Bringing people and organizations closer together has become increasingly important as the effects of the COVID pandemic have hit the commercial world. One of the places where businesses previously met, exchanged ideas, and convened with colleagues and competitors (and saw what the opposition was up to) was at trade shows, expos, and large in-person events. While there has been some initial return to physical meetings in some geographies, things have yet to return to their pre-COVID state.
Virtual events can bring significant benefits to businesses and communities by offering new opportunities to strengthen ties between partner organizations and individuals. Online events come with the advantage of being free from travel requirements and costs, are less time-consuming for attendees, and are much cheaper to attend for virtual exhibitors and speakers alike.
In our previous article on Tech Wire Asia, we talked about how Verizon’s BlueJeans platform can be woven into organizations’ daily workflow as part of the Office 365/Teams ecosystem. This article extends that argument, examining how BlueJeans Events can widen audience engagement via virtual events, increase participation and create rich experiences for all parties in innovative and exciting online-only meetings, seminars, exhibitions, conferences, and industry meetups.
Simple in use for complex participation
While the immediate imposition of home or remote working has definitely accelerated the knowledge and confidence of millions of users of online communication platforms, the ability to spin up an event is still new to many of us. BlueJeans Events allows users to schedule, join, host, and control different types of online gatherings with just a few simple clicks. Attendees are not required to download the software onto their device, no firewall or proxy is necessary, and crystal-clear communications are achieved, even with low-bandwidth connections.
There is also no effective difference between using BlueJeans on mobile, desktop, or tablet, and that includes hosting events or meetings on the go. Unlike several of its competitors, web browsers outside the Google Chrome stable are fully supported, so Safari and Firefox users can participate with one click or touch without switching browsers and losing bookmarks and references. Plus, there’s no need to add proprietary extensions or add-ons to the browser.
That kind of compatibility ensures maximum involvement with the largest possible audience. This broad spread approach continues across other platforms: YouTube Live, Skype for Business, Trello, the Slack communications platform (now part of Salesforce), and Workplace by Facebook. The emphasis is on creating the lowest possible friction for people and companies joining the conversation, collaborating productively, and getting the most out of every virtual event.
Thanks to the open standards of the browser-based BlueJeans Events platform (it uses WebRTC protocols), video is clear and sharp, audio is high fidelity, and there are no inherent causes for audio quality falling mid-call, video stuttering or freezing, or connections dropping – even momentarily.
Open standards mean that security is ensured during calls and closed meetings, plus there is no need for file downloads to join an event — something that tight internal security restrictions can prevent. The protocols used automatically traverse firewalls and NAT in safe ways that will not trigger cybersecurity red flags.
But the use of technology like WebRTC is not a limitation as to capability. Meeting organizers can record proceedings, switch from user-to-user screen sharing, use virtual whiteboards, share resources, and text chat during events and conversations. The BlueJeans platform adds a spatial context to multi-person meetings, so users can literally sense who the current speaker is by their virtual position in the stereo spectrum.
The same high-end audio treatments also remove unwanted background noises without cutting the frequencies associated with human speech. For attendees of any event, that means no background noises, including chair squeaks, pens being dropped onto desks, papers rustling — all the common distractions that come through on most other platforms.
Features of Engagement
The tools available to meeting hosts mean that BlueJeans is suitable for a wide range of events online. Organizers use the platform to create invites that are tailored for moderators, presenters, and attendees, each with predefined privileges and roles. There’s also real-time data for hosts on attendees, and each participant can be allowed to take part in surveys and polls, share their own content with others, and put questions to speakers in real-time. The moderator dashboard places all controls easily at organizers’ fingertips.
During sessions, the organizer can allow screen sharing or promote any attendee to presenter status for deeper engagement and collaboration. Plus, in the same view, there are details on questions coming in, who’s got their hand raised, what’s coming up next, time remaining, and so on. The BlueJeans Events platform is perfect for all-hands meetings, working groups, or huge conference-scale presentations from scheduling through to follow-up.
The cloud-based service can scale in the background, so participants never suffer from dropped connections or video loss, even though many thousands of people may be taking part.
The emphasis is on easy set-up, simple one-click access, clear communications, and seamless collaboration and involvement for the organizer, presenter, and attendee.
With many organizations now turning to virtual events as the most effective way to get their messages out there and to engage with wider communities, companies need to lower friction for all participants. The BlueJeans Events platform is the one-click, multi-faceted and powerful solution for organizations looking for quality in what’s becoming a highly crowded online events ecosystem.