New hybrid event tools for the new normal

As virtual and hybrid events evolve, so too has the event planner’s toolbox. 

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The temporary pause of in-person meetings and events due to the pandemic has given rise to a wave of event tech innovation, the likes of which the industry has never seen before.

There’s a flurry of new digital tools to help event planners manage virtual events and master the brave new world of hybrid meetings.

Singapore-based event tech company GEVME recently launched two major breakthroughs – Virtual Event Builder to fully customise virtual experiences without any code required, and GEVME Studios, which provides insights and inspiration for event professionals to broadcast quality content that combines both education and entertainment.

“Our goal with the Virtual Event builder was to provide event professionals with a platform that would enable them to express their creativity and make their virtual events stand out,” said Founder & CEO Veemal Gungadin.

It aims to simplify complicated website building platforms — an intuitive editor that uses content blocks like ‘Agenda’ and ‘Speakers’ to make navigation easy for planners and attendees — and provides an accessible solution for event customisation.

“It’s an exciting time to be in the event tech landscape right now,” said Gungadin. “I believe that the future of the event tech landscape will be about enabling seamless hybrid experiences.”

Glue Up (formerly EventBank), an all-in-one event and community management CRM, has updated to adapt to the times. “We have developed our Webinar Engagement Solution and our newest Speed Networking module in an effort to continue to provide a vehicle for relationship building in a virtual and hybrid world,” said Eric Schmidt, cofounder and CEO.

“As event tech matures, the winning formula is one where the technology you interface with requires the least amount of you to deliver its value… being able to provide a platform where attendees can meet, connect, exchange business cards and build their business digitally will be a crucial component to connecting to an audience that no is no longer impressed by Zoom webinars and online panel discussions,” he added.

Meanwhile, inwink is making its mark in the event marketing space with ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) offering. Its transition to hybrid provides planners with a 100% branded online experience, collecting all participation data in real time.

“What event planners want to achieve, above everything, is audience engagement through content and networking opportunities,” noted CEO François Floribert. The platform’s innovative features, such as speed meetings (based on shared interests calculated by an algorithm) and online networking tables, enable this.

Since the start of the pandemic, constant change and uncertainty has made it difficult to keep track of movement restrictions. Global event agency, MCI Group, set up a free online resource to offer advice on how to reschedule your event from in-person to hybrid or virtual.

Tech company ARHT’s patented Holographic Telepresence technology allows multiple 3D, life-size presenters to take the stage, while Hong Kong-based Eventsman has invested in thermal imaging machines that can quickly check the body temperature of multiple people without the need to stop and individually scan attendees’ foreheads.

Event tech platform, Hopin, also recently expanded its offering following a series of acquisitions. The platform now enables organisers to “connect the dots between the two [event] experiences and house all of the critical planning and insights on one dashboard,” according to CMO Anthony Kennada. 

“The platform also supports the individualised experience of 1:1 networking and interactions. In this connection discovery tool, attendees are paired with other attendees, based on similar interests and goals, for private live video chats; they can even share virtual business cards once the meeting has ended.”

Kennada believes the role of the corporate event manager will continue to evolve. “They not only will oversee a portion of the event tech stack but will also be key to driving internal events and meetings as a meaningful connection point for people within the company, particularly as workforces are increasingly distributed.”



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