The Lookout #26: Zoom Events & Discord for virtual events
Is it what you’ve been waiting for? Zoom just announced “Zoom Events” – a brand new product to offer event organizers of all sizes an end to end solution for unique online experiences. The platform will launch this summer and aims to combine the reliability of Meetings, chat and video Webinars to allow event professionals the chance to combine ticketing, registration and analytics in one handy platform. The Zoom Events hub will allow users to create a hub to manage and share events, as well as customize ticketing and registration, host events and manage billing [for more details].
Zoom Events seems a bit inevitable, but also somewhat unexpected, due to the slow rollout of “OnZoom” last year. OnZoom will be combined into the new Zoom Events platform and serve as a public directory of events taking place on the platform.
In one fell swoop, Zoom is making a massive play for a huge slice (maybe the biggest slice?) of the online events market. It has the familiarity and customer base, so it will be interesting to see how it competes with other large players in this adjacent market. Especially as Facebook (moving into online sports events and live shopping events), and now Discord (see below), are looking for an increasingly larger share of the online events market. Is there room for everyone in this crowded space? Even as many event professionals are focused more and more on hybrid events, it appears that the development when it comes to completely online events is not slowing down anytime soon.
Its been another big week with lots to keep up on! Germany it feels is slowly reopening. Let’s catch up on some of my top reads from this week in events and the experience economy.
- Morressier wants academic conferences to feel cutting-edge [Techcrunch] Berlin’s Morressier receives a nice profile from Techcrunch here. Started long before the pandemic, we like the Morressier platform for a lot of reasons. One of them? They’re not trying to be everything to everyone, like many online event platforms. Instead, they’re leaning in hard towards offering the best experience for academic conferences, and really mastering the medium.
- Discord launches Stage Discovery so you can find the best audio events [VentureBeat] Fresh off their unsuccessful acquisition by Microsoft, multi-faceted community platform Discord is announcing some new features. The first, helps users find audio events on the platform. Stage Channels will help users host audio panels, comedy nights, and other events– and try to stave off competition from Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces.
- Discord to allow users to sell tickets for virtual events [The Tech Portal] Another big announcement from Discord, a feature that lets users sell tickets for virtual events. Currently in an invitation-only beta, will Discord be the platform that shakes up the virtual event world? Already home to millions of users, the Discord platform is making a strong play when it comes to online events.
- Skittish is what you’d get if you crossed Animal Crossing with Clubhouse [Techrcunch] We’ve been waiting to test out Skittish since it was first announced a few months ago! Its on our Eventtech directory. This latest teaser of the platform gives even more indication that it’s an event platform that you won’t forget easily.
- Airmeet innovates in the world of hybrid events with the launch of its mobile app [Yahoo Finance] The next de-rigueur necessity for eventtech platforms? A mobile app. As things move to hybrid, expect more and more platforms to expand their mobile offerings, to reach audiences both in person, and remotely.
- MeetingPlay Announces Hybrid Event Platform Backed With Legendary Technology and Service [PR Web] Another example of the transition to hybrid, as MeetingPlay develops their own hybrid services.
How to do it:
- Hybrid Event Inspiration: See Inside Sephora Canada’s Colorful Media Preview [BizBash] Sephora’s example here shows the real potential of hybrid, with an eye-popping display and branding experience that was able to truly crossover from the in-person to the virtual. What an eyecatcher!!
- 4 Tips on How to Plan and Host Your First Hybrid Event [All Business] Some really great suggestions on this list here. One that can’t be emphasized enough? A two pronged marketing campaign for both targeted audiences, those in person, and those remote.
- 35 Entertainment Ideas for Virtual and Hybrid Events [BizBash] Don’t be stuck for ways to liven up the hybrid experience with these ideas. Something that’s worked well for our events are casino evenings and magic performances.
- Compelling Hybrid Experiences: Bridging the Gap Between Virtual and In Person [Business 2 Community] How to bring the best of both worlds in a hybrid event? Successful implementation of hybrid remains a journey that event organizers are continuing to establish. I really liked the suggestion here about leveraging video production, high quality, pre-produced video is a great way to bridge the gap between your remote and in-person attendees.
- Tips for a great virtual event [Exhibition World] 6 top tips from Unbridled on what makes virtual events stand out. My favorite? Take your attendees on a journey through the event. Don’t ignore the customer journey and throw your attendees into chaos. Limit your live content and encourage exploration.
- How to Use the Power of Design to Grow Your Virtual Event [Successful Meetings] Design your virtual event with engagement in mind. Splash examined some of the top performing virtual events and identified some design principles that help encourage engagement and participation. Top of our list? Encourage engagement early, by creating a clear call to action for attendees on the registration site.
Don’t Miss It:
- Corona-Verordnungen der Bundesländer: Was gilt für Messen? [AUMA] Latest news on re-openings in Germany, this page is continually updated.
- IFA Berlin 2021 is canceled, citing ‘uncertainties’ around vaccine rollouts [Techcrunch] A big hit for the return of live events in Germany, especially as the industry plans a return to live in person events in Q3 and Q4. Currently, no virtual version of IFA is planned.
- ‘People are still talking about it’: This startup gets artists paid gigs at team-building events [CBC] Some of the stories I like most since the start of the pandemic are those about how the shift to online and the creation of new value opportunities. This is no different, as it shows how artists are finding new opportunities at online events.
- For gaming conferences, the future is hybrid [VentureBeat] With the recent news that Gamescon will be moving entirely online, what’s the future of gaming events? It’s hybrid, according to this telling take. Going hybrid is a way for the industry to improve, be more inclusive and hustle for the future.
- Are hybrid events the key to a sustainable experience economy? [The Drum] In the US, with a swifter reopening strategy, hybrid solutions are appearing more durable. They bring the best of both worlds, according to this compelling opinion piece. One thing the author doesn’t mention here? The cost. Hybrid events are certainly more expensive than doing strictly virtual or in-person. So it’s important we don’t mislead the community here.
- AYRE Events Solutions study shows festivals are most in demand [Access All Areas] What have people been missing most during these long months of lockdown? A proper festival. Why not add some of the festival atmosphere to your online event?
- 3 Reasons Why Virtual Events Shouldn’t Take a Backseat as Live Events Return [BizBash] Completely agree with this take by Hubilo’s Cathy Song Novelli. As things go “back to normal” smart marketers will continue to have a compelling virtual strategy. The increased opportunities to engage prospective customers is only the beginning here.
That’s it for this week! If you want to be kept up to date on the innovation of the event industry, sign up to The Lookout Newsletter!