Reimagining Engagement Marketing With Demio's New Webinar Experience
Today, we're announcing updates to our product that have been in the works for over a year. After nine months of development and over three of beta, we're excited to roll out these changes to all of our customers (and, subsequently, millions of attendees).
This launch sets the foundation for everything to come as we continue to execute our product vision.
Our vision has evolved over time, but one thing remains the same: Demio is an engagement marketing platform. Yes, Demio is a webinar platform at its core, but why do marketing teams run webinars as opposed to creating videos or writing blog posts? The answer is engagement.
Webinars provide two-way interaction, and it all happens live. You can't get that kind of engagement from a blog post.
So, with Demio, the question becomes: How do we make Demio the most interactive and engaging webinar platform in the market? Furthermore, how do we allow our customers to continue to benefit from that engagement long after the webinar is over? The updates we're announcing today make big strides in this area, with many more to come over the rest of the year.
Built From the Ground up With Mobile as a Focus
So, what's new exactly?
Essentially, we rebuilt everything in the room outside of the chat area. We redesigned the room to improve the user experience for admins and attendees alike, as well as refined Demio's overall reliability and foundation.
The previous version of Demio treated mobile as an afterthought; we created a separate experience for people joining on mobile phones or tablets, which wasn't ideal. Going forward, it'll be the same experience whether you're on a desktop computer or an iPhone. The new room is built to be fully responsive and to work smoothly across all devices.
We reorganized some of the interface, while keeping it familiar. One of the major focuses here was spacing: we still wanted your content to maintain the dominant use of space, and we had to make sure the interface scaled down seamlessly to accommodate smaller screen sizes. With that in mind, we reduced the overall size of the top and bottom sections surrounding the content, condensed button sizes, and introduced company icons to replace company logos.
We also unveiling the event details modal, which is the new hub for everything related to your event. You can access this modal at the top left (use the button containing your company icon, event name, and event status).
Now, everyone in the room will always have the event name for context.
Admins will also find additional event details here, such as stage size, room size, and quick access to the registration page link.
In the top right, we reorganized the options menu, housing many options you're already familiar with such as fullscreen, settings, and chat (collapse/expand).
We also added a new item to this menu for the user's profile card so they can see how they appear in the room. In the future, we may allow attendees to add info to their profile, or upload a profile picture.
Outside of user interface changes, we also rebuilt the entire integration with our streaming engine to improve the core audio/video experience of Demio. While you won't see these changes on the surface level, we're certain you'll notice them during your next event.
An Immersive Brand Experience for Your Audience
Because Demio is a platform built for marketing, being able to customize the brand experience is crucial. The new room experience enables customers to set a custom background color for their event rooms to add an extra level of branding.
We plan to allow greater flexibility in the future, such as gradients or potentially even background images. Additionally, we're working on providing other brand options, such as allowing custom domains for certain Demio plans.
A New Stage Concept
The new stage will determine who is shown in the room (and who isn't). This will afford you (and other admins) more control over what's being shown and when.
Here are a few quick rules to help understand how the new stage works:
Only people on stage will appear to everyone in the room in the main area.
Only people on stage will be able to share their webcam/microphone or screen (sharing a screen will remain limited to Hosts/Presenters).
Each person on stage will have a corresponding stage card. (Even if someone keeps their webcam turned off, their card will only display their avatar.)
Hosts/Presenters can quickly join the stage at any time, whereas Moderators/Attendees will need to be invited onto the stage.
On most plans, the stage size will be limited to four people, but we plan to expand this in the future. This is great news for our customers, who will now be able to have up to four people with cameras enabled. The only plans that will be limited to a stage size of three will be our 1,000-attendee room size plans.
Benefit One: Improved Management & Control for Hosts
Hosts will have the ability to manage the stage, including the option to invite or promptly remove someone from the stage and request specific devices from people on stage.
This will make your events smoother, allowing you to control exactly what your audience sees at any time.
Benefit Two: Your Audience Will Always Know Who's Speaking
Since everyone on stage will have a dedicated card, your audience will always be able to see who's on stage, who's speaking, and who's muted. Additionally, they can even hover over a stage card to see the name of the person and their role.
