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New horizon: Why hybrid events are here to stay

sparq: sponsor Best Use of Digital and/or Social Media


New age: Sparq provided audio-visual services at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards

New age: Sparq provided audio-visual services at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards

New age: Sparq provided audio-visual services at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards

The year 2021 will undoubtedly be remembered as the year of the Zoom Room — a nod to the technology that enabled many events to transition online, allowing brands and organisations to continue to deliver their messages to rapidly adapting audiences.

As seasoned digital online video providers, this was an easy pivot for Belfast-based technical event specialists Sparq.

Operations manager Sheridan Pennell said: “Our investment in new software, production equipment and upgraded green screen studio, meant we were able to adapt to our clients’ needs to keep their important conversations flowing online.

“As we start to see the return of live events, many event organisers are now looking to combine the best of online with face-to-face, creating exciting new and engaging event experiences that were just not available pre-pandemic.”

Sparq believes that hybrid events look set to grow throughout 2022, with a move toward a new ‘true hybrid’ concept that allows delegates to move freely between in-person and virtual engagement, blending the hybrid experience and merging the two audiences.

Technology is enabling delegates to gain an ‘in-person’ perspective, while in-depth audience engagement tools enable those participating remotely to feel part of the event.


Operations manager Sheridan Pennell

Operations manager Sheridan Pennell

Operations manager Sheridan Pennell

Whilst live events look set to feature a hybrid element as standard now that event planners have seen the extra delegate engagement and reach it offers, there is a new kid on the block waiting in the wings to make an entrance.

The Metaverse signals an age where the lines between live and virtual become very blurred, creating a whole new immersive experience for audiences.

Using emcee, their in-house developed and highly versatile event platform, Sparq has already taken the lead in providing this immersive online experience, where remote attendees feel as though they’re physically at the event rather than simply watching it.

Built using 3D, 3600 environments, attendees interact with each other through Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) elements.

Mr Pennell explains: “At our studios here in Belfast, we can create and manage all the content required to allow these events to deliver an unmatched emotional experience for our clients, allowing them the opportunity to create extraordinary event experiences for their audiences.

“And as we move toward renewed volume in live events, there is another hot topic on everybody’s lips — sustainability.

“The pandemic has allowed us to review and realign our commitment to making live events more sustainable through energy efficient technologies, logistics planning, recycling and a mission to reduce single use plastics.”

Sparq supports a full range of live events across Northern Ireland and will be partnering with the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank for the 16th time this year.

To enter the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards, go to www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/businessawards/enter

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