“The time between”
Like everyone for the past year, I’ve attended my fair share of online events. In my case, to my delight, most of them have been hosted on Vito, but curiosity drives me to click “Register” to see what other platforms or combinations of platforms folks are using.
Typically, the experience is like this: I receive a marketing email. I’m convinced to sign up. I hit the button. I pop in my name and email, and fill in some demographic info.
And then: nothing. Wait. Thinking back, I actually couldn’t tell you _when_ these conferences are going to be. I didn’t need to check. They’re online. I’m pretty sure that I’ll be online on whatever date they’re hosted.
This could be so much better.
But first: some nostalgia. I used to go to real, in-person conferences. You know, where you could visit a new city. Where you’d meet other real people and roll the dice by shaking their hands.
Apart from checking my calendar before buying a ticket, the experience of buying a conference ticket was similar. Convinced by the marketing, buy the ticket, and then: nothing.
The day before the event I would inevitably show up and admire the new city. If I was lucky I would know somebody who was also going and maybe grab a drink or bite with them. If I didn’t know anybody, rest assured I’d spend a good deal of time standing in the corner waiting for an opportunity to join a conversation. Sometimes I would go a whole day or two and not talking to anyone.
This could be so much better.
Back when O’Reilly were hosting conferences, they had this neat feature in their attendee portal where you could browse attendees and click a little button to say you’d be interested in meeting them. It was kind of like a primitive Tinder for conference networking. I didn’t use it much, but it did spark some connections with folks I remain good friends with.
Technology can play a part.
Later I attended SchnitzelConf by Amy Hoy and Thomas Fuchs. They built their own miniature private social network ahead of the event so that attendees could browse who was attending, and gather a few conversation starters ahead of actually showing up. It was so thoughtful.
The time between someone buying a ticket and actually attending is an untapped mine of opportunity.
The moment that someone buys their ticket using Tito is the moment that they leave our sphere of influence.
With Vito, it was the starting point for thinking about how to enhance the experience of gathering, using technology.
Imagine after you buy a ticket to a conference that you get invited immediately to an online space that’s exclusive to attendees. There’s no pressure. It’s all opt-in. You’re invisible, so folks can’t see you unless you want them to. Inside the space is all of the information the organisers want to share with you in one place. Where once you had to traverse emails to find out when the pre-party was, or which door you need to register at, you now have a central hub.
The hub contains orientation, it contains all the participants who have chosen to share their presence. There’s messaging so that you can chat with other attendees, speakers and organisers. You can choose who you want to follow so that you can curate whose messages you see.
Imagine that the whole event is live-streamed, and that’s available in the hub too, so that you can sit in the hallway track but keep an eye on sessions as they happen. Conveniently, afterwards, the recordings are available in the same place.
Imagine, finally, that after you get home, you have a persistent place to relive the banter, the content, the excitement, in some small way, any time you want.
These imaginings are a technological description to problems I’ve experienced some degree of at nearly every in-person event I’ve ever attended.
And they’re problems that we’re solving with Vito.
It turns out that the missing pieces of making in-person conferences great are a pretty good starting point for making great online experiences great.
With Vito, when you buy a ticket you get added to a hub immediately where you can either remain hidden, or at your convenience, you can introduce yourself, find folks to follow, start discussions and ask questions, days, weeks, months ahead of any live show.
With Vito, organisers can create pages exclusively for attendees: orientation, links to exclusive content, all the stuff that’s traditionally hard to find, in one place.
With Vito, organisers can stream the whole event directly to the hub, with a live-updating schedule on the day. Afterwards, the recordings can be found in the same place.
And finally, with Vito, you can log back in at any time and relive the whole show.
We’re nearly ready to share Vito with the world, but in the meantime, getting early access is as simple as booking a call. You can do that on the Vito homepage.