Benefit Three: Prevent Presenters From Accidentally Enabling Devices
Prior to this update, guest Presenters could join in the middle of a session with their microphone and camera automatically enabled. While this allowed for a seamless joining experience at times, it also created incredibly awkward experiences when a Presenter accidentally joined with their camera enabled.
With the new stage concept, event admins will not be on stage by default when they join the room; they'll have to click the Go On Stage button intentionally to initiate that action.
Benefit Four: Easily Invite Your Attendees on Stage
Webinars should be a two-way conversation, so we made it easier than ever to invite your attendees on stage to share their devices and ask questions.
It's as simple as clicking on an attendee from the chat or the people area, and then sending an invite. A modal will open for your attendee, allowing them to select which devices they want to enable before going on stage.
Then, once you're done with that attendee, you simply click the dropdown on their stage card to remove them from the stage.
Other Major Improvements
Beyond the surface-level visual changes, we also made other major improvements to the user experience, including some new features.
Spotlight Mode: Put the Focus on Your Content 🔦
We're launching a new way to share content. Spotlight will remove all distractions and ensure your content is the main focus in the room.
It'll hide all stage cards, auto-hide the top/bottom areas, and resize the content to take up the available space (using our Dynamic Layouts, which we'll showcase next).
Enabling Spotlight will apply the focused changes to everyone in the room, once again giving you direct control over the viewing experience. It's available for all shareable content (slides, videos, screenshare, etc.).
Dynamic Layouts: The Best Layout, Always ✨
Our next feature happens behind the scenes to bring the best viewing experience to everyone. With our Dynamic Layouts, the content in the room (stage cards + shared content) will intelligently make the best use of space, specific to each person's unique screen size.
Someone tuning in on a smaller mobile device will see a different layout than someone joining from a large desktop monitor — it'll optimize it for their specific screen while also taking into account the number of people on the stage and the size of the content being shared.
Additionally, Dynamic Layouts will automatically adjust the layout on the fly as things change, whether that's new content, additional people joining/leaving the stage, or a window being resized.
Reconnection Flows: In Case Your Connection Drops 🌐
Imagine running a webinar with hundreds of people, and all of a sudden... your internet connection drops. While you always hope something like this will never happen, the reality is that it could.
Prior to this update, your audience might hear the audio cut out, and have no idea what happened. But with the new room updates, your audience will see a "Trying to Connect..." message on your stage card to keep them informed until your connection is re-established.
This temporary state will show any time Demio loses connection to someone on stage, even if they're simply refreshing their browser. If the user still hasn't connected after 10 seconds, they'll be removed from the stage automatically.
The Foundation for What’s To Come
While these updates bring a ton of improvements to the Demio platform you love, it's only the beginning. We've laid the foundation to continue pushing forward our vision of making Demio the top marketing engagement platform.
Here are some product updates we'll explore the rest of this year:
Allowing Event Admins on Mobile & Tablet Devices
Since the new room experience was built to be mobile first, this capability wasn't possible until now. We envision a future where you can run an entire webinar from your phone.
More Branding Options
Allowing a custom background color in the room is the first step towards making Demio even more brand-able. We plan to open up more branding options in the future, such as gradient/image backgrounds, and custom domains on certain plans.
Expanding the Stage Size
We've seen a variety of new use cases surface over the past year, and we want to support these as much as possible by eventually increasing the stage size on all plans.
Although we face certain technical limitations, we'll continue to focus on increasing this limit.
Allowing Registrants To Wait in the Room
Instead of having registrants wait on a separate countdown screen until the session starts, we want to enable registrants to wait inside the room. This would allow you to engage with your registrants over chat before the session even begins.
An Interactive Replay Experience
All of the engagement happens in the room, but as soon as the webinar is over, that engagement is lost, and you're left with an MP4 video. Our vision for Demio is to allow you to keep your replay in the room, while maintaining all of the engagement: chat messages, polls, handouts, and more — all while being able to view the analytics of people interacting with your replay.
As you can see, we have a lot of work to do, and we're just getting started.
Let us know what you think about these updates in the comments below, and please share your thoughts on Demio's vision for engagement marketing!