Does 'If You Dream It, You Can Stream It' Apply to Interactive Media?
What are the newest engagement and interactive opportunities for both live in-person and virtual event audiences? Beth Norber, Director of Accounts, Mainstream Media, chats with Chris Pfaff, CEO, Chris Pfaff Tech Media, Producers Guild of America (PGA), VR AR Association (VRARA) about the ways her organization is working to bridge the gap between in-person and virtual audiences and create experiences which cater to their specific needs.
“You say at Mainstream Media that ‘if you can dream it, you can stream it.’ I do love that line,” Pfaff says to Norber. “And I think that the level of interactivity you can dream up these days that extend this virtual event into something like a real in-person event is where you're going. So why don't you talk about some of the things you're doing that help to up that ante in terms of live interactivity?”
“I think one of the things we're always trying to put at the forefront of our thoughts is meeting the audiences where they're at but also taking the lead and following them where they want to go,” Norber says. “Our clients are so much more sophisticated now than they were a year ago, let alone at the beginning of the pandemic.” She notes that this new sophistication also naturally extends to audiences, and the key to improving experiences is through direct engagement with all participants. “Working with our producers and our technical directors to find those ways to maybe create some exclusive experiences for both audiences,” she says.
Listening to feedback from both audiences who prefer to attend events virtually and those who are happy to return to events in person is essential, Norber says. Hybrid is the new normal, and the key now will be finding ways to equally involve all types of attendees. “A lot of the big tech companies do this really, really well, but some of our fundraising and nonprofit clients are just breaking into this space,” Norber says. “And really because of the level of sophistication that we've seen throughout we're really kept on our toes to find out the new and the next whether that's different virtual event platforms beyond the Zooms and the YouTubes and whatnot. What are the different interactions and engagements that can happen on some of these platforms? So a lot of it ends up with that.” She emphasizes that the bar has already been set very high. “Netflix and Hulu and Amazon push[ed] out tons and tons of content throughout the pandemic which is fantastic,” she says. “That's the quality and that's the experience that people now accept from your webinar.”
Learn more about hybrid events and interactive media at Streaming Media West 2022.
Watch full-session videos from Streaming Media Connect 2022.
An inevitable question for any streaming strategy or workflow is "Will it scale?" When it comes to incorporating interactivity, promoting it, and delivering interactive experiences that are satisfying both for large-scale streaming audiences and the brands behind them, this question is more mission-critical than ever. In a recent panel at Streaming Media Connect 2023, B Live's Jay Kopelman, Bulldog DM's John Petrocellui, and LiveX's Corey Behnke break down the problem and the challenges facing streamers and brands when it comes to making streaming interactivity is popular and profitable for all its stakeholders.