The Power of Virtual: Today’s Event Experience

Private: Michelle Ahern

Since 2001 event specialists, Jomablue have been providing technology to transform experiences for event organisers and attendees. They enable organisations to bring their community together in a virtual space to make lasting connections through engaging and content-rich experiences.

Well, we’re all about to find out just how brilliant the team at Jomablue are because today’s TEDxSydney is happening on their platform. 

“TEDxSydney inspires people to do something that benefits others. This works naturally with the Community product at Jomablue because we share the common goal of bringing people together, in a new way, to inspire them” said CEO of Jomablue, David Haysom-McDowell.

Today’s first ever TEDxSydney Online Flagship event has certainly made us all look back on over a decade of partnerships and learnings and realise that every year is a new year. Engaging audiences, delivering outstanding content, inspiring minds and sharing great ideas is always the aim, regardless of the environment.

For an organisation that has always relished the energy of a room full of inquisitive and inspiring minds coming together in a physical space, entrusting the good vibes of TEDxSydney with a partner that can deliver all the benefits of a live event is no small ask.

We had a chance to sit down with the Founder and CEO of Jomablue, David Haysom-McDowell and tackle him with a few questions about the power of going virtual:


What makes an event truly engaging and memorable?

I’d love to tell you that the best experience is going to be delivered by the Jomablue platform, and while we definitely contribute to that, we see ourselves as an enabler. We provide a very easy-to-use, intelligent platform to allow good content to shine. We provide the communication tool, however, content remains king. I know it’s an old saying and a bit of a cliche but it’s more true now than ever. We are bombarded with virtual event experiences of all types and you can utilise the best production tools available, but if the content isn’t right you will lose your audience regardless of how it is presented. That is one of the notable things about the care and passion that goes into the TEDxSydney events. Content is so carefully curated and thoughtfully selected to ensure the people who present that content will inspire others in a way that is engaging and memorable.


How does that change in a virtual environment – what makes a virtual event engaging?

The interesting thing is that it doesn’t. Being a virtual or an in-person event doesn’t change the fact that event engagement is all about the content. So, we work hard to ensure that the Jomablue platform is not full of distractions or difficult ways to do things. But we do support the inspiring content through person-to-person engagement tools such as video tables, built-in chat, and intelligent networking to help like-minded people to come together during the event. 


What power do you believe technology has to transform event experiences?

Technology transforms events by giving organisers the ability to better understand their community. By gaining insights about how their community engaged with event content organisers can better deliver the right content in the future. Event experiences then evolve to be better, more effective, and more engaging based on the understanding of what worked and maybe what didn’t. 


What are the biggest mistakes you have seen people and organisations make when organising virtual events

We often see event organisers over compensate for physical distance by overcrowding an agenda. Thinking that people will spend an entire day engaging with their event they offer too many choices. People have different pressures on them now. Someone is unlikely to sit and engage with a virtual event from 8.00am until 6.00pm like they do with an in-person event and event agendas need to be sensitive to that. We can see that TEDxSydney curated a day’s content that accommodates the reality that someone may only come for a portion of the day and have ensured that inspiring content is evenly spaced throughout their agenda.


Prediction time: what does a future post COVID-19 look like in the events space?

The future of events post COVID-19 poses an opportunity to create events that are more sensitive to the environment. This period has propelled the workforce forward in adoption of technology. Rather than getting on a plane to come to Sydney for a day, audiences understand that technology can deliver them a digital track alongside an in-person track. That will have a dramatic effect on how events impact the environment. I’m not saying that in-person events won’t have a place, but we now have the tools to reach audiences we have never been able to access before and reduce the impact of that expansion on the environment. 


If you’re ready to create intelligent virtual events with real-time insights and engaging experiences, reach out to Jomablue.


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