“I highly recommend the OnAIR platform to other PCOs or event organizers. Speakeasy already has several events lined up already that we intend to run through the OnAIR platform including one with over 100 exhibitors in the virtual exhibition. OnAIR is so easy to use and set up – we can set up live streaming events for our clients in a day and larger events can be set up in a few weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing the future developments of the portal because it’s been terrific so far and I know that it’s just going to get better as it moves forward.”Colette Black, Director of Operations at Speakeasy Productions Ltd.
Speakeasy Productions Ltd is a full-service, professional conference organizer (PCO) and live events agency that specializes in developing creative and engaging event solutions.
Like other PCOs around the world, Speakeasy and its clients faced a myriad of challenges with the global travel restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nearly all our events for the year had to be postponed or cancelled, which had a massive impact on our business,” said Colette Black, Director of Operations at Speakeasy. “And we immediately began looking for ways to move upcoming in-person events into the virtual space.”
“As a PCO, we had experience with live streaming and webinar events, so we knew that this could be done. The challenge was to find ways to go beyond these simple formats in order to tailor virtual events to meet the specific needs of our association and our exhibition clients in particular.”
“We have been using the EventsAIR system for the last 12 years. It is a fantastic system and does so much for us when creating in-person events for our clients,” said Colette. “So, we were excited to hear that EventsAIR were launching the OnAIR virtual and hybrid event solution. We quickly realized that the new platform offered the ideal solution for our clients.”
One example of the ambitious events that Speakeasy are able to host through the OnAIR platform is the 2020 European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium.
When EGOS decided to convert their annual colloquium to a virtual event for the first time in its 36-year history, Speakeasy looked at ways to incorporate the many features of this multifaceted in-person program into the virtual setting.
“Initially, we considered condensing the agenda to create the virtual event,” said Colette, “but with the EGOS community being so diverse, the client was very keen to replicate the full event program in the virtual space. All of which, we were pleased to find, the OnAIR platform can do.”
“We had five weeks before the EGOS conference, two of which would be taken up with speaker training. This left us with only three weeks to set up and familiarize ourselves with the OnAIR platform,” said Colette. “It was a bit of a crash course, but the EventsAIR team was superb!”
“Fortunately, virtual events are much quicker and simpler to set up than in-person events. Plus, all of our EventsAIR apps translated perfectly into the OnAIR platform, making things even easier.”
“I cannot thank the EventsAIR team enough for their incredible support and helping us to learn the system so quickly,” said Colette. “Whenever we needed anything, we received instant feedback. The help they provided at every step of the way was phenomenal. During the event, they were exceptionally supportive. We had no issues, and the event ran seamlessly for five days.”
Through OnAIR, the Speakeasy team was able to create a highly focused registration process, to set target groups and create personalized agendas, enhancing the delegate experience. They were also able to build time corridors for specific sessions so that delegates could join from across the world at any point.
“We made use of nearly all the OnAIR features,” said Colette. “From the welcome video within the initial delegate login, which is a great way to welcome delegates to the conference and walk them through some of the solutions that the portal offers, to the synchronized video capabilities, on-demand videos, networking, and, of course, live streaming.”
“The virtual exhibition, in particular, was terrific! Exhibitors that had signed up for the in-person event were able to easily move over into the virtual one where they could still share their brochures and have their conversations with the delegates. We received fantastic feedback from all of them.”
The EGOS 2020 conference hosted 2044 registered attendees and 470 live sessions over five days. The opening plenary alone consisted of 13 international speakers. This multifaceted event also included six concurrent sub-plenaries with between four and seven speakers each, 54 concurrent speaker sessions, and more than simultaneous 126 live streams.
“Where we had a large number of speakers within a certain element of the program, we pre-recorded the presentations, ran them, and then brought the speakers in live for the Q&A sessions,” said Colette. “The speakers were able to quickly grasp the workings of the speaker portals and the live Q&A and polls enabled us to achieve the delegate engagement that was crucial to this event.”
“The platform also has a wide range of networking features, which allowed delegates to interact with each other, for example, the Meeting Hub, Exhibition Marketplace and the speed networking feature, which were hugely popular,” said Colette.
According to resounding feedback reports, the EGOS 2020 event has set a new standard in the field as far as levels of engagement for online congresses.
“Everything we needed the platform to do, it did, from start to finish, without any hiccups, and the feedback from the delegates has been phenomenal. We are absolutely delighted and so is our client,” said Colette.
OnAIR offers scanned entry which allowed Speakeasy to collect and report on statistics of interest to the client.
“From a data point of view, the fact that you can set your agenda, do scanned entry and see which features and sessions were the most popular, which sessions received the most attendees, was great for our client because that’s what they were interested in,” said Colette.
“Hybrid events are the future and will open up additional opportunities,” said Colette. “People will still want to meet face-to-face when it is safe to do so and, by creating hybrid events through the OnAIR platform, we will be able to dramatically increase the reach of those events for our clients.”