Virtual Event Resource Guide

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VIRTUAL

EVENT RESOURCE BOOK

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Welcome to the Virtual Event Resource Book! This is the third edition of the Virtual Event Resource book and we’ve updated many sections and added many new resources. What we don’t really have in the Resource Book is a directory of solution providers but offer that in a separate online directory called the Virtual Edge Directory.

Michael Doyle, Executive Director, Virtual Edge Institute

The directory has over 500 companies listed we have expanded the scope of the technology covered (looking at all types of technology and solution providers that drive business engagement and collaboration) as well as added features like having the company’s website available in the directory itself. We hope that is helpful as well, and, as always give us your feedback on how we can improve and be more useful to you. If you are reading the Resource Book now, you probably are well aware of what is happening in the this space—rapid growth in the use of digital technologies for events, meetings, learning and marketing programs—and are one of the many marketers and event producers that are trying to create a strategy that involves deploying digital elements to extend the value of your portfolio physical events and meetings. This book is a collection of useful resources we found at the time of production. We will constantly update it and add more useful features and functionality. To really become educated on all things digital for your events, consider taking the Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification program or at the least, take the 16 module education program featuring over 64 video segments and more than a hundred recorded sessions on topics that share strategies and techniques to monetize events, create dynamic content, execute hybrid events, marketing and much more. If you have feedback or want to contribute, please email us at info@virtualedge.org. Thanks and good luck with your digital engagements!

Virtual Edge Institute

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DES MODULE 1: INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL EVENTS DIGITAL EVENT DEFINITIONS What is the definition of a Digital Event? Everything below...and maybe more, but here is the official definition of a digital event: A digital event is an occurrence of people gathering together where some or all of the attendees are not physically in the same location but are connected in a common environment. The common environment might be one of many types but is usually enabled through the use of computers and the Internet. Webcast A Webcast is a transmission of a (typically) video media file, either live or on-demand, over the Internet. Webcasts generally use streaming media technology, which broadcasts the content from a single source to multiple viewers or listeners simultaneously. Webinar Short for “Web-based seminar,” a Webinar is a transmission of a (typically) audio media file, either live or ondemand, over the Internet. Webcasts generally use streaming media technology, which broadcasts the content from a single source to multiple viewers or listeners simultaneously. Slidecast A Slidecast is a set of slides broadcast over the Internet with the synchronization of video and audio effects. Slidecasts allow multiple simultaneous views in a multimedia presentation format, uploaded on a single source. Digital/Virtual Trade Show A Digital Trade Show is a combination of some of the most successful elements of a physical trade show – including education sessions and exhibits – collected and translated into a multimedia file format, and broadcast or transmitted over the Internet. Digital trade shows allow exhibitors and sponsors to reach a target audience live and/or on-demand. Some digital trade shows are run for a short time (1-3 days), while others are open for months, or, in some cases, year-round. Digital/Virtual Expo A Digital Expo is an exposition hall accessible over the Internet. Its multimedia format gives the real-time experience of visiting and moving through booths using arrow keys on a keyboard. Often available to attendees ‘round-the-clock, there are usually specific times the exhibitors are present in their booths for live chats.

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Definitions Cont’d Digital/Virtual Job Fair A Digital Job Fair is a job fair accessible over the Internet. Potential employers and employees access up-todate job openings, company profiles and resumes through online booths, similar to a Digital Expo. Digital/Virtual Meeting A Digital Meeting is a live event or meeting produced using a virtual event platform or other type of collaborative solution accessible over the Internet. A Digital Meeting could be a large conference for thousands, with Webcasts and an exhibit hall, or it could be a small event where a group of individuals are collaborating on a specific project or discussing a topic. Bannercast A Bannercast is a live or on-demand video broadcast in an ad banner position on a Website using streaming technology. Bannercasts generally provide an optional registration to initiate the interaction between the customer and the advertiser. Audiocast/Audio Conference An Audiocast, or audio conference, is a telephone-based conference consisting of a presentation that will usually include a question-and-answer period. Virtual World A Virtual World, such as Second Life, is a computer-based simulated environment intended for its users to inhabit and interact via avatars (animated figures). These avatars are usually depicted as textual, twodimensional, or three-dimensional graphical representations, although other forms are possible. Virtual Worlds are most typically used for gaming and education. Hybrid Event A Hybrid Event is a combination of a physical event with elements of a digital event, usually running simultaneously and with overlapping content and interactive elements broadcast over the Internet. 365-Digital Environment/Perpetual or Persistent Environment A 365-Digital Environment can be a digital event of any type that is available to attendees 365 days a year. Though sponsors and/or exhibitors may not be available for live chats all times, there is fresh content updated regularly, and some level of engagement and “community.” Many perpetual environments also “light up” 1-2 day events multiple times per year.

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Definitions Cont’d Digital/Virtual Learning Environments Digital classrooms and learning environments can be self-paced programs with multiple forms of rich-media and self-assessment centers, or collaborative spaces with facilitators and instructors. Accessed via the Internet, Digital Learning Environments are used for onboarding new employees, corporate training, member education and certification, and customer training. Private Satellite Broadcast A Private Satellite Broadcast is a high-definition transmission of a television signal delivered by means of a communications satellite and received by an outdoor antenna – usually a parabolic mirror referred to as a “satellite dish.” Broadcasts originate from one location (a studio), or from multiple uplink locations using portable satellite broadcast trucks. A private signal is sent to pre-designated receivers, where a live scheduled broadcast occurs at a specified time period. It’s similar to a live television broadcast, but only for specified private participants. Telepresence Telepresence is a set of technologies, such as high-definition audio, video and other interactive elements, which enable people to feel or appear as if they are present in a location where they are not. Used primarily as a collaboration tool, telepresence is used to create a more "in person" meeting experience over a converged network. Telepresence differs from videoconferencing in that it offers face-to-face interactions between the people in the meeting through the transmission of life-size, high-definition images and audio.

OTHER HELPFUL TERMS On-Demand vs. Live On-Demand events/sessions are the content items available online that can be accessed when required by the viewer or listener. Live events/sessions are content items that are being broadcast in real-time over the Internet. Often, a Digital Event is broadcast live at a designated time, then made available for later, ondemand viewing. “Simulive” or Simulated Live Simulive sessions or activities are pre-recorded for broadcast over the Internet at a specific date and time, but are not publicized as being pre-recorded. These activities and sessions typically have a live post-presentation Q&A period.

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Definitions Cont’d 3D-Immersive Environments Similar to Virtual Worlds, 3D-Immersive Environments are rendered in three dimensions to replicate a meeting environment. Attendees create avatars and move from booths to sessions and chat areas using arrow keys. Virtual Event Platform or Virtual Experience Platform A Virtual Experience Platform is an online representation of some or all of a physical event, which enables learning and interaction between participants. The VEP aims to re-create the “look and feel” of a physical event environment. VEP’s typically include Web streaming, video, PDF documents, PowerPoint documents, Instant Messaging, Chats (text and video) and more. Virtual Experience Platforms can contain multiple “rooms,” including auditoriums and session rooms, an expo hall, libraries, lounges for chats, etc. Web Collaboration Tools Web Collaboration Tools combine desktop sharing through a Web browser with phone conferencing and video, so everyone sees the same thing at the same time. Examples of Web collaboration solutions include Cisco’s WebEx, Microsoft’s Live Meeting, GoToMeeting, Join.Me and others. Web Streaming Web streaming refers to the process of delivering multimedia files over the Internet, either live or ondemand. “Live Streaming” refers to multimedia files delivered over the Internet in real time. Streaming content from a digital event requires a content delivery network such as Vimeo, YouTube or a Virtual Event Platform, as well as encoders to digitize the content.

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Publishers Poised to Provide Virtual Event Audience, Expertise Story posted: July 9, 2010 - 6:01 am EDT Michael Doyle heads the Virtual Edge Institute, a consulting company that promotes the development of virtual events technology and best practices. A publisher with experience in event organization and online community development, he shared his views about the future of virtual events, the assets media companies bring to the table and a promising new concept that could leave Google AdWords in the dust. Media Business: Virtual events are on the rise. What is fueling the media industry's interest in this medium? Doyle: Publishers have come to the realization that the world has changed. The way advertisers invest money in their marketing programs has changed forever. Just relying on [traditional] properties is not going to be a sustainable model. We need to look at other ways to leverage community and subscribers. MB: How do you think virtual events will evolve in the publishing industry? Doyle: It's going [to be about] perpetual environments, where your readers can come on an ongoing basis and get information and connect to suppliers or peers in their industry. They are going to be able to communicate and become much more collaborative within their areas of interest. It will be a place where digital events happen and information is made available. That direction is really going to have the biggest impact on the publishing industry. I see it as a tremendous opportunity to really get control of a market space, a niche, and become much more important than Google AdWords. [Like] an iceberg, you have a part that is visible above the water—the magazine's website—and what is going to be built out is this rich immersive environment, the [year-round] virtual environment where most of the deeper connections and communications really take place. That's really where the publishing industry will be able to build strong relationships to their audiences. MB: Publishing companies have tended to focus on the lead-generation function of virtual events. Are there untapped opportunities they could be contemplating? Doyle: By and large, yes. One of the business cases that marketers are really trying to achieve is lead generation, and another [one] that is still quite strong is thought leadership. A category that's not fully developed but is going to be pretty rapidly developing: lead nurturing and relationship building. That's an area where a publisher could really focus and do well. An example would be something like [United Business Media] has done. They produce events for their marketers. It's about more than the database. Leveraging the database is important, but it's about getting back to what publishers are really good at: Taking the right content and finding the right people to address the content—and helping to build the audience as well. That, to me, is a big opportunity. There are many [marketers] who can benefit from having a virtual event, but do they really want to build that expertise internally? I wouldn't think so. I think publishers could easily find opportunity there.

SUMMARY: Michael Doyle talks to BtoB Magazine about virtual events and environments and adoption by the publishing industry for lead generation, thought leadership and relationship building. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/mb0710/index.php?startid=13 7 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Business Motivations and Social Behaviors for In-Person and Online Events

SUMMARY: This in-depth study by Professional Convention Management Association, UBM Studios, and the Virtual Edge Institute takes a closer look at what is happening during and after virtual and hybrid engagements as well as helps event organizers to better understand how these programs are working and more significantly, how they can be enhanced. http://www.slideshare.net/virtualedge/business-motivations-and-social-behaviors-forinperson-and-online-events 8 | Virtual Event Resource Book


White Paper: The 6 Business Benefits of Virtual Events The Business Benefits of Virtual Platforms Virtual events provide many clear and measurable business and marketing advantages. The benefits include improved cost savings, higher productivity, expanded audience reach, incremental revenue generation, better data capture and tracking, not to mention reducing environmental impacts. This section discusses these six benefits in more depth. 1. Expanded Audience Reach and Engagement Virtual technology is allowing more event marketers to think globally, with limitless opportunities to engage worldwide audiences. In fact, a recent study published by InformationWeek found that 42 percent of virtual event attendees were international. Virtual events also enjoy an extended lifecycle, with archived content available well after the actual event is over. History has shown that 25 percent of virtual event leads come after the event. For physical events, posting session’s online, as well as hosting webinars and web- casts can extend value and mindshare for an event long after it is over - or before it begins. 2. Dramatic Cost Savings Whether your metric is per-attendee cost or total event costs, virtual events can deliver financial results. If your metric is per-attendee cost, going hybrid will allow you to reach a much greater audience, in turn reducing the perattendee net cost. If budgets are very tight, going completely virtual or primarily virtual with small physical gatherings will eliminate or reduces the travel time and expense associated with staging or attending a physical event. Many virtual and hybrid event hosts and sponsors report that virtual events have saved fifty percent or more when compared with physical events, while time to market can be as little as six weeks, (although we recommend a 12-week planning and launch time frame). Virtual events are completely scalable and can target from five to 50,000 attendees. Attendees can participate from remote locations at their convenience, while event speakers can prerecord or deliver their presentations live, which makes for easier scheduling and often reduced speaker and content budgets. 3. Higher Productivity Clearly, staff that spends more time in the office and less time traveling can be more productive. And keeping telecommuting staff engaged and connected is a huge business advantage. Virtual events allow marketers to focus their energy on signing sponsors and exhibitors, procuring top speakers and content, attracting a better audience and generating better leads. In addition, many organizations are using virtual events to engage and motivate internal constituents.

SUMMARY: Developed by INXPO, this white paper discusses the key benefits of virtual events and virtual business platforms including expanded reach, revenue generation, cost savings and higher productivity. http://web.inxpo.com/white-paper-6-business-benefits-of-virtual-events/ 9 | Virtual Event Resource Book


How Do You Convert Online Attendees to In-Person Attendees? Show organizers are committing significant portions of their overall event budgets to attendee acquisition. A survey conducted earlier this year by Jacobs, Jenner & Kent reported 57% are spending 10% or more of their entire event budget on attendee marketing. As the basis of a successful event is attracting and bringing together the right audience, a well budgeted and executed attendee marketing strategy is essential. Within the survey, 20% reported using an online and/or hybrid event solution as a tactic for attracting and retaining more attendees. How do you convert online attendees to in-person attendees? By creating an online event strategy that is complementary to the face-to-face strategy. Understand the needs of this new audience Before you market your face-to-face event to this new audience segment, invest the time to get to know them. The survey functionality and back end metrics of virtual platforms provide information on the attendee behaviors and preferences, so you can deliver a more effective marketing message. Showcase the best of the best Thoughtfully craft your online event agenda to deliver the best educational elements from your meeting, showcasing the value of your sessions. This will drive home the relevancy of your content while creating the desire for more. Offer a Connection By delivering engagement and interaction within your online environment, sharing activities at your physical event as well as with the other online attendees, you’re offering a meaningful connection with your organization.

SUMMARY: Event organizers are leveraging the power of virtual events to boost attendance of their inperson events. In this article, bXb Online identifies 7 ways to convert online attendees to inperson attendees. http://www.bxbonline.com/2012/07/how-do-you-convert-online-attendees-to-in-personattendees/ 10 | Virtual Event Resource Book


10+ Tips For Staffing Your Virtual Booth 1. Probably the number one thing is to make it look like there is someone home. (And of course make sure someone is there!) Make sure your staff have their profiles filled out and a real photo as a avatar or head shot (depending on which platform you are using they use different language). And make sure someone maybe a few people are there and paying attention. Never say anything in a chat you think is private that you would not want everyone to see…it happens. 2. Engage with people who wander into your booth but give them a little time to check it out. A simple “Hi Mark” is a good icebreaker but I’ve also seen people that have a little more fun and two of the booth staff have a little banter. Something like “Hey Chris, Mark just came to the booth, can you tell him what he won?” (Chris) “Sorry Mark, John has had too much coffee I think. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have or help you find things.” The point is to get them comfortable with you and let them know you are there to help and you are in a good mood or even funny. Another approach to follow on with is asking for a favor. “Mark I’ll leave you to look around but could I ask one favor of you before you leave the booth?” Most say yes, “Could you take a tiny, two question survey before you leave and tell us how we could make this a better experience for you?” The goal is to get them to engage with you by doing something before they leave and collect valuable information that can help you do better with the next visitor. 3. Be ready to get people that visit connected to others, especially subject matter experts (if you aren’t the SME which is always good to have in the booth) or people in your organization that can help the person. 4. Know what your goal is for being in the booth in as much detail as possible before the event starts and keep track of your results. One thing to understand is that (no offense to sales people) attendees don’t rank talking to a sales representative high on their objectives for visiting a booth. They want to get information and education and they want an interactive experience but not sales oriented. Examples of goals include: Engage with x% of attendees that visit your booth. Exchange X number of vcards (virtual business cards). Get X number of booth surveys. Get X number of referrals to others in your company. Have X number conversations where you qualify an attendee. Perform X number of demos. Set up X number of follow ups. Holding a contest is a great way to engage your booth staff. 5. Have your links and follow up ready to go. No doubt there will be instances where people need more information or links to things that aren’t in your booth. Tell them you will send an email with the additional information and have it ready to go. A follow up email while someone is in the both is ideal because you can ask them if they received it and if so, was that what they were looking for. 6. Think outside the booth. Are there sessions that are going on where anyone who is attending is likely a prospect? Are there certain profile questions that if people answer them a certain way they are likely a prospect? Are there people from certain companies that are likely prospects? While someone is manning the booth, another can be out proactively looking for people to engage and perhaps invite into the booth. Again, be helpful and people will generally respond well. “We have a whitepaper on this subject that you can download in our booth if you are interested in learning more about this subject.“ Or “Dr so and so who is one of the leading experts in this area is actually in our booth from 10 to 11 if you would like to meet her and learn more. I can send you an invite or set up an appointment.” (Depending on the platform you are using.)

SUMMARY: This is a blog post by Michael Doyle, Founder of Virtual Edge Institute. In this article, he shares 10+ tips for staffing virtual booth. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2011/09/10-tips-for-staffing-your-virtual-booth/ 11 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Before You Tackle Your First Virtual Event ‌

Michael Doyle Executive Director-editor, The Virtual Edge Institute Story posted: April 12, 2010 - 6:01 am EDT BtoB: What advice do you give to marketers as they work with virtual events? Doyle: Look at the different form factors for the different solutions, and just go out and attend events on different platforms so you can start to match your need with the features that are available and with the type of audience that you are likely going to attract. Start to look at the user perspective and also your business case. Do you need multiple tracks? Do you need to have live-versus-prerecorded materials? Do you need an expo hall? What type of networking and inter-attendee communication do you need? Then guide your business case. How are you going to fund it? Who is going to be the manager of it? Who's going to support that person? That's the way I recommend people start, all through the process making sure they are also talking to stakeholders and getting them to try some of these platforms as well. They should start small and work through it. There are a lot of similarities to putting on a physical event, but there are a lot of differences as well. Once they get experience, there is a movement to more of an integrated approach. They're looking at creating perpetual environments where any business unit can go for all different purposes: lead generation, nurturing, support, training. They start to look at these environments as an extension of their Web site, as a much more immersive environment where customers are coming in, partners are coming in, employees are coming in. So they need more of an integrated communication and collaboration environment as opposed to an event.

SUMMARY: Investigate different platforms and attend virtual events. Build your business case and start small when planning and keep the user perspective in mind. http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100412/FREE/304129992

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Where Do Virtual Events Fit in Your Marketing Mix?

Research paper highlights: • Best practices for the virtual event production cycle, from preevent planning to post-event follow up • Assessment of where the market stands, including how virtual events are currently being used, funded and measured • MarketingProfs' conclusions on where virtual events excel, where they fall short and how they're evolving

SUMMARY: Where Do Virtual Events Fit in Your Marketing Mix, a new white paper developed by MarketingProfs, ON24 and Trendline Interactive, explains how virtual events can be used to marketer’s best advantage. It also discusses best practices for delivering successful virtual events. http://communication.on24.com/marketingprofsreport

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Digitell Case Study American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA): Leveraging Your Education in a Digital World Problem AICPA runs 60 conferences, workshops and schools to educate the financial marketplace. In an ever growing digital world, and with the ongoing difficulties of many professionals to travel to conferences, how do they capitalize on using technology to deliver their education to a broader audience. Solution AICPA chose Digitell, Inc., a digital media company with extensive experience in the meetings and conference industry, to help them solve this problem. Digitell created the following opportunities for AICPA: • Digitell developed a Digital Library to archive, host, stream and deliver their education OnDemand. • Digitell automated their CPE process both live on-site and post-conference. • Digitell created a Digital Directory of vendors and exhibitors to drive more exposure and increase their ROI. • Digitell Live Streamed Sessions from their conferences to a virtual audience. • Digitell re-broadcasted their recorded sessions as a live Webinar for several months postconference. Results An Average Increase of $25,000/meeting Year on Year Online Attendance growth of 184% Engagement of Dormant Members Exposure of Conference Product Line to a Larger Audience

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Digitell Case Study Practice Greenhealth (PGH): Increasing Sponsorship Revenue Problem PGH wanted to find a way to boost their sponsorship dollars. Solution PGH chose Digitell, Inc., a digital media company with extensive experience in the meetings and conference industry, to help them solve this problem. Digitell created the following opportunities for PGH: • Digitell Provided PGH the ability to Live Stream Sessions from their conferences to exhibitor’s Web sites in a Branded Player using SYNDICAST, a new service from Digitell.

“LIVE STREAMING EDUCATION TO THEIR WEB SITE WAS SEEN AS A HUGE BENIFIT BY OUR CORPORATE SPONSORS. THEY JUMPED ON THE OPPORTUNITY TO STEP UP THEIR SPONOSORSHIP, EVEN AFTER THEY TOLD ME REPEATEDLY THAT THEY HAD NO MORE MONEY.” Laura Wenger Executive Director Practice Greenhealth

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• Within two months, they signed up 8 companies to SYNDICAST™ the full conference stream on their web site. Results • Sponsorships increased by $80,000 in just 8 weeks. • 8 Sponsors increased their level of commitment to PGH. • 8 Sponsors have an improved ROI from their commitment to the PGH Conference.


Virtual Is The New Game In 2010, 4.5 million people attended the top 200 conventions and tradeshows in North America alone. However, approximately 35 million people who could have attended did not. Virtual is about making the 4.5 million a bigger number. It’s creating incentive – the content, the networking opportunities and lead generation – to attend in person the next time the same event rolls around. Virtual grows the face-to-face event. Check out these numbers from a recent event that Freeman facilitated:

The Space Odessey: Don’t Be Afraid Although there is caution within our industry about merging the online experience with the face-to-face experience, there shouldn’t be concern. Virtual will never replace or take over face-to-face, but rather enhance it. We have seen a virtual component used across numerous industries – B2B, B2C, publications, Fortune 500, healthcare, hospitality, non-profit and the list goes on. Event organizers and B2B marketers know that despite the intrinsic power and scale of face to face marketing, a faster horse won’t be enough to drive growth in the event marketing landscape. The answers reside in innovation this industry needs at this time. Go Mavericks.

SUMMARY: Virtual will never replace or take over face-to-face, but rather enhance it because events’ success depends on creating more content, more experiences and offering more ways to LIVE the event. http://blog.freemanco.com/experiences/virtual-is-the-new-game/

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In 2010, 4.5 million people attended the top 200 conventions and tradeshows in North America alone. However, approximately 35 million people who could have attended did not. Virtual is about making the 4.5 million a bigger number. It’s creating incentive – the content, the networking opportunities and lead generation – to attend in person the next time the same event rolls around. Virtual grows the face-to-face event. Check out these numbers from a recent event that Freeman facilitated:

The Space Odessey: Don’t Be Afraid Although there is caution within our industry about merging the online experience with the face-to-face experience, there shouldn’t be concern. Virtual will never replace or take over face-to-face, but rather enhance it. We have seen a virtual component used across numerous industries – B2B, B2C, publications, Fortune 500, healthcare, hospitality, non-profit and the list goes on. Event organizers and B2B marketers know that despite the intrinsic power and scale of face to face marketing, a faster horse won’t be enough to drive growth in the event marketing landscape. The answers reside in innovation this industry needs at this time. Go Mavericks.

SUMMARY: Face-to-Face and Virtual Events: The Essential Stats You Need to Know, an infographic published by Virtual Edge Institute, helps you to demonstrate the value of a virtual or hybrid event to your executive suite. It summarizes key stats from ten surveys and research reports issued in 2011. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2011/11/face-to-face-and-virtual-events-the-essentialstats-you-need-to-know/ 17 | Virtual Event Resource Book


How to Use Virtual Environments and Virtual Events to Drive Attendance to Your Physical Events The biggest print market in the world is in America’s Midwest, which is the natural place to hold the physical events. But, Price says, the shows have undergone a transition from a focus on offset printing to digital printing which is much more prominent and wide spread. “Three years ago when I came on board my first job was to create a digital brand for a show that was not known for one,” Price said. “At first it wasn’t easy. We went to the major digital print manufacturers HP, Kodak, Xerox, Canon and Ricoh and told them we produce this trade show and we want to bring more folks in to the show and to their booths, can they help us? Some said we’re uncomfortable inviting our customers because all our competitors are at the show.” However, once Price learned how to incorporate a virtual show to drive attendees to the physical events and combined that with a overall targeted marketing campaign, the major players took notice. How did he do it? “We took six industry segments and we broke them apart to six different marketing campaigns,” Price noted. “We focused on attendee mapping, everything about that industry’s segment that was unique. By creating these versionings we did a bang up job and we had an increase in those six segments in terms of attendees.” Simply, Price’s job is to bring more people to the physical shows. Using mapping, robust information for each campaign, direct mail, electronic marketing and GASC’s website, and the virtual environment. Price said one of the reasons GASC went into the virtual world was due to a study done by the Center for Exhibition and Industry Research. The Center conducted research at the 2008 shows and the results spoke volumes. “The results of the Center’s study told us that we needed to do more things online because we weren’t reaching the 35 and under folks,” Price said. “This helped tee us up to do more online and create the virtual show preview we just launched.” Along with doing plenty of research, Price and team chose to adapt to change by going virtual. They produced a preview, a virtual show, to drive the physical shows. “In our virtual show we’ve got good video and flash presentations, not just downloadable documents, which for me make for a flat booth and isn’t engaging. This turns people off. You’ve got to make your virtual world engaging.” Spearheaded by the desire to try something new, Price hoped for a thousand registrants and got 1,100. He helped his exhibitors build virtual booths, fix different sessions in GASC’s virtual theatre, stimulate conversations, ask questions, get chats moving and handle keynote speakers, all with the goal of driving them to the physical event to find out more.

