The Lookout #9: Clubhouse and the next generation of interaction
Hey there, welcome back to a new edition of The Lookout! This week, I’ve been really inspired by some of the incredible innovations event organizers are bringing to their work. And I’m not talking about Clubhouse. At least not yet. From the technology, to the design, to the creative ways that events have balanced monetization and access, there have been some awesome stories about how events are being done differently in 2021. Specifically, I’ve taken a closer look in the newsletter this week about events done by creatives, from fashion, to film, to art galleries, and how these very different organizers are pushing the boundaries of the online event medium and drive more interaction. There is much we can learn from them, and I can’t wait to bring some of these innovations to the B2B event space.
Speaking of learning, we’ve been exploring how Clubhouse can be used for events. There appears to already be a vibrant community for event organizers, and the platform really does bring some of the serendipity and connection that is very much missed now that in-person events are on hold. Do you think that clubhouse will be the next big venue for events? Here’s one take. We’re still exploring it. But would love to hear your thoughts!
With that being said, let’s have a look at what happened this week!
Online event takeaway of the week: The next generation of “interactivity”
I’ve been thinking about this longform piece by Paul Greenberg quite a bit this week. The piece goes far beyond online events, but something really stuck with me: with so much pushed online, audiences are surrounded by a sea of content, but rarely, true interaction. Event organizers often consider interaction and networking between participants, but what about making attendees part of the show? He encourages organizers to think about how they can build greater interaction into their experiences, that allow attendees and participants participate in events in a meaningful way. Greenberg suggests finding a way to bring your audience “on stage”. Perhaps, giving them the chance to interact with speakers directly during a pre-recorded keynote? It goes beyond gamification, and really must be designed into the event in a fundamental way. It’s not easy, but if done right, it will distinguish your event from the many passive experiences they will be taking in from behind their screens. Be sure to design your event to include interactive elements that can be measured, and tracked alongside engagement.
Latest on Event technology
- LED Walls: How Digital Backdrops Are Making A Huge Comeback [Endless Events] LED digital backdrops can make your event look incredibly polished and professional, and a big step up from a Zoom Room.
- The Benefits of Dynamic Event Orchestration [TV Technology] How to use streaming technology for your events most effectively– that is, only as much as you actually need to use it. Dynamic streaming allows organizers to keep the costs down and meet demand where it counts.
- Tips on Using Extended Reality to Enhance Virtual Events [Event Marketer] AR, VR, MR? For audiences that have glazed over their Zoom calls– augmented reality might be the way to bring in a completely fresh experience for your online event attendees. Here’s some background on the terminology, and what event organizers should keep in mind.
- Live production for events made easy with virtual studios [NewscastStudio] Virtual studios to broadcast events and productions became more commonplace last year, and audiences appreciate their upscale look. This piece by Brainstorm showcases a few different options and how they can be deployed.
- Virtual Concerts Company Wave Shutters VR App to Focus on Wider Distribution [Billboard] Virtual Concert platform Wave raised a huge $30million investment over the summer, but is now shutting down its VR offering due to slow adoption in the marketplace. The company will now focus on hosting live-streamed events on platforms like TikTok, Twitch and Roblox.
- Reflections on the first all-virtual CES [TechCrunch] One take on the virtual CES experience and where it was significantly lacking: the feeling of discovery. This piece identifiees the limitations of the online experience, and the organization which felt like an endless TV commercial.
- CES Paves the Way Forward with Its First Virtual Event [Tradeshow News] A positive take on the CES show from Tradeshow News, highlighting the seamless experience provided by Microsoft’s digital venue.
- CES 2021 Goes Virtual to Mixed Reviews [Event Manager Blog] Roundup of many of the perspectives from the industry on the revamped, digital CES. Some of the issues highlighted in this piece concern data privacy, and the amount of pre-recorded sessions, preventing speakers from addressing current events. Good overview here.
- Big Tech needs to shake up the video call and end the Zoom gloom [Financial Times] An unhappy visitor to CES calls on the industry to shake up the online viewing format, and to bring in more excitement to the virtual experience.
Focus on events in the creative industry:
- 202030 The Berlin Fashion Summit [Webinar Magazin] Berlin’s Fashion Week is going digital only for 2021, here’s how they’re planning to bring one of Germany’s biggest live events into the online arena.
- Events horizon: How might Cannes look in 2021 [shots] Cannes might be one of the most important events for the entertainment industry, and a spectacle that event organizers everywhere look to for inspiration when it comes to putting on their own activities. Here’s a wide variety of takes from leading lights in the industry on just how this event might look this year, and what organizers should be planning to bring their online events a bit of that Cannes sparkle.
- Artists and Curators Share Pro-Tips for Successful Virtual Studio Visits [Hyperallergic] In the pivot to online events, creatives are also turning the traditional “studio tour” into an online experience for their prospective buyers and clients. Here, 8 artists share how they brought these events into an online medium, and what they learned from the process.
- S.E.A. Focus to Include Virtual Studio Visits and Online Talks [Ocula Magazine] The Singapore Art fair is moving to a hybrid and virtual format for it’s latest edition. They’ve done something interesting with the pricing/access structure at this event, where VIPs can access virtual studio tours that are not available to the general public, making a more connected experience.
Not to be missed:
- Event trends that businesses should use in your event strategy this 2021 [e27] As in-person events return in 2021, hybrid events have the chance to enter a new frontier. Their only limit is an organizer’s imagination.
- 5 Strategies for Hosting a Successful Virtual Event [Newsweek] A lot of tips and suggestions event organizers have heard before, but a concise overview of the key elements that make online event experiences different from those in person. Its nice to see a big brand like Newsweek covering this space.
- Concert venues ‘not places of infection’ according to German study [Access All Areas] A return to live music might not be that far off, according to this study testing infection rates inside the Konzerthaus in Dortmund. The researchers found that the rate of transmission was very reduced in the hall at 50% capacity. While online events are infinitely safer, it might not be long before we can enjoy live music in the halls again.
That’s it for this edition of The Lookout!
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Thanks for reading!