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Hybrid Events

Fantastic virtual conferences and where to find them

9
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

Check out our list of must-attend hybrid and virtual events this year.

There are plenty of exciting hybrid and virtual conferences lined up this year. We’ve put together a list of different types of events you can attend and will be continually updating this list. If we’ve missed out on any you think we should include, do let us know and we will add it in.

JANUARY

CES® 2022

A image promoting CES's virtual event
Image credit: MacRumors

Dates: Jan 5-7

Event type: Hybrid

Why attend: CES is an annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).  Virtual attendees will be able to access livestreams of keynotes and select conference sessions, and will also be able to connect with onsite exhibitors and other attendees. Those who attend in-person will also be able to use the platform to plan their event agenda and connect with each other and virtual participants. Networking and on-demand content will be open to all attendees until the end of January.

Digiday Media CMO Summit

Dates: Jan 25 – 26

Event type: Virtual

Why attend: The Digiday Media CMO Summit brings together marketing leaders in media, advertising and retail to discuss behavioral trends that they are counting on to find opportunities and share tips — from how they’re navigating new trends such as a surge in OOH advertising to ever-evolving challenges in brand safety — and best practices.

VentureBeat’s The Future of Work Summit

Dates: Jan 12

Event type: Virtual 

Why attend: At VB’s Future of Work Summit, we’ll discuss with top executives how organizations are reimagining and re-architecting their technology stack and strategies to allow for this new virtual world of work. This transformation enables powerful, transformative AI/ML, metaverse technologies such as AR/VR, and AI-assisted intelligent chat and virtual assistants for more collaboration. But it also requires a new kind of workplace culture, emphasizing trust and independence. The Summit will extract specific takeaways, including strategies, tactics, technologies that the boldest and most successful companies are leveraging to pave the way for this new future of work.

FEBRUARY

The Nasscom Technology & Leadership Forum

NASSCOM's virtual event NTLF


Dates:
Feb 16-18

Event type: Virtual 

Why attend: NTLF 2022, with the theme 'Shaping the Techade: The New Now and the Next', will bring together diverse voices from around the world to focus on topics like - reimagining the art of the possible, leadership differentiators, scaling growth, and building a fairer world.

The Virtual MarTech Summit 

Dates: Feb 22-23

Event type: Virtual 

Why attend: This 2-day summit with a focus on B2C & B2B two tracks spanning pressing topics like Cookieless, Gamification, Social Media & Influencer Marketing, CX, Customer Data Platform, UGC, Personalization, Precision Demand. You’ll hear from leaders working in a cross-section of industries whose stories illustrate unique company pain points, breakthroughs, and triumphs.

MARCH

South by Southwest (SXSW)

A banner for SXSW's virtual event
Image credit: SXSW

Dates: Mar 11-20

Event type: Hybrid

Why attend: The event features Conference sessions, Film Festival screenings, Music Festival showcases, world-class Exhibitions, networking opportunities, competitions, awards ceremonies, and much more. The array of guests spans from major entrepreneurs like Michael Dell, health professionals like Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.

Adobe Summit

A banner of Adobe's virtual event
Image credit: Adobe

Dates: Mar 15-17

Event type: Virtual

Why attend: Be inspired by influential leaders and expert Experience Makers as they share industry trends and insights. Speakers this year include AlbertBourla, CEO of Pfizer, Meghan Heather who is the Global IT Portfolio Director of The Coca-Cola Company, and Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe.

Social Media Marketing World

An image Social Media Marketing World uses to promote hybrid events

Dates: Mar 14-16

Event type: Hybrid

Why attend: Join thousands of the world’s smartest marketers and influencers at the only marketing conference you need to attend and walk away with real business-building ideas that you can put to work for your business or clients right away.

APRIL

Microsoft Envision

An image of a lady attending Microsoft's virtual event
Image credit: Technology Records

Dates: Apr 12

Event type: Online

Why attend: Microsoft Envision is a digital series where you'll join thought leaders from across industries to explore the latest business and technology trends. Get ready to discover the new wave of digital innovation and connect with peers from across the globe.

MAY

IBM Think 2022

Dates: May 10 – 11

Event type: Hybrid

Why attend: Think is an ever-evolving, inclusive, accessible, horizontal conversation about human ingenuity, its advocates, and the tools they employ to break paradigms and create new ones.  It’s more than just a conference — it's how IBM engages with the world. And you can place yourself right at the center of that ever-evolving conversation.

Ad World 2022

Dates: May 2-3

Event type: Virtual

Why attend: Join 50,000+ of the world’s brightest minds in advertising to learn, share secrets and connect online. For two days on 2-3 May 2022, Ad World will stream 10+ Digital Advertising Tracks, consisting of hyper-focused speeches, panels and live Q&A sessions to help take your business to the next level. The all-in-one advertising event will bring you closer to leading marketers and brands than ever before from the comfort of your home.

JUNE

Gallup at Work Summit

An image promoting Gallup's virtual event about the workplace
Image credit: Gallup

Dates: June 7-8

Event type: Virtual

Why attend: The Gallup at Work Summit is for anyone seeking learning and development opportunities. More specifically, the Summit is for individuals whose job it is to develop other people or who are seeking individual development. Join leading experts in improving employee engagement, wellbeing, manager development, and other business topics that influence every workplace.

Bloomberg Technology Summit

Dates: June 8

Event type: Virtual

Why attend: Digital transformation has touched every sphere of life. We are all immersed in a world of data. This data facilitates our healthcare, business and government activities, commerce and entertainment. The Bloomberg Technology Summit: Looking Forward highlights the ways in which society has been changed by digital disruption and provides the roadmap for what lies ahead.

Women in Tech Global Conference 2022

An image promoting the virtual conference by Women In Tech

Dates: June 7-10

Event type: Hybrid 

Why attend: ​​​​​​The hybrid conference will bring women in tech, minorities and allies from all over the world together through an interactive platform featuring live educational & training content, keynotes, engaging panels, breakout rooms, technical workshops, and networking with virtual and in-person sessions.

Cisco Live 2022

Dates: June 12-16

Event type: Hybrid

Why attend: Cisco Live is the networking company’s major event for customers, CIOs, and technology executives. The event is set to ignite creativity, deliver practical know-how, and accelerate the connections that fuel the digital future.

JULY

DigiMarCon West 2022

Dates: July 11-12

Event type: Hybrid

Why attend: Join your peers in-person or online for 2-days jam-packed with digital marketing best practices, latest trends, practical solutions, strategy, and networking, also check out the next generation of technology & innovation; Internet, Mobile, AdTech, MarTech & SaaS Technology.

AUGUST

BLACK HAT USA 2022

Dates: Aug 6-11

Event type: Hybrid

Why attend: Black Hat is the most technical and relevant global information security event series in the world. For more than 16 years, Black Hat has provided attendees with the very latest in information security research, development, and trends in a strictly vendor-neutral environment. These high-profile global events and Trainings are driven by the needs of the security community, striving to bring together the best minds in the industry. Black Hat inspires professionals at all career levels, encouraging growth and collaboration among academia, world-class researchers, and leaders in the public and private sectors.

