VenuIQ co-founders set out their hybrid event manifesto


We believe in the power of events, in live wherever possible. There’s nothing quite like it. But the world has changed…

Physical events will return, strongly. They bring a chance to focus, to improve, to contribute, to reconnect with colleagues/friends and to meet new ones.

Direct human interaction delivers the best results.

If anyone tells you that a virtual event can bring the same benefits, and value, save a few niche examples it’s simply not the case.

So you have to get creative without sacrificing the simplicity of people interacting and engaging with each other…

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” is a saying widely attributed to Winston Churchill. It may have been Rahm Emmanuel but that isn’t as sexy or impactful and this is the events world where appearances are everything so we’ll stick with Churchill.

The COVID-19 crisis highlights the role virtual has to play in your event mix, enhancing rather than replacing physical.

Hybrid events augment the physical with a virtual experience for delegates unable to attend in person. They also give the organiser a chance to offer the event to people who would never have been able to attend, for logistical or any other reason, while acting as an insurance for delegates having to suddenly self-isolate due to COVID symptoms, right up to the morning of the event… the same login as the app they already have letting them into the web platform.

We don’t believe in mimicking physical events with graphics that look like the very first version of Grand Theft Auto or The Sims. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the Death of Joy”. Gimmicks like avatars, talking bobbleheads, and fake 3D environments aren’t our world,they get in the way of functionality and flow, Instead, we provide a great experience without resorting to expensive tricks.

Delegates’ time is precious – even more so if they are remote from your physical event. They want access, a means to quickly find the right sessions and the flexibility to jump in and out as they wish. So the technology needs to be fast, simple to use and it has to deliver a smooth user experience.

We haven’t raced out and linked in with everything going. We build our products from the ground up so we retain complete control of our customers’ environments ensuring there is never the need for double entry, poor login experiences or gimmicks that get in the way of delivering amazing content.

Our hybrid platform are governed by the following key rules –

  • Complete synchronisation between all activity on the app and the web (message, chat, favourites, agenda)
  • Quick and easy login and access -80% of problems are login so we make this seamless
  • Like our apps, our web experience is branded and customised to the event
  • Immediate access to real people supporting virtual attendees so problems can be dealt with straight-away
  • Analytics not stalkerytics. We’ll give key metrics like the number of messages sent, who requested data from a sponsor, who requested and sat meetings, BUT we will not track everything delegates did. That’s an invasion of privacy.

We believe in live events and see technology playing a huge part in their future, not to replace live – but to work hand in hand with it in this changing world.

It’s our ambition to provide the best possible use of technology to ensure your events are successful this year, next year and for many years to come.

Oliver Rowe and Philip Mayling
Co-Founders of Venu-IQ

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Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.