SUMMARY: In this article, Robert Gluck explains how Chris Price, Vice President at Graphic Arts Show Company used virtual environments and virtual events to drive attendees to Graph Expo and Print, the print world’s two largest physical events. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2010/10/how-to-use-virtual-environments-and-virtualevents-to-drive-attendance-to-your-physical-events/ 18 | Virtual Event Resource Book


The Benefits of Virtual Events

Mike Marrache, SVP of Enterprise Learning of Computer Generated Solutions’ VirtualEvents365, recently appeared on 21st Century Business to discuss the benefits of virtual events. Michael Doyle, Executive Director of Virtual Edge Institute, was also interviewed for this segment (from 3:00 – 3:33) regarding how corporations are using virtual events. The segment appeared on CNBC and Fox Business News.

http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2011/09/video-benefits-virtual-events/

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Designing an Effective Virtual Tradeshow Experience: An Attendee Perspective Virtual tradeshows delivered on the Internet are narrowly focused fewerdimensional experiences. Unlike the sensory overload at a tradeshow in a convention center the virtual tradeshow helps a virtual attendee focus on the business on hand using intelligent searching, sorting, match-making and reporting tools. This article addresses the areas that a virtual meeting planner or a virtual tradeshow producer needs to pay attention to when designing the virtual attendee-experience. The content for this article is derived from nearly 5 years of hands-on experience in designing and delivering virtual tradeshows in a variety of industries and applications. They have feelings too. The Internet allows geographically dispersed individuals to connect instantly. However, due to the fact that they are logged in via the Internet, use Internet-based tools to communicate, are limited to manifest themselves virtually in chat rooms or emails or voice and web-cam images, they function and act from behind a veil of anonymity giving a false sense of surrealism to their persona. The virtual tradeshow producer must provide a visitor enough tools to lift this veil and reveal the visitor as a real human being. Prepare the virtual attendees for the virtual tradeshow with training on what to do while at the virtual tradeshow. Help them make the most of the time they have dedicated. Assisting a virtual attendee with online ushers even prior to entering the virtual tradeshow is simply put, a courteous act. The Retriever, our best friend. In a world replete with security codes, pins, passwords and identity cards, it is unfair to burden a virtual attendee with one more password to enter the virtual tradeshow. However, the attendee plays a vital role in the virtual tradeshow. Therefore protecting, validating and securing the attendee’s access and identity are crucial to the quality and credibility of a virtual tradeshow. The virtual tradeshow ought to provide the virtual attendee with a very simple way to retrieve the password. Passcode Retriever is one such mechanism that allows forgetful visitors to recall their passwords or access codes through a series of steps that can be independently triggered online. Place the retriever prominently on the virtual tradeshow site. The attendee needs to be trained early on about the use of the retriever. This eliminates avoidable frustration and paves the way for a smooth and unhindered virtual tradeshow experience for the virtual attendee.

SUMMARY: This article addresses the areas that a virtual meeting planner or a virtual tradeshow producer needs to pay attention to when designing the virtual attendee-experience. The content for this article is derived from nearly 5 years of hands-on experience in designing and delivering virtual tradeshows in a variety of industries and applications. http://www.itradefair.com/technology/The_Virtual_Tradeshow_Experience_An_Atte ndee_Perspective.pdf

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On Virtual Event Technology This is a guest post by Brent Arslaner, VP of Marketing, Unisfair Recently, the Event Manager Blog posted a great article on the differences between Webcasting and webconferencing, and went on to detail the role of the event manager in both instances. I’d like to add my two cents, and describe another exciting new resource—virtual events and environments—that is helping event managers extend both the reach and impact of their events, even as budgets and travel continue to decline. What is Virtual Event Technology? Today’s virtual events are multi-faceted, user friendly and highly interactive. Technologies have advanced to the point where virtual events look and feel remarkably like their physical counterparts. Virtual events can be used to deliver everything from company-wide gatherings, executive presentations, trainings, departmental meetings and product development sessions led by everyone from the CEO and divisional presidents to product engineers and human resources. In doing so, a company can not only cut down on the need for corporate travel, but also build a stronger sense of shared vision and community within the organization. A Changing Landscape According to a recent corporate travel spending survey by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), 33 percent of the 131 companies surveyed indicated they would be spending less on travel next year. Fortunately, virtual events can help fill the hole left by diminishing business travel by offering an economically and environmentally sound way to bring thousands of attendees to an event. They also deliver some of the richest marketing data available (because the anonymity of prospects evaporates) and entice more C-level executives to attend because they have the luxury of popping in for just a couple of hours. What’s more, virtual events are enabling meaningful online participation at 50 to 80 percent of the cost of physical events.

SUMMARY: This is a guest post by Brent Arslaner, VP of Marketing, Unisfair . Recently, the Event Manager Blog posted a great article on the differences between Webcasting and Webconferencing, and went on to detail the role of the event manager in both instances. http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/software/virtual-event-technology 21 | Virtual Event Resource Book


From Sea to Shining C-Suite

To eliminate travel time, Cognos Inc. moves its Financial Forums from the real world to the virtual – and draws more people to one cyber-event than it had to 11 brick-and-mortar ones before it.

Cognos Inc. knows a smart business strategy when it sees one. After all, the Canadian company makes software that analyzes a business’ sales, information technology, human resources, and other areas to uncover best practices and what it calls “information sweet spots” hidden in those mounds of data. Cognos also holds a series of conferences each year, called Financial Forums, to keep its more than 23,000 customers spread across more than 135 countries up to date on its data-mining processes, to discover what they are most interested in, and to generate sales leads. In Europe, the Financial Forums always attracted SRO crowds because the reasonably short travel distances meant that its target market — C-level executives and controllers — could easily attend in person. “We needed just four events in Germany to cover the whole country,” says Brian Chertok, senior marketingprograms manager at Cognos. Although the 11 U.S. events Cognos hosted in 2006 were sold out, they weren’t drawing as many C-level execs as the company wanted. With travel distances for many prospective attendees hitting 200 or more miles at each event, busy executives didn’t have the hours to spare. To redraw its Financial Forums map, the company examined one of its own proven successes. Cognos already had been repurposing select content from its real-world events into short, on-demand Webinars. “We already knew how popular the Webinars were,” Chertok says. “And with what we projected we could save on costs, we realized it made sense to try to extend the Webinars’ popularity into larger virtual events.”

SUMMARY: To redraw its Financial Forums map, the company examined one of its own proven successes. Cognos already had been repurposing select content from its real-world events into short, on-demand Webinars. “We already knew how popular the Webinars were,” Chertok says. “And with what we projected we could save on costs, we realized it made sense to try to extend the Webinars’ popularity into larger virtual events.” http://www.exhibitoronline.com/corpevent/summer08/portfolio.asp 22 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Reach Real Global B2B Tech Audiences With Virtual Events

New Tools And Best Practices For B2B Marketing Beyond Borders by Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D. with Peter Burris, Zachary Reiss-Davis THIS IS AN EXCERPT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The downturn is turning out to be a double whammy for tech marketers. Budget cuts and a significant drop in the effectiveness of tried-and-true tools, like trade shows, make calls to reach wider audiences through traditional marketing activities problematic. On the other hand, current requirements, such as the drive to do more with less, have created the (almost) perfect storm for social media. New social trends and tools provide new opportunities for technology marketers. The challenge is how to use them effectively. Innovative tech marketers are reaching their audiences virtually through virtual events. Virtual events are not the same as virtual worlds, and they are not Web conferencing. Virtual events are a rich, interactive, and multifaceted marketing tool that are as complex (and daunting) as they are valuable. Fortunately, new virtual events platforms can help tech marketers reach new audiences effectively—if the events are done right.

SUMMARY: B2B Marketers Face Challenges Reaching Audiences: Trade Shows? Out! New Marketing Tools Are Entering The Mainstream: Virtual Events? In! Going Global Virtually Brings Real Advantages — If You Do The Events Right http://www.forrester.com/rb/Research/reach_real_global_b2b_tech _audiences_with/q/id/55009/t/2

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Virtual Events- Common ‘First-Time’ Mistakes

In this video, 6Connex CEO Kevin Carbone details for Michael Doyle, Founder of Virtual Edge Institute, how to avoid common misteps in producing your first virtual event.

http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2010/07/virtual-events-common-first-time-mistakes/

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Virtual Event Best Practices Webcasting is seen by many professionals as an ideal marketing and communications tool, offering the effectiveness and efficiency that enterprises require in today’s business environment. These best practices can help you easily run a successful webcast.

Maximizing Attendance • Give yourself plenty of time for planning and execution. Start the process at least four weeks before the webcast, focusing on these activities: development of a compelling topic; identification of presenters and the target audience; and a promotional outreach campaign. • Send reminder emails. The recommended best practice is to send two—the first reminder one week ahead of time and a second reminder the day before the webcast.

SUMMARY: Webcasting is seen by many professionals as an ideal marketing and communications tool, offering the effectiveness and efficiency that enterprises require in today’s business environment. These best practices can help you easily run a successful webcast. http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2010/09/virtual-event-best-practices/

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Virtual Event Best Practices: Generating Post-Event Registrations

Note: This "Closed Sign" may not be needed for your virtual event. Introduction The great thing about virtual events? You can create a “show that never ends.” Sure, your scheduled events may have concluded, but virtual event platforms provide an ongoing showcase for your event’s content. In the industry, we use a fancy term – we call it the “on-demand archive.” Given all the time and energy you put into the planning and execution of your event, wouldn’t you benefit by extending the momentum, to drive additional registrations and activity to the on-demand event? Here are some tips and tactics to create a thriving on-demand archive. Publish New Content When recruiting expert presenters for your virtual event, ask them if they’d be willing to blog about their presentation post-event. Their blog postings could link to your virtual event’s microsite or registration page.

SUMMARY: The great thing about virtual events? You can create a “show that never ends.” Sure, your scheduled events may have concluded, but virtual event platforms provide an ongoing showcase for your event’s content. In this article, INXPO’s Dennis Shiao shares some tips and tactics to create a thriving on-demand archive. http://web.inxpo.com/casting-calls/bid/59051/Virtual-Event-Best-Practices-Generating-PostEvent-Registrations 26 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Guerrilla Marketing for Virtual Events There are a few key principles to keep in mind if you’re going to use guerrilla marketing to promote your next virtual event: • Be honest: Guerrilla marketing is based on making simple, honest claims. Don’t try to promise too much. Instead, just give people the facts and extend a simple offer to attend the event. Don’t promise them the world. All you want is to get their attention in an unexpected way. • Don’t annoy people: Guerrilla marketing can backfire if it’s not handled with care. If your guerrilla marketing efforts come off as too aggressive, invasive or insincere, you might alienate your audience. • Keep it relevant: Merely getting attention for its own sake is not useful. If your guerrilla marketing generates attention but without getting people to connect that attention with the message of your virtual event, then it didn’t work. Here are a few quick ideas for how to do guerrilla marketing for a virtual event: • Reach out to partners and influencers: If you’re hosting a virtual trade show, make sure to include your exhibitors, sponsors and partners in your guerrilla marketing efforts. Any marketing messages or buzz-building efforts need to be shared and cross-promoted by all of the different parties involved in the event. Ask your event partners to spread the word about your virtual event on their social media networks. • Include offline efforts: Just because it’s a virtual event doesn’t mean your guerrilla marketing has to be limited to online channels. For example, if you’re hosting a virtual event for employees from a valued customer, you could hire a barbershop quartet to sing a song in the lobby of the company’s building. If you have highvalue attendees that you definitely want to have in the audience at your virtual event, you could send them a delivery of cookies or flowers at their office, with a reminder card. Guerrilla marketing is likely to become a more important part of the overall marketing effort for virtual events, as companies look for ways to create interest, seize attention and build buzz, without spending a lot of money. Just remember to keep it honest, keep it relevant.

SUMMARY: This article is written by Ike Singh Kehal, CEO and co-founder of Social27. Through this article, he explains how virtual event organizers can use guerrilla marketing techniques to create interest, seize attention and build buzz, without spending a lot of money. http://www.virtualeventshub.com/virtual-event-trends/guerrilla-marketing-for-virtual-events/ 27 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Seven Steps to Marketing an Online Event Successfully Seven Common Misconceptions That Exhibitors Have About Virtual Trade Shows Source: iTradeFair.com, Inc.

Many trade show producers including industry leaders are earmarking staff and money to building virtual trade shows. Exhibitors in physical trade shows now have the option to participate in virtual trade shows as well. iTradeFair.com presents a compilation of common misconceptions based on first-hand experience in marketing virtual exhibit spaces to Exhibitors, and interviews with them. iTradeFair.com (location http://www.itradefair.com, tel. 405-372-6200) is an application service provider (ASP) for the events industry creating online adjuncts to physical events. Here are seven common misconceptions of exhibitors about virtual trade shows: 1.

I cannot shake hands with the attendee, so how can it be a trade show? Reality: Virtual Trade Shows capture leads that cannot make it in person to the physical venue of the trade fair. On the World Wide Web, these virtual trade shows have an international presence. “I won't be attending, and this is the only look at Convex that I will get”, says Donald W. Adams, Jr. an online attendee at TechnoXpo Online, a virtual trade show (location: http://technoxpo.itradefair.net) produced by Petroleum Equipment Institute as an adjunct to Convex 2000, in a message posted at the show’s online bulletin board. When a virtual trade show is held as an adjunct to a physical event, it allows attendees to research and plan their itinerary before they get to the show, which means more and better qualified leads for exhibitors.

2.