SEPTEMBER

SAASTR ANNUAL 2022

An image showing Saastr annual event
Image Credit: Duplocloud

Dates: Sep 13-15

Event type: Hybrid

Why attend: 10,000+ SaaS executives, founders, and VCs will come together for SaaStr Annual 2022, the world’s largest SaaS community event on the planet.  Get ready for specific, SaaStr-style actionable advice and learnings to help grow your business from $0 to $100M ARR with less stress and more success. No commercials, no paid content, no boring panels. Every session is hand-screened and vetted to help you learn.

OCTOBER

Reuters Impact

Dates: Oct 3-7

Event type: Virtual

Why attend: Solving the climate risk challenge requires a significant, and coordinated private and public-sector effort. Reuters IMPACT is a free virtual global conference that brings together world leaders, big business and forward-thinking pioneers to inspire, drive action and accelerate innovation towards the global economy’s top priority: the climate emergency. No matter what role you perform, or the size of your organization, Reuters IMPACT will help you identify how you can influence business driven climate action.

NOVEMBER

HRPA 2022 Fall Conference

Dates: Nov 22-24

Event type: Virtual

Why attend: HRPA exists to ensure that HR professionals have the tools to act as champions for positive change, leading Ontario’s workplaces into the future. The association brings together business leaders from around the world for their series of annual conferences. A fall conference has been scheduled for November 22-24 and will mark the last major event in their 2022 calendar.

DECEMBER

AdWeek: Publishing Week 2022

An image of Adweek's virtual event

Dates: Dec dates TBC

Event type: Virtual

Why attend: Adweek's Publishing Week is an elite summit designed to cut through the noise and connect the most forward-thinking minds in publishing to solve challenges unique to this evolving industry. With the need to add scale and create personalized experiences for their audiences, publishers have had to embrace a more agile mindset. Learn how these companies are leveraging the power of technology to enable multi-channel subscription and ad revenue strategies.

Hybrid Events

A guide to making events more inclusive and accessible

8
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

The need for inclusive and accessible features in virtual spaces is of great importance. Read to learn how Zuddl elevates attendee experiences by providing just that.

Think about the last time you went to the theater to watch a movie. 

You probably went in, sat down, dutifully put your phone away (we hope), looked up at the big screen, and enjoyed the show. A simple and easy experience.

Now consider the POV of someone who goes into the theater to watch the same movie but is hard of hearing, or who speaks a completely different language than that shown in the theater. It would be a completely different, more difficult and exclusionary experience.

Why should you care about this?

One of the biggest benefits of virtual events is that as an organizer, you are no longer hampered by geography. There’s no need to worry about factoring in travel for attendees or speakers, or being constrained by venue capacity when you’re hosting a virtual event. This means that people from all over the world can attend, and where previously you might have been able to host only 1000 people at an in-person event, you can now reach tens of thousands. 


But with great capability comes great responsibility.

You  now need to ensure that each of your tens of thousands of attendees has an  equally amazing experience at your event, whether that’s a virtual  conference, company offsite, virtual office, ora virtual tradeshow. And  central to this is ensuring that each person - from different countries and  diverse backgrounds - can actively participate, contribute to discussions,  and have equitable opportunities.

But this isn’t without its challenges.

When planning virtual experiences for constituents, organizers may fall prey to  an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality. No longer being able to ‘see’ the needs and requirements for different types of attendees can make it harder to address them. 

And this is definitely an issue when one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. In the United States alone, the Centers for Disease Control notes that: 61 million adults – or 1 in 4 – people live with a disability. These statistics alone makes leading with accessibility and inclusivity the mentality to have as a hybrid or virtual event organizer.

Attendees from different backgrounds or with disabilities will want to consume your content, ask questions to speakers, chat and interact with their fellow attendees - just like everyone else. This means that you not only need to be purposeful and empathetic in the way you organize your event and present your content, but that the virtual event platform partner you work with needs to be able to be fully accessible and inclusive - it needs to put all attendees on an equal footing.

The good news: Zuddl makes your virtual event more accessible and inclusive!

Event Hosting Platform - Zuddl

Central to hosting a virtual event is making sure the content of your event can be understood by all your attendees. This is especially important when it comes to live sessions or recorded video that you or your speakers are sharing during the event. But, as illustrated by the movie theater example, if attendees at virtual meetings are non-native speakers or are hard of hearing, they may find it difficult to follow along and stay engaged.

This is where Zuddl can make a difference. 

Multilingual audio support

Multilingual Audio Support with Zuddl

The reality is that not everybody can speak English or speak it well. So if you have people joining the virtual meeting from France, Finland and Fiji, using multilingual audio support is a great way to ensure that all attendees will still be able to understand speakers and the content that is being presented, which in turn helps to create a more inclusive, egalitarian virtual space.

This, of course, is especially important for companies with remote, multilingual teams. When hosting virtual company offsites, sales kickoffs, company meetings or any other internal events, multilingual audio support can help non-native speakers to better comprehend and retain information, and feel more connected to the workforce.

It makes business sense too. 

According to a survey conducted by the Common Sense Advisory, a market research firm, 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language. The same piece of research states that 72% of consumers are more likely to buy a product that is offered to them in their own language. Need we say more?

Live captioning

Live Captioning with Zuddl

Live captioning works hand-in-hand with multilingual audio support. This results in a real-time visual aid that helps attendees at your event better decipher what’s being said on-screen. 

The feature helps to improve accessibility for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, but can be useful for everyone, including those who join the live event late, or who are multitasking during the event. 

This is useful when you’re hosting a virtual meeting for your company or team as giving employees the option to read-along live captions in their native language makes it simpler to absorb information and therefore increase focus and engagement. In fact, 80% of consumers are more likely to watch an entire video when captions are available.

Protip: Make presentations and video sessions available for attendees to watch after the event is over. This way they can revisit the information shared as per their convenience and make sure they don’t miss what was shared during a meeting.

Chat function and Emoji Reactions

Emoji Reactions - Zuddl

The use of live chat and emoji reactions at your event gives your attendees the freedom to interact with and react to speakers and content shared as per their convenience, and it means there is equal opportunity to ‘speak’ and ask questions. For those who find written language a bit restrictive, they can easily express themselves through an easy emoji reaction.

To sum up…

Virtual and hybrid events are only as inclusive as they’re made to be; while event platform partners like Zuddl can make a great difference, creating spaces and experiences that make everyone feel welcomed and valued needs to be an active effort on the part of organizers. Talk to our team today to learn how to get it right!

Virtual Events
Hybrid Events

5 ways to determine which event platform is right for you

8
Mins Read
Kishore C S

With virtual and hybrid events taking over the events industry as we know it, organizers and businesses need to know how to pick the right virtual event platform to best suit their specific requirements. This article recommends a hassle-free approach to this decision-making process and much more.

If you’ve been staying updated with the latest trends that are changing the event industry, you’ll already know the relevance of virtual and hybrid events in today’s digital-first world. With workplaces and workforces going remote over the past two years, it’s not just  events that have taken a virtual form; day-to-day activities such as team meetings, hiring processes as well as training modules have all done so too.

