What is a Theme?
A simple way to look at it is like this: If in the case of physical events an event happens in a physical venue, then for a virtual event the event happens in a virtual skin or theme.
This comparison seems pretty intuitive and straightforward, but things might not be as simple as they look. That one-to-one mapping of the physical venue to a theme does not really help because it's too vague and does not help in defining what the theme is. For example, in the image above, is the theme the laptop, or the "website" through which the live streaming is happening? Or is it the app through which you are experiencing the event or maybe even the browser? And what is "virtual" anyway? Is anything which is online considered "virtual"?
This is why it's useful to agree on what we mean by "virtual".
"Virtual" is one of those terms that you think know the meaning of intuitively, but when you try to define them, you face a real challenge in doing so. One way that we found helps in explaining the meaning of "virtual" is by looking at the various layers of technology, starting with the most fundamental one at the bottom and making our way up, with each layer adding a level of complexity to the layer below it.
Layers of Technology Making Virtual Possible
Layers of technology that make virtual spaces possible.
Starting from the bottom we have the electrical layer. This is the whole system of electrical cables and wires together with the electrical devices that connect to them. Electrical devices are practically every device that runs on electricity (think your kettle for a simple example). We hardly realise it, but today, almost every device runs on electricity, from the kettle in your kitchen to the most powerful supercomputer in the world. Remove this layer of electrical power and everything else collapses. So that’s the foundation of everything.
Next we have the electronic layer with electronic devices. These are electrical devices which contain electronic circuits and simple logic capabilities. Examples of purely electronic devices are rather rare nowadays, most devices being "digital" as well, but you can think of old TV's or radios as the first electronic devices.
The electronic layer of technology then opened the way to digital devices which, in simple terms are devices that run on bits and bytes, can store and process data and in an exponentially increasingly capacity. The easiest examples would be your computers and smartphones.
And this is where we finally reach the virtual layer. Virtual is a layer of added complexity on top of the digital layer, but it’s of a totally different nature from the rest of the layers below it in the sense that it’s not a device nor a system, and is instead abstract and conceptual. It’s an idea and a notion, which emerges as a result of a (usually) digital model like software or an application. Digital devices with their ability to process increasingly complex information made virtual worlds and spaces possible. They allowed us to construct complex systems and build digital models and use these for specific purposes. E.g. A 3D environment built using digital models creates a “virtual space” where gamers can play with or against each other; Allowing multiple persons to interact in real-time in a video conference session also creates a virtual space (be it temporary) where the attendees of the session communicate and share ideas.
Examples of Themes
Armed with this knowledge, the following can thus be seen as themes:
Any app or software that allows for the creation of a virtual space where people can gather, share ideas and share a common experience in real-time are all potential themes for virtual events. Examples consist of common apps like meetings apps such as Zoom and live streaming platforms such as YouTube, but also less common and less obvious "apps" like multiplayer online games such as Fortnite, which has hosted concerts attracting millions.
This brings us to our definition of a theme as defined below.
Definition of a Theme
In the context of our product, every event that happens on our platform, therefore, takes place in a Gevme Theme.
Gevme Themes are virtual spaces with out-of-the-box specialised features and services for events.
Why Use Themes?
Gevme Themes are different to others for the following reasons:
- Get started quickly: Usable out-of-the-box
Our themes are usable out of the box. Think of them as "packages" or "starter kits" to help you quickly get started with your virtual event. This is similar to the concept of themes or templates in the context of website builders. You choose a theme from our Marketplace, choose an experience, and straightaway you have a foundation for your virtual event to start with. All you have to do next is to add in your content and customise your Theme through the Editor.
- Pre-configured look and feel
Each Theme has a particular style and look and feel, so you don't need to start by designing your Theme from scratch.
- Range of experiences
Each theme comes with a range of experiences that you can choose from based on your event type and format.
You can use the same theme for multiple editions of the same event, or even for totally different events, by simply changing the visual assets of a theme.
- No-code DIY customisation through our Editor
For non-technical users, Gevme Themes are editable through our WYSIWYG Editor. Through the editor, you can easily create new pages, add blocks and content, customise your images, etc.
- Build your own theme: Low-code full customisation through our Rebar template language
Full customisation of an existing theme, or even building your own personal custom theme, can be achieved by leveraging Rebar, our low-code templating language.
In a sense, Gevme Themes are design-agnostic or frontend-agnostic, i.e. our platform abstracts all virtual-event-related logics, functionalities and content from the frontend experience, which can thus be totally customised.
Types of Gevme Themes
Gevme Themes can be of many types and look and feel. For example, below are shown some themes on Gevme, used in the context of different events.
Gevme currently supports the following types of themes:
- 2D Parallax
- 3D Flat
- 3D Flat with video background
- 3D Panorama
- 3D Immersive
2D venues might look like traditional websites, but they are more than just that, because they are built on top of the Gevme Virtual foundation, and thus have support for live and interactive functionalities through the usage of blocks and engagement components like the LiveBar (just like any other Gevme Venue has).
Example of an event built on the Genesis venue, one of our 2D venues.
3D Flat venues give the impression of 3D but are not actually rendered in 3D. They are flat images of 3D scenes exported from a 3D software and on top of which hotspots and interactive areas have been defined. They are static and you cannot "move around" in a 3D Flat venue.
Here is an example of a 3D Flat venue:
Venue designed by Chab Events for APACMED 2020
3D Panorama venues use the panorama method to create a 3D environment by stitching together a series of panoramic images. 3D Panorama venues are not static and can be navigated through. 3D Panorama venues for GEVME are built using software like 3D Vista.
Here is an example of a 3D Panorama venue:Our show Next Generation Virtual Events is an example of an event that takes place in a 3D Panorama venue
3D Immersive venues are venues which are rendered in realtime in 3D in the browser without the need for any plugins using the webGL technology. As their name implies, 3D Immersive venues are totally immersive and interactive and can look just like a first-person or third-person game. 3D Immersive venues for Gevme can be built using software like ShapeSpark.
Here is an example of a 3D Immersive venue:
Example of a 3D Immersive venue, built for Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
This is another example of a 3D Immersive venue, with avatar:
Learn how to use ShapeSpark to build 3D Immersive venues for Gevme →
What does a Theme Consist Of?
From a technical point of view, a Gevme virtual venue comes pre-configured with:
- A style, and look and feel
- A set of default LivePage templates
- A set of experiences to choose from
Building and Owning Your Own Venue
- Duplicating a venue from our venue store and customising it within your venue collection
- Building your own venue from scratch