Our trade show budget is closed, and we have not budgeted for a virtual trade show. Reality: Virtual trade shows are a relatively new form of marketing. It will be a few more budget periods before they get accepted as a mainstream budgeting item. Exhibiting companies will have to earmark a small percentage of their current trade show promotion dollars for online exhibits. In most industries, the cost of a one-time display advertisement far exceeds the cost of a virtual exhibit and still does not generate concrete leads as a result. The industry average cost per lead generated at a physical trade show has been reported to be as high as $148. Recent experiences with online trade shows demonstrate costs per lead generated to be as low as $20. The trade show budget ROI’s will improve dramatically as a result of online adjuncts and as wider audiences visit events online.

SUMMARY: Many trade show producers, including industry leaders, are earmarking staff and money for building virtual trade shows. Exhibitors in physical trade shows now have the option to participate in virtual trade shows as well. This article presents a compilation of common misconceptions based on first-hand experience in marketing virtual exhibit spaces to exhibitors. http://www.itradefair.com/technology/exhibitormisconceptions.pdf 28 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Can Virtual Events Deliver Real-World ROI? By Joerg Rathenberg May 6, 2010 These are tough times for marketing executives. Faced with shrinking budgets and increasing pipeline targets, they have to deal with delayed sales cycles and markets that don’t behave the way they were taught in business school. Corporations who implemented rigorous travel restrictions are hesitant to go back to their old ways once they see the benefits to their bottom line. Add to this the growing concern about carbon emissions and global warming, and it’s no wonder the virtual events industry is booming. Virtual events can be used for anything from corporate training to road shows, user conferences or global product launches. Web-based platforms allow participants to enter a virtual environment where they can view live or on-demand conference sessions, enter virtual booths, network with peers, speakers and event staff -- all from the convenience of their Web browsers. While many virtual environments look like elaborate real-world conference or training centers, IBM recently launched its Virtual Event Center, where high definition video and realistic graphics make participants feel almost as if they are in a real building. Smooth transitions from room to room, conference halls that dim the lights as sessions start, together with easy navigation by clicking on a map or integrated hot buttons are all state of the (virtual) art. The environment and technology advancements are not only convenient and fun for attendees, they offer incredible benefits for companies hosting virtual events. By dramatically increasing their reach to include a wider audience at a much lower cost, marketers who have executed successful virtual events are rapidly discovering another aspect: a steady stream of highly qualified leads.

Before the event: • Content is king. Make sure your content is fresh and schedule speakers far in advance. • Promote the event on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Both sites provide target group segmentation, which can be very granular. • Keep registration simple. Limit required information to four or five fields. • Provide an easy way for attendees to place your event on their Outlook calendar and send reminder e-mails one week before and one day before the event. During the event: • Keep sessions short, around 15-30 minutes. Leave breaks between sessions to encourage attendees to visit the exhibit hall and to network. • Hold surveys, polls, group chats and networking sessions to promote the exchange of ideas among attendees. • Your booth staff should be trained to point visitors to ongoing sessions, videos, white papers, datasheets or other collateral. After the event: • Track, track, track. Analyze how long attendees stayed, what they viewed, what questions they asked and how often they come back to the on-demand portions. • Provide a summary of trends captured from your event (e.g., results of your surveys and polls to your registrants) in order to maintain the conversation within your community and provide value and insight. • Follow Up. The beauty of a good virtual event is that registrants can visit it any time they like. Use e-mail and social networking tools to follow up with nonattendees, share some of the excitement and encourage them to visit the on-demand environment.

SUMMARY: With the above best practices in mind, the ROI of virtual events can be incredible. Make the insights into individual participants available to your sales team as part of your leads process. And because of that, your virtual engagement strategy will soon be an indispensable component of your corporate marketing mix. http://www.corpmagazine.com/SpecialInterests/EverythingDigital/tabid/805/itemid/149 9/Default.aspx

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Top 10 Best Practices for Virtual Events 1.

Pick an experienced service provider.

2.

Create an event strategy and clear goals.

3.

Educate sponsors and then sell them.

4.

Provide administrative tools to make sponsors self-sufficient.

5.

Maximize attendee time at the event.

6.

Drive traffic to sponsor locations.

7.

Proactively interact live with attendees.

8.

Promote the event on-demand after the live event.

9.

Qualify and prioritize leads.

10. Conduct an ROI analysis.

Virtual events by the numbers Average live duration: 1.5 days Average archived days: 90 Average registration: 3,102 Average attendance: 1,587 Show Up Rate: 52% Exhibitor Booths: 15 Leads Generated per Sponsor: 348 Conference Sessions: 5 per day Average attendee time at event: 2 hours 31 minutes Average Locations Visited: 16 Average Attendee Interactions:13 Average Downloads per attendee: 5 U.S. Attendees: 58% International Attendees: 42% Source: Unisfair

SUMMARY: Technologies have advanced to the point where these and other sizable virtual events look and feel remarkably like their physical counterparts while delivering the same knowledge sharing and personal interactions. Virtual events also give event organizers and sponsors extremely rich marketing data. http://factpoint.com/Best-Practices-for-Virtual-Events-FactPoint.pdf

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Cisco Pushes Virtual Boundaries

SUMMARY: Chris Meyer, senior vice president, client services and general manager, George P. Johnson: “We set a new bar in terms of how we deploy virtual technology. ‘Edutainment’ at the level we deployed has never been done before.” http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/sm0110/index.php?startid=Cover1&WidgetId=null &BookId=47ae8dfeb973a961e4d37c8bf67d020e#/0

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7 Reasons Why Your Association’s Annual Meeting Should Be a Hybrid Event There are thousands of associations across the globe, and I know that many of you are considering digital options (e.g. “digital extensions”) for your annual meeting. As such, I wanted to take this opportunity to share seven reasons why the ADA chose to “go hybrid” in 2011. 1. Extended Reach Can you guess what percentage of our member base attends our Annual Session? Less than 10%. That means that 90% of our members miss out on a given year’s meeting! Not anymore. A digital extension allows us to reach more members and provide more value for our membership fee. 2. Education and Networking (Online) Even if you can’t attend in person, we can still offer educational content and a connection to ADA members. This is especially true for younger dentists who can’t afford the time or expense of being away from their practice. And that’s the great thing about a digital platform: even if you can’t attend in person, you can still find and connect with other dentists, online. 3. Give Members a Taste (Of What They’re Missing) The digital extension allows us to showcase and deliver the best elements of the Annual Session on the show floor and in the educational sessions. We don’t “give it all away” online, of course, just a taste to whet your appetite. And that leads to the next benefit. 4. Convert Digital Attendees to In-Person Attendees It’s our belief that members who attended digitally this year will be more inclined to attend in person next year, when we host the 2012 event in San Francisco. We’re looking forward to researching the 2012 results late this year, to see just how effective the digital extension was in driving face-to-face attendance.

SUMMARY: The following is a guest post by Catherine Mills. Catherine is Director, Council on ADA Sessions at the American Dental Association (ADA). In this article, she explains why associations around the world are adding virtual element to their annual meetings. http://www.bxbonline.com/2012/01/7-reasons-why-your-associations-annual-meeting-shouldbe-a-hybrid-event/ 32 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Q&A on Intel's Online Events Journey Introduction Recently, Intel's Phil Tierney (@virtuallyphil) presented a Thought Leaders LIVE webinar titled "Intel's Online Events Journey: From Internal to External to Self Service." The audience reception to the presentation was so great that Phil was not able to address all the questions that were submitted. Phil is not one to leave his adoring fans hanging, however so as promised, the unanswered questions (and Phil's answers) can be found here. Q&A on Intel's Online Events Journey On Digital Event Production & Logistics Q: Between live, on-demand and simulive, which do you prefer? A: Of all the shows we produce, I would say that we are heavily invested in and generally encourage live production. If it's not live, you need a really good reason to pre-record show content. Recorded is generally not as interesting to audiences. Active engagement through the use of live polls, Q&A and chat is just more compelling. I can post pre-recorded content to any website an day. I don't really need a digital show to deploy it. Q: Do you have any quick advice for the firewall problem? A: Firewalls have been problematic for us at times. The first few times we hosted internal events, vendors asked us to open up specific ports in our firewall. My security and network engineers were adamant that we could not or would not do that.

SUMMARY: Intel's Phil Tierney presented a Thought Leaders LIVE webinar titled "Intel's Online Events Journey: From Internal to External to Self Service." The audience reception to the presentation was so great that Phil was not able to address all the questions that were submitted. Phil is not one to leave his adoring fans hanging, however - so as promised, the unanswered questions (and Phil's answers) can be found here. http://web.inxpo.com/casting-calls/bid/102760/Q-A-on-Intel-s-Online-Events-Journey

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Event Webcasting Benefits Use hybrid events to reach people who cannot be present, boost exposure for your organization, sponsor and speakers, and generate a proven return on investment through new revenue streams. Meeting and event planners • Take the event to the people who cannot be present • Create an online experience that mirrors the live event, complete with interaction between presenter and viewers • Reach new audiences online, giving them a taste of what the on-site event is like • Use conference webcasts from the past year in marketing for upcoming events, enticing first-time attendees to participate • Increase revenue by selling live or on-demand access online to attendees, or selling webcast sponsorship to exhibitors and sponsors • Avoid scheduling conflicts and boost retention as on-site attendees watch sessions on-demand • Eliminate the burden on presenters with no software, no presentation uploads before the conference and no change to their normal presentation style • Boost exhibitor and sponsor value by capturing branded vendor demonstrations • Use reporting to determine who watched what, when and for how long, and identify the most popular speakers and topics for next year's program • Link conference materials, like the presenter's PowerPoint, directly within the presentation to streamline downloads • Leverage conference content to populate online training portals • Support green meeting initiatives by making all conference sessions available online, minimizing the need for printed handouts, CD/DVD and USB production On-site attendees • • • • • •

Provide more value for their on-site registration with access to your conference presentation archive Cultivate deeper engagement with the conference content and your organization after the event Review concurrent sessions they may have missed due to scheduling conflicts Eliminate the need for note-taking by revisiting sessions to review key points and boost retention Share conference content with other staff members back home Use Q&A to connect further with presenters

Online attendees • Allow individuals to attend online when they are unable to attend the physical event

SUMMARY: Explore the benefits of event webcasting for planners, producers, on-site and online attendees. http://www.sonicfoundry.com/event-webcasting/webcasting-benefits 34 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Cisco GSX Case Study

SUMMARY: Over the course of four weeks in 2010, George P. Johnson and JUXT Interactive partnered with Cisco to bring a massive team of sales executives together through an innovative hybrid event called the Global Sales Experience (GSX). By merging Cisco's own communication technologies with digital experiences and physical events around the world, the Global Sales Experience connected more than 21,000 Cisco employees across 24 time zones worldwide. With this unique hybrid approach, GSX has pioneered an extraordinary new direction in corporate events, setting the stage for even greater collaborative possibilities on a global scale. http://vimeo.com/22375430

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ON24 Announces Expanded, Improved Virtual Event Access

ON24, Inc., the global leader in webcasting and virtual event solutions, has announced ON24 MOVE (Mobile Virtual Environments), a comprehensive expansion of its mobile product strategy with virtual environments optimized for viewing on mobile devices such as iPads and mobile phones. Tablets now provide an HTML5-based immersive 3D virtual environment, and mobile phones deliver a content-focused compact view. “ON24’s mobile product strategy brings our virtual communications solutions to life on the iPad and other mobile devices,” explained Jayesh Sahasi, ON24’s Chief Product Officer and CTO. “With ON24 MOVE, mobile users can have as rich and immersive an experience as they have come to expect with all of our other products. ON24’s solutions are truly optimized for tablets and mobile phones; they aren’t just a ‘re-display’ of the desktop version.” The focus on providing an optimized mobile experience for virtual environment audiences has been driven by the rapid growth of mobile usage on ON24’s webcasting platform. “It grew 300% in the last year, and we expect it to double by this time next year,” Sahasi explained.

SUMMARY: ON24 has announced ON24 MOVE (Mobile Virtual Environments), a comprehensive expansion of its mobile product strategy with virtual environments optimized for viewing on mobile devices such as iPads and mobile phones. Tablets now provide an HTML5-based immersive 3D virtual environment, and mobile phones deliver a content-focused compact view. http://www.on24.com/press_releases/on24-announces-expanded-improved-virtualevent-access/ 36 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Virtual Edge Launches Definitive Online Directory for Digital Meeting, Events, Learning, and Community Solutions Virtual Edge Directory simplifies process for researching, identifying and selecting vendors and service providers for going virtual Pleasanton, CA, September 26, 2011 - Today the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI), an organization dedicated to advancing the development and adoption of digital event and meeting technology, launched the Virtual Edge Directory. Independently compiled, the Virtual Edge Directory is the virtual meeting and event industry’s definitive “digital yellow pages,” listing technology, solution and service providers for digital meetings, events, learning, and community. “We recognized that as virtual meetings and events were becoming more mainstream, marketers and event professionals were struggling to keep up with the increasing number of technology vendors and solution providers within the industry,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of VEI. “Encompassing solution providers and vendors from A to Z, the Virtual Edge Directory eases the process for researching, identifying and selecting the right resource for a virtual engagement.” Digital Yellow Pages for the Meetings, Events and Learning/Training With more than 400 company listings under 20 categories, the Virtual Edge Directory is the most comprehensive online directory for digital meetings, events, learning, and community solutions. “Mobile is the largest category by a long shot as most applications and platform include a mobile offering,” explained Doyle. “We cover all aspects of technology that people are using for events marketing collaboration and learning from telepresence to registration technology. Considering the size of the market we serve, it’s not surprising to have over 400 technology-related entries.” Each company profile includes the company description, video, social media stream, logos and website embedded on the page. The directory is designed to help marketers and event professionals to easily locate and source technology and services providers for planning, designing, and producing digital event and meeting extensions and virtual environment programs. It’s also a great tool for finding marketing assets for the listed companies. To learn more about the Virtual Edge Directory, visit http://www.virtualedgedirectory.com. Technology and service providers within the digital meeting, event and learning industry can submit their listing for consideration at http://www.virtualedgedirectory.com/suggest-listing.php.