From an organization's perspective, the need of the hour is knowing  how to tap the potential of the virtual realm to best suit business needs. One of the essential aspects of taking this step is to lock in on a virtual events platform that can turn this idea into a reality, easily and seamlessly- which brings us to our main point.

If you’re looking for a virtual event platform but don’t know where to start in terms of exploring your options, this article is just about to make your life so much easier.

For starters, it helps to have a basic checklist in place in terms while you’re exploring and comparing platforms. 

What should you look for in a virtual platform?

  • It should be easy to use

No matter how much a platform boasts of its capabilities, it won’t make a difference to you as an organizer or as an attendee if the platform is not easy to use. This is why finding an easy-to-use virtual platform should be the first condition on your checklist.

  • It should be scalable

Next, ask yourself how your events are going to be in the near future. While you don’t have to zero in on the exact details, you can still gauge certain things such as the size of your events. This will help you choose a virtual platform more suited to your needs. For instance, let’s say your event plan has a mix of smaller focused events as well big conferences with a typically high attendee expectation. In this case, you’re going to need one platform that can help you run it all.

  • It should be customizable

Another important factor to keep in mind while choosing the platform is the scope of ownership and branding. To say it in simpler terms, always pick a virtual event platform that will empower you to own the event rather than the platform owning you! 

With the trend of decreasing attendee attention spans, customization goes hand in hand with engagement when it comes to delivering memorable and immersive experiences, so if these are things you consider important, don’t choose a platform that will limit you from making your events epic.

  • It should suit your budget

As with anything else, pricing plays an important part when it comes to choosing your virtual event platform too. Once you’ve checked the previous items in the checklist, you can now further filter your search to find a platform that offers the features that you love within your budget. Keeping a flexible budget makes sense if you feel there’s a platform that more than meets your expectations.

  • It should have good reviews

As much as technology takes over our lives, there is one thing that a human being values more than anything else; it’s the firsthand experience or story that another human being has to offer. It’s no different when it comes to choosing the right virtual event platform. User reviews can really inform you about the pros and cons of any platform from a lived experience perspective, so while this is our last point on your checklist, it is surely not the least!


Popular virtual event platforms for you:

Now that we’ve told you how to pick a virtual event platform, here are some big names that are making waves in 2022!


Zuddl

If you’re on the hunt for a platform that puts your brand ahead of anything else, Zuddl might just be the perfect choice for you. 100% customizable and super easy to use, it’s hard not to see why this virtual event platform could be your obvious choice - it can help you create impactful and immersive virtual experiences that are on par with in-person events.

Some of the highlights that set Zuddl apart are that it is latency-free, scalable to an attendee capacity of 1,50,000 and features a drag-and-drop editor that makes adding widgets such a breeze. From an organizer’s perspective, the all-powerful virtual greenroom ‘Backstage’ lets you take control over your virtual event like never before.

“How do I engage my attendees?” is possibly one of the key areas of concern for many event organizers in any virtual event is the level of engagement. Thankfully, Zuddl’s event-wide gamification. Chats, Polls, Q&A and a host of other features can help you not only reach your engagement goals but also surpass them. (Click here to read more about our gamification feature)

On the networking front, the AI-powered interest-based matchmaking feature makes networking a simple, fun and meaningful experience rather than an awkward obligation that you’d otherwise dread.

AES 256 encrypted and GDPR compliant, Zuddl has consciously been built keeping data security and attendee privacy at the core of its design. 

To complete the whole experience, Zuddl also provides you with actionable insights with realt-ime analytics and post-event metrics that are sure to take your future events to a whole new level.

Hopin

Hopin is another popular virtual event platform that emulates the in-person experience. With an attendee capacity of 1,00,000, it offers basic tools such as chat and polls to get your engagement going. 

Its standout feature is the event schedule tool which allows you to swiftly plan a series of events by giving you a top-down perspective. With Hopin, there is scope for customizing your event to an extent; you could work with the default themes and partial drag-and-drop capabilities to add your stamp to the event experience.

vFairs

vFairs offers a 3D virtual environment for your virtual event needs. With features such as 1:1 networking and group networking, video and document hosting, the platform offers a value-driven alternative to traditional or in-person events. 

Like Zuddl and Hopin, vFairs too is integrated with useful add-ons to further customize the event experience. When it comes to networking, attendees may enjoy the choices it offers: striking up a conversation on the spot or scheduling a conversation for later.

BigMarker

BigMarker is a popular choice for those hosting small to medium scale virtual events. This browser-based platform offers standard features such as polls, surveys and screen share while the chat function is enabled based on the organizer’s preference?permissions. 

While this platform may not have the best audio and video quality, it fairs well in terms of its email marketing, landing pages and social media streaming capabilities.

Airmeet

This virtual event platform can host a virtual event of up to 1,00,000 attendees. As an organizer, you’ll be able to accept up to 300 sponsors on Airmeet, so it’s a good choice if you’re looking for extensive sponsorship. 

Its networking tables and usage-based pricing are notable, and it is also available as a free version, which is limited in its capacity but still offers networking features such as the social lounge and 1:1 networking.

Hubilo

Another notable platform for virtual and hybrid events is Hubilo, which allows you as an organizer to focus on attendee and sponsor experience by offering engagement features such as a leaderboard and points for participation. 

Apart from the basic essentials of a virtual event, Hubilo also offers full-time customer support and event insights that organizers can leverage.

So there you have it, folks. Choosing a virtual event platform doesn’t have to be difficult, and we’ll make sure it never will. Want to make your decision even easier? Talk to us today.

Virtual Events

Learn how virtual reality is changing the game for virtual events

6
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

Virtual reality technology has changed the definition of audience engagement for event organizers. Learn more about how you can leverage VR to host an unforgettable event and seek inspiration from brands that have effectively used this technology.

When global superstar Marshmello was invited to headline at the UEFA Champions League 2021 final Opening Ceremony, the DJ hitmaker wanted to give the 380 million fans watching, a show the likeness of which they had never seen before; and so he turned to virtual reality (VR). 

From VFX and game engine technology to 3D cameras and real-time virtual production, Marshmello’s  6-minute VR set was designed to “bend reality” - and it did. Fans looked on as a giant Marshmello walked through the streets of Europe’s capitals and danced with an army of fellow Marshmellos; he played guitar while fireworks went off behind him, and raised the volume as the stadium filled up with water. 

It was an electrifying virtual event experience. 


Marshmello’s incredible performance is just one of the many ways in which the events industry has embraced the transformational potential of virtual reality—and rightly so. VR offers a remarkably sensory experience to boost engagement and entertainment for any event. It can attract greater participation and deliver better experiences than a presentation or discussion.

VR at virtual events: what you can do

Ever since Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR, some of the biggest names in tech, such as Google and Samsung, have already entered the VR tech market. So, this futuristic technology is becoming increasingly accessible for the events industry.

Brands and event organizers worldwide are already creatively using VR technology to supercharge their virtual events. Let’s look at how you can too.

