Event Tech Live (ETL) is the only event portfolio dedicated to event technology. ETL's mission is to connect global event professionals with the latest advances in Event Tech, championing thought leadership and bringing together the community 365 days per year. ETL has been running in-person, virtual, and hybrid events to connect industry professionals to new technologies for over 10 years.
ETL events were born from the idea that technology had the potential to change the way people designed and delivered events, and the way they reached their attendees.For their London event in 2022, ETL collaborated with Silent Noize Events and Interprefy to enhance the attendees' experience. Silent Noize Events provided headsets for the in-person sessions, allowing attendees to listen more closely, while Interprefy provided remote simultaneous interpretation in Spanish, automatic captions in English, and live-translated captions in German and Spanish.
Reaching a wider and more diverse audience
ETL's reach expanded significantly during the pandemic, with attendees from 90 different countries tuning in virtually. This global interest in event technology reaffirmed ETL's mission to connect professionals worldwide and they wanted to take action to make the event available also to non-English speakers.
"During the pandemic, we were recording everything and we could upload it to YouTube, but we would only do it in English. We realised there was an opportunity to reach a wider audience if we had the content in different languages." Adam Parry, Co-founder and Editor of Event Industry News, explained. "Part of our growth strategy for the London event was to look further into Europe, attracting an audience that is interested in the topic, first online, and then in-person, and in order to do that we needed the best experience." Adam continues.
On top of the opportunity to reach non-English speaking attendees, the ETL team wanted also to make their event accessible and not just intended for one type of demographic. "As event organisers, most of the time, we want the most amount of people to come to our events. (...) I did some research a couple of years ago and there are 1.6 billion people in the world with some sort of disability." Adam says.
If we don't integrate technologies like closed captions that allow events to be accessible, then we are not an inclusive industry. Adam Parry, Co-founder and Editor of Event Industry News
Taking event access a step further with interpretation and captions
For the Event Tech Live London event in 2022, Interprefy, who had partnered with Silent Noize Events, was brought in to help create a multilingual and accessible user experience. With the collaboration, the audience could listen closely and get the audio content interpreted and translated on screens.
Aside from looking at accessibility measures that allow attendees to get to the event, the ETL team wanted to go a step further and ensure everyone could access the content once at the event. "There's always the issue of budget, but I think that anybody attending an event would rather know that a bit of budget has been taken from something else to put towards that. It's about choices really." Adam adds.
I think the industry really needs to have a big push to make sure that the stages of the show have those captions visible to people so they can read along and have a more comfortable experience, or on their mobile phones or available for online participants, Adam says
During the two days that the event lasted, attendees could listen to Spanish professional interpretations and follow the content with captions in German, Spanish, and English on the on-stage screens and on Interprefy's mobile app. After the event, the content was uploaded and made available on demand on the Event Tech Live website and on YouTube with close captioning too for indexing and discoverability.
According to Adam, having Interprefy providing closed captioning in different languages and professional interpretation helped the ETL team in the following aspects:
- Comfort in accessibility: it is much easier to pay attention and a much more comfortable experience if you are hearing it in a language you are comfortable in.
- Extend content reach after the event: With captions, you can expand the content further to those who couldn't make the physical event, as you can use the SRT files and create on-demand multilingual versions. Captions and interpretation can also help you create a great online experience that might make people want to come to the physical event.
- Marketing aspect: When you make your event content accessible you can attract bigger audiences and also make your event more valuable to sponsors and to exhibitors.
The ETL team received positive feedback from people attending the event with regards to the accessibility measures taken and it also allowed them the opportunity to include speakers with accessibility requirements themselves. "It might be anecdotally correlated but we had more people attend online than we've ever had for a hybrid event, 1,400 virtual attendees and 2,700 in-person." Adam says.
The value that we saw from Interprefy over and above the technology is the experience and support that we got from the team, not only setting up the event, but delivering the event too, Adam concludes.
For their 2023 event in Las Vegas, Event Tech Live also worked with Interprefy to continue to make their attendees' event experience an accessible one.
Wondered how ETL 2022 London looked like live? Then you can't miss the video below: