As remote workers face Zoom fatigue and distributed organizations struggle to recreate in-person events that bring employees together online, immersive virtual event platforms such as Showboat bring a fresh perspective on how company events - such as happy hours and holiday parties - can be hosted online.
Similar to offices all around the world, our own staff events at Frozen Mountain needed to be replaced by virtual and socially-distanced meetings to meet current restrictions. With such a close-knit team, we wanted to host an immersive online event for our annual holiday party; however, hosting 60+ employees distributed across a typical video conferencing grid layout didn’t really nail our requirements for creating a special holiday experience.
Because we have helped many brilliant platforms creating solutions in the virtual events space, we reached out to our friends at No Small Magic, and, working with their online platform Showboat, we brought our entire remote team together in a virtual environment where our 60+ employees were able to congregate, share conversations, and interact with a live performance for the first time in almost a year.
From our experience, here are the five reasons why we think flexible platforms like Showboat can bring remotely distributed organizations together, host delightful event experiences, and reduce Zoom fatigue by transforming online meetings into immersive, virtual experiences.
Navigating with WASD and arrow keys, Showboat’s easy-to-use controls provide an immersive experience for participants in the space. Users can also navigate autonomously, wandering around the virtual space and interacting with other participants as they please. Similarly, users can enter and exit the space without detracting from the experience of other guests.
Breaking off into one-on-one time is easier than ever before, as is rejoining a group for brief social interaction. With Showboat’s very unique spatial audio capabilities, audio levels change based on proximity between participants, providing a realistic audience chatter and background so often found in large rooms of people. Additionally, event hosts can greet new arrivals individually, unlike Zoom meetings where the screen simply fills with participants and repeating greetings seem disruptive to ongoing conversations. Showboat’s flexibility encourages participants to converse as they please, removing the awkwardness of Zoom calls where there is only one dominant conversation.
The real-time, low-latency aspect of Showboat, coupled with the ability to host groups of 50+ makes Showboat extremely attractive for virtual events that want to hire a performer (eg. magician, comedian, singers, bands). Audience members can cheer on the show in real-time, providing the real-time interactivity performers crave, and performers can adjust their show in real-time based on audience feedback and engagement levels.
The ability to personalize Showboat spaces with graphics can set the tone for each event and add an extra dimension of immersion. Frozen Mountain was able to customize the space for the Christmas party, decorating the virtual platform with images of heavy draperies that mimic a lavish party and also include a virtual bar. The positioning of these customizable areas provides employees with a unique virtual event experience as they can interact with the space as they please.
As Frozen Mountain continues to grow our team, we know we need a scalable solution that can accommodate interactive gatherings of progressively larger groups of employees. Knowing we can rely on Showboat to deliver a spectacular experience that 1) leverages our flexible SDKs, and 2) continuously innovates for large group events brings us peace of mind as we grow.
Platforms such as Showboat are combatting Zoom meeting fatigue by connecting distributed remote employees together in an immersive, online space. Autonomous interactions, flexible hangouts, real-time performances with live audience engagements, room personalization, and low latency scalable video streaming for large groups all make Showboat one of the most exciting and innovative solutions to watch in the virtual events space this year.