Virtual Audience: What is it and why is it important?

Virtual Audience By Claudia from Sparkup on June 16, 2022



Are you planning a hybrid event or a virtual event and you're wondering how to recreate an authentic feeling of connection, spontaneity and interactivity with your remote participants?

When we speak about hybrid events, that means you have attendees on site but also online. And just like with virtual events, some of the big challenges are: How can I see with my remote participants? How can I feel their energy as if they were in the room with me? 

The good news is, there are solutions such as virtual audiences technology. Here are some explanations and we are going to break it down for you.

  1. What is a Virtual Audience?
  2. What is the difference with video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet? 
    1. The Perfect Mosaic
    2. Interaction
    3. Video Moderation
    4. Microphone Management
    5. People limitation

If you want to level up the engagement in hybrid events, check out our guide The Ultimate Guide to Engaging Hybrid Events. It reveals strategies and best practices every event organiser needs to know to simultaneously engage on site and online participants.

What is a Virtual Audience?

Imagine an experience that combines the convenience of watching a live event on TV and the excitement of being there in person…

With a virtual audience, you can offer a front-row, completely immersive experience to all your attendees. Everyone is visible, as if they were sitting in the room.

A virtual audience is a solution to turn your event into a hybrid event and gather more people. More and more companies are going back to in-person events to bring people together. Despite being an ideal option, you’re missing a part of the audience that cannot attend because of geographical distance, full schedule, limited budget. Not only does the virtual audience allow you to see your remote attendees, but it is also super useful to augment your in-person events.

Concretely, the concept of a virtual audience is to give a chance to all your remote attendees to be immersed into the event in a very easy way. They activate their webcam and the virtual audience technology automatically generates a mosaic of all participants’ webcams to be projected in real-time on the stage screen.

At Sparkup we provide a mass audience technology designed for live events, business events, entertainment, live shows, Sports, eSports and more. It is a professional level virtual audience technology with powerful tools to interact with thousands of attendees or fans.

What is the difference with video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet?

The first time you hear about technologies such as virtual audience, it is normal that you remember video calling platforms that we use on a daily basis. Many event organisers end up wondering what the big difference is and why not just use Zoom or Google Meets to display all your remote participants. Let’s explain the main differences between them.

The Perfect Mosaic

Sparkup’s Virtual Audience detects when a camera is hidden and replaces it. Your mosaic will always be full as your event is always full! It rotates attendees every 15 seconds to make sure everybody has a chance to see themselves in the mosaic.

Other platforms such as Zoom display every participant on the video grid even if they don’t have an activated camera. So you could have black square on the mosaic and it doesn’t give the feeling of closeness that you want. 



The Virtual Audience is permanently presented on stage.

Interaction

You know there are hundreds or thousands of people connected to the event, but you can just read their messages in the chat… You have limited communication. You can’t physically see any of them. You’re missing all the energy from the audience and all the non-verbal feedback that is so useful to stimulate speakers, presenters etc.

Sparkup offers the possibility for attendees to interact in real time. For example, they can share their emotions live and speak freely. Also, if anyones wants to talk with you, they can request to speak and you can enlarge their image to have a one-to-one conversation on stage.


One-to-one conversation on stage.

Video Moderation

Dealing with large crowds can be a challenge when it comes to managing who’s doing what. If a virtual audience is displayed on a screen behind you, you don’t want people to do things that could be disturbing or offensive. With a virtual audience technology like Sparkup, you can moderate and decide who appears in the mosaic.

Microphone Management

Imagine if everyone turned on the microphone and you would not be able to hear what the speaker was saying. Those are situations that happen in day-to-day meetings with common video call platforms but would not happen when using the necessary professional tools.

People limitation

Those platforms are great for small group conversation. But if you are hosting an event or a meeting with more than 12 participants and you want to see all of them, you’ll need a professional virtual audience platform. Some of them like Sparkup can go up to 100K attendees.

Most of the platforms, video grids are limited to 9 or 12 people. It is suitable for small-size meetings, but when it comes to connecting a lot of attendees on a video conferencing platform, the possibility to see them is impossible. 


View of the Virtual Audience from the event.

The success of the event is the atmosphere you create to facilitate communication between participants and speakers. Thanks to the virtual audience technology, you can bring all the participants together no matter where they are. Unlike typical video call tools, it gives you the opportunity to break geophysical barriers and not lose control of what happens at your event.


Feeling ready to engage?

Let’s talk about how Sparkup can help you build a strong sense of belonging among the attendees in your next event.

 

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