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Event Tech Check: 8 Innovative New Tech Tools You Should Know About This Month

BizBash takes a deep-dive into the newest tech solutions for events of all types.

Real estate company Jamestown’s virtual New Year’s Eve celebration recreated the world of the iconic Times Square ball drop with avatars, games, performances, augmented reality features, and more.
Real estate company Jamestown’s virtual New Year’s Eve celebration recreated the world of the iconic Times Square ball drop with avatars, games, performances, augmented reality features, and more.
Photo: Courtesy of VNYE

BizBash's newest column offers a monthly check-in on all things event tech, from new virtual platforms to social distancing-focused tools to software that will make your job easier. Got a tip? Get in touch!

In Case You Missed It
Did you catch last month's Event Tech Check column? Be sure to click here for more standout technology tools that can help you produce live, virtual, and hybrid events this year.  

Event Spotlight
In the VNYE app, Times Square billboards were reimagined as digital art.In the VNYE app, Times Square billboards were reimagined as digital art.Photo: Courtesy of VNYENew tech solutions continue to bring virtual events to jaw-dropping new levels. Case in point: Jamestown—the real estate company that owns One Times Square, home to New York’s iconic New Year’s Eve ball drop—made its annual celebration virtual this year through a custom app called VNYE. Available starting Dec. 19 and with a live broadcast on Dec. 31, the technology featured a futuristic virtual world set in Times Square. Attendees around the world could create their own personalized avatars and experience in-app content and contests from the likes of AWS, Twitch, and NASA. Highlights included a curated art exhibit focused on New Year’s resolutions, various game rooms, and a virtual “observation deck” where Times Square billboards were reimagined as digital art. There were also live performances by artists who had created their own avatars, as well as augmented-reality features where people could take selfies with the NYE ball or with fireworks.

“In a year of cancellations, there’s one party that can’t be postponed," said Jamestown president Michael Phillips in a statement. "We were inspired to create a place for everyone, everywhere, to gather safely to celebrate as we welcome in the new year. VNYE [offered] an immersive virtual world from the epicenter of New Year’s Eve—Times Square.”

More New Technology We’re Excited About This Month
To support event attendees around the world
Last month, Accelevents and Interprefy teamed up to offer real-time language interpretation services for virtual events, allowing hosts to expand their reach to a global audience. Powered by Accelevents’ virtual platform, the service utilizes Interprefy’s cloud-based technology to allow interpreters to translate remotely, while online event attendees and speakers can listen in their native languages across any devices. "Allowing event participants to access content and join the conversation in a language they're comfortable in has a huge impact on event reach, inclusivity, and audience engagement," said Richard Roocroft, director of global sales at Interprefy. "We're delighted to partner with Accelevents in helping their clients bridge the language gap and make real-time interpreting accessible at the fingertip."

To recreate the magic of a live concert
At the recent Helping Hands Concert and Auction charity event, rock band Metallica used new Virtual Crowd technology to engage with fans around the world. The fully customizable and scalable technology was created by design studio Fireplay in partnership with Production Resource Group (PRG) and Clair Global. It allows artists, speakers, and performers to see their audience on large video screens and interact with them as they would a traditional live audience. At the same time, fans experience a live performance or speech with professional production value. The technology can be customized for virtual or hybrid meetings, product launches, gaming tournaments, theatrical performances, meet and greets, and more.For the Helping Hands benefit Nov. 14, Virtual Crowd surrounded Metallica with walls of video screens that displayed faces of their fans, who they engaged with during breaks in the music.For the Helping Hands benefit Nov. 14, Virtual Crowd surrounded Metallica with walls of video screens that displayed faces of their fans, who they engaged with during breaks in the music.Photo: Courtesy of Fireplay

To help facilitate virtual connections
Virtual and hybrid event management software Aventri launched its new Aventri Digital Lead Capture offering last month. The technology is focused on connecting virtual exhibitors and attendees through personalized, face-to-face video conversations. Highlights include instant lead qualification, robust performance-metric reporting, and integration into other platforms. “A main reason people attend events is to meet subject matter experts, gain insights about their industry, and discover the products they need,” pointed out Aventri CEO Jim Sharpe in a press release. “Additionally, if an exhibitor cannot talk to prospects promptly, they are missing opportunities to generate ROI from attending events. Aventri Digital Lead Capture ... [allows] for targeted and efficient conversations with sponsors and exhibitors."

For a fun virtual team-building session
Washington, D.C.-based company Cheers in a Box is now offering six turnkey virtual experiences, ranging from mixology and cooking classes to virtual macaron-decorating and wine and whiskey tastings. The company can handle all virtual production needs, including booking talent and emcees, handling technical support, engaging attendees with games and polls, integrating sponsors, and more; they can also mail out branded “boxes of joy,” complete with instructions, personal messages, and branded items. (Fun fact: Cheers in a Box was created by event design firm J Shea, whose owner, Jessica Shea, was recently named to our sister site Connect's 40 Under 40 list.)

For a touch-free cleaning solution
LG's new UV robot will use ultraviolet (UV-C) light to disinfect high-touch, high-traffic areas.LG's new UV robot will use ultraviolet (UV-C) light to disinfect high-touch, high-traffic areas.Photo: Courtesy of LG Business Solutions USALG Electronics—which recently debuted wellness kiosks designed to limit unnecessary interaction at events—is now developing an autonomous robot that will use ultraviolet (UV-C) light to disinfect high-touch, high-traffic areas. LG Business Solutions USA plans to offer the UV robot to U.S.-based hospitality, education, corporate, retail, restaurant, and transportation clients early this year, after its debut at CES next week. The easy-to-operate robot can move around tables, chairs, and other furniture, sanitizing touchable surfaces in just 15 to 30 minutes.

To engage your existing professional community
Hoping to promote your brand or services to your built-in professional community? LinkedIn is now in the virtual event game, with two new online solutions: LinkedIn Live and LinkedIn Events. Through the offerings, people or companies who use the social network can easily launch livestreams for their page's followers; other features include the ability to integrate third-party broadcasting tools, post custom announcement banners, create polls, continue the conversation post-event with a dedicated video tab, and more. The service debuted last summer and continues to evolve with more offerings. “We recognized how important it was to equip you with the tools you need to bring your professional community together, online and at scale,” wrote LinkedIn representatives on the company's blog.

For full-service management of your next virtual event
If you're looking for a new virtual platform to try out, e
vent management software Eventsquid can handle live, virtual, and hybrid events of all types. It features an intuitive interface that can easily build tailored experiences (even if you're not a tech expert!). Highlights include a quick, easy, and customizable registration experience; a clutter-free interface that gives attendees a single screen to find sessions, give feedback, and find resources; detailed analytics and training sessions, and much more.

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