For knowledge sharing—conferences, seminars, training

Virtual Conferences with Zuddl

In a world where businesses aspire to focus more on showing than telling, VR is the perfect tool for organizers to create immersive and educational experiences for attendees. Instead of keynote pontifications and dull powerpoint presentations, organizers can easily bring a subject alive through a VR experience. For instance, learning about a new and innovative piece of medical equipment is so much more impactful if you can ‘watch’ it being used in surgery rather than just hear it being described.


That’s precisely what AltSpace achieved through its VR-powered conference, vMed20. Participants could attend this conference virtually through the organizer’s free VR social tool, AltSpace—to learn about the multiple use cases of VR in the healthcare industry; an excellent demonstration of  the game-changing potential of immersive technology in the healthcare sector 

For marketing—product launches and demos 

A basic presentation will no longer cut the bill when you’re launching a new product and want to keep your audience hooked and wowed. Showing off your products at a virtual event can be best accomplished with VR technology that lets your attendees appreciate it from 360 degrees.

And that’s exactly what OnePlus pulled off with its  first-ever VR product launch.Speaking about the decision to use VR,  Carl Pei, Co-Founder of OnePlus said “ In our industry, product launches tend to be the same. An auditorium, a keynote, and a seated audience. For the OnePlus 2 launch, we didn’t want that barrier between us and you; we wanted to invite you into our world, because you’re a major part of it. That is why we decided to unveil the OnePlus 2 to the world completely in VR.”

To this end, the event was shot entirely with 360° filming technology ahead of launch. In it, users were welcomed into the  OnePlus office, leading to the unveiling of the product. Attendees could tour the office, meet the team and other fans. On the day of the launch, fans were able to watch the launch on their Android app or on Youtube. Those using the app were able to see detailed specifications of the new smartphone and interact with its features.


And it’s clear that the strategy paid off with 45,000+ concurrent viewers in 170 countries tuning in during the launch, and the VR event racking up 750,000+ views in the first 24 hours.

For entertainment—live games and concerts

Virtual Reality Concert - Zuddl

For the entertainment industry, VR offers organizers a way to replicate the excitement and energy of in-person events at a virtual one. Putting on a headset can transport the wearer to the front row of a musical festival - an experience that you can’t really get from watching a Youtube video for instance. 

A great example of this in action is  FOX Sports VR-powered broadcasts of NBA games. Attendees wearing Oculus headsets can experience the thrill of watching basketball greats live in action. 

Halestorm’s virtual reality concert is another great example of how the entertainment industry is adopting this technology.

For charity—fundraisers and charity events

VR lets non-profit organizers bring their causes to life. Through 360-degree video, donors can step into the shoes of those who need their aid.  It’s a form of emotional storytelling that can prompt a donor to make a financial contribution more than powerpoint presentations and data can do.  

The Royal Trinity Hospice, for instance, created a VR video tour that takes viewers through the entire grounds of the hospice, and highlights its services. Through this, potential donors can understand the impact their aid will have. This movie is displayed in several of the organization’s virtual events, including its annual celebrations and fairs. 

Challenges in using VR for virtual events - and how to tackle them

As can be seen, VR has played a significant role in virtual events across industries, but some organizers are still hesitant in embracing this innovative technology for their events. Here’s how to tackle some of the challenges that come with VR. 

Keeping costs low: While the tech required to produce VR and for your fans to access your videos can seem daunting, the good news is that VR technology keeps getting better, and less expensive. Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 headset at $299 has already significantly lowered the entry price point for VR devices. And with a $15 price tag, Google Cardboard allows users to experience VR with just a smartphone

Accessible to everyone: VR technology does provide a way for audiences to access new experiences, but it still has a long way to go in terms of accessibility. This high-powered technology is not feasible for users living in low connectivity areas. But this is easily addressed by partnering with venues that have the requisite bandwidth and power, or opting to use more accessible technology like smartphones.

Sharing is caring: Unlike the universe of ‘Ready, Player One’, at the moment, users cannot enter virtual reality with anyone else - for the moment atleast. But, if you have the budget, you can create group VR experiences. When Jaguar launched its electric I-PACE concept car for instance, it was through a  shared virtual reality experience. Groups of attendees sat together at round tables, wearing their helmets to take a virtual ride in the driver’s seat. They could see the hand controllers of attendees to their right and left, and hear the comments and reactions of everyone else, contributing to the group experience feeling.

To sum up...

Like any technology, VR continues to change and evolve, and so organizers using the tech need to be as equally avant-garde in their creativity in its use. While the brands and the events they held can serve as inspiration, be sure to think about how you can use it to further the goals of your event. 

Virtual Events

10 unique and fun ideas for your virtual holiday party

6
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

Need to quickly come up with ideas for virtual holiday get-togethers for your team? Here are 10 festive activities that will bring your colleagues together for a fun time.

The holiday season is around the corner but you’re short of ideas on how to bring your remote team together for some fun and festive activities that everyone can enjoy. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 10 easy activities you can organize that will bring all your team members, regardless of their location, full of cheer. From holiday scavenger hunts to cocktail and cookie parties, we’ve got your covered.

1. Holiday Scavenger Hunt


Holiday Scavenger Hunt - Zuddl


Organizing a virtual scavenger hunt is one of the easiest ways to bring your team together for a fun, exciting activity that makes everyone feel included. 

How to play: Put together a list of holiday-related items that your teammates have to find within a certain time such as something red and green,  their favourite Christmas item, or a cup of cheer; it’s best to keep your requirements a bit broad so that teammates can use their ingenuity to find items within their house or in the office that fit the bill. 

You can create different lists for different teams, with the fastest team to collect all items winning a prize. Take a look at how the Digital Schoolhouse team enjoyed a fun scavenger hunt session!

2. Watercooler trivia

Virtual watercoolers have become the new go-to’s for remote teams to have casual conversations about everything from holiday plans to TV shows that they’re watching; you can turn these fun conversations into a fun trivia night activity.

How to play: A watercooler trivia night is similar to your usual trivia games where teams answer  a set of general knowledge questions. But the rather enjoyable twist here is that the questions will be about your teammates. Prepare a list of fun questions about some common subjects of conversations at the water cooler, such as “Who’s known for the best Dwight Schrute impression?”


Even better if you use a virtual event platform like Zuddl that has an inbuilt gamification feature which means that you can use a leaderboard to track and tally points for you, and let everyone know who’s they have to beat to win! 

3. Holiday-themed karaoke night


Holiday-themed Karaoke Night - Zuddl

What’s a holiday party without some festive music? Bring your virtual team together for a karaoke night where they can let loose and spend the evening belting out the classics. 

How to host: Invite your team to a virtual meeting space or use a virtual breakout room like we have on Zuddl, play karaoke tracks and ask colleagues to duo or solo one after the other. There’s nothing like singing an off-key rendition of ‘Jingle Bells’ to bring a team together.

Here’s the KGW8 team hosting a great virtual karaoke session


Virtual Karaoke Session - Zuddl

4. Gingerbread-making contest

Nothing says Christmas like gingerbread - but most people have more experience in eating it than making it. So why not host a fun gingerbread-making contest?