SUMMARY: Independently compiled, the Virtual Edge Directory is the virtual meeting and event industry’s definitive “digital yellow pages,” listing technology, solution and service providers for digital meetings, events, learning, and community. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2012/08/virtual-edge-directory-launches/

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Virtual Show Evangelists Cost-effectiveness, flexibility and measurement make believers of event marketers Erin Biba Story posted: March 8, 2010 - 6:01 am EDT Virtual events are becoming essential for event marketers. With more and more companies supplementing live events with a virtual component, marketers are looking to expand on their investment and increase ROI. The latest trend is to extend the reach of digital by extending the length of each event, leaving them on 24/7 for an indefinite period of time. As a result the virtual event is becoming more like a Web site—an “always-on,” constantly accessible, regularly updated environment for marketers to connect and reconnect with their audiences. The reason for the trend, according to marketers, has a lot to do with the economy and the need for event producers to extend the reach of their investments as well as create more high-quality leads. “There's a significant investment that goes into enabling a virtual platform. To maximize that investment doesn't incur a significant dollar increase in order to keep it open 365 days a year,” said Dannette Veale, virtual strategy manager for the Cisco Live event run by Cisco Systems, a networking and communications company. “Any [live] event that's going to have content captured onsite—it makes a lot more sense in terms of maximizing investment to put it into a virtual event. It's very hard for any attendee to be able to digest that information within a two-day or even a month long time frame. There's a strong case made for conferences to have the content made available in a 365 space.” Marketers running always-on events said the best thing about them is the fact that shows constantly available to virtual attendees nurture relationships and create evangelists for their brands. According to Patti Moran, senior director of worldwide marketing at business communications company Avaya Inc., constantly updating the virtual environment and providing new information on a regular basis is “a great marketing pull. New information gives people a reason to come back and spend more time getting your message. It's important to keep it refreshed. It's on 24/7, but we carve out special times [to present new data].” By making the company regularly accessible, marketers are able to promote “the lifetime value of the customer,” Moran said. “You are spending a little bit more on your marketing vehicles upfront, but you know you're going to have a shelf life. You have a more-informed customer that will raise their hand and say, "Yes, I would like to speak to you directly.' You're not going to get an informed customer from a print ad. This gives a deeper level of information.” Additionally, Moran said, the ability to nurture the relationship with virtual attendees also extends the opportunity for them to do business with a company. “The selling cycle is continual. The minute you close one sale, you talk about what's next—what else you want to do together. The more they know, the more ideas they have that will surface into another conversation.”

SUMMARY: Virtual events are becoming essential for event marketers. The reason for the trend, according to marketers, has a lot to do with the economy and the need for event producers to extend the reach of their investments as well as create more high-quality leads. http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100308/FREE/303089987 38 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Inside Meetings & Conferences Tech companies rethink travel budgets, meeting options

SUMMARY: Virtual events and hybrid extensions of physical events help to drive in person attendance at future shows. Think outreach. http://bit.ly/NIreYU 39 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Key Considerations for Selecting a Virtual Event Partner

Online virtual events have become a powerful new communication tool for businesses around the world. A seamless combination of 3D interactive marketing, rich media, and social networking, online virtual experiences enable a unique level of customer engagement based on growing comfort with key social network behaviors. Social media has become a major platform for interactive communications. Last year alone, Facebook, grew 57 percent to 54.6 million visitor users. And, with 12.7 billion video views just in the month of November** rich media—which used to be rare and often a technical challenge for mass audiences—has become a standard and expected online communication element. In addition to leveraging our increasing comfort with rich media and social networking platforms, virtual events effectively mirror traditional physical marketing environments. With shrinking resources and rising travel costs, more and more companies are connecting and interacting with customers, partners, and prospects in dimensional virtual exhibitions, tradeshows, sales meetings, press briefings, job fairs, training sessions, and developer conferences. For many companies, virtual events have become the centerpiece of their corporate web marketing strategy. The reason is simple—the virtual experience platform provides a unique combination of benefits no other marketing vehicle can: powerful engagement through highly-tailored customer experiences, instant cross-cultural global reach, 24/7 accessibility, and powerful analytics. It also eliminates travel costs and out-of-office productivity and instantly reduces corporate carbon footprint.

SUMMARY: Planning, producing, and launching a successful virtual event or tradeshow requires experience in a variety of leading edge disciplines unique to digital media. It requires not only unique technology, design, and production skills but the ability to create an integrated marketing experience in a 3D motion graphics-rich environment built on best practices for engaging users. This white paper examines those skills in more detail and key considerations for evaluating and selecting a virtual event partner. http://www.6connex.com/downloads/The_New_Reality/6Connex_W hite_Paper_Key_Considerations.pdf 40 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Virtual Events and the Power of Anonymity More information is always good… except when it isn’t Virtual events are deeply social experiences – they work best when attendees have every opportunity to share their interests, respond to content, and interact with each other. Not only does such information sharing benefit end-users, but, it also allows event organizers to better understand their audience, make adjustments to content and drive higher ROI through lead generation. This win-win situation has resulted in an industry-wide push to create events that capture as much information as possible since this benefits both attendees and event organizers. However, as the virtual events industry continues to grow and mature, there are several factors that should make event organizers pause to consider the level of information that they collect from attendees. First, as the virtual events industry reaches critical mass, attendee expectations regarding privacy and data control are going to increase in importance. Second, there are several scenarios in which event organizers could achieve better attendee interaction by creating a sense of anonymity amongst users. If the key industry players are proactive, tomorrow’s virtual events will capture the information needed for customization and ROI generation, while giving users the control and (where necessary) anonymity that they deserve. Taking an attendee-centric view of privacy and data control As the industry as expanded, many virtual event companies have highlighted attendee profiling and analysis as key benefits to prospective event organizers. They argue that by providing deep profiling, both on an aggregate and individual attendee level, they can help their customers to increase pipeline velocity and generate leads. At the same time, very little attention has been given to the level to which attendees may or may not be comfortable with their information being collected. Specifically, while many attendees are comfortable with their explicit information (profile, name, etc) being shared, they would be uncomfortable with their usage information (chat sessions, comments, etc) being made available. If other online services are an indication (and I believe they are), a time will come in the near future when attendees demand more control over the information that they provide and how it is stored and used.

SUMMARY: If the key industry players are proactive, tomorrow’s virtual events will capture the information needed for customization and ROI generation, while giving users the control and (where necessary) anonymity that they deserve. http://www.virtualeventshub.com/virtual-event-trends/virtual-events-and-the-power-ofanonymity/ 41 | Virtual Event Resource Book


19 Definitions of a Virtual Event

Miguel Arias, Imaste: Virtual event is a concept that defines a wide array of situations, technologies, interactions, etc. But trying to find the common components, I would say that a virtual event is a live interaction between individuals that happen through a web based application. Virtual events, like their physical counterparts, need to take place in a certain period of time, and involve the engagement of attendees at both sides of the internet connection. If there is no live interaction we are not talking about virtual events but about fancy multimedia webpages. Hellen Beveridge, BIG Ideas Inc.: A virtual event enlists the power of technology to deliver an online space that enables collaboration of thought, knowledge and best working practices between participants. Using a complete portfolio of information delivery mechanisms, e.g. video, chat, document download, the virtual event should mirror a live event at it’s start point in order to engage fully with an audience that is unfettered by geographical or language barriers. Stuart Bowen, Momentum Events: A Virtual Event, which could be termed a ‘digital experience’, is a gathering of people commonly professional, logged into a web based environment rather than meeting in a physical location. Virtual Events are highly interactive offering participants a chance to collaborate, network and share information via a number of facilities such as webcasting, IM chat and third party tools from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. They can be used to replace physical events such trade-shows, association meetings, sales meetings and recruitment events but the current trend is for Virtual Events to support their physical counterpart in a ‘Hybrid’ fashion. Michelle Bruno, Fork In the Road: Although we generally think about virtual events in a more sophisticated way, i.e. having exhibitors and conference sessions and chat functionality, my definition of a virtual event is broader than that. When I think about virtual “events” I think about any engagement with an audience that does not involve in-person, face-to-face interaction. So, talking with an individual or a group via telephone could be considered a virtual event. I believe it’s important to pivot on this singular differentiating factor so that each event type can develop (in parallel) using the tools, platforms, and processes that make it truly unique and differentiated from the other.

SUMMARY: Technology improvements have allowed us to meet, connect and engage online. The 2008 financial crisis further drove the adoption of virtual events for organizations. But even to this day, there is no standard definition of what a virtual event is today and where it should be tomorrow. http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2011/04/19-definitions-of-a-virtual-event/ 42 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Virtual HR Virtual Human Resources Organizations have been providing virtual human resource services for several years, and now some leading organizations are taking virtual HR to another level. Organizations often leverage virtual technologies to outsource payroll, benefits administration, and even human capitol management. Let’s explore some of the newer more complex HR functions that are going virtual and go into detail on how three organizations (KPMG, Unisfair and Xerox) leveraged virtual environments to recruit, on‐board, train and help truly change the way their organization manage strategic HR functions. Virtual Recruiting: A virtual job fair featuring webcasts, webinars and video interviews is an accessible and effective way to conduct a vital business event online. Interact with students, job candidates, and employee prospects around the world via a digital expo. • Instant access to a global audience: engage and process a broad range of candidates around the world • Cost‐effective: interact with employee candidates in one‐on‐one virtual interactions like chat, or even video • Targeted: Enable virtual networking based on specialties • Virtual HR Structure: Host HR programs and services in your “always on” virtual environment Virtual On‐boarding: The days of the traditional orientation in a room with other new hires is a fading practice. When most of your talent is virtual, on‐boarding must be virtual, engaging, and connect people to the critical information and resources they need. • Easily on‐board a global workforce • Bring in company experts without disrupting their schedules • Gain insights and tips from peers • The ability to go back to the environment any time in order to access content and peers. On Going Virtual Training & Education: • Drastically reduce cost per attendee • Provide easy access to content, subject matter experts and peers • Blend formal and informal learning • Increase productivity by reducing time away from desk

SUMMARY: Virtual HR, a white paper from InterCall, takes a closer at how organizations are recruiting, onboarding and training employees….virtually. http://www.intercall.com/files/virtual-whitepaper-virtualHR.pdf

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Cisco Wraps up the Massive 2010 Global Sales Experience (GSX) Hybrid Event and Shifts from Event to Environment

The Global Sales Experience (GSX) 2010 has taken the engagement to the next level as a hybrid event, delivering both online connection as well as face-to-face experiences through an innovative hub-and-spoke model that promises again to change the way organizations communicate their vision for the future and inspire employees to action. At Virtual Edge, we think of this as a model of “connected events” where multiple satellite events are taking place some at the same time and others tuning in and out based on time zones and local programming. Check out the GSX 2010 planning and design video. Over 21,000 attendees connected throughout the globe via their computer and in 1,100 conferences rooms representing 162 Cisco offices. The event included live staging and production in 4 cities in various regions in the world. This connected event managed to outscore the physical-only event in some cases including overall speaker ratings. That is quite a feat considering the event had over 100 live sessions totaling over 130 hours. Using Cisco’s many global Cisco TV studios allowed the producers to bring in internationally recognized technology architects and allowed for global collaboration. The theme of the event was “Together We Can” and had a strategic framework that helped to drive alignment around the Cisco messages and produce measurable business value to the company.

SUMMARY: Over 21,000 attendees connected throughout the globe via their computer and in 1,100 conferences rooms representing 162 Cisco offices. The event included live staging and production in 4 cities in various regions in the world. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2010/09/cisco-wraps-up-the-massive-2010-global-salesexperience-gsx-hybrid-event-and-shifts-from-event-to-environment-2/ 44 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Virtual Conference Features World's Leading H1N1 Flu Vaccine Researchers

With the World Health Organization’s recent announcement that global production of swine flu vaccines will not be sufficient to effectively combat the pandemic, the sessions dedicated to the latest H1N1 influenza vaccine research are especially timely; GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis, for example, will present their latest data on flu vaccine research. "Because of the Vaccine Virtual Congress and the capabilities of ON24 Virtual Show, we will be able to bring to the global medical community the information they need, assisting in accelerating the development of vaccines and in the coordination of medical response worldwide," said Vaccine Executive Publisher Floris de Hon. The GSK satellite H1N1 symposium will feature a "who’s who" in the medical community, including Albert Osterhaus, who was the first to identify the SARS virus and to detect human infection by the Hong Kong strain of the H5N1 virus, also known as avian influenza. Malik Peiris, the first to identify the agent that causes SARS, will also chair the symposium. The Novartis presentation, "Working around the Clock," will feature new H1N1 clinical trial findings. The Vaccine Virtual Congress will offer video broadcasts of live and on-demand keynote presentations and related Q&A sessions, scheduled for October 5 and 7, respectively. Virtual delegates will be able to attend presentations by top international speakers, submit questions in real time, network and chat with their online peers and easily navigate the show via ON24’s fully interactive virtual platform. In addition, Elsevier will provide on-demand access for six months to select conference webcasts.

