By Ian Lavis on behalf of Praxity Global Alliance
Praxity’s 2020 Global Conference on October 19-21 will be more interactive than ever thanks to the integration of powerful new engagement technology.
The prestigious annual conference is the highlight of the Praxity calendar, attracting accounting professionals from across the globe.
This year’s event will be a unique virtual experience using advanced technologies created by world leading online platform specialists Flipside and Conferences i/o.
Tech experts from each company are working closely with Praxity event organisers to create a futuristic, fully immersive experience by integrating:
- A new virtual conference platform called Conference+
- Interactive elements including CPE monitoring, polling and Q&A
The global conference was originally scheduled to take place at a luxury hotel in New Orleans. It was switched to a virtual event due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While much of the world-class content remains the same, delegates will now have more options to get involved.
Delegates will be able to actively participate in the conference sessions, share expertise, and network and debate with colleagues, simply by dialling in remotely and joining the relevant session or break-out group.
Televisuals with pizzazz
“For a good conference, you need to do the important bits in an engaging way,” says Rob Oubridge, Director of digital agency Flipside, the company developing Praxity’s virtual conference platform. “High production values are key. A good conference player ought to allow you to put pizzazz into it
with the ability to combine and mix different media on screen – the speaker, slides, video, audio and support materials, just as you would expect with a television production but with added ability to interact through voting, chat and Q&A facilities.
“What delegates will get is a three-hour programme, for example, but it will be much more effectively presented, with the ability to break out into smaller group sessions. You will have the ability to break out into rooms by pre-selected groups, participant firms or geography and these rooms can be for open discussion or have music playing or video playing.”
Kate Fisher, Account Manager at Conferences i/o, adds: “The hardest part is keeping attendees engaged.” Explaining how the polling and Q&A software works, she says: “During the session, attendees will be polled and as they add information, the charts will change on screen.”
Delegates will already be familiar with some of this engagement technology. Praxity has been working with Conferences i/o for two years to provide user-friendly software for attendance, CPE registration and polling. By integrating this technology into Flipside’s virtual conference platform, delegates will be able participate in conference sessions in different ways.
Flipside is no stranger to global conferences. The digital agency has helped stage dozens of virtual events for organisations around the world during the pandemic. Its tech specialists are now working behind the scenes with the Praxity team and Conferences i/o to ensure this year’s Global Conference runs as smoothly as possible.
Commenting on the fusing together of different technologies, Rob says: “We have a proven virtual conference system which compliments the existing software used by Praxity so we can integrate it very quickly and manage it seamlessly.”
Easy to use software
The main focus is on making the system easy to use. “Both speakers and Delegates should not have to grapple with software. It should look and feel like television but allow you to behave like you are at the New Orleans hotel,” Rob explains.
Kate adds: “There is really nothing for the delegates to manage. It will already be embedded and everything will be put up at a session level. When attendees go to a session or a meeting, they will be able to navigate to it easily. We are doing all the heavy lifting for them.”
She adds: “Part of the reason we have continued to work with Praxity is we are very hands-on with our clients. Ease of use is our goal and we are in constant contact for ease of use for the employees of Praxity participant firms.”
New ways to connect
Clearly, one of the big differences this time round will be the way delegates interact. Rob stresses that the ability to make connections will not be lost. He says: “What people actually like at conferences is the connection, the feeling of belonging. People are developing different behaviours at virtual conferences – they are finding different ways to connect and Conference+ for Praxity will help enable that.”
The technology will facilitate these connections to provide a seamless experience for delegates, from registration through to attendance and participation.
And there’s a time management benefit too. “You can condense the important plenary information or sessions so people can make more efficient use of their time,” Rob concludes.