VEG’ers are not just sitting around twiddling their digits. The pandemic has not ended events. Instead, and very quickly, it has evolved them. Here is this week’s news in the world of events, brought to you by the VEG.
May 27 | 3pm EDT | ZOOM
Sundance: How Did They Do It?
Join us on May 27th to find out how Sundance Film Festival went virtual and created an unforgettable experience.
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Room Diving
I spent a good part of last week diving among cooler ways to have a video chat. Here are four that stood out.
ZOOM Colors Out of the Boxes
Nope. I’m not at my favorite Trattoria, I’m actually using one of Zoom’s new Immersive Views. This feature, available if you upgrade to the latest version, will give you a choice of more communal style backgrounds where you can get out of your window-box and move into friendlier habitats. It’s surprisingly good at tracking your image and situating you correctly amongst a group of up to 24 people at conference tables, classrooms and others. Though Your meeting mates will need to have the latest version to enjoy the view with you. The new release also includes a slew of new emojis (which I'm sure will lead to a raft of new Zoomoji games).😘 And for the more visually inclined Zoom’s added a vanishing pen annotation for markups and a whiteboard with auto-shapes.
While it’s super cool that Zoom is getting a playful facelift it kinda feels like a cardboard cutout land. Higher on my Zoom Hierarchy of Meeting Needs is a more radical behind-the-scenes overhaul. My biggest gripe is about Zoom is when it comes to managing registrations and sending out meeting reminders. What’s your Zoom Peeve? I’ll pass them along.

ROOM takes the notion of Zoom’s immersive meeting but gives it a true 3D gaming engine tuned for video meetings. WIth ROOM you are in control of your POV. ROOM’s founder has a background in video game development, which explains why ROOM creates a truly immersive world. (Yes, I’m the disembodied short fella in the room; the others were all in Berlin.) The experience was sort of like teleportation. And because each attendee controls their own POV camera in the 3D gaming environment, I was able to explore the entire room, or zoom in and look up the presenter's nose. Think of it as a move towards VR meetings, no extra hardware required. 

Buttering Your Bread
Elsewhere I dropped into Butter. It’s a cloud based video meeting platform. Creating a personalized meeting takes a minute (logo, photo, room name). Anyone who gets the URL can join you immediately. Meetings have responses/reactions, simple breakout sessions, drawing tools and the requisite emojis. Chats, polls and recorded sessions are all gathered in one place. And it integrates with everything from Miro (whiteboard collaboration) to YouTube. There’s a lot to like about this platform as a no-muss, no-fuss Zoom replacement for many, especially less formal meetings.
Melon is Juicy
I have not found an easier way to share livestream video on social platforms than Melon. While it doesn’t support as many platforms as, it eliminates a lot of the difficulty by automating YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitch. All you do is tell it which platform to stream to and your password. It does all the rest behind the scenes.  The Pro Version is $15 a month and lets you stream to multiple platforms at once. The free version lets you stream to one favorite.
Rules for a New Normal
  • Disney 
    After a 13 month closure, the magical kingdom is open for business. There are some crowd limitations, and temperature checks are in place, but any parent who managed to squirrel away a few dollars during the pandemic is about to have them eaten by a mouse. 

  • The Olympics 
    At the Summer Olympics athletes will be tested for COVID daily. The jury is still out on how many spectators will attend. Despite the protests of many of the Japanese public, in June the IOC will announce the number of spectators it will allow. 

    The International Olympic Committee is also pushing the envelope to embrace digital esports. They announced the Olympic Virtual Series for esports competitions in baseball, cycling, rowing, sailing and motorsports organized by partnered game publishers and international sports federations. The event will kick off on May 13 and last until June 23.
  • At this year’s Collision conference Vidmob hosted a Master Class on how to create better videos. Lots of good tips and pointers. 
  • Having an explicit written code of conduct has saved many an event planner from a PR crisis. mdg, a Freeman company, uploaded an additional communications plan that you can use to communicate to your audience about what will be expected of them at live events.
  • Do you have a La Bamba earworm? If you haven’t downloaded your Cinco de Mayo playlist we gotcha covered.
Add to Your Reading List
Anyone thinking about keeping IRL and URL attendees engaged simultaneously is going to want to read this book due out in September. It’s written by Intrado’s Ben Chodor, and while it might be a bit self-serving for his company, he’s generally known to have his finger on the pulse of events.
Finally, if you missed last month’s SPROCKIT/ Veg Social where we introduced 12 very cool products to help meet the needs of virtual meeting life you can click on this QR code and see what you missed. Videos coming soon.
Feel the need to stay up on the virtual events scene but have a few other to-dos on your list?
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Robin Raskin  | Founder
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Julie Sylvester | Sales & Marketing

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