Hybrid events (live events with a virtual audience) are becoming more popular. Tools to live stream content, platforms to handle Q & A, and remote attendees comfortable with Twitter are commonplace. However, bringing all of the virtual channels together into one “room” is still a little clunky. Plus, finding virtual events that weren’t previously on your radar is nearly impossible. A start-up out of Sydney, Australia is working to streamline the search and simplify the access to virtual events.
Be in the Room developers describe the online platform as a directory for digital events. In fact, it does offer event organizers in the social, digital, tech, leadership, entrepreneur, marketing, public relations, design, Web, journalism, and psychology sectors an opportunity to add their events to the list. The directory is searchable by hashtag, name, city, country, or topic. A separate search function allows visitors to search for speakers on the above topics—a great tool for event producers looking to hire speakers in the niche fields that Be in the Room covers.
Be in the Room also serves as a “dashboard” for virtual attendees. The platform pulls the Twitter stream, live feed, and Foursquare check-ins into one window. The “Noticeboard” updates visitors on programming updates, schedule changes, and news alerts. “The Presentations” window lists links to speaker presentations on SlideShare. A “Ticket Sales” tab takes prospective attendees to the EventBrite Ticket Widget for advance ticket sales. Recent updates allow the event organizer to add event details, a logo, and the event schedule.
Feedback from event organizers has been positive, says Lucy McFadden, the brains behind Be in the Room. “There will always be people and topics compelling you to be there. You won’t always be able to. The virtual experience is changing things and opening up a lot more opportunity for event organizers and remote attendees,” she says. “Early adopters are attracted to being able to learn more,” McFadden adds. Some Web aficionados would rather “watch” the Internet than television (I’m one of them) and now they can.
The Takeaway: As the lines between face-to-face and virtual events blur, Be in the Room and others could be the missing links between the online and offline worlds.