SUMMARY: The interactive Vaccine Virtual Congress will allow researchers and healthcare professionals to sample the same high-quality content and network with peers, all from their own desktops and at a time when collaboration among the world’s leading vaccine researchers is especially critical.

http://www.on24.com/press_releases/virtual-conference-features-worlds-leading-h1n1-fluvaccine-researchers/

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Virtual Reality Jeff Killeen believes that virtual events have the power to transform publishing business models. The GlobalSpec CEO went to his company’s board in late 2008 to make the case for investment in the emerging medium. Even in a raging recession, he said, the digital media company needed to develop an online events business. “The technology and application environment is there,” Killeen said. “The economic environment calls out for new efficiencies. There is an enormous inflection point that we are right on the cusp of.” The company did invest. GlobalSpec seeded its first virtual trade show last year, inviting about a dozen exhibitors to host booths for free. The company began to position its rate card at a second show, and a third event turned a profit. About 20 virtual events have been slated for this year and 40 are scheduled for next year. “I have never seen an embracement of a media concept take off as fast as this did,” said Killeen, whose company’s digital-only portfolio includes vertical search engines and e-newsletters for the engineering, manufacturing and related technical and scientific markets. “We see this as a third leg to our strategy.” He isn’t alone in his enthusiasm. Event organizers have discovered that a virtual environment can feed exhibitors’ hunger for data while also offering an event new brand-extension and revenue opportunities. Moreover, the loaded databases and content expertise found at most media companies, combined with potential staffing synergies, uniquely position publishers to take advantage of the growing online events business. Market Research Media, one of the first research firms to throw a number at the potential of the virtual events market, forecast in February a compound annual growth rate of 56% that would yield an $18.6 billion industry between 2010 and 2015.

SUMMARY: No longer an afterthought, profitable online events are becoming cornerstone revenue sources for media companies http://www.mediabusinessdigital.com/mediabusiness/201007?pg=13

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The Ultimate Checklist for Online Webinar or Video Chat Speakers

1. System requirements Since this is a virtual event, and you will be streaming from your corporate Computer, there will be for sure some technical requisites that you MUST fulfil if you don´t want to experience a lot of problems live. And believe me, you don´t want your IT guy to be solving any issue while you should be presenting. Therefore you need to control this in advance (let’s say, at least one week before the event). Most likely, your corporate proxy and firewall doesn´t let you chat with your friends via MSN or Skype, and you cannot even watch youtube videos. Then, how for Christ sake, would you expect the webinar application to break all your firewalls and hack into your network?. Ask your vendor for the list of technical requirements and tell your IT people with enough time. If anything fails, be prepared to stream your webinar from your vendor´s headquarters, or find an external computer (not in the same network as your company) plus an internet connection with a dongle. 2. Hardware requirements Don´t forget that you will need to have a webcam and a respectable internet cable connection in order to perform nicely. The better your machine is, the better the performance is to be expected. And it would be wise to download the latest version of your browser and flash player. 3. Rehearse in advance! No matter how sure your IT guy is, and even your virtual event vendor is, that everything will just work fine. You will need to test everything twice: First test: as soon as your IT team tells you that you are free to browse and stream using the specific webinar app, call your vendor for a first test. Make sure that most of the real conditions of your webinars are replicated. You will need a moderator, some fake visitors, question being asked and answered, and record the whole session. This way you will get familiar with the web app environment in a friendly atmosphere. Second test. This is always forgotten, and crucial. Test again 45 minutes before your live session. Some things may have changed (your firewall configuration, your webcam driver, etc). Avoid last minute rushes!.

SUMMARY: You have been proudly appointed as a speaker in a online training session, virtual event, virtual job fair or trade show, and you have no clue on how to proceed? Don´t worry, this article provides you with the checklist that every virtual event speaker should read and check before going on air. http://blog.imaste-ips.com/?p=141

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HOT BUZZ: Thoughts+Leaders

SUMMARY Looking back, what has been the biggest change within the meeting industry during the last 20 years? Get the answers from Malcolm Lotzof, CEO and co-founder of InXpo. http://www.mpiweb.org/Libraries/Magazine/OnePlus1209.sflb.ashx

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CASE STUDY – Planview Saves its Annual User Conference by Going Virtual Christopher Hosford Story posted: February 16, 2010 - 6:01 am EDT

How Planview salvaged its annual conference using a virtual event

It's no secret that travel and entertainment budgets were slashed last year, severely impacting the use and effectiveness of trade shows and conferences as a marketing channel.

Objective: To stage an annual user conference facing severely slumping live attendance

How bad was it? BtoB's "2010 Outlook: Marketing Priorities and Plans," an online survey conducted in October and November 2009, asked marketers which channels they had cut spending for during 2009. Of the 376 business-to-business marketers polled, 63.4% named events—the highest percentage of any other channel.

Strategy: Replace the event with a virtual version Results: 250% lift over typical live attendance, and deeper analytics for lead scoring

But even in the face of reduced budgets for live events, marketers have been busy discovering an intriguing alternative: the virtual event. Unlike a webinar, which is essentially an online PowerPoint presentation with commentary, a virtual event attempts to mimic online the entire look, feel and vibrancy of a live event. Typically, attendees logging on are presented with graphic representations of expo halls and training rooms, booths complete with sales personnel ready to answer questions via online chat, networking rooms, presentations in a virtual auditorium, downloadable collateral material—in short, an online emulation of just about everything one might encounter at a live expo. Among the newly initiated in the world of virtual events is Planview Inc., a company that offers portfolio management software for IT and other departments. Last year the company faced a disastrous decline in registrations for an upcoming annual conference and decided to take the virtual events plunge instead. "It took some time for people here to understand what it was," said Kimberly Stone, manager of Web and creative services at Planview, based in Austin, Texas. "It took an internal sales effort to psych us up and to begin to see things starting to click as we got closer to the event.“

SUMMARY: Strong results in the use of virtual events are possible with the right approach. Planview figured it out and increased the attendance to their annual conference by 250%. http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100216/FREE/100219968 /1409/FREE

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INXPO Launches VX with an Eye Toward Self-service and Ease of Use

Released during a virtual product launch using the platform, VX has tremendously simplified the process for creating and launching virtual programs. “Although simplifying the producer’s job was important as–or even more important, we’ve focused the new release on simplifying and thereby enhancing the user experience,” said Malcolm Lotzof, Co-Founder and CEO, INXPO. “We’ve focused on putting the content and the brand in the spotlight at all times.” The new design does away with the trade show metaphor for the most part and has more of a video based lookand-feel. You’re still getting much of the functionality with chat, polling, social media connections, etc. that the old platform had but with a new user experience. The new design has been developed as a result of discussion with INXPO customers who have been advocating for a move to a more simplified navigation and clean look with more video capabilities. The expo hall has been replaced by a sponsor logo image screen seen below. The VX Platform also supports mobile on Apple iOS and Android-based tablet devices. “Mobile attendees can now access all areas of an event on the iPad. For video delivery on the iPad, we also facilitate the use of Ustream, YouTube and our own on-demand media player, all with access to live Q&A and polling, creating a highly engaging experience,” said Lotzof.

SUMMARY: VX has tremendously simplified the process for creating and launching virtual programs. Mobile attendees can now access all areas of an event on the iPad. For video delivery on the iPad, ito facilitate the use of Ustream, YouTube and INXPO’s on-demand media player, all with access to live Q&A and polling, creating a highly engaging experience. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2011/04/inxpo-launches-vx-with-an-eye-toward-selfservice-and-ease-of-use-2/ 50 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Virtual Event Planning

SUMMARY: Virtual events – those that occur almost completely on the Internet – offer companies an opportunity to build a tech-savvy brand, expand audience reach, and drastically reduce costs. But they also contain elements of risk if not planned and managed correctly. This white paper identifies ways to plan a successful virtual event. http://www.slideshare.net/RayFerreira/virtual-event-planning

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Hybrid Is the New Black

Last week I attended and spoke at the Virtual Edge Summit. This event focused on virtual events, education, conferences and meetings. Over the course of the event I heard some key themes regarding virtual and hybrid events that really resonated. I wanted to share a quick recap on those themes: To quote Cisco’s own Kara Wilson, VP, Unified Communications and Collaboration Solutions “Hybrid is the new black.” In 2009 there was a lot of focus on virtual-only events, in 2010 some of that attention shifted to hybrid events, and in 2011 there will be even greater increase in hybrids as more event planners accept/understand that adding a virtual component and moving to a hybrid model does NOT cannibalize physical event attendance but rather drives future physical event

SUMMARY: This is a post by Cisco’s Dannette Veale. In this post, she shares some key themes regarding virtual and hybrid events that really resonated her at the Virtual Edge Summit. http://blogs.cisco.com/socialmedia/hybrid-is-the-new-black/

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The Future of Virtual Events

In this video discussion, 6Connex CTO Leon Papkoff and Cisco Director Erin BergamoTacy look at the future of virtual events. Looking beyond the current wave of applications, they discuss the next generation of busy digital audiences and the potential of virtual technology to provide new levels of freedom and balance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CRQnkWmJxU

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How to Design An Effective Hybrid Event [Webcast and Slides] Ray Hansen and I traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to record a live webcast/webinar on our Lessons Learned in Building the Hybrid Event at Event Camp Twin Cities. Here are the slides and link to the video archive from that presentation.

Watch Archived Webcast (Watch) This presentation starts with a photo slideshow from the live Event Camp Twin Cities event. Then we dive into the presentation. It is hard to pack so much into a 45 minute presentation. Actually, we left out a ton of stuff from the presentation – sometimes intentionally and sometimes by accident. (The timeclock was ticking.) For example, we didn’t talk much about planning and objective setting, because we assumed that most people will have already taken that step before starting. Also, we didn’t talk much about the Technology Recipe – because I did that in the post: Nacho Mama’s Hybrid Event Recipe.

SUMMARY: Slides from Webinar: How To Design an Effective Hybrid Event presented by Samuel J. Smith and Ray Hansen. http://interactivemeetingtechnology.com/2010/11/01/how-to-design-an-effective-hybridevent-webcast-slides/ 54 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Events, Redefined

Another new element that proved very successful was the Achievements area of the GSX virtual environment. This is gamification at its finest. This section aligned the key elements GSX wanted the attendees to engage in with badges they earned for engaging. Once a designated number of badges were unlocked the attendee was eligible for a prize drawing. This would appear to be simple but unlike traditional ‘virtual show prizes’ the badges were graphically driven, rather than the traditional point accumulation, were showcased in their own section of the virtual environment, rather than housed in a prize center with other information, and were highly visible as the number achieved vs unlocked was graphically included in the bottom navigation bar throughout the virtual environment.

SUMMARY: This is a post by Cisco’s Dannette Veale. In this post, she shares how gamification allowed Cisco to engage virtual attendees of its Global Sales Experience (GSX) hybrid event. http://blogs.cisco.com/socialmedia/events-redefined/

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As 2009 comes to a close, flat remains the (not so) new up in magazine publishing. Print advertising continues to take a flogging, online revenue is still an enigma to many publishers, and trade shows/exhibitions and conferences are taking a hit for many as well. One bright spot, however, may be virtual events—which, due to their no-travelrequired nature, actually could be benefiting from the dire economic climate. Virtual shows are like webinar series on steroids: An alternative to face-to-face conferences, they allow thousands of qualified registrants to log on to Web browser-based virtual environments to access conference programming, networking lounges and exhibit halls. Attendees can view live or recorded conference sessions; exchange virtual business cards; and "chat" with other attendees, exhibitors and sponsors—all without leaving their desks or incurring travel expenses. Best of all, they're a fast, relatively simple and fairly inexpensive way to link your advertisers to large numbers of qualified leads, strengthening your relationships with your audience and advertisers in the process. While they are significantly less expensive to produce than a live event, it still will cost you to use any of the virtual events platforms on the market. (And costs will vary depending on different factors, such as the features you opt to include in your virtual show.) Experimenting with an unfamiliar product such as a virtual event can be daunting— especially in these times—so Publishing Executive queried virtual-events veterans about the keys to successful and profitable shows.

