First, let us start by saying this is NOT about how to be a major influencer in the online event world. This is about interactive and engaging content "players" - the kind both your onsite and online audiences should have at their fingertips during your events, of whatever sort. When you go from the general session webcast to Zoom breakouts - is it smooth and seamless, or a source of audience attrition? Can your attendees onsite and online take and save slide notes? Do they have easy access, in both locales, to live captioning in multiple languages? If not - please read on . . .
So what are we talking about as a "player"? The media players most of us encounter are typically a part of or launched from, the online event environment, and while capable, they tend to have limited interactivity or engagement factors, And they typically do not respond to us viewers as individual participants. But fortunately, that is changing.
Below are 6 ways your event media player should serve your audience onsite and online, helping to fully integrate them both, and provide a better attendee experience, wherever they may be.
Not in a creepy Big Brother way. It's just that as people register they can be personalizing their viewing experience. If I picked a favorite language, my player should launch with those captions and labels installed and ready to go. Same with my timezone, my location, and any other info that might inform other engagement elements, like the branding or ads that I see. If I'm onsite I get an onsite player (more on that in a moment) but preferably not in an app I have to download, because if I am like many B2B attendees these days I can't or won't freely download and install new apps. And when I launch a media player from your event - it should be one that has been tailored to me as an individual.
Too often webcast and zoom sessions require clicking on separate URLs and launching extra windows to be open in order to accommodate live captions. Games often require an extra window to play the game in. Some event environments have the video window here and the chat way over there. Your player should bring everything together - put it all inside one wrapper - making it easier for your attendees to find what they're looking for and all of it close at hand.
When I sit down in a session room and access the show on my phone, tablet, or laptop - the player I launch should provide all the branding, messaging, languages captions, chat, polling, surveys, slide note-taking, and other interactivity elements of the online experience, just minus the video and audio so as not to bog down the local wifi.
It may not need to be a work of art, but your player should give you a range of options as to how it portrays your event content. There should be a range of options for displaying your organization's branding and sponsor banners. You should have a choice of one content window or two (or more!) All windows should go full screen easily and as you resize the player, all of its various branding and components should seamlessly resize with it.
How often is there a plenary session webcast and then Zoom breakout sessions, and then some percentage of the online attendees never make it to the breakout because they got lost along the way. Your player should take care of that - give them choices there on the screen - and when they choose, move them right into the correct Zoom room. When it's time to return to the closing plenary webcast - the player should move everyone back.
With one URL to go to and no app to download, your two audiences already find themselves on the same playing field. Giving them all the same access to the same interactive elements - showing the same messages, showing poll results for all, the player for your event can become something of a unifying factor - a source of shared experience wherever your attendees are.
As hybrid and virtual events evolve, we may see more emphasis on the content player as an ongoing experience controller for both sets of attendees. We are moving toward a future where accommodating remote attendees at physical shows is routine and providing more in-room digital experiences for those onsite is a must. The player you choose may make all the difference in the world.
Want to find out more? Performedia's interactive event players are often used on other platforms, as well as our own - and we'd be happy to talk!