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A hybrid future: the startups shaping virtual eventsRISE Spotlight: Live Events Experiences, Reimagined

The shift to virtual and livestreamed events during the past 12 months has created opportunities for a variety of enterprising young companies. For the Startup Nation session of the RISE Spotlight on live events, moderator Már Másson Maack – Editor of Growth Quarters at TNW, spoke with Yvan Boudillet – Founder of The Lynk, a strategic consultancy connecting creative industries and startups; and Tom Wilson – Partner at venture capital fund Seedcamp, who nominated the latest companies to keep on your radar.

Last year, Yvan’s consultancy conducted extensive research with more than 280 professionals from the tech and entertainment industries. The survey set out to ascertain the most valuable feature of virtual events going forward – not only aspects that would attract an audience, but that would also enable experiences to be monetised. The top three results were:

  • Immersive sound
  • Social interaction between audience and performer
  • Multi-angle camera control

Watch the full session here


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Whilst we may clamour to return to pre-pandemic conditions, according to Yvan the “live stream experience is here to stay. Many companies are starting to crack the most important elements” and future events will have to incorporate digital aspects as the audience comes to expect this additional element to conventional live music events.

Keep an eye out for…

Highlighting some start-ups to watch, Tom Wilson covered six companies helping to shape the virtual events industry:

Hopin is an online events platform where you can create engaging virtual events that connect people around the globe. According to Tom, the company has had “a phenomenal growth story” over the past 12 months and is “only just scratching the surface of what’s possible.”

PortalOne is a hybrid games company in Norway, delivering live game experiences with stunning visuals and next level interactivity. Tom described it as “a company to watch… they’re building a platform to allow insertion of individuals into certain games” for the ultimate interactive experience.

Wave produces live, interactive, and immersive shows that are unlike any other virtual concert. It combines the best of live music, gaming and broadcast technology to transform the live music experience and is streamed globally. Tom described how Wave allows for an “equally and alternatively exciting and engaging experience” to real life events.

Tandem is a virtual office for remote teams to re-discover the flow of working together in‑person, “leading the way in creating office-like layouts and environments” said Tom. The tool helps “people experience the serendipitous connection they would achieve in an office” through its ability to see, talk to, and collaborate with colleagues in one click.

mmhmm is a new way to communicate via video with tools, designed for presentations. Tom explained that the company is “creating more innovative and interesting ways people can present with the ability to interact and manipulate live slides, making the format of presenting more native.”

VirtualTrips is a travel specific live-streaming platform, it allows local guides to share the places they know best with the hope that it can bring people around the world closer together.

During the session, an audience poll was taken and Hopin – which is also the platform used to host RISE Spotlight events – came out as the top ‘one to watch’.