A unique new technology platform developed and funded in Yorkshire brings the personality and engagement of live events to those held online.
Event Anywhere (www.eventanywhere.com) can host a totally virtual event and combine a live and virtual audience for the post-pandemic world in which events will be attended both in-person and online.
As well as offering the key features online of a live event including a main stage, seminar sessions and an exhibition hall, Event Anywhere delivers all the critical benefits of face-to-face events including networking, meetings and ‘watercooler chats’.
The platform has a unique ‘video roulette’ feature allowing random networking as well as enabling attendees to create their own video, audio or text profile introduction.
Event Anywhere has been developed over the last four years by a Leeds-based education technology company Web Anywhere to enable its teams in Britain and the US to communicate more effectively and harmoniously.
Event Anywhere has been backed by Ventures Anywhere, a sister company of e-learning provider Webanywhere which has worked with international clients including Twitter, JetBlue, Motorola and Texas Instruments.
It is currently being trialled by public transport provider Stagecoach Group.
The downsides of live events are seen to be their cost in terms of money and time and that they offer limited opportunities for networking and making contacts.
While the growing number of virtual events are more cost-effective, the main challenge to organisers is how to engage an audience online that is already suffering ‘Zoom fatigue’ from remote working.
Event Anywhere makes online events more personable and where many people are nervous about networking and speaking in public the newly developed platform allows attendees to submit questions to keynote speakers or panel discussions via video or text and view video profiles of people before they connect with them.
Sean Gilligan, founder of Event Anywhere, said: “The virus has turned the world upside down and events have moved online.
“The problem is online events lack personality - you don't get to connect in the same way as you would at a face-to-face event.
“People go to events for content and connections. Event Anywhere makes events online more personable and allows organisers to deliver events that are both face-to-face and virtual.
“Lots of people find networking daunting and so playing a person's profile to better understand their personality and interests is really valuable.
“Our live stage allows you not just to post your questions as text but as voice notes and videos which can be played by the presenters. This gives fireside chats and group panel discussions greater authenticity. Instead of presenters reading out questions you get to hear the real person.”