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Anglesey firm launches new hybrid events platform

A recently launched digital events platform caused a stir this week as it hosted its first major hybrid events. Anglesey-based Haia delivered the Wales-wide Digital Leaders Week session with contributors attending in person at the Senedd in Cardiff, M-SParc on Anglesey and to an audience of around 50on-line. It was also the platform for the M-SParc Level Up Showcase held earlier in the week – both events held bilingually through the new system.

The Digital Leaders event highlighted some of the work happening in digital innovation across Wales and heard from Glyn Jones, Chief Digital Officer for Welsh Government, Chair of the Cross-Party Working Group on Digital, Rhun ap Iorwerth AS and Chair of Digital Leaders Wales, Victoria Ford.

Since Haia went live earlier in the summer it has attracted much attention, with subscribers signing up to make the most of its unique accessibility features. Digital Leaders week was seen as the perfect opportunity to put Haia through its paces and to show off its capabilities to a national audience.

Tom Burke is a co-founder and has been a driving force behind the new platform. He said: “We were delighted to get the opportunity to host both these events. This is a big step for us and an important milestone in Haia’s development – it was great to see people from all over Wales take part and to use our platform like this.

“From the beginning we wanted to develop something that makes attending events accessible to everyone. We realise online meeting platforms have been around for a while and are now part of our day to day lives. But we also knew what the shortfalls were and wanted to create something that was inclusive and built for events. We took what we’ve learnt from the past two years of remote networking and socialising and added the human touch.”

Haia has built-in accessibility features which means anyone can use it – something its creators believe make it stand out from rivals. It is also at the forefront of developing real time text and voice translation for Welsh and English, with input from language technology experts at Bangor University to make it a bilingual system from the beginning.

Victoria Ford, Chair of Digital Leaders Wales is also on Haia’s advisory board. She said: “Digital Leaders Week is a UK wide event and the largest gathering of people focussed on digital transformation. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear about latest developments in digital innovation and was the ideal space for Haia to demonstrate its capabilities. We know that online suits some people but others like to meet face to face – so the hybrid technology Haia offers came into its own.”

The Digital Leaders event was the first pan-Wales hybrid public event to be held at the Senedd.