I attended an announcement webinar today from INXPO. The company has been around since 2004. I first knew them mainly as a provider of technology for online events such as virtual trade fairs and conferences. As a part of this, they always supported webcast presentations that would play in virtual auditoriums in the online event space. The company then branched out to support webinars and webcasts as a standalone technology offering (XPOCAST) for customers who didn't need all the trappings of a full online virtual show environment.
The announcements today focused on three key areas. The first was availability of new benchmark comparisons for webinar/webcast hosts. Once you run your web session, you can compare your key metrics on registration, attendance, and attendee interactions with figures culled from INXPO's cumulative averages based on customer webcasts. If your organization runs lots of INXPO webcasts, you can also choose to compare metrics against your own in-house averages. Unfortunately there is not yet any capability for comparing against filtered subsets of INXPO customer data. So you can't look for webcasts in the same industry segment, company size, or number of attendees as yours.
I was able to download a copy of their 2016 webinar benchmarks summary report, which covered both standalone webcasts and virtual event setups. I don't think there were any shocking new insights, but it's great to have another major vendor helping to supply data to the user community so we don't have to rely on anecdotal evidence of behavioral trends. You might be interested in the fact that from March 2015 to March 2016, INXPO found that 77% of live webcasts included at least one attendee on a mobile device. And that the use of video content continues to rise (29% in 2014, 38% in 2015, and 43% in 2016).
The second part of their announcement was really just an emphasis on full-service support for customers. They referred to this as EaaS (Event as a Service), and said they were ready to help with event strategy, audience acquisition, video production (capturing and streaming), speaker training, and technical support.
The third part was a pre-announcement of a new HTML5 webcasting product expected to become available in 2017. It will be called AXIOM and features an emphasis on live presenter video. We saw a prerecorded demonstration featuring split screen with multiple presenters on camera. One of the presenters was streaming her audio and video from a handheld mobile device at an outdoor location. The software is designed to automatically identify which person is speaking and enlarges their video window to give them emphasis. The announcement feature sheet also mentions "closed captioning and multilingual audio tracks for global audiences." I'll be interested in seeing their implementation.
The overall graphic design layout for AXIOM (inferred from the feature sheet) seems similar to the current XPOCAST design. This uses an approach I previously had only seen (and praised) in ON24's webcast technology. The entire screen becomes a windowed graphical environment that is under the control of each attendee. Individuals can open and close content windows (called widgets) while moving and resizing them to suit the attendee's own preferences. I love the combination of simplicity, familiarity, and power this provides. I'd be perfectly happy to see it replicated throughout the entire webcasting industry!
I will definitely be tracking INXPO over the coming year and looking for full production availability of AXIOM.