The COVID-19 outbreak brought huge, in-person conferences to screeching halt. CNet has looked at how tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Google have reinvented the major set-piece events.

While many big tech conferences have been cancelled as a result, Apple, Microsoft and Sony are taking a different tack. Each company has chosen to hold its typically in-person events entirely online, giving live access to many more people than they could fit in convention centers as the companies stream their announcements on the internet. “Running a virtual event well requires stitching together several different technologies. It’s not just a webcast or several webcasts,” said Adam Preset, a senior research director at Gartner, whose clients are increasingly asking for help putting these types of events together. The challenge companies will face, in addition to technical glitches or family members suddenly interrupting at home, is keeping the audience engaged, he said.

Check It Out: How Apple, Microsoft and Sony Are Leading in The World of COVID-19 Era Conferences

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