The latest news and insights from the metroConnections community.

Expand Your In-Person Conference with a Virtual Reach via VEX Pro

March 24, 2023 // Educational Series

After years of acclimating to virtual meetings, remote teams, and increased flexibility at work – the work environment has completely changed, maybe for the long haul. Adapting workplace protocols to reach your people wherever they are has become a commonplace practice for businesses across many industries. When preparing for national sales meetings, team summits, conferences, and events – your priority is simple: communicate your objectives effectively while moving the business forward. 

With this in mind, it’s time to consider the new steadfast requirement of providing a remote broadcasting option for all of your company events. Instead of thinking this is ‘one more thing to add to the list’, consider the opportunity! Offering a hybrid conference option allows you to bring key team members together at a central location, while including a much broader audience via virtual broadcast, often for a fraction of the cost of travel and lodging expenses.

“One of the biggest opportunities our clients pursue with hybrid events is to extend their reach via a national or international audience,” says Tom McCulloch, metroConnections Chief Marketing Officer. This really elevates the stature of their in-person events and creates a memorable, cost effective way to reach an entire audience whether they are employees, customers or business partners.”

Showcasing your content for an in-person audience and a virtual audience can be simpler than you think. The metroConnections team specializes in maximizing your presentation to make a lasting impact both on the stage as well as in a home-office while providing your virtual viewers a robust, high-quality platform that is much more professional than that of Zoom or Teams.. This allows you to focus on your message and leave the technical execution to the experts. 

When you work with metroConnections for your hybrid and virtual events, our team of experts will implement a thorough technical plan that makes sure your program is polished and glitch-free, with plenty of contingencies in-place for any unexpected twists. Our staff has been producing fully virtual and hybrid events for several years and can bring a wealth of experience to your next meeting.

metroConnections offers their in-house solution VEX Pro to assist in creating that reach.  

VEX Pro is a virtual platform that allows conference and marketing professionals to produce a very polished virtual experience while providing analytics and security.

“We can send out techs and producers that have worked on literally thousands of hybrid and virtual events at this point,” says Bill Sather, metroConnections Vice President of Technology Solutions, “Plus, using the VEX Pro technology we have the technical flexibility to cover events of any size footprint.”

Sather says that metroConnections begins by coordinating with the client and their venue to determine the parameters of their event. Factors such as the number of in-person attendees and the desired amount of audience interaction are important to consider, as are visual style elements that the client might want to bring to the virtual presentation. Another crucial component that clients might overlook is ensuring that their venue’s internet capabilities are up to the task.

“From the hotel’s perspective, it’s all about what kind of bandwidth they can provide, because we strong wi-fi,” explains Sather, “Our team knows how to work with hotels and other venues to coax the most out of their systems, and when to bring in additional resources.”

For smaller-scale events, Sather will staff a two-person team of a show producer and a technical specialist with a portable broadcasting rig that travels easily and doesn’t create a large footprint within your event space. Don’t let the smaller size fool you, however—these rigs are still fully-equipped professional machines that are robust enough for the job (and then some).

“I’d use the phrase ‘overbuilt,’” jokes Sather, “It’s not like we went and bought a gaming rig at Best Buy; these are custom-built laptops with professional video connections built in. In addition to HDMI, they have FDI and other commercial-level audio and video connections on them. 

Clients looking to add an additional layer of confidence and capability to their hybrid and virtual events should consider utilizing metroConnections’ in-house soundstage studio, which has a full complement of broadcast cameras, LCD video walls for visual flair, audio equipment, and more. Plus, according to Bill, metroConnections’ headquarters are just about as insulated from glitches as a place can be.

“At our soundstage, we’re working with dual-gigabyte fiber, battery backups, generator backups, everything,” says Sather, “combined with VEX Pro it is a super stable environment to produce your event.”

If you’re considering adding a virtual component for your upcoming in-person conference or event, reach out to talk with the metroConnections team about the possibilities. The new standard of hosting professional events might just be more exciting

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