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IAEE Tech Guide - Brought to You by: Austin Convention Center
IAEE Tech Guide - Brought to You by: Austin Convention Center

Objectives


Virtual Event Platform Connects and Engages Attendees

July 8, 2020

Hubb is a cloud-based software platform that simplifies the process for collecting, managing and marketing event content. Using Hubb, event-planning teams can collaborate to build one central source of accurate and timely information that powers their event content, allows them to bring their events to market and drives registration. The platform is flexible to the needs of events of all sizes. Hubb was founded in 2012 in Vancouver, Washington.

As in-person events have been cancelled, the events industry has been forced to the virtual world. Left with few alternatives, people have scrambled for solutions. With the lack of a physical space to anchor attendee attention and a plethora of distractions at home, the human connection that is at the forefront of events is easily lost in the move to the virtual world. Attendees crave a virtual events solution that can do it all: distribute content, create meaningful connections, and to have a personalized experience.

Hubb’s Virtual Events Platform provides a rich content experience with the ability to enable meaningful attendee connections. Hubb allows attendees to create meetings with each other, event experts and sponsors to create those in-person connections of a live event. In addition, attendees can explore their own interests by creating their own session topics and meeting with peers to talk about them in a group discussion. The virtual event platform provides a personalized experience through individual recommendations and the ability to customize attendee tracks and agendas. To ensure that the virtual event is performing to the show team’s expectation, the platform’s dashboard shares powerful insights, such as session popularity, speaker quality and more.

Content is delivered in a variety of ways from live streamed keynotes, to virtual labs, on-demand sessions, and multi-presenter meetings among others. Receiving and submitting content also is made easy with a seamless call for speakers process and a customized portal for those speakers to submit their profile content and session materials. Through a diverse delivery of individualized content, a plethora of platforms to foster human connection and a streamlined system of monitoring and controlling the event’s content, Hubb’s Virtual Events Platform provides a solution that keeps attendees engaged and feeling connected.

At Untethered, attendees had 12 different track options, the most popular of which was the “Adapting to Virtual” track. They also had 18 different session types from expert round tables and fishbowls to virtual happy hours. This kept attendance high throughout the day with as many people attending the latter breakout sessions, as the morning sessions. In addition, the “Bring the Fun” sessions with activities such as, The GoGame and virtual happy hours were spread throughout the summit, which kept people at the event and attending the surrounding sessions. The top three most popular breakout sessions were focused on virtual events, showing that attendees wanted and received information on how to pivot to virtual events. Finally, attendees were able to schedule one-on-one meetings with experts and peers, to get advice, inspiration and build their network. 148 meetings were scheduled, with the most popular topics being “event tech consulting” and “adapting to virtual.” This shows that attendees were using the entire array of session and meeting formats, and that the overriding concern or interest was how to adapt to the new virtual reality of the events industry – the reason the summit was created.

More than 4,700 people attended the Untethered virtual summit. This number grew by more than 2,000 over the course of Untethered, showing that attendees enjoyed and valued the event enough to spread the word and bring their friends and colleagues. The summit was free to attend, but during registration, a donation was suggested for the Meetings Industry Fund, which combined with this massive influx of attendees led us to not only reach our original goal of $5,000, but also to far surpass our second and stretch goals, eventually raising more than $16,000—showing that people were willing to spend both their time and money on attending Untethered.

The Untethered virtual summit, using the Virtual Events Platform, gave attendees a multicolored and personalized experience that allowed them to feel as connected to their fellow event-goers as an in-person event.

The pivot to virtual events has created a huge amount of data, far beyond anything an in-person event could ever gather. This data ranges from the effectiveness of certain content and presentation methods to attendee behavior and engagement. The data enabled future of virtual events will push the bounds of attendee experiences with augmented and virtual reality as well machine learning. It is likely that events will shift more to the virtual world, even after the current pandemic, in part to collect this data, and also because there is potential for this data to produce an even more personalized experience.