How to host: Send everyone a DIY gingerbread kit ahead of time, or if that’s not possible, ask everyone to stock up on the ingredients needed for baking gingerbread men. Invite a chef to your virtual baking session or play a video whilst everyone follows the instructions. Encourage everyone to get creative with their baking and celebrate successes and failures too! End the evening by eating your gingerbread ‘together.’

5. Wreath-making workshop

With work and home time bleeding into each other, many people don’t have the time to decorate their homes for the holidays. For such workaholics, a wreath-making session is the perfect way for some ‘me time’ that gets their creative juices flowing - that gets them an incredible wreath to hang on the door in the process!

How to host: Similar to the gingerbread contest, you can either send your entire team the items for making a wreath or ask them to collect these items beforehand. Organize a virtual hangout session for everyone to learn how to make their wreaths (even better if you hire an instructor), and laugh through the wreath-making fails and wins together.

6. A holiday talent show

Find your in-house Beyonce or laugh out loud with your comedians—an end of the year talent show is the best way for your team to get to know and bond over each other’s hidden talents.

How to host: Use a virtual platform, ideally with a Stage feature, that your team can use to run the show. Performers can take to the stage one after another to share their talents and wow your team. Even better if the platform you use has engagement features that those watching can use to encourage their teammates (Zuddl has Emoji reactions for instance). You can use Polls to ask attendees to vote for their favourite performance. 

7. Virtual holiday photobooth

If there’s one advantage of remote work besides working in your pyjamas, it’s the ability to take fantastic team photos easily. No matter how big your team is, you can take the best group pictures at a virtual party that you can display at your virtual office (and poke fun at) all throughout the year. 

How to host: Set up a virtual photo booth with holiday-themed backgrounds - one with Santa and reindeers or even a Home Alone style one - and ask teammates to dress up according to the theme! Think ugly Christmas sweaters or funny reindeer headbands. 

8. Improv comedy night

Improv Comedy Night - Zuddl

Get everyone in a great(er) mood with a fun improv comedy night. Bring out the comedian in every team member and have a huge laugh together.

How to host: All you need is a fun and friendly host for the improv session. Just like in Who’s Line Is it Anyway, the host will give your team different scenarios to act out that are sure to cause some laughs.

Take a look at ArtsQuest’s improv comedy sessions for corporate teams to inspire your own.

9. Holiday Escape Room

A holiday-themed escape room is actually a fun team building activity that will also test your team’s collective intelligence. The premise of this game is that a team is locked inside a room. They must solve clues or puzzles in order to complete a mission and then ‘escape’ out of the room before time runs out. 

How to play:  Book a virtual holiday escape room online and spend an hour or so putting your brains together to help rescue Santa or find the Naughty or Nice list. 

10. Cocktail and Cookie Party

Getting everyone together to celebrate the holidays by sharing food and drink is the perfect way to relax, chat, laugh and spend time with each other as a team. 

How to host: As with the gingerbread baking or wreath-making sessions, send cookies and cocktail ingredients to your colleagues’ houses or ask them to pick up ingredients before your party. For the first half of the party, everyone can mix their cocktails or pop cookies in the oven to bake, after which you can enjoy an evening of drinks and food and conversation. 

To sum up…

This holiday season, take the opportunity to celebrate the people around you with a fun-filled virtual party. Whether it’s a trivia session or gingerbread wars, create an unforgettable experience for all your teammates with these game ideas that will strengthen team spirit and spread holiday cheer.

Hybrid Events

5 ways to drive more value for your hybrid event sponsors

6
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

Attracting new sponsors and retaining existing ones is no cakewalk for event organizers. But the shift to virtual and hybrid events has made this easier. Learn how.

Amongst the many challenges faced by organizers is that of driving value for event sponsors. 

Every organizer knows that sponsorship is critical to a successful event - not only in terms of financial backing but also because of positive publicity, increased brand awareness, reach, and prestige that it powers. So, after bringing a sponsor on board, it’s extremely important to be able to give that sponsor the ROI that you’ve promised them - or else you risk losing them for future events. 

But the growing popularity of hybrid events and the fact that 86% of B2B companies see an increased ROI of their hybrid events within 7 months of conducting it—presents a great solution to tackle this challenge.

Gone are the days when you would slap sponsor logos on merchandise. Thanks to the virtual and in-person components of hybrid events, organizers have more and better opportunities to drive both brand awareness for sponsors and lead generation as well. 

Here’s how to go about driving value for sponsors at your next hybrid event:

1. Understand what your event sponsors want 

Virtual Meets with Zuddl

Mike Butcher, the Editor-At-Large at TechCrunch, explains how sponsors’ expectations have changed over the years while reiterating the importance of understanding them from the beginning, stating "A lot of these sponsors don’t just want to have a sponsor sticker slapped onto an event. They want to do something that has a real conversational element to it.”

So discussing your sponsors’ objectives from a hybrid event at the outset will allow you to produce tailor-made sponsorship opportunities and results. Keep in mind that an essential part of managing sponsor expectations is clarifying what you can and cannot do with this event.

For instance,  sponsors could be seeking a high level of interaction with the target audience but may be unsure of what results could be achieved through a hybrid event. Accordingly, you can share engagement metrics from previous virtual or hybrid events you’ve hosted as well as touchpoints you’ve planned for the upcoming event with them. This can help you and your sponsors agree on a goal that you are both comfortable with.

2. Choose a virtual event platform that offers branding, engagement + analytic tools

Virtual Event Platform - Zuddl

Whilst you are having these important discussions with your sponsors, you will also need to be scouting and evaluating virtual event platforms that can help you drive the results you desire ie. happy attendees and happy sponsors.  What are the basics that your virtual event platform will need to have?

  • Branding - Just as your physical venue has banners and signage showcasing your event sponsors, so should your virtual venue. So your event platform needs to have the capability to allow you to customize the venue as per your wishes. If you want to put up banners in your lobby dedicated to sponsors, you should be able to. Want to highlight that a sponsor is sponsoring a specific Stage or session by changing the background image of the Stage? You should be able to do that too. Basically, you should have free rein to be able to drive brand awareness for your Sponsors throughout the venue.
  • Audience engagement tools: The more you make a hybrid event memorable for attendees, the better it reflects on your event sponsors, so choose a platform that can elevate engagement. Look out for these:
  • ~~Chat, Polls and Q&A: These tools can make a huge difference by turning what can feel like a video playlist of lectures into a lively and exciting two-way conversation. Whether an attendee is sitting at the in-person venue or tuning in from home, using the same tools helps everyone feel part of the same experience and boosts participation.
  • ~~Gamification: This feature can encourage attendees to do more at the event by rewarding them for every action they take during the event. 
  • ~~Virtual Breakout Rooms: These can be used to host small group conversations and curate more focused discussions. So you could for instance dedicate a room per Sponsor; this means that they would have a representative sitting in the Room and striking up conversations with attendees interested in the company or a service/product of theirs. This allows your sponsors to gain more qualified leads and interact with their target audience at a deeper level.
  • Analytics: One of the biggest advantages of hosting a hybrid event is the data that can be collected. The virtual component of the event means that attendee actions - such as questions they ask, Polls they answer, booths visited etc can all be captured. In this way, sponsors can see how many attendees watched a product video, for example, or visited a sponsored Stage, Booth or Room. This insight can help in post-event follows and in better understanding feedback or sentiment about a product or service.

