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In this month’s round-up of top event tech stories, we look at the hype behind Clubhouse – the chat-based social media platform that’s been taking the industry by storm. We also take a dive into some cool new tech – from new virtual platforms to an app that pre-clears attendees showing negative Covid-19 tests or proof of vaccine. We’ve got a nice new update from Zoom regarding live transcriptions and for those looking at making improvement to their virtual events this year – some great insights from some of the industry’s well-known event experts sharing their views on some of the biggest lessons learnt from the past year.
Have a look at the top tech stories you don’t want to miss:
BizBash: What is Clubhouse and How Should Event Profs Be Using It
There has been a lot of talk in the industry around the voice chat-based social media app Clubhouse which is popping up everywhere lately. And event marketers are watching it closely. The self-described “drop-in audio app” is currently still in beta mode (meaning it requires an invite to join and it’s only available for iPhone users) but has attracted users from around the world who have been using the free app to make connections and share knowledge and resources.
So how does it work? You get an invite from an existing member, set up your profile and use a search function to find people to connect with and clubs that are relevant to your interests. When those people and clubs are hosting a conversation (like a virtual panel), you see a notification in your main feed. You can choose to pop in as a listener and see who else is there, learn about or connect with the speakers, and listen as long as you’d like.
It’s easy to see its appeal. The conversations are not recorded, so are only available in real time — which gives it the feel of peeking in on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes chat with experts in your field. There are also options to start your own clubs and host your own recurring conversations. And in many ways, Clubhouse is the first social platform that can potentially get authentic networking right as it changes the way we connect, collaborate and consume information online. Read more.
Event Industry News: Top Virtual Platforms for Events
Event with the roll out of Covid-19 vaccination programmes and the easing of lockdown rules, it looks like virtual events will continue to be the dominant player in the events space this year. Consequently, many organisers are now starting to think more long-term about their digital event strategies and the technology platforms that will help them engage more effectively with attendees, sponsors and exhibitors online.
On-Demand Webinar: How to Choose a Virtual Event Platform
But choosing the right platform isn’t easy as they can come in all shapes and sizes. And what may seem like a good solution for one event may not work for another. With this in mind, the team at Event Industry News have put together a ’10 of the best’ hitlist of platforms that event planner can use to put shows of any sort online. Worth a look if you’re considering your options in the market. Read more.
MeetingsNet: Attendee Headset Technology Advances to Address Covid Concerns
For a few years now, wireless headsets have given planners opportunities to use more of their event space for educational purposes. At IMEX America, for example, one end of its exhibit hall is used to house inflatable breakout rooms where attendees and presenters wear headsets to eliminate the din of the trade-show floor. Even in pre-function spaces, planners can use headsets to deliver education to those who want to sample concurrent sessions.
The Covid-19 pandemic, however, has thrown a hurdle in the way of this useful tactic—sanitary protocols won’t allow attendees to share event-provided headsets for the foreseeable future. To address this, Silent Noize Events has created an app which lets attendees use their own headsets or earpieces to listen to any of an event’s sessions. The Silent Seminars app lets users connect to all session audio from their smartphones, and in multiple languages – it’s also customisable so that the event’s agenda and sponsors can be included too. Read more.
BizBash: 9 Tech Tools That Can Improve Virtual & Hybrid Events
The team at BizBash take a deep dive into the newest tech solutions for all types of events – from new virtual platforms to some cool new tech that can support the event planner’s journey to hybrid. One of the tech tools worth mentioning is an app that pre-clears attendees who have shown a negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccine. The CrowdPass app allows people to sign waivers, answer health screenings and upload documents, while organisers can quickly review submissions and approve or reject their attendance.
Related read: 7 Ways Events Will Change in a Post Covid-19 World
Other highlights include tech that can offer you insurance for cancelled registrations and new disinfecting robots from UBTECH Robotics. Designed to help businesses and events reopen safely after Covid-19, the bots use UV-C technology to disinfect targeted surfaces and air. Read more.
Event Tech Talk: Virtual Events – What Can We Do Better in 2021?
There is no doubt that virtual events are here to stay. Even when consumer confidence comes back, vaccines are rolled out and people start travelling around again, having a virtual element to a live in-person event will become the norm. But if we look back at the last year and assess how things went, what would we change? How did organisers deal with the new challenges they faced? What were the biggest lessons learnt? And what can we do better in 2021?
In this piece, the team at EventTech Talk speak to some of the industry’s well-known virtual event experts to find out more about their views on the event landscape this year – including what went well, what didn’t and what they think will be the biggest trends over the coming year. Read more.
The Verge: Zoom Adding Automatic Closed Captioning for All Free Accounts
Good news for event planners who need live transcribing. Zoom plans to roll out support for automatic closed captioning to free accounts this autumn as part of its efforts to make the service more accessible. Non-paying users currently have to rely on free transcription services or type out all their messages for the benefit of group members who may have hearing loss. So the fact that it will now be available to all is a big win for accessibility, even if closed captioning should never have been paywalled in the first place.
If you’re a free account holder who needs access to the feature before then, Zoom is also allowing users to manually request access to the Live Transcription feature via a Google Form linked to in its announcement. The company has said it will respond to requests “within 1 to 2 weeks” — which is a lot better than waiting several months or coughing up $150 a year for a paid account. Read more.
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