That’s one giant leap for hybrid meetings

Brad Foster
Brad Foster
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    The latest version of the award winning EventsAir software has closed the loop on the company’s vision for a complete virtual and in-person meeting solution. And it’s already being embraced by savvy meeting planners.


    Few of us are old enough to have seen Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the moon back in 1969 but chances are, thanks to the technology that they used back then and the technology available now, we’ve probably seen it since.

    With the new release of EventsAir, it’s 11th, you see how I’ve made the connection with Apollo 11 right there – is an absolute game-changer as meetings enter the next phase of evolution in a disrupted world.

    EventsAir CEO Trevor Gardiner says customers are telling him the majority of meetings will be planned as hybrid in 2022 and beyond not only because uncertainty remains about travelling to meetings but because experience over the past 18 months has demonstrated to many planners that virtual meetings have significant advantages over purely in-person ones.

    In the case of association meetings, maintaining a virtual component can result in an increase in attendance numbers.

    The challenge with hybrid up until now has been the cost of running and recording a complete conference that includes plenary sessions and multiple break-out rooms and creating engagement for both in-person and virtual delegates.

    EventsAir latest iteration – all neatly packaged into the OnAIR virtual and hybrid platform – reduces those costs significantly and boosts audience engagement.

    Like the remotely controlled cameras that captured Armstrong and Aldrin’s first steps on the moon, the OnAIR hybrid solution actually uses something similar.


    At a recent conference in Oregon in the U.S. small PTZ cameras were set up on tripods in the back of the three rooms used for the concurrent sessions. These cameras were then controlled through the OnAIR platform by operators remotely who could move the cameras to follow presenters and at the same time stream the session to the virtual audience.

    The cost of paying a venue to manage and record these sessions in the traditional way would have required three AV technicians in each room – two camera operators per room and one at a mixing desk.  For three concurrent sessions that’s nine people.

    A larger conference with say 10 break-out rooms and the AV costs can quickly spiral out of control.

    Not so with OnAIR’s latest capabilities.


    The other game-changer with the OnAIR Hybrid Solution is the ability to project virtual presenters onto screens in the live venue, thereby providing both in-person and virtual attendees with a similar experience.

    “What that means once you add the cameras and the projection technology is that you’ve now got a very interactive conference environment,” Trevor explains.

    “It’s like dropping all of your attendees – live and virtual – into a Zoom meeting. I could be a presenter on the stage in the live environment and I could be having a conversation with a virtual presenter who is on the other side of the world – just like you see on the TV news with the news anchor in the studio and the reporter in the field.”

    At the Oregon meeting all plenary sessions were filmed by the in-house AV company which was then streamed through OnAIR to the virtual audience.

    Once attendees broke into the three concurrent sessions, OnAIR technicians back in the EventsAir Brisbane Virtual Operations Center took over.

    “Some of the presenters were virtual and we projected them onto the screens in the rooms, and we had the PTZ cameras picking up the presenters who were presenting live and we were pushing that out to the virtual attendees,” Trevor says.

    “We could setup the cameras to capture the presenters, giving the virtual attendees a much better feeling of really being in the room.

    “And the technology is so simple that meeting planners can actually control the cameras back in their offices rather than our people doing it, which is another cost saving.”

    Trevor Gardiner, Founder Centium Software


    From the current RFPs EventsAir is receiving for meetings in 2022, Trevor says the smart event organisers and PCOs are developing contingencies from the very start to ensure their meetings go ahead. That means creating them for both in-person and virtual attendees.

    “We define a hybrid event as one where content, interaction and engagement is shared seamlessly between in-person and virtual attendees.

    “Having a hybrid strategy in place ensures that if there were sudden lockdowns anywhere in the world precluding some blocks of delegates from attending, a hybrid meeting will still allow those attendees to participate.

    “In uncertain times it’s a bit like an insurance policy for the event owner.”

    But he warns meeting planners to take a buyer beware approach when selecting a hybrid supplier.

    “There are so many companies who have come into the industry as virtual providers over the past year and they don’t understand the requirements and intricacies around running an in-person event which makes it hard for them to understand how a hybrid event has to work. We do because we’ve been doing in-person meetings for years.”

    EventsAir’s Hybrid Meeting Solution… We have lift off.


    Stay tuned for more details about the latest version of the OnAIR Hybrid Solution including its new Live Translation function, why EventsAir was the talk of the town at IMEX America, and how one Tokyo meeting planner created an immersive hybrid solution that had attendees – live and virtual – engaged like never before. Book a demonstration to see how you can create a cost-effective hybrid meeting for your business or clients by clicking here.