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Terms of Empowerment

Terms of Empowerment

by Laura Bickle

The learning curve of virtual events includes learning a new vocabulary. Here’s the lowdown on commonly used terms—and the questions to ask yourself and your providers to get it right.
 
 

Chat Function

Most platforms have a chat function, but it’s usually a single chat stream for the entire event, which can get unwieldy. Imagine three simultaneous education sessions all using the same chat. Socio has introduced Session Chat, which allows each session to have a dedicated chat feed. The chat feature lives on the same screen as each livestream, so attendees can participate in the chat without navigating to another window.

Ask: Is the chat function an important part of your attendee engagement strategy?


Gamification

Engagement and retention are special challenges of virtual events—and gamification is an effective tool for achieving both of those goals, says Bob Vaez, CEO of EventMobi. In-app features such as points for attendance can encourage delegates to log in on time, points for tasks can help keep attendees showing up over multiple days and contests can encourage networking and enjoyment.

Ask: How does the gamification strategy advance the goals of the event?


Good Bandwidth

Bandwidth has long been a concern in booking venues and is obviously even more vital in the virtual arena. Bandwidth is the amount of data transferred from one point to another and measured in bits per second (bps).

Ask: Is there a minimum dedicated bandwidth rate of 5 MBps in both directions across the network?

 

Hybrid

OK, we know you know what a hybrid event is, but when live events do come back, the vast majority will be hybrid, meaning they will have some off-site attendees participating virtually. Therefore, it’s important that the decisions you make now allow for that eventuality.

Ask: How does this technology perform in a hybrid environment?

 

Webinar

Where a limited, pre-determined number of speakers deliver content; the audience is generally on mute but can use chat and polls.

Ask: If interaction is limited in-session (a thought-provoking keynote, for example), is it useful to have an open session afterward?

 

Broadcast

A cost-effective way to handle sessions for more than 500. Common broadcast platforms include Facebook Live and Instagram Live. Viewers may be able to use chats and polling but not video or microphones.

Ask: If you are going this route, have you confirmed that your event hub allows you to embed video?

 

Virtual Meeting

Where all participants can share content and speak.

Ask: Do participants have enough bandwidth to support the desired amount of content.

 

On-demand Video

On-demand video: Pre-recorded content that can
be used as bridges between live sessions—YouTube and Netflix fit this category. You can also record your session and attendees can view them on-demand if they missed them.

Ask: Does your platform allow for easy transitions from live to pre-recorded content.

 

Streaming Provider

The service, such as Zoom, that allows the sharing of live video.

Ask: Does the streaming service meet the complexity of my event’s needs?

 

Embedding

If you embed content, viewers can access it without opening a new window or tab, which can impact retention. It makes the experience easy to navigate.

Ask: Does your system allow embedding?

 

Event Hub

The virtual event “venue,” where users interact with content, sponsors and each other before and after sessions.

Ask: How much interaction and customization do I require?

 

Simulive

Pre-recorded content that is intended to look live. Some virtual awards ceremonies, for example, will have nominees record acceptance speeches to avoid the connection problems in real time.

Ask: What level of production quality is desired for simulive content: does it require a studio or will smartphone video suffice?

 

1:1

Contact between two people—say a sales call—outside of a session. Some event hubs have the capacity to hold these within the platform while others redirect to a streaming provider.

Ask: Do the platforms you are considering have 1:1 capacity? You may need it in the future, even if it’s not needed now.

API (Application Programming Interface)

The connection—often called integration—between different software that allows them to communicate and sync with one another.

Ask: Does your event hub have built-in integrations, as well as the ability to connect with other pieces of software?

Third-party Integration

Third-party integration: the compatibility of a platform to work with registration providers, content management systems, streaming and A/V platforms.

Ask: (see API.)

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