Terminal terminology

I have seen two articles appear on the web in the past few days, both in ‘live events’┬átrade publications, that show there is still much confusion around all the different techniques and terminology that can be applied to creating an “on line life” for live event content. Whether that be streaming a seminar, conference or congress that already exists for a physical audience (often termed a ‘hybrid event’), or one that is created purely for a remote web audience (a ‘virtual event’.)

The first article I saw was by Alison Ledger, Editor of Haymarkets newly launched associationeventplanner.com which succinctly goes straight to the heart of the commercial sense of taking a conference on line. The second was on the website of ACE (The Association for Conferences and Events) which gives a much broader appraisal of different methods of creating an online experience from an audio conference call upwards. The title of this second article…

“Webcast, videoconference, telepresence, teleconference or virtual event???”

…and the fact it ends in three question marks, is for me symptomatic of the confusion that still exists around on line events even in the inside world of event planning and production.

When it comes to giving a conference an on line life, the clearest way to think of it, is replicating the experience (as close as possible) of being in the room. The remote delegate should be able to see and hear what the physical delegate sees and hears and (in an ideal world) actively participaties in questioning and commenting. Once that concept is agreed, we can get the terminology out of the way and the rest is simple.