Event Technology, Webcast, Meeting Planning, Hybrid Events, News
22 Oct 2015

Webcasts, hybrid events and subsequent reuse of presentations on the internet

When it comes to presentations, many medical associations, PCOs and even the speakers themselves are still engaged in controversial debates about the legal framework, the application scenarios and the refinancing of multimedia recordings and broadcasts on the internet (webcasts). They are even wondering whether there is any point at all. At the same time, however, the actual visitors to conventions and the users of such media have moved ahead by a long way.

 

Smartphones as recording devices

When they come to a convention, they usually bring along at least one and, in most cases, two or even three devices that can access internet content. Smartphones, in particular, are now far more than just telephones. They are high-quality digital recording and playback devices for images and for audio and video material. Smartphones really do deserve their names now, and so audience members at conventions often spontaneously take photos or film specific content that is of interest to them, regardless of whether this is permitted.

Convention delegates expect to receive more information

Furthermore, there has been a general change in media use and in people’s expectations of the media. Delegates now expect to receive details about the talks before, during and after each event. And in fact they want to receive such information in the same way as the latest news in their private environment. So the material needs to be prompt, up-to-the-minute and continually available.

Hybrid events

Moreover, today’s convention delegates are increasingly faced with a dilemma that can only be resolved by genuinely hybrid events. Although they are, of course, attending an event, the tightness of their schedules or budgets makes it impossible for them to be physically present everywhere, throughout the entire convention. In addition, they then need to work through the material, so that they can subsequently present it to colleagues or study it on their own.

Admittedly, certain presentations are already recorded at many conventions and are then made available on convention websites and in online media libraries. The recordings vary in quality, and the resulting webcasts are sometimes freely accessible on the internet and sometimes only to closed user groups.

Yet gone are the days when organisers arbitrarily decided beforehand what might be relevant and important to their visitors. They are, after all, customers and are increasingly seeing themselves as such. Also, the production of streaming-based recordings has increased in quality and in the level of automation – a development which has created a further positive impact on the pricing of webcasts.

For a PCO or convention organiser there are therefore quite a few reasons why it makes sense to consider full webcast coverage and also to reuse presentations – both as live webcasts and on demand.

Benefits of hybrid events

A large number of stakeholders are involved, each with their own specific perspective. It follows that full webcast coverage of a convention does indeed have plenty of benefits for everyone.

Organisers and PCOs:

  • They are given a complete hybrid event on the internet, both live and on demand.
  • They receive a unique selling point compared with other associations and competing conventions.
  • They increase their relevance and importance, both with the target group – i.e. visitors – and with their partners in industry.
  • They can provide the best possible service to their members and justify their membership fees.
  • They increase the added value of convention content by offering second and multiple use.
  • The added value remains in-house and cannot be used by others.
  • They generally increase the number of visitors.

The visitors:

  • They can decide for themselves whether and when to watch which presentation.
  • They are given more freedom in planning their time at a convention.
  • They can set their own priorities to suit circumstances (e.g. personal networking vs. listening to a presentation).
  • Their visit to the convention is less stressful.
  • They can work through the content in peace and quiet, at the hotel or back home.
  • It enhances their status. They can be more like “scouts” on the big issues of their industries and can more easily obtain a better overview of existing trends.
  • They no longer need to miss anything.
  • They can take part in an important convention without being physically present.
  • They can use presentations for in-house training purposes, thus enhancing their own and other people’s expertise.

The speakers:

  • Everybody is given the same opportunities to present themselves on the relevant online platform.
  • There is less of a gap between experienced keynote speakers and less known ones.
  • They are and remain the authors and copyright holders of their own works.
  • They can gain an international standing more quickly by offering interesting, top-quality content.
  • By having their talks recorded, they can create a clearly defined and “transparent” space for themselves, yet they can still expand this space in the usual way, through off-the-record conversations on the edge of the platform.

The sponsors and industry:

  • Their content can reach a more clearly defined target group.
  • They can channel their own multimedia content more effectively.
  • They obtain new platforms with opportunities for sustainable social marketing.
  • They have more control over their success.

Further aspects that speak for full coverage:

  • Webcasts are sustainable tools for conventions.
  • Sponsorship money is not frittered away but invested in the long term.
  • Webcasts are an area where large associations, in particular, can do pioneering work which then benefits the entire convention industry.

Glossary:

Hybrid event: ‘A hybrid event is a tradeshow, conference, unconference, seminar, workshop or other meeting that combines a "live" in-person event with a "virtual" online component.’ (Wikipedia)

Webcast: Web broadcast with video footage (speaker), presentations (with slides and video clips), subtitles and a display of the agenda.

Live webcast: Broadcasting of presentations, panel discussions, etc. in real time  with all the relevant slides, animations, etc.

On-demand webcast: Following the convention and after a certain period of time, defined by the organiser, the individual presentations are made available as full webcasts in an online media library.

Directly-on-demand webcast: Each presentation is made available as a full and navigable webcast with anchor links shortly after it was held.

Interactive webcast / webinar: Webcast with a feedback channel for audience questions, comments and other interactive facilities (e.g. TED votes).

Streaming: Technology for sending continuous “media streams” on the internet.

Mobile streaming: Special transmission technology for mobile terminals, particularly for Apple products.

About meta-fusion: 

meta-fusion has transmitted and documented conventions, conferences and marketing events with smart webcasts and webinars for over 15 years. meta-fusion is owner-managed, independent and based in Cologne, although its production teams are deployed throughout the world.

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