In March, the event industry was scrambling to figure out how to use streaming to deliver our virtual events. 

Armed with the “show must go on” attitude, we learned quickly that meeting software was never designed to run virtual events. 

While the meeting software helped us limp through a tough few months, a basic live stream simply doesn’t compare to the beautifully produced events we’ve all grown accustomed to. It’s time for a sustainable, long-term streaming solution that’s built for events.

With virtual events here to stay, even if only a component of future hybrid events, organizers are beginning to look beyond meeting software and upgrade their production to deliver more engaging content.

To help the event organizers elevate their production quality, I am excited to introduce Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) to Socio’s event management platform.

Introducing Socio’s RTMP Player

Simply put, RTMP significantly expands the streaming options. When broadcast through the Socio Platform, any compatible streaming platform can live within your event ecosystem, along with your agendas, speaker bios, social walls, Q&A, networking, and other virtual-event necessities.

With Socio’s RTMP player, you can utilize any streaming provider that offers RTMP. You can also use an agency or A/V company for higher-quality, professionally produced video. It allows you to film in separate locations, connect multiple speakers, and incorporate professional overlays, graphics, and branding. 

RTMP opens the door for additional sponsorship opportunities, as you can weave in sponsor commercials, branded banners, and other promotional materials. Promoting sponsorship at virtual events is something we’re asked about frequently. These additional opportunities give organizers powerful tools to showcase sponsors.

RTMP is also more stable than many streaming options. That means you can stream confidently, in high definition, to a small group or tens of thousands of attendees.

Announcing Session Chat by Socio

In addition to the RTMP Player, Socio also just released our new Session Chat feature.

Here’s why.

Think about the chat on previous virtual events you’ve attended. There’s usually a single chat stream that spans the entire event. It feels cold, and there’s minimal attendee-to-attendee interaction. For popular events, the chat stream flows at warp speed, making it impossible to keep up.

Socio RTMP Player and Session Chat

With Socio’s Session Chat, each session has a dedicated chat feed. If your event has 15 sessions, you can have 15 unique chat streams. The chat feature lives on the same screen as each live stream, so attendees can participate in the chat without navigating to another window. 

Event organizers can use RTMP to broadcast their preferred streaming option via the Socio Platform, and pair it with Session Chat for a streamlined attendee experience. Post-event, organizers can download the chat logs for content ideas, to follow up with attendees, or for lead generation. Attendees who watch the event on demand will be able to see the original chat logs for a more engaging experience.

RTMP + Chat is a Future-Proof Solution for Hybrid Events

There’s no doubt hybrid events will become commonplace as COVID restrictions begin to lift. Organizers will need the right event-tech solutions for their virtual and live audiences.

RTMP will play an essential role as it offers an effective solution to sync multiple speakers and locations, which will be key to producing an engaging experience for the in-person and virtual audiences. The organizers who invest in RTMP now will be hybrid-ready, so think of it as a future-proof solution. 

In our hybrid future, live Session Chat will be an important part of a hybrid-crossover strategy to connect virtual and in-person attendees.

The Virtual Event Honeymoon is Over

The event organizers who truly embrace event technology, and take strategic steps to enhance their virtual and hybrid content, will lead the industry into the future. We’ve made incredible advancements over the last six months, but really only scratched the surface. Stay tuned, because Socio has some exciting product announcements coming later this fall.