The creators of virtual space are experiencing a disruption. Here’s why it’s a good thing – TechCrunch

From product launches to workout classes, from hands-on meetings to celebrity meet-and-greets, virtual events are just a click away on any device. And as audiences become adept at incorporating virtual experiences into their daily workday and leisure time, entrepreneurs, creators and marketers – the decision makers who shape event strategy – are tasked with connecting with their customers, their audience and their fans in a whole new way. To be successful, these decision makers must understand the current livestream landscape, their audience, and their business goals.

Here’s how creators and makers are reshaping their hybrid and livestreaming strategy and why, in many ways, livestreaming is more important than ever when setting business and engagement goals.


The evolution of virtual event experiences

A captive audience, hunched over the blue light of their laptops, silently watching a webinar. It’s a virtual event cliche – and it’s holding content creators back. People are now streaming virtual events on their TVs, streaming them to a viewing platform, or watching them on their phones — and they can do all of these at the same time. At the same time, the competition for attention is fierce: not only do virtual events compete with real-world experiences, they also compete with content creators across all platforms and mediums.

We have entered an era where virtual-only events are no longer an option,” says Christina Tang, director of events and experiences at Demandbase, an account-based marketing and data company. She says that during events return in person, they will now always have to have a virtual dialing as an option, because the public has come to enjoy the flexibility of choice. “In 2022, 60% of events we participated in so far were virtual and the remaining 40% were hybrids events.”

But leaning into a virtual and hybrid strategy requires innovation. BlueJeans Events, a virtual event platform, has elevated the typical one-way virtual event experience with the launch of BlueJeans Studio production tools. Designed for content creators, BlueJeans Studio puts the power to create professional quality live streams, including audience engagement opportunities, within an all-in-one platform that requires no specialized audio-visual technology or production knowledge.

“The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in so many different ways, but perhaps none is more drastic than the general acceptance of the use of video for business communications,” says Zachary Bosin, vice president of product marketing and communications at BlueJeans by Verizon. “With virtual events now a lifeblood for organizations of all sizes, we are seeing tremendous interest in a holistic platform that can broadcast flawlessly at scale and provide real-time broadcast-quality production tools that amaze their audiences. .


Growing value of content
Another benefit of hosting digital events is the ability to create content that lasts, which can then be used across all departments of an organization. Using live streaming capabilities even in an otherwise traditional “live event” allows content to go further, both for lead generation and lifelong content creation. year.

Tang adds that, in his experience, hybrid events bring increased value to live gatherings. Tang cites a recent industry event his company helped sponsor. “We wanted real-time, in-person event engagement, from one-to-one interactions in the booth, sessions, or meetings. But if we can capture additional qualified results in a hybrid environment, that also works in our favor. For example, even though we were in person, we were able to capture 17% more leads through the use of a virtual making up.”

Additionally, adding hybrid components to the event strategy allows businesses to scale within budget. “Increasing attendance without paying the costs of a larger room also means a higher return on investment,” says Naeem Alvi-Assinder, founder of Notepad, a branding and advertising agency. “Not to mention there is more space and opportunity for sponsor involvement. It seems like a win-win situation for companies and the public.

Decision makers must also find opportunities to produce live events and broadcasts on a platform that enables personalization and optimization for an audience that expects a lot from video.

“When it comes to video, there’s always been a certain mystique about who has the chops to actually produce something that’s broadcast quality,” Bosin says. “Content creators need the right tools to unleash their creativity. We want to bridge the gap between the creator community and businesses to fuel a whole new kind of approach to creating and delivering content that leverages live streaming to drive audience engagement around the world.


How to future-proof your virtual strategy

As events evolve, so do public expectations. But companies don’t necessarily have the bandwidth or the budget to continually invest in a dedicated production team. More than ever, creators need an agile platform that can allow them to quickly pivot and create events that make the most sense.

And that relies on understanding your unique audience. “To be successful, strategists need to maximize every touchpoint and realize it provides an opportunity to learn more about audiences, whether through polls, quizzes, or other forms of content,” says Nicholas. Love, vice president of global marketing at Hotwire Global. “Using surprise and delight tactics across multiple devices or channels also ensures that you create moments that drive recall.”


As audience needs evolve, BlueJeans Studio gives content creators layers of customization with just a few clicks, including the ability to engage audiences through polls, chats, and question-and-answer sections.


“At the end of the day, every virtual event host has to ask themselves if the event was worth it. At BlueJeans, we have developed a
participant engagement index to better understand attention and participation at a very granular level,” says Bosin.


This is a statistic that measures audience engagement by surveying an attendee’s participation during the event, the amount of time they spent having it on their computer screen, and the duration during which he was able to attend the event. The Participant Engagement Index can be an essential tool to help refine future strategy. “An engaged audience internalizes content, spins it around, and hopefully sparks a dialogue. That’s the holy grail,” Bosin says.

This may mean creating events that target more of the interests of a niche audience rather than providing them with broad, unique programming. “Across the market, we are seeing fewer online gatherings and more coverage of hot topics that answer audience questions, from how to get into crypto to dealing with stress and burnout. “, says Jodi Patkin, senior vice president of brand marketing. and communications at theSkimm, a subscription-based news media company that hosts multiple virtual and hybrid events each month. “While at the start of the pandemic virtual events were really about creating a sense of community when many were isolated, today we are seeing a resonance and response to hot topics, a informative and actionable content hosted by publishers, talent and brand partners. ”

Ultimately, a livestream, webinar, or virtual meetup is all about what kind of strategic decisions best meet the needs of a brand and its audience. But to fully realize their vision, creators need a reliable platform that allows them to engage with audiences in the way they know best. When creators choose the right platform, they can then customize their virtual experiences to truly deliver a top-notch experience that drives results.

From Studio BlueJeans:

BlueJeans Studio allows you to produce stunning professional quality live streams within BlueJeans Events. BlueJeans Studio gives you the ability to create TV-quality live streams that engage your audience and elevate your brand. Easy to create with no production expertise needed, with dynamic on-screen layouts and interactive options to engage audiences, BlueJeans can elevate any virtual event, from influencer events to product demos and more. by the company. Find out more: about bluejeans.com/products/events/studio.

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