3. Give sponsors their own virtual Expo Booth 

Virtual Expo Platform - Zuddl

An exhibit booth is perhaps the oldest strategy for driving value for sponsors at an event - and that holds true today. By enabling sponsors to set up booths at both the physical and virtual venues, you double the exposure they receive. 

Each booth acts as a hub for sharing branded content, marketing collateral, and downloadable assets. And as each booth can be staffed by a company representative, sponsors can offer product demos and hold private conversations directly with attendees. 

Importantly, each virtual booth comes with a ‘Register Interest’ button for attendees to express their intention. This is a simple but powerful way for Sponsors to collect leads. 

4.  More touchpoints and activities that give sponsors more exposure

Virtual Team Building Activities - Zuddl

Plan in activities and touchpoints that drive visibility and awareness for event sponsors. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Strategically create in-show placement at different places in the virtual and in-person venue, such as the lobby or breakout rooms zones to boost the sponsors’ visibility organically.
  • Add representatives from sponsoring brands as moderators or presenters for event sessions and involve them in panel discussions or forums as well. This is a great way to highlight your sponsors’ domain knowledge.
  • Plan in sponsored sessions targeting the brand’s primary audience. 
  • Play videos by event sponsors in between sessions to educate your audience about their companies, and offerings.
  • Offer educational content and downloadable assets from sponsors in your event lobby to reinforce their thought leadership and collect leads in exchange.
  • Host trivia quizzes that include a question or two about sponsors. For instance, a tech-related trivia session centering around your sponsors from the software technology domain. 
  • Hold a raffle with prizes from sponsors for the winners

Protip: Gamification is your best friend here as it can nudge attendees into completing actions that can drive value for them and your sponsors. 

5. Give your sponsors actionable insights

So far, we’ve focused on creating value for your sponsors during the event. But what happens once the event is over? Post-event insights are crucial to retaining sponsors for the long run as it can help aid strategy, product development, decision-making, and budget allocation. To this end, event organizers can share attendee data, survey and poll results, and insights from other activities to reveal what resonated the most with the sponsors’ target audience. 

Here are some crucial metrics you can share with your sponsors:

  • Total number of participants
  • Leads generated
  • Audience engagement
  • Results of sponsored surveys and polls 
  • Sponsored sessions with the most engagement and attendance 

 To sum up…

The key to attracting more sponsors lies in creating value for them by building brand awareness and accelerating lead generation. Their primary interest lies in accessing your audience base, establishing their domain expertise, and capturing qualified leads.
Hybrid events give you ample opportunity to deliver these demands. Start by recognizing your sponsors’ needs, and then using the unique benefits of a hybrid event to meet them. All it takes is a little creativity, a little thoughtfulness, and a powerful virtual hosting platform like Zuddl to pull it off.

Virtual Events
Hybrid Events

A message from our CEO: Building the future of enterprise events

3
Mins Read
Bharath Varma, Founder, Zuddl

A message from our co-founder and CEO, Bharath Varma announcing Zuddl's Series A funding, and his vision for the future.

Today, we have some exciting news to share — we’ve raised $13.35 million in our Series A round!

Alpha Wave Incubation led our Series A round with participation from Qualcomm Ventures, GrowX Ventures, Waveform Ventures. We’re thrilled to work with investors that believe in our long-term vision of the future of enterprise events and I wanted to take a moment to celebrate this milestone and share my thoughts on Zuddl’s journey and our plans for the future.

Our Journey

When Vedha and I first talked about the idea of Zuddl, we could not have imagined that mere months later COVID-19 would propel us on a dizzying journey to turn that idea into reality. We started Zuddl in May 2020 and spent the next couple of months in the YC summer batch racing to launch our MVP. Since then, we’ve been working hard to improve our product, grow our team and get Zuddl in front of as many potential customers as possible, growing 30x in the process.

In the last 18 months, we have launched a lot of features and improvements to enable organizations to run awe-inspiring events all the while putting their brand front and center. Event organizers have built digital replicas of their physical office spaces, recreated their favorite venues, and built completely themed event spaces.

All of these lead back to one theme: organizers are ready to embrace the world of hybrid and virtual events. What started out as a begrudging exercise forced on organizations by the pandemic has unlocked a host of new possibilities that organizers are embracing. For the first time ever, it is the norm that access to events is not dictated by where you are. Going back to our favorite analogy, imagine being unable to watch a football game because you can’t attend in person. Wild, right? For a long time, that was an accepted reality for business events. Expectations have shifted now and we are excited to empower organizations to embrace that change.

More than anything else though, I am so humbled by the team of A+ players that have pushed us forward on this incredible journey. The Zuddl family has grown significantly in the last year. We have grown from a team of 7 to over 75+ across the globe working together to empower organizations to deliver remarkable live experiences.

The Road Ahead

With this new funding, we’re excited to continue to empower organizations to build remarkable live events. More and more, teams tell us that they are feeling the fatigue of boring virtual meets and are struggling to keep their attendees engaged. Zuddl enables organizers to bring the energy back to their live events with a backstage studio that delivers high-quality production and drag and drop widgets that stay true to their brand.

Our vision is to be the one platform for all enterprise events, whether that’s internal or external, hybrid or virtual. This new round of funding will enable us to continue building on the foundation we have built so far and help us achieve our next few goals:

1. Double down on product

Organizations have just dipped their toes into the possibilities of hybrid and virtual events. That’s why we’re committed to building the best enterprise event platform - more interactive, powerful and integrated into the other tools you use.

We are investing in data and integrations to enable data-driven post event decisions. We are revamping the organizer event setup experience to be simpler and more intuitive. We are doubling down on our feature set for hybrid to really break the barriers between virtual and in-person attendees. We are launching new product lines.

2. Scale our team globally

Zuddl started after the pandemic and we’re proud to have built a talented remote-first team. With this funding, we’re thrilled to be able to continue to grow the team and have more people join us on this journey.

We are also opening a new office in Abu Dhabi this month. This will be our headquarters for EMEA region sales and support and will also allow us to tap into a larger market of engineering talent. You can view our open positions here.

3. Accelerate our growth

We’ve been so fortunate in the last 18 months to work with customers like Kellogg’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Microsoft, NASSCOM and over 15 Fortune 500 companies. We know that this is just the beginning and we have so much more work to do. We want every large organization and every large event to be powered by Zuddl. We’re beyond thrilled to enter this new phase of growth and take a step closer to that goal.

To all Zuddlers, thank you for everything you do. I couldn’t have imagined a better bunch of people to embark on this journey with. I learn from you all every day. To our customers, thank you for the trust and faith you have placed in me and in Zuddl. We at Zuddl, remain committed to your success.

With gratitude,

Bharath Varma
Co-founder & CEO, Zuddl

Virtual Events

Which 4 industries benefit most from holding virtual events

6
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

Over the past two years, businesses from every industry have come to realize the unique benefits that virtual events offer. We take a quick look at the different ways organizations have leveraged virtual experiences and the results they have achieved.

