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The Next Generation of Events will be Hybrid

There’s no question the pandemic has forever changed how the world works, accelerating digital transformations and putting a spotlight on solutions that enable productive and inclusive remote work experiences. This dynamic has been profoundly apparent in the event space; when in-person participation came to a halt, event planners were forced to adopt a virtual-only format. Now, as the recovery continues, the hybrid event model – one that combines the high engagement of an in-person event with the reach of a virtual event – is emerging as the new norm.

As physical and virtual worlds begin to blend, this new world of hybrid events can provide fantastic new experiences, but also creates new challenges for organizers and planners. How do you manage the increased risk, complexity and cost associated with integrating different platforms, tools and technologies? What tools do you need to create hybrid event experiences that successfully reach massive audiences and offer high engagement?

Hybrid events require a fundamentally different product. Event organizers need a solution that enables pre-event capabilities like ticketing, registration, and agenda builders, coupled with in-event features like high-quality webcast, chat and audience participation, and networking. And once the event is over, event planners want to make sure they stay in touch with attendees, nurture relationships and get insights about event participation.

 

Bringing Powerful Event Technology to Webex

We are excited to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire Socio Labs, Inc., a US-based, modern event technology platform designed to power the hybrid events of the future. With Socio’s end-to-end event management platform, Cisco will provide event organizers with everything they need to successfully host an in-person, virtual or hybrid event.

With the addition of Socio to our portfolio, Cisco will empower event organizers to provide the same inclusive experience to both in-person and virtual attendees for events of any type, size and format. Socio enables easy to use, highly customizable branded registration and ticketing capabilities, compelling and integrated web, mobile, and event hall experiences, and delivers real-time analytics and actionable insights about event attendees, sponsors, exhibitors and more. With Socio technology, event organizers are able to foster continuous engagement with attendees by building and maintaining profiles and preferences, and serving attendees a personalized journey across the lifecycle of all their events. Hybrid events need to serve both in-person and virtual audiences alike, and Socio delivers equally engaging and inclusive experiences to all. Event attendees can view sessions, participate in audience engagement and enjoy interactive networking – regardless of how they join an event.

The Most Robust Technology Stack to Support the Future of Events

Cisco also recently announced the acquisition of Slido, an industry-leading audience engagement technology. Together, Webex, Slido and Socio will create the most comprehensive event technology platform in the industry by combining best-of-breed capabilities from each of these companies.

With Webex’s cutting-edge meeting innovations like immersive share and real-time translations, Slido’s audience engagement capabilities like polling and Q&A and Socio’s full lifecycle hybrid event management technology, event organizers will be able to plan and execute hybrid events with a unified tech stack from one vendor.

This is all about integration and innovation. The integrated, single solution approach will enable event managers and marketers to organize every type of event imaginable – internal and external, virtual and in-person, small- to large-scale, without today’s systems integration risks and headaches. And as events managers and marketers reimagine the future with hybrid events, Webex’s capabilities across hardware, software, SaaS, and support will power unparalleled innovation in the event industry.

 

Webex is Leading the Way in Powering the Hybrid Events of the Future

Our vision is to provide the most seamless, inclusive, engaging and intelligent meeting and event attendee experience for everyone, regardless of location or device they use to join. With the Socio acquisition, Webex will move one step closer to achieving this vision, providing the technology needed to power the hybrid events of the future.

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