Bizzabo, the world’s leading event success platform, announced its acquisition of Whalebone, a Swedish technology startup that enhances the experience between speakers and their audiences to humanize digital interactions. Whalebone’s technology simulates live audience elements from in-person events by making it possible to hear and visualize the virtual crowd, creating a deeper and more connected experience. The acquisition is bridging the gap between virtual and in-person, further solidifying Bizzabo’s commitment to enhancing shared event experiences for speakers and attendees, whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid.
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“Powering tens of thousands of virtual events over the past year, we realized that by not seeing or hearing the crowd, event organizers & speakers were struggling to understand and connect with their audience and vice versa. Live audiences produce energy and shared moments that amplify emotional involvement and human interactions of attendees and everyone involved at events. Without those magical shared moments, many event participants tell us they get bored, experience ‘FOMO,’ or feel unheard and uninfluential. Our acquisition of Whalebone will fill that void by adding the ‘human’ element we’re all craving. With Whalebone’s technology, speakers and attendees can feel the energy we seek from in-person events, through the screen, resulting in a shared, connected, and more meaningful experience,” says Eran Ben-Shushan, Co-Founder & CEO of Bizzabo.
Whalebone uses sensors, interaction tools, deep learning, sentiment, and interaction analysis to interpret the activity of the audience in real-time. This data is used to generate highly responsive sounds and produce an immersive visualization of the crowd, making virtual & hybrid events feel exciting and interactive.
Crowd Amplification is a service for generating realistic crowd noise, such as clapping, audience buzz, etc., from an online audience. It gives speakers immediate feedback from their attendees enabling them to understand their audience’s sentiment and excitement level in real-time, but without distraction. Furthermore, attendees get to show their appreciation and support just as they would in a live setting and experience the shared excitement of the entire audience. The result humanizes the event to create a connected experience between speakers and attendees, ensuring an engaging and captivating event.
Crowd Visualization is a visualization tool that brings a vivid overview of a crowd in real-time. It gives a birds-eye view of the audience and the most important interactions taking place, making it natural and pleasant to interact with the crowd. The result is a more intimate and shared experience that allows a more present and connected feeling.
“With Whalebone, we have the power to create holistic events that ensure virtual attendees have a unique visual and audio-like experience,” added Ben-Shushan. “Beyond crowd noise and visualizations, Whalebone’s cutting-edge crowd technology will be used to close the feedback loop between speakers and their audiences, thus unlocking and visualizing real-time engagement at virtual events.”
“Bizzabo is committed to bringing people together and making events rewarding for everyone involved – organizers, speakers, sponsors and attendees,” said Edward Cederlund, Co-Founder & CEO at Whalebone. “Plus, their customer-centric approach has helped them to keep their offering scalable and agile in the rapidly evolving industry of events. We at Whalebone have a similar calling and approach, which is why we’re excited to join Bizzabo’s team to reimagine event experiences.”
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“The Whalebone acquisition reinforces Bizzabo’s mission to elevate the experiences of virtual and hybrid events,” concluded Ben-Shushan. “We are excited to partner with the Whalebone team and bring their cutting-edge crowd technology and expertise to our customers.”
In December 2020, Bizzabo announced a $138 million financing round to meet surging demand for its all-in-one, end-to-end events platform globally, with a focus on enhancing the attendee experience in the hybrid events market. Recently, Bizzabo earned a “Leader” recognition in The Forrester Wave™: B2B Marketing Events Management Solutions, Q1 2021 report.
Per the report, “…Bizzabo is well-positioned to blend physical and virtual interactions into hybrid events that perform reliably,” and its “roadmap ambitiously plans to deliver differentiated customer experiences that include real-time audience engagement, networking recommendations, and 1:1 or small group meeting management to enable in-person and remote audiences to reach parity.”