Virtual events - whether trade shows, seminars, conferences or musical festivals - have grown to be so popular and impactful that 45% of future B2B events will be completely virtual. 

For most event professionals, this should come as no big surprise as the benefits of virtual events are obvious: better reach, branding, engagement  and ROI. Because of this, hosting a virtual event has become an evergreen marketing strategy that is worth cultivating, regardless of the size of your business or which industry it belongs to. 

Let’s quickly look at the ways different industries have benefited from holding virtual events, so you can learn from them and follow in their footsteps.

1. Education industry

When the pandemic made it impossible for students to go to school, college or universities, educational institutions were forced to pivot to virtual spaces and classrooms instead, and reimagine methods of teaching, engaging, motivating and inspiring students. 

While educators were hesitant and untrusting initially, most have come to realize the surprising ways in which virtual events and platforms can create supportive and collaborative environments that enable more efficient teaching and learning.By virtue of the digital medium, educators can create exciting new virtual experiences for their students; they can invite guest lecturers from all over the world, facilitate small-group student learning via virtual Breakout rooms, and even set up networking sessions to drive  social interaction and camaraderie.

Not to mention, educational institutions can hold a variety of virtual events, from university lectures to job fairs, open houses to networking events, with ease online - and at a fraction of the cost, and logistical effort. Take for example the virtual open day experience offered by the University of Stirling. Prospective students watched presentations about student life, funding, accommodation, and applications, and were able to chat with current students, lecturers, and directors in course-specific virtual Rooms. There was also a virtual tour that showcased the campus and university's facilities.

Thanks to virtual events and platforms, educational institutions now have unique ways to power better learning and engagement with students. 

2. Hospitality industry

As with the education sector, the hospitality industry was forced to pivot to virtual solutions in order to continue to create memorable experiences for guests without compromising health and safety.

The adoption of virtual event platforms to host events, exhibitions, meetings, and conferences in particular has led to hotels and restaurants discovering how to leverage them as new avenues of expression, communication and connection with guests, and of course, maintain cash flow.

Take for example, the RPM Restaurants group in Chicago. The group hosted a variety of virtual events, ranging from cooking classes led by one of their chiefs to a drink-making session with a hotel mixologist. They also created meal kits for their classes that contained all the ingredients needed for the dish or cocktail that could be picked up or delivered to event attendees. The sense of social connection and community is strengthened when everyone cooks or drinks together online. Indeed, having received a strong positive response to these classes, the RPM group plans to hold more of these events.

Cooking classes are just one example of virtual events hosted by the hospitality industry. Businesses have also held a variety of healthy lifestyle classes such as yoga, meditation, physical fitness and even gardening. Using ticketing tiers was an avenue to drive revenue.

Larger MICE events were also successfully held online. Food & Hotel Asia for example, held a virtual Food & Hotel Digital Week that consisted of sessions and product showcases. Because of the medium of the event, it was attended by more than 5,000 industry players from more than 20 countries and regions. Quite an achievement for the company’s inaugural event.

So even though the ease of lockdown and social distancing has meant the rise of in-person gatherings once again, it’s clear that the hospitality industry will benefit from continuing to hold virtual events or hybrid ones. Not only does it give establishments a way to stay top of mind, it also provides convenience for guests and helps to keep profit margins up. 

3. Marketing and communications

Perhaps no industry has benefited from the rise of virtual events as much as the marketing industry. While the benefits of hosting virtual events remain the same for this industry as the hospitality and education industry ie. better branding, and more reach and engagement, one of the greatest benefits enjoyed particularly by marketers is the ability to capture data.

Unlike in-person events where tracking attendee micro-moments and calculating revenue is difficult (click here to read more about how to calculate ROI from a virtual event), thanks to virtual event platforms, marketers can keep track of engagement metrics such as time spent at the event or individual sessions, the number of Polls answered or Q&As asked.

If the virtual event platform offers organizers the ability to create Expo Booths like Zuddl does, marketers will also be able to see which attendees clicked on the ‘Registered Interest’ button, and which marketing collateral was the most or least consumed. This enables organizers to make changes on the fly that leads to better rates of engagement and to collect information on leads for post-event follow ups.

This in turn can lead to more leads and revenue. (Click here to read more about how NASSCOM generated 1000+ leads for their event sponsors).

4. Tech industry

Unsurprisingly, the tech industry took to virtual events like a duck to water, with companies like Salesforce, Consumer Technology Association, G2 and IBM pivoting to large-scale virtual conferences and summits with ease and reaping the benefits. (Click here to find out which of these companies made our list of 12 virtual events done right.) 

The perfect example of this is Gainsight’s Pulse. In May 2021, the company decided to transform their traditionally in-person event to a virtual version. The event featured 25 sessions presented by the leaders of top companies like Adobe, VMWare, and LinkedIn, and was attended by over 22,000 Customer Success and Product professionals from 50+ states/countries. In stark contrast, the same in-person event held in 2019 was attended by only 5,000 people. 

The company shared pre-recorded sessions and switched to live Q&A with the speakers right after the session, an engagement strategy that seemed to have paid off; the company tracked one million viewer minutes over the two half-days. Indeed, Stephanie Robotham, Chief Marketing Officer at Gainsight, pointed to the availability of real-time tracking of virtual attendees as a tremendous advantage, as it allowed them to take action immediately and have richer data for sales follow ups. 

As a consequence of better reach and engagement and tracking, the tech industry has been able to hold more impactful and valuable events.

To sum up...

All kinds of businesses, forced to throw out their playbooks completely due to lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions over the last year, discovered a silver lining amidst the chaos: virtual events. 

Regardless of industry, it became quite clear that through use of virtual and digital event solutions, organizers and marketers were able to hold immersive and creative virtual experiences for their customers and clients that drove energy, enthusiasm, meaningful connection and engagement for attendees, and delivered on business goals for organizers.

Even though in-person events are on the rise again, it’s a surety that virtual events or hybrid ones (a blend of virtual and in-person components) will remain. The benefits of virtual events are just too obvious to walk away from.

Virtual Events

How to avoid complaints from virtual events attendees?

4
Mins Read
Pavi Sagar

Prevention is better than the cure. Learn how you can minimize the causes of potential problems and attendee complaints at your virtual event even before it begins.

As an event organizer or marketer, the one thing that probably keeps you up at night is worrying about the attendee experience — as you should.  

It’s never anyone’s intention, but even the most experienced organizers can overlook some details that can contribute to a not so great virtual event experience. Just think back to the last event you attended. 

  • Was it riddled with sluggish loading times and technical glitches? Or did everything run perfectly?
  • Were the speakers and sessions able to capture your attention - and hold it? Or were you on your phone 60% of the time?
  • Did you find yourself enjoying the event? Or were you making a mental note to never attend an event held by the organizer ever again?

Clearly, it’s easy enough to identify issues that could crop up at your own event and work on measures to prevent them. It’s a simple exercise in thoughtfulness that can pay dividends.  With that in mind, let’s look at 6 of the most common complaints attendees have about virtual events with some actionable insights to tackle them.

