Klaus Ostermayer, head of studio Munich at Neumann&Müller Event Technology, shares his thoughts with Sound & Stage on how the industry can develop and adapt for the future of events, congresses, conferences and meetings.
As we start 2015 I thought it was a great opportunity to talk about the events of the future — what does 2015 and beyond hold for us all?
Will there be a need for people coming together in meetings, events and congresses in the future? The answer is yes!
Even with virtual conference rooms and online meetings and events there is a strong and growing demand for meeting each other in person. But as we know and want, virtual conference rooms, live streaming and online meetings can help to extend and maximise the audience for a conference, event or congress.
This is what is called a hybrid event — an event taking place at one location that is able to feed into a much larger audience than a congress centre or hall can take, and which reaches a much wider audience on a global level.
As experts in our industry, we have to be ready for all kinds of hybrid events, offering — for example — real time live streams to participants taking part in a conference or event from their office, home or when travelling on the road doing business.
This also caters for and enables highly regarded and renowned keynote speakers to be able to deliver their learnings from their own home country, live on screen in a UAE conference centre or anywhere in the world, wherever the audience is.
Today, the term ‘attendee’ is outdated. In 2015, ‘participant’ is a much more accurate term. That’s because today’s participants are more engaged in the meetings experience and their expectations are higher.
Participation is the big deal of today’s and tomorrow’s events and meetings. The interactive involvement of conference and meeting participants enables us to obtain statements and opinions in real time.
The audience can participate in votes, have their say on discussion topics and post comments which then appear on video walls, screens or terminals. This not only works for participants on site but also for anybody joining in as a remote participant in a hybrid event watching the show on a tablet, notebook or mobile device far away.
All of this means that we will have more technology in all formats of meetings, congresses and events. Some of the things mentioned beforehand are already used today on a daily basis in some parts of the world, but there will be a strong convergence between classic event technology and the IT sector.
Streaming live video, live voting and event apps need one thing: a good-performing network. Don’t miss out on that level of interaction. Make sure your event is providing the tools participants want and need to enjoy the full event experience.
Soon there will be a time when keynote speakers and participants will have all their content — whether it is a video, a presentation or a real-time animation — located on local storage where everything is accessible all the time, everywhere, in a data cloud.
I am looking forward to two things in the future: firstly, reaching a wider audience for our clients together with more engagement of participants for events. Secondly — when travelling to meet people at congresses and events — travelling lighter, not having to worry about all the files that I forgot to copy onto my notebook or mobile hard drive!