For the most part, events are still virtual and in the last year, their boundaries have been pushed farther and farther. At Backstage, we’ve worked on improving both the Backstage platform and OnAir, our virtual events software, to provide a more intuitive virtual experience for your team, speakers, and attendees. To that end, here are a few updates we’ve recently made.
Introducing OnAir version 2.0
In the last few months, Backstage OnAir has had a whole set of improvements, starting with its user interface, which has been given a complete makeover. Apart from this, we’ve focused on making the session experience more collaborative and interactive. With these goals in mind, we’ve released the following updates.
Want to do a dry run of your event to ensure everything goes off without a hitch on the event day? It’s possible now. Onboard your speakers and host as many rehearsal sessions as you want so they can get a better hang of Backstage. Also, this is totally secure—only event organizers and speakers can attend rehearsal sessions.
Video conference with multiple people
Virtual events have a way of getting impersonal and consequentially boring. An easy way to break the rut is by getting more people on screen. In Backstage OnAir, you can allow attendees to have voice conversations with speakers or even invite them to get on camera with the Open Mic feature. This way you can include them in the session, thereby making it more personal and collaborative.
Pin a speaker
Focus the spotlight on a particular speaker (or attendee) and center people’s attention on them by pinning them to the stage.
Share session material (Plus the Zoho WorkDrive integration)
We’ve added an option to display content like presentations and videos on the screen. To make uploading session materials simpler, we’ve integrated with Zoho WorkDrive. You can now connect your WorkDrive and Backstage accounts for easy file sharing.
Apart from these, there have also been quite a few minor updates like projecting questions on-screen and sorting them based on time or upvotes. On the attendee-side of things, they can now use emoji reactions to give their feedback during the session broadcast.
Finally, we’ve updated the Zoho Backstage for Attendees mobile app to support virtual sessions hosted with Backstage OnAir. Your attendees can now join sessions, ask questions, answer polls, and take part in discussions—all from their mobile devices.
The Zoom Webinar integration
We know Zoom is the webinar platform of choice for many of you. That’s why we bring you this integration with Zoom Webinar. While most people assume Zoom to be a virtual event platform and, as such, a competitor for Backstage, we believe that’s not the case. End-to-end event management software solutions—like Zoho Backstage—can work in tandem with Zoom to host interactive virtual experiences from start to finish.
Perform all of the event-related tasks with Backstage—designing an event website, setting up event ticketing, managing speakers and sponsors—and sync with Zoom to host your virtual sessions. Once the event is over, you can return to Backstage to study the metrics and gauge its success. Like we said, for virtual events, Backstage and Zoom work better together.
Easy session management with hosts
With virtual events—where team members are spread across multiple cities (if not countries) and boundaries are blurred—mistakes are bound to happen. This gets more complicated when a lot of sessions are scheduled with some of them happening at the same time.
With the recently released Hosts role, you can set hosts and co-hosts for the tracks on your event agenda. Only these select few people will be able to manage the sessions. This way, your team knows who is responsible for what, and, more importantly, unauthorized people will not start or end sessions by mistake.
We hope you like these latest additions to Backstage. Want to suggest a feature? Leave a comment below or tweet us @ZohoBackstage. For questions, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.