SUMMARY: Matt Steinmetz of Publishing Executive spoke with industry experts on how virtual events can deliver revenue opportunities to publishers. InXpo customers, Futures and WATT Publishing, and Robin Klombers, Vice President of InXpo, also provide their insights. http://www.pubexec.com/article/shows-delivered-right-desktop-present-real-revenueopportunities-publishers-414987/1 56 | Virtual Event Resource Book


B-to-B Lead Generation Takes a Social Turn Rose Gordon - June 07, 2010 Dell made headlines last year when it announced it had raked in $6.5 million in sales through promotions on Twitter. At the time, most of the coverage focused on Dell's direct to consumer products, such as laptops, software and accessories. Yet, Dell's b-to-b marketing team says it too is finding success in leveraging social media to develop leads for its enterprise technology sales team - a group that sells green computing, virtualization and IT solutions to major corporations. Rishi Dave, Dell's senior manager of online marketing for its large enterprise group, says the company found particular success in its own branded social communities. For example, the Delltechcenter.com site allows current and prospective customers to interact with other customers, as well as Dell technical experts. "We're doing very large deals with very large corporations, and these deals take a long time," he says. "What we found is [customers] don't only want to talk to sales people, or PR people, marketing people. They want to talk to engineers, the people who built this stuff. Through these communities... we allow this to take place." Building rapport with customers in social media - whether on Facebook or a private branded network - has become a new step in the lead "nurturing" process. "What it does is it increases the [lead] quality," says Dave. It also "accelerates the sales process," he adds. Although relationship and brand building are typically at the forefront of PR efforts on the social web, Dave points out that you can "absolutely" turn a Twitter follower into a lead if you follow the social protocol.

A 2010 study by LeadForce1, a marketing automation platform, found that Wikipedia is the most effective social media channel in bringing relevant leads to b-to-b websites. Its survey also found that LinkedIn drove the most visitors to b-to-b sites from social media, but that these weren't necessarily the best leads. “Marketers tend to go after sites that give them the largest number of visits,” says LeadForce1 CEO Srihari Kumar. “They should not measure their social media effectiveness based on the number of visits, but rather customer intent.” He explains that traffic from Twitter and Facebook tended not to be lead-driven because these were typically made up of existing customers. Those coming from LinkedIn, though high in volume, were more interested in learning about the company itself, rather than its products. The company measured “intent” by tracking where on a company's website that users navigated to and length of visit.

SUMMARY: Top emerging channels for lead-gen include social media (74%), virtual events (40%) and mobile (34%) according to this study by Unisfair, shifting marketing priorities among live and virtual spending. http://www.dmnews.com/b-to-b-lead-generation-takes-a-social-turn/article/171576/ 57 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Virtual events, fairs and tradeshows market size. Future growth expectations. Recent surveys conducted by Unisfair and ON24, show an increasing awareness and demand on virtual event solutions among marketers, online advertising managers and CEO´s, which may lead to a huge increase in the number of virtual events organised in 2010. But how much is huge? An interesting blog post, by Michael Doyle, states that the expected size of the virtual event and meeting industry could be half the sife of the soft drink industry, around 15 billion $. Based on the idea that there will be a certain shift from real meetings and tradeshows to the virtual ones, and therefore taking into account an opportunity for travel saving around $150 billion yearly. That seems a bit to optimistic for me. Nevertheless we predict that many face-to-face events will have a virtual component producing hybrid events, enabling a year around connection between the attendees and exhibitors. My estimation is that the current size of the virtual fair market is estimated around $50 Mill in 2009, with four major agents in USA and one European main player. And we will see an exponential increase in the following years, especially in Europe and Asia, where the virtual events and tradeshow market is still in its initial development stage. The Physical Tradeshow market size according to Desilva-Phillips is annually over $100 billion. At a conservative 1% shift the Virtual Event market would equate to $1 billion. I could agree on that. On the other hand, analysts expect 5,000 online expos in 2010, considering that it would mean a 500 percent increase from 2009 (source Wired). With an average cost per event of around 45.000 $, that would mean $225 Mill, as the market size for 2010, not bad at all.

SUMMARY: Forrester states that the virtual events market has growth rates over 30% yearly, with a growing interest and demand coming from corporate clients, media and internet users. And most of the US companies plan to cut travelling and sales expenses in the next years, thus there is a growing need of online solutions that allow them to achieve similar results in terms of lead generation and customer meetings. http://blog.imaste-ips.com/?p=113 58 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Common Use Cases For Virtual Events Some event planners just know that they want to produce a virtual event. Others take a circuitous route to a virtual event, considering other options first. For those of you “on the fence” – you’re interested in virtual, but not sure if a virtual event makes sense right now, read further about common use cases of virtual events. Based on what others have already done, perhaps you’ll find a similar use case for your business need. Corporate University, Virtually Consider a conventional corporate training program – employees travel to the training site and receive instruction. Training is often in the form of long and elaborate PowerPoint-based presentations, with some intra-class interaction mixed in. Some training programs may incorporate hands-on learning (e.g. in a lab or in the field, where the company’s products are used). Now consider virtual training or virtual university. First, employees (and instructors) skip the flight and hotel – instead, they all participate from their office or their home. Next, each student enters a virtual university environment, with a customized learning program created by the instructor(s). In a virtual university (like in a virtual trade show), the attendees’ actions are tracked. The result – heightened accountability for the students. Sure, students are still able to view their BlackBerry or iPhone while an instructor is speaking – in virtual, however, learning effectiveness can be measured with precision.

SUMMARY: For those of you “on the fence” – you’re interested in virtual, but not sure if a virtual event makes sense right now, read this article about common use cases of virtual events. http://allvirtual.me/2010/04/28/virtual-events-101-common-use-cases-for-virtual-events/

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Reconsidering the Rich vs. Reach Continuum: Virtual Events In some markets an interesting dynamic is beginning to occur. The continuum between rich and reach begins to evolve from a single dimension to two dimensions; we can mix and match attributes and price points. Selecting a rich experience ceases to dictate limited reach. Consider, for example, the options now available for team collaboration and, in particular, extended events with dozens or hundreds of participants. Historically, these sessions were held in person, at great expense to organizers and participants (in terms of travel dollars and times) alike. Increasingly, meeting organizers are relying on technology to deliver an equally rich (in some cases richer) participant experience at considerably lower cost. With the broad availability of high bandwidth Internet connectivity, emergence of feature-rich web-share conference infrastructure and rapid adoption of social media, virtual meetings can now help bring participants together from around the world, without requiring anyone to leave the comfort of their home or office. Online, interactive events can offer participants the best of both worlds: they can consume presented content at their own pace and interact with colleagues and presenters in real-time. Many sessions at the 2009 Las Vegas Interop show, for example, were streamed over the Internet to participants around the world. Blogs and Tweets kept these remote participants abreast of the behind-the-scenes activities. Industry analyst Sheila McGee-Smith commented in a recent No Jitter blog post: “Like watching a sporting event on television, seeing the address in my office on a high-quality monitor was almost better than being there. I could see and hear the speakers very well and easily see the details on their PowerPoint slides.” Cisco has begun using a similar approach for our events. For example, a few years ago we moved an annual sales training event online, allowing participants to consume considerably more content (since they no longer had to choose between parallel tracks) and interact with subject matter experts through coordinated interactive video sessions offered at times that were convenient to team members around the world. The results speak for themselves: we were able to increase the breadth of our content six-fold and received an “Excellent” overall satisfaction rating from 71% of participants (only 5% rated the event “Average” or below). These are drastic improvements over the historical in-person format, which severely impacted team productivity due to time lost in transit. Of course, we compromised in some of the after-hours “bonding” but were able to save 95% of our budget, which could be used for focused team building events at other times throughout the year.

SUMMARY: Increasingly, meeting organizers are relying on technology to deliver an equally rich (in some cases richer) participant experience at considerably lower cost. With the broad availability of high bandwidth Internet connectivity, emergence of feature-rich web-share conference infrastructure and rapid adoption of social media, virtual meetings can now help bring participants together from around the world. http://blogs.cisco.com/collaboration/reconsidering_the_rich_vs__reach_continuum_virtual_ev ents/ 60 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Say it Loud and Proud: Top Tips for Hybrid Event Speakers Hybrid events—conferences and corporate events that include both live and virtual audiences—have prompted speakers accustomed to presenting in front of a live audience to adopt some new practices to bring the virtual audience into the conversation. Speakers aren’t the only ones interested in appealing to a virtual audience. Savvy hybrid event organizers are looking for speakers with the skill sets to wow both types of attendees. Bringing the virtual audience into the conversation Robert Swanwick, founder of SpeakerInteractive.com, believes there is no “best” way to bring a virtual audience into the conversation. “Each audience, speaker, and the content of each speech is different,” he says. That said, he offers some good practices: –Treat the virtual and live audiences equally. –During the Q&A, address a good portion of the questions from the virtual audience. –Display the avatars of the online audience on a slide visible to the live participants. –Invite both the virtual and live audience to continue the conversation in another online location after the presentation. –Participate in social networking with the virtual audience before hand to understand some of the issues. –Keep the virtual audience engaged with activities such as voting, chatting, and reading additional information. Midori Connolly, Chief AV Girl at Pulse Staging and Events, has some additional tips for hybrid event speakers. “Avoid walking too fast or too much. The camera sometimes translates that movement into a jerky or choppy image onscreen,” she says. “When referring to handouts, make sure the virtual audience has them also and if you have any hands on activities, encourage the remote audience to participate,” she adds. Midori Connolly, Chief AV Girl at Pulse Staging and Events, has some additional tips for hybrid event speakers. “Avoid walking too fast or too much. The camera sometimes translates that movement into a jerky or choppy image onscreen,” she says. “When referring to handouts, make sure the virtual audience has them also and if you have any hands on activities, encourage the remote audience to participate,” she adds.

SUMMARY: If you’re a hybrid event organizer, make sure you work with speakers that are experienced in front of a camera, able to multitask, and willing to keep the remote audience in the loop. http://forkintheroadblog.com/archives/say-it-loud-and-proud-top-tips-for-hybrid-eventspeakers/

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What Is The Right Mix? Face-to-Face, Digital, Hybrid Events Your meeting’s reach no longer stops at the conference room walls. Now technology makes it possible to reach people you never had access to before. The question is: How much should be live-only and how much shared with a remote audience? How do you create an environment that makes your remote attendees feel they are a part of what is happening on site? Here is the PPT from our recent presentation at the 7th Annual Pharmaceutical Meeting Management Forum on What Is The Right Mix? Dave Lutz and I presented together.

SUMMARY: Slides from presentation at the 7th Annual Pharmaceutical Meeting Management Forum by Jeff Hurt and Dave Lutz on What Is The Right Mix? Face-to-Face, Digital, Hybrid Events. http://jeffhurtblog.com/2011/03/29/right-mix-facetoface-digital-hybrid-events/ 62 | Virtual Event Resource Book


5 Predictions for the Future of Virtual Events What’s on the Horizon for Virtual Events? • Regina Coll of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): “I think you’re going to see 3D virtual events grow as the gaming platforms and the gaming utilities become easier to use.” • Jack Coursen of the American Speech-LanguageHearing Association (ASHA): “Short term, more of them [virtual events]. Long term, longer, more permanent online communities similar to sort of a robust professional wiki, more video, and members using the same technology to reach clients too.” • Helen Li of Abt Associates (USAID SHOPS Program): “I think we’re kind of already there, but completely mobile-based attendance. Being able to not only attend but maybe chat and interface that way on a mobile phone.” • Tom Manning of Learning Forward: “I think you’ll see the content from virtual conferences used as jumping-off points for ongoing continuous conversations.” • Marie A. Bass of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA): “I actually see virtual events as the go-to place for information about your business. For example, Facebook is the go-to place for personal networking, LinkedIn for professional networking, and a virtual event for HFMA might include all the education, latebreaking news, things like that.”

SUMMARY: 5 predictions about the future of virtual events from educational webinar on virtual events, sponsored by iCohere. http://www.tagoras.com/2012/06/13/predictions-for-future-of-virtual-events/

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How a Virtual Corporate University can Enhance Your Global Training Programs

White paper highlights include: • Immediately expand training programs to reach global workforces • Provide an engaging learning experience while reducing training costs • Integrate subject matter experts into training programs to facilitate the transfer of institutional knowledge • Deliver interactive training sessions via webcasts, collaboration tools, and social networking

SUMMARY: The World is Your Classroom, new white paper developed by ON24 , explains how virtual corporate universities can enable companies to train their worldwide employees, customers, and partners more effectively and at lower cost. http://communication.on24.com/virtualcorporateuniversity?cid=701000000009iIW&ls=website

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Measuring Virtual and Hybrid Engagements

Michael Doyle, Executive Director of the Virtual Edge Institute, spoke with Todd Hanson, founder of the Catalyst Performance Group and ROI of Engagement, regarding virtual and hybrid engagement measurement. This augments Todd's panel on "Results Measurement in the Virtual World: Past, Present and Future" from Virtual Edge Summit 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVQU6_1-MaU&feature=plcp

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Monetizing Your Hybrid Event The following checklist was created by Robin Klombers, vice president of online event technology provider INXPO. Content Strategy • Ensure that the content of your hybrid event is well suited to monetization. • Identify topics that are timely and top-of-mind amongst your target audience. • Balance your content strategy against your known market of potential sponsors -- or, for a paid model, the likelihood of end users to pay to attend. • Identify experts and industry thought leaders as potential presenters; consider those who are known and respected by your target audience of attendees and sponsors. Monetization Strategy • Determine your revenue model: sponsor-funded, paid attendance or a blend of both. • Identify the specific revenue hooks in your face-to-face and digital event experiences -- what will people most likely pay for? • Build and test (via internal or industry feedback) sponsor and attendee packages. Ask your platform provider to review these materials as well to ensure they can deliver on your promises. • Determine whether a package-bundling strategy works for you (e.g., including a virtual booth sponsorship as part of the diamond sponsorship of the face-to-face event). • Distinguish between the sponsorship packages enough to create a desire to choose a higher-level package (e.g., number of booth staff, special metrics, guaranteed lead numbers, branding throughout the event, etc.). • Determine the prices for your assorted packages. (Note that, especially for the first event, this will be more art than science.)

