Exhibition World Issue 2 — 2020 - Page 25

Tech and the shutting down of supply chains. But it is important to try and find silver linings in dark times and Michael Piddock, CEO of Glisser, believes the limitations imposed by the coronavirus could actually be a boon for creativity in the long run. On the subject of streaming event content remotely, Piddock says: “By forcing yourself to think about making something really engaging through the content alone, it can allow for a clarity of focus and ruthlessness about what your audience wants, and which speakers can deliver that. When the world returns to ‘normal’ those lessons could put many events in a stronger position going forwards.” So what resources are out there for virtual events and streaming? You can find a few examples in Options for going digital (box, right), but there are many more companies providing these services. In fact, a number of virtual event and streaming companies seemed to pop up almost overnight as the coronavirus crisis deepened – and some of their marketing strategies w w w.exhibitionworld.co.uk Digital Events Experts Above: Michael Piddock, CEO of Glisser Above: Jason Anderson, Digital Director at agency Avantgarde struck me as somewhat cynical. I asked Anderson whether he thought there was a line to be drawn between advertising to fill someone’s need, and taking advantage of their misfortune. He replied: “Sadly, there will always be someone who takes that approach when there is money to be had. At Avantgarde, we never push technology for its own sake – only when it can genuinely augment an experience.” Anderson’s sentiment mirrors the tone I have increasingly seen across social media in the events world. It has been heartening to see venue management companies like Easyfairs making their spaces available to government services, and suppliers offering the use of their fleets of trucks during a lull in business. Now is not the time for opportunistic land-grabbing. To ensure the health and prosperity of the events industry in the aftermath of Covid-19, we all need to work together. And we might need to get creative with how we use tech to keep our events running. Options for going digital Below you’ll find a few companies which offer streaming and/or virtual event services. The list is far from exhaustive, so if it is an option you are considering we would urge you to do your own research. • Virtway. Provides a virtual conference/exhibition environment that can be accessed across Windows, Mac, tablet and mobile, implementing real-time voice communication • Glisser LIVE. Brings together video streaming with interactive elements such as quizzes, polls, Q&As, and gamification • NetworkTables. Links the attendee list of an event to a video conferencing/webinar platform. Users can schedule one to one appointments, watch presentations, and set up virtual roundtables Issue 2 2020 25