Earlier this month Sonic Foundry sponsored the The Future of Technology in Education (FOTE) conference. Hundreds of individuals interested in educational technology flocked to London, England to hear from experts in the field and learn what the future holds for classrooms.
One reason the conference was a success: The discussion extended far beyond the physical confines of the conference. The sessions were webcast live to a remote audience via Mediasite by Sonic Foundry.
If would-be attendees weren’t able to get a ticket to attend the in-person event or were unable to make it due to geography, time or budget restraints, they could still participate remotely. All they had to do to feel like they were actually there in person was register using a passcode to get access to sessions via their internet browser. Through the magic of Mediasite they didn’t miss out on anything, and they were able to ask questions and participate in discussions via the Ask button.
Creating hybrid or blended events – meaning a meeting or event has at least one group of face-to-face participants connecting with other participants in one or more additional locations – is becoming more and more common.
New research released by the Meeting Professionals International Foundation and sponsored by Sonic Foundry shares some interesting insights on the topic. MPI surveyed nearly 1,800 meeting planners, attendees, technology vendors and consultants and conducted in-depth interviews with nearly 40 people, and research shows that 70 percent of respondents feel that hybrid meetings will be important to the future of meetings.
Meeting professionals are using hybrid meetings to share content, ideas and experiences with attendees across multiple geographies and time zones. Plus, on-demand content is also important because attendees may not be able to participate at the exact moment the meeting is happening.
The research cited that the potential for cannibalization of the face-to-face meeting is a concern of 50 percent of those surveyed. However, this concern appears to be largely unsubstantiated. The data suggests that face-to-face attendance increased or remained flat – 88 percent of planners who have done hybrid meetings say there’s been no negative impact on onsite attendance.
By going hybrid and streaming your content live and on-demand you’ll be extending your reach, creating instant online video libraries of knowledge that can be reviewed anytime and you’ll allow many more people to attend your event. Just ask the University of London Computer Centre (organizer of FOTE). Going hybrid is a win-win.
Mediasite by Sonic Foundry is used for video management and academic, enterprise and event webcasting. Its Mediasite Events group is a leading provider of event webcasting for hybrid events and high-profile meetings. Voted one of the “Best Technology Tools” by Professional Convention Management Association’s Convene Magazine readers, the group supplies technical webcasting services and expertise to organizations who seek to complement their conference or event with viewing over the web. The Mediasite Events group provides live and on-demand webcasting for Fortune 500 corporations, university associations, sporting events and charitable organizations globally.
For more information, please visit http://www.sonicfoundry.com/ or call 877.783.7987 toll free. You can also download the research report at http://mpiweb.org/hybrid (free to MPI members and available for purchase for non-members) and read a recent blog post from Sonic Foundry called “10 Tips to Create A Successful Hybrid Event.”
– Nicole Wise, Sonic Foundry