SUMMARY: Checklist for monetizing hybrid events, created by Robin Klombers, vice president of INXPO. http://www.meetings-conventions.com/articles_ektid49064.aspx

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What’s Ahead for Virtual in 2012? As Michael Doyle, founder of the Virtual Edge Institute, prepared for the 2012 Virtual Edge Summit next week, colocated with PCMA’s 2012 Convening Leaders in San Diego, he took time to look ahead with his top seven predictions for the virtual meetings industry for 2012. 1. Movement toward a simpler “less is more” approach The trend toward a more simplified, web page-based graphical interface for online events and meetings will continue in 2012. Platform vendors are moving in the “less is better” direction with their new versions. 2. More embedded event and meeting solutions Events in 2012 will be open and easily accessible to attendees wherever they are located. Many event and meeting producers will want to embed their events and learning programs into their existing websites to simplify the attendee experience. 3. More convergence of event technology The competitive edge will go to those vendors who have the ability to converge registration, website, mobile, community/networking, and virtual extensions into a single solution. Most digital event solution providers will continue to move toward open architecture and a modular approach that will allow the embedding of elements driven by physical event registration and mobile communication systems. 4. More 365 environments Although there will always be the need for online environments for single events, the trend will be toward building perpetual environments that are available year-round to allow for better utilization and monetization of content. Users and producers alike will seek easy-to-use solutions that include their history, sufficient storage for recorded materials, and a familiar social network. 5. More shuttering of virtual event platforms “Currently, there are too many virtual event platforms with too few distinctions,” Doyle explains. “Mobile technology has changed the game and what was a workable platform six months ago is now on the verge of being leapfrogged.

SUMMARY: Checklist for monetizing hybrid events, created by Robin Klombers, vice president of INXPO. http://blogs.pcma.org/?p=2746

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The Next Marketing Frontier: Virtual Events and Environments Jan 22, 2010 Joerg Rathenberg ADOTAS – In light of the current economic landscape, it’s now more critical than ever for marketers to attract the right prospects and help reduce the time it takes to close deals. One major effect of an economic lull is that buying decisions are delayed. As a result, marketing executives are faced with dwindling pipelines that actually need to be even bigger than in good times. With a limited ability to allocate money to lead generation, the emphasis is now on marketing tactics that can deliver high-quality leads cost-effectively. Savvy marketers understand that lead generation is not limited to the initial creation of interest. Rather, it refers to the full slate of nurturing activities necessary to grow a “suspect” into a prospect. But in order for marketers to efficiently track and drive leads through the customer lifecycle, they must leverage the right tools. Virtual events and environments are rapidly becoming more mainstream thanks to their ability to help marketers arm their sales counterparts with better-qualified and intrinsically higher-value “sales-ready” leads. One major advantage of a virtual environment, compared to traditional physical events (e.g. trade shows), is that every interaction of each attendee can be recorded and evaluated. For example, demographic information combined with detailed insight into an attendee’s virtual booth visits, chats with booth staff, collateral downloaded and presentations viewed, provide a level of lead qualification that is far superior to most other marketing initiatives. The best virtual environments allow marketers to measure the engagement level of their participants and rank all of their leads, so that immediate attention will be given to “hot” leads. Companies can evaluate their prospects and customers on three dimensions: demographics, activities and interest. A simple point system helps organizers to customize the lead scoring mechanism for their needs. By defining lead ranking criteria upfront, they don’t waste time trying to make sense of their leads after the event is over.

SUMMARY: In short, virtual events and environments are a new and cost effective way to market, and generate sales-ready leads. It’s no wonder more and more marketers are beginning to embrace this technology and are happily reaping the many measurable benefits. http://www.adotas.com/2010/01/the-next-marketing-frontier-virtual-events-and-environments 68 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Why Events are Going Virtual As companies continue to cut costs, trade shows are becoming an expendable expense. As companies continue to cut costs, tradeshows are becoming expendable. The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry found that nearly 70 percent of show organizers surveyed expected a more than 10 percent decrease in sales. Even Las Vegas’ popular Consumer Electronics Show had vacant floor space this year. Virtual platforms, however, are fast becoming the way to host, exhibit at and attend a tradeshow. Sony held its first virtual tradeshow in January with much success--and savings. “It’s a cost-effective way to build brand awareness or establish yourself as a small business without having to put your schedule on hold, hop a cross-country flight or create and ship materials,” says Scott Steinberg, publisher of DigitalTrends.com and a veteran of the digital media space. So if you’re considering giving tradeshows the axe, here are five reasons you may be better off going virtual. 1.

You’ll save money. Not only will you save significantly on flights, hotels and setup, but registration tends to be cheaper, too.

2.

It’s better for the environment. Virtual tradeshow host Unisfair has saved its clients more than 161,833 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions.

3.

You won’t lose as much employee productivity. Employees can be in the office and at a virtual tradeshow.

4.

Virtual tradeshows have everything a standard show does--and more: panel discussions, speeches, demos, real-time networking, and so on. Most hosts provide attendee metrics, too.

5.

There’s no tedious setup or breakdown. “Assemble” a virtual booth in less than an hour and save it for the next show.

App of the Month App: Qik Compatible with: 108 mobile devices Price: Free Ever attend a tradeshow and wish you could stream footage to your team back in the office, or sit in on a presentation that you thought your partner should see? For these reasons and more, the creators of Qik sought to be the go-to application on mobile phones for people who want to capture those moments and stream them live online with near-zero latency. Just download the application and start recording. Viewers can chat live, and the video is automatically archived on Qik.com. The application can also be embedded in profiles on social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. —L.H.

SUMMARY: Cutting costs doesn’t mean you have to cut quality or quantity. Saving you money not only increases your budget but will increase the number or participants who will still be able to attend your event. http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/entrepreneur/2009/july/202248.h tml

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What Value Can A Virtual Event Deliver For Your Organization?

SUMMARY: What is a virtual event and what are the benefits? How do you go about building a virtual platform? These presentations will answer those questions along with providing detailed graphics. http://www.slideshare.net/janetthompson/what-value-can-a-virtual-eventdeliver-for-your-organization-presentation

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Virtual Events for Dummies

Understanding how you can use virtual events to engage your audience, cut out costly physical meetings and events, and bring in sales leads or prospects at four to five times your current rate is what this book is about. The virtual event is your key to realizing all these benefits, and nobody has to fly standby or stay in a terrible hotel room to attend. With this book, you find out not only what virtual events are but also how they differ from physical events. You learn how to use the power of virtual events in ways that can revolutionize your entire business. You also get examples of virtual event uses in the real world, and more.

SUMMARY: ON24’s Virtual Events for Dummies, an ebook, defines virtual events and helps you understand how you can use virtual events to engage attendees, slash costs of in-person events and conferences as well as increase sales by 4 to 5 times. The chapters are organized to give you the information you need and then shows you how to act upon it. http://communication.on24.com/virtualeventsfordummies 71 | Virtual Event Resource Book


How to Design a Virtual Job Fair Program Some common characteristics Those who do well-designed and successful virtual job fairs have a few things in common: 1.

The event organizer understands the Internethabits of the targeted audience 2. The virtual job fair serves as a pre-screening tool that enhances traditional hiring activities 3. A need to beat infobesity or information overload. The event organizer and the job candidates find existing Internet-based job boards to be frustrating because they are sometimes overloaded with outdated job listings and resumes. 4. They may be in such a niche market that the job boards do not adequately capture their industry’s skilled labor pool. 5. Their Applicant Tracking System distorts the formats of uploaded resumes, making it difficult for a recruiter to decipher a resume, prompting the need for an extra exchange of messages asking the job candidate to resend a resume in MS WordŽ format. 6. A need to attract job candidates from far and wide 7. The best job candidates are already working elsewhere and need a convenient way to research and reach recruiters with current open positions to fill. 8. They take a long term approach to changing their user’s habits. 9. They are mindful of the limitations of the Internet, and therefore manage the expectations of both the employers and the job candidates appropriately. 10. They are patient and nurture the virtual job fair, repeating them till they gain momentum.

SUMMARY: This book by Ramesh Sambasivan uses a crisp style to share some very practical suggestions on how to make your virtual job fair program a successful one. http://www.itradefair.com/ebooks/vjf1.pdf 72 | Virtual Event Resource Book


bXb Online Reveals BOBtv-Best of Business Television at ASAE Annual Meeting BOBtv is the content distribution platform designed by and for event marketing professionals. Tony Lorenz, Founder of bXb Online announced the launch of BOBtv and was joined onstage by Steven Hacker, President of IAEE, John Graham, CEO of ASA, Sherrif Karamat COO of PCMA and Michael Doyle, Founder of Virtual Edge Institute. The development of a global industry network initiated a rare and celebrated collaboration of industry associations. After several months of collecting input from the industry, as well as leaders from ASAE, IAEE, PCMA and VEI– the face, scope, monetization features and user experience were defined and developed for BOBtv. In January 2013, BOBtv will be up and running and in the meantime you can get a preview at www.BOBtv.biz. bXb Online, a business focused on accelerating the power of face-to-face events through emerging online stories and experiences, unveiled the face of its global online event platform designed with and for the event marketing industry. The concept is simple, aggregation of face-to-face event content on one unified online platform. The execution is complex because all content will be curated by subject matter experts and the platform must integrate with the membership database of associations that supply content. Finally, BOBtv must integrate with all of the various virtual event platforms that currently house content behind their registration pages—that will be no simple feat. So at the end of the day, BOBtv will be a technology platform with significant complexity on the backend but a simple user interface that is as easy to use and search as youtube; an extraordinary business partnering and licensing compilation and a sophisticated marketing machine to allow easy discovery of the vetted content. Lorenz describes BOBtv as the place business consumers can turn to for what they need, when they need it. “BOBtv will extend the power of face-to-face events to much wider global audiences in real time and on demand. So while BOBtv will play an increasingly larger role in the exciting story of face-to-face business events, it — or shall we say he — will always be the second-best seat in the house” said Lorenz.

SUMMARY: BOBtv will be a technology platform with significant complexity on the backend but a simple user interface that is as easy to use and search as youtube; an extraordinary business partnering and licensing compilation and a sophisticated marketing machine to allow easy discovery of the vetted content. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2012/08/bxb-online-reveals-bobtv-best-of-businesstelevision-at-asae-annual-meeting/ 73 | Virtual Event Resource Book


6 Tips for Designing an Optimal User Interface for Your Digital Event 1) Highlight the key areas upon login. Not all spaces are created equal. Some areas of your digital environment are more important than others, as they help house key content. Determine 2 to 3 areas that you want users to focus on when first entering the environment. On your landing page, choose the areas that align with your event purpose.

2) Provide a call to action. Provide clear and obvious calls to action to guide your user through the environment. The desired action may not be clear, so use active words to tell your users exactly what to do. Don’t be afraid to use phrases such as “Click Here” so that your users know exactly what to do. 3) Keep your navigation menu toolbar clean. The navigation menu highlights the key areas of toolbar acts as a main point of navigation within the digital environment. Sort your buttons in order of importance from left to right to ensure an intuitive flow. If your environment contains over six spaces, group items by category and utilize dropdown menus. Note, if using a dropdown menu, insert a heading as the top item, to provide a label for all the clickable selections beneath it.

SUMMARY: Intel's Phil Tierney presented a Thought Leaders LIVE webinar titled "Intel's Online Events Journey: From Internal to External to Self Service." http://web.inxpo.com/casting-calls/bid/105506/6-Tips-for-Designing-an-Optimal-UserInterface-for-Your-Digital-Event 74 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Bradman University Survey: Virtual Teaming On The Rise The results of the study, “Virtual Work Environments in a Post-Recession Era,” highlighted the growing adoption of virtual teaming across industries and within corporations: • Forty percent of respondents indicated that more than 40% of their employees worked in virtual teams • Nearly one quarter (21%) of these respondents stated that 60% of their employees worked in virtual teams • Fifty-six percent of hiring managers expect this trend to continue within their companies • And 61% anticipate that their companies will allow more employees to telecommute within the next three years Seeking Workers with Virtual Team Skills • While virtual teaming is primarily seen for cutting costs, companies are seeking employees who can communicate and collaborate effectively: • More than 70 percent of hiring manager stated that proficiency in collaboration solutions are a necessary for employment consideration • More than half of hiring managers (57%) are looking for workers who exhibit excellent communication and collaboration skills (57 percent)

SUMMARY: The results of the study, “Virtual Work Environments in a Post-Recession Era,” highlighted the growing adoption of virtual teaming across industries and within corporations. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2011/06/virtual-teaming-on-the-rise/

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How Meetings Benefit From Today's Technology The term "meetings technology" is broader than ever. Industry consultant Corbin Ball catalogