By Mike Newman
While every company will have a unique view on the right time to return to the office, it appears that many large organizations are targeting Fall 2021 for their return, albeit with a staggered or hybrid home- and office-based workforce.
While going back from whence you came sounds simple enough, over the last few months in my conversations with CEOs, top industry analysts and technology partners, the complexity of this new world is only beginning to unfold.
Executives and HR teams are struggling with how to create a level playing field where remote employees feel as engaged, visible and recognized as employees who are sitting an elbow’s length away from their managers.
As a result, they are turning to the same colleagues who helped them produce and deliver the video communications that kept the company connected and operational during the pandemic. These video professionals are now being asked for broader solutions that use video as part of a fully interactive virtual experience that can continue to bridge the gap not only between remote and facility-based employees but also with hybrid prospect, customer and partner communities.
In fact, while we hear a lot about the new hybrid workforce, what’s really emerging is a new, hybrid workspace where the virtual component of meetings and events is becoming as important – and sometimes more effective – than the in-person experience.
Our customers are discovering that they’re not limited to ‘shifting and lifting’ in-person events online; instead, MediaPlatform and our partners can develop persistent, fun, engaging and interactive online destinations – whether for employee events, user group meetings or full-scale trade shows.
Driven by customer demand, we recently teamed up with 6Connex, a top virtual experience provider, to bring the best of dynamic, premium, and engaging live business broadcasts within a virtual experience that gives visitors myriad ways to connect with the companies’ brand, experts and products.
In my conversations with Ruben Castaño, we see a new vision for virtual events – not as a replacement for in-person meetings – but as a sustained strategy where companies can extend the geographic reach, the timeframe and the opportunities for networking and research, as a complement to any important meeting.
In a recent webinar, MediaPlatform and 6Connex explained how we integrated our technologies to give virtual event attendees a seamless experience from the virtual event to the live keynote speaker webcasts – whether delivered by company executives or, increasingly, from celebrity guests and world-renowned experts. In this way, we can also provide detailed webcast viewing analytics and data to complement the extensive event attendee data collected by 6Connex for better segmentation and targeted follow-up.
As I watch our joint customers creatively leveraging virtual experiences to draw larger audiences at a fraction of their previous event costs, I am convinced that virtual experiences will grow in importance as the hybrid workspace becomes the new normal.