by H. K. Wilson
It is a sure sign of a return to normalcy when the paragon of all things experiential—Disneyland—is anticipating reopening (at limited capacity) in late April. In the meantime, Disney and others in the events industry continue to refine and integrate technologies that bring people together safely whether in person, virtually or in some combination of the two. In fact, innovators are proving that an increase in hybrid events is opening new opportunities, paving the way for options that are more scalable and reach more people.
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and Xpodigital Announce New Hybrid Event Service
Xpodigital, a leading provider of managed network and digital signage solutions, and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, one of the country’s leading convention hotels, have launched a new service to extend the hotel meeting and event experience beyond the convention space and into the public areas, guest rooms, recreational facilities and remote locations using the latest in internet and streaming technology. This offering, called HelloHybridSM, allows planners to create a hybrid event experience to align with today’s current need for flexibility and spacing.
“With Xpodigital’s HelloHybrid, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is leading the way for meeting attendees to connect from wherever on property they want and need,” says Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Director of Sales and Marketing Jim Curtis (pictured right). “We are committed to adapting so that we can continue to meet the needs of today’s groups and provide the best experience for attendees with the latest in internet and wireless technology.”
HelloHybrid also offers the ability to connect remote presenters to participants through its Virtual Presenter platform.
According to Gabe Gilligan (pictured left), Xpodigital’s president, “This first-to-market service allows for events to link in their most important participants who may not be able to attend in person.”
Shipped directly from the hotel, the HelloHybrid all-in-one Virtual Presenter kit provides secure backup connectivity for any home or office location connecting directly to an event or meeting, ensuring network connections to the event never go down, no matter where they are.
HelloHybrid is available now as part of the expansive meeting packages offered at The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. It will also be available at the resort’s newest tower scheduled to open this summer, the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, a 14-story hotel offering an additional 22,000 sq. ft. of function space including a top-floor event space with unparalleled views for special events.
For more info on using HelloHybrid at The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, call 407-934-4290 or visit www.swandolphinmeetings.com.
vFairs Integrates Zoom into its Platform to Support Large Scale Hybrid Virtual Events
vFairs, the leading platform for hybrid and virtual events, announced they are integrating Zoom into their solution to deliver Zoom webinars and support remote interaction for hybrid events to bring together on-site and virtual attendees. The new Zoom integration for vFairs will help build the vFairs platform into an even more reliable, extensible solution to support the growing number of hybrid events that offer both a physical presence and a virtual access simultaneously.
The COVID-19 pandemic has generated demand for companies that offer virtual event alternatives. Statistica reported that as of April 2020, 87 percent of professional events planned for 2020 had been canceled and 66 percent had been postponed. However, in just one year, vFairs has grown from 40 to 223 employees and expanded from 14 to 53 countries serving 150 industries.
With this new Zoom integration, vFairs customers will now be able to bring their event to remote users, creating an interactive webinar within the vFairs platform. The new integration will enable remote speakers to address an on-premise audience and broadcast to remote attendees simultaneously, including handling questions from both groups in real-time. With this new hybrid conferencing solution, event organizers can increase the number of attendees to accommodate substantially larger audiences more cost-effectively. Event planners also will be able to take advantage of the vFairs’ visually stunning immersive event platform with 3D graphics and animation, digital content, chat networking and outstanding customer technical support.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that virtual events can be extremely successful, and we anticipate that remote access will be part of conferences and tradeshows even after the pandemic subsides,” says Muhammad Younas (pictured left), CEO of vFairs. “Our integration with Zoom will make it easier to offer virtual event support from a single platform, rather than having to use a different interface to access live broadcast and interact.”
“We are thrilled that vFairs has chosen to offer Zoom as part of their events platform,” says Laura Padilla, head of channel and business development at Zoom. “At Zoom, we have been focused on extending our platform to our partners and community of developers to help build Zoom into new experiences we could only imagine just a few months ago, and we are excited that vFairs has joined our ISV Program to help them create and scale these new offerings.”
vFairs are experts in creating successful virtual events, having hosted thousands of virtual events and trade conferences, virtual job fairs, exhibitions, networking events, boat and auto shows and more. By integrating Zoom with vFairs, customers get an affordable, scalable conferencing platform that has a global reach. The virtual event solutions also eliminate the space constraints and higher costs of hosting a physical event, provide measurable results, and are environmentally friendly.
For more info or to request a demo to see a virtual event in action, visit www.vfairs.com.
Aventri’s Best-in-Class Technology Leads the Way Back to Live Events
Aventri is the global leader in data-driven, end-to-end event and meeting management solutions for virtual, hybrid and in-person events. Its award-winning SaaS platform, virtual technology and best-in-class service offerings have enabled more than 40,000 event professionals to plan, promote, deliver, measure and optimize over 90,000 events annually.
Here are four of Aventri’s notable tech tools and services:
- Contactless Check-In
Printed badges and lanyards involve many shared surfaces. With digital badges on phones, attendees gain contactless access to the show floor.
2. No Registration Lines
Speedy credentialing eliminates crowded lines. Attendees can arrive at a venue with digital badges in hand. Once they successfully fulfill all event safety requirements, they can simply hold their phones up to a QR reader and breeze right in.
- Touch-Free Lead Retrieval
At booths, exhibitors have no need to swap business cards. They can capture leads using the Aventri Lead Retrieval App. It takes just a second to scan a digital badge and collect contact details.
Foregoing paper business cards does more than provide contactless lead capture. Like digital badges, the Lead Retrieval App cuts paper waste for a more sustainable event.
Exhibitors can upload contacts directly to their customer relationship management and marketing automation systems. Thanks to the data-capture features of QR code badges, they are able to collect valuable metrics, such as booth traffic and dwell time. Smart companies leverage these insights to customize sales and marketing follow-up.
- Onsite Services
Aventri’s Professional Services team works with show organizers to ensure everything runs flawlessly, from planning to digital badge distribution, integrations and onsite support.
Last month, Informa Markets was one of the first trade-show organizers to produce a live trade event in North America since the pandemic lockdowns began a year ago. The Informa team chose Aventrias as their technology partner to ensure seamless, contact-less registration that valued both customer experience and safety.
Informa’s fashion industry event, MAGIC Pop-Up Orlando, drew eager apparel buyers and brands to the Orange County Convention Center in Florida, among the first U.S. venues to welcome back tradeshows. The limited-capacity, three-day event showcased men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and footwear. It also showcased best-in-class safety measures driven by both rigorous health protocols as well as disruptive technology to support.
“We’re reimagining tradeshows after the global upheavals of 2020,” explains Jim Sharpe (pictured left), CEO, Aventri. “Working with Informa Markets, we created solutions and tactics to deliver a safe event and improve the attendee experience. MAGIC Pop-Up Orlando presents an optimistic roadmap for commercial recovery, as industries begin to rebound. It serves as a bellwether, signaling large in-person events are starting to come back.”
On the Road to Recovery is a series about celebrating the innovators, the imagineers and the glass-half-full types who keep finding new opportunities in our topsy-turvy world. If your company has created new products or found a way to pivot and keep working during these difficult and challenging times, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in future stories in this new weekly series.