1.“I can’t sit still for hours on end”

Virtual Meets with Zuddl

Say you’ve decided to attend a virtual conference over the weekend. The 3-hour long conference seems taxing, but you’re banking on the speakers’ exciting insights to help you power through it. But even with your highest concentration, you couldn’t make it past the first hour. 

If you’ve been there, you’re not alone.

The biggest challenge of hosting a virtual event is often the responsibility of engaging the audience. Even with this goal in mind, most organizers fail to address that an average virtual attendee will only pay attention to 68% of the event if it’s longer than 20 minutes.

So, the first and most crucial complaint deterring participation in your event is your audience’s short attention span.

How can you solve it?

The best way to tackle this challenge is to understand your attendees better. Use pre-event or during the event surveys and polls to identify their preferences regarding the length of the event, as well as timings for sessions and event activities.

Once you have this information, plan out your event schedule to be accommodating and inclusive (this is especially important if you have attendees joining in from different time zones). Planning regular intervals between sessions are important as they allow everyone to take a break and relax. Multiple short sessions are better than a single lengthy and endless session any day.

Moreover, you can use Zuddl’s innovative gamification feature to keep them hooked throughout the event. Set up an attendee leaderboard and set points for activities completed by attendees to maximize participation. Even better if you announce that you’ll be awarding prizes to the top three scorers. (Click here to read more about our Gamification feature in detail).

2.“I find it challenging to listen to the speaker and read the chat simultaneously.”

For some, it can be difficult to listen to speakers and type out their responses at the same time. More importantly, this constant back and forth between listening and writing can affect their takeaways from the session — reducing the value of the event.

How can you solve it?

Ideally,  you want your participants to first listen to the speakers and then air their views. This can be facilitated by the virtual event platform in a couple of ways. Zuddl, for example, has in-platform engagement features that allow attendees to easily express opinions or questions. 

  • Emoji Reactions: Instead of having to type out text replies to real-time moments on Stage, emoji reactions are an easy, quick, and fun way for attendees to indicate enthusiasm - it's a natural extension of a reaction language we use almost everywhere else in our digital lives.
  • Raise Hand: Eschewing any need for typing, with this feature, attendees can go from the audience and right onto the Stage alongside speakers, upon approval by organizers.

With these, you’ll be able to give your attendees a chance to consume as much information as possible while also enabling them to share their takes and ask questions.

3. “I am bored out of my mind” 🥱

Virtual And Hybrid Events with Zuddl

Imagine putting in weeks of energy and effort to organize your event only for the audience to space out because of boredom. Many participants complain that they zone out during virtual sessions because it’s not intriguing enough to grab or retain their attention.

The primary reason for this is the lack of a solid audience engagement strategy. 

How can you solve it?

First, create an audience engagement strategy aligned with your events’ goals, speakers, and audience preferences.  Use virtual event platform tools like Polls and Quizzes to keep your audience excited and tuned in during event sessions. As mentioned earlier, Gamification can play an important role here. 

Next, leverage your event platform to create a virtual venue that your attendees will enjoy exploring. One of the greatest benefits from using a platform is the different virtual sections or zones you can create within it - such as an event lobby, Breakout Rooms, an Expo zone, and networking areas. 

Attendees who want to take a break can visit each of these areas to participate in different kinds of activities, from 1:1 video calls with peers to small group discussions to taking pictures at a virtual Photobooth. The more avenues for interaction you have at your virtual event, the greater engagement you create for your audience.

Virtual And Hybrid Events with Zuddl - 1

4. “I want to meet and mingle with speakers post-session”

Virtual And Hybrid Events with Zuddl - 2

While online events have replicated the in-person experience in many ways, some aspects are more challenging than others. One such element is post-session interaction with speakers. Getting to meet or talk directly with industry leaders and experts is one of the best parts of attending a conference or summit, but usually at virtual events, organizers overlook facilitating this important experience.

How can you solve it?

Set up networking sessions for everyone at the event - attendees and speakers alike. Our networking feature is perfect for this. Via Quick Networking, your attendees will be matched randomly with others at the event - just like when at an in-person conference, you would walk up to the nearest person you saw and strike up a conversation. 

Smart Networking on the other hand allows for more targeted matchmaking. Attendees can list interests on their profiles, as well as specify who they’re looking to meet -eg. Startup investors, Bitcoin experts (who might be speakers at your event), and Zuddl’s feature will match them automatically to those who list themselves as such. 

Another Zuddl feature that helps with this attendee complaint is the Raise Hand feature. As described earlier, you can bring some attendees onto the virtual Stage alongside a speaker so that they can have a direct conversation.

5.  This event feels more like a presentation than a virtual conference 

Virtual And Hybrid Events with Zuddl - 3

Another key differentiator between a virtual and in-person event is the delivery of every session.

While a physical event gives a clear glimpse of the speakers walking from one end of the stage to the other, a virtual event boxes them into a small part of the screen. This can detract from the effect their presence has on the audience. And network issues, buffering, and audio glitches can always add to their misery.

The lack of this immersive experience—both for the speakers and participants—reduces the entire event to a presentation. Your audience expects a greater degree of involvement and interaction in every session.

How can you solve it?

Deliver a more immersive experience by partnering with a premium audio visual and event production company. Zuddl’s partner Entertainment Technology Partners (ETP) for instance, helps to execute all your audio-visual desires and push the envelope just a little further in engagement.  

Leveraging a combination of live and virtual event technologies, that can include Augmented Reality, Extended Reality, and other virtual sets, your studio partner can help you create unforgettable experiences that keep attendees coming back for more.

6. I miss that feeling of bumping into people and making connections

Virtual And Hybrid Events with Zuddl - 4

Those moments of meeting someone at the buffet or the ticket queue or even at the line for the bathroom are actually opportunities for attendees to interact with unexpected people, ideas, or businesses - that can translate into long lasting business relationships. At virtual events, these serendipitous moments are a little more tricky to facilitate but more so the reason for organizers to pay extra attention to this.

How can you solve it?

Organizers of virtual events are tackling this concern in many interesting ways. With an intuitive event hosting platform like Zuddl, you can try some of these best practices to encourage more interactions between participants:

  • Create a directory of all participants on the event’s website. This will allow every attendee to know who they can network with ahead of time. 
  • Enable attendees at your virtual event to set up 1:1 meetings with others. 
  • Leverage the AI-powered match-making feature on Zuddl to bring like-minded people together to start a conversation.
  • Add activities before and after every session for participants to talk about their experiences such as happy hours, learning circles, or open mics that can be hosted in virtual rooms. 

By giving your attendees agency and choice to meet others from a variety of ways, you’ll be empowering them to mingle and connect with others as per their convenience.

To sum up...

The virtual event industry is expected to grow beyond $500 billion by 2028. In such a rapidly growing market, you can guarantee your success only when you know what your attendees want and need from your events. Start with the tips above to make your events more interactive, fun, and audience-friendly.

Zuddl’s suite of features and partnership with ETP can make your virtual events stand out from the crowd. Talk to us today about how to get started.

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