. Through Interprefy’s remote simultaneous interpretation services, attendees could participate in both Spanish and English with ease — a testament to the potential of digital events to help remove barriers to access.

4. Use the power of platforms to connect a wide audience. On Oct. 5, 2020, a digital rendition of World Teachers’ Day created an unprecedented moment for educators to connect under the theme, “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future.” Streamed live on YouTube for 24 hours, the event hosted more than 500,000 people and 100-plus sessions delivered in seven languages. Attendees also connected via the event’s hashtag, #5octLive, which appeared in more than 26,000 Tweets. Interprefy’s interpreting channels saw more than 22,000 attendees tune in as well. Timo Linsenmaier, a senior coordinator for the event, said that they plan to “definitely accommodate for [more languages] as we’re planning our next online events. Virtual events are here to stay, and we’ll have to continue to rethink how we can keep the engagement high.”

5. Connect when you’re most needed. The SBC Digital Summit held April 27 to May 1, 2020 gave the betting and gaming industry a platform to share business insights when they needed them most. The full-scale digital conference enabled suppliers and industry stakeholders to work together at a time when meeting safely in groups of any size was nearly impossible, as well as enabling attendees to visit an exhibition, attend talks, and network in a fully interactive space.


Become a Member

Get premium access to provocative executive-level education, face-to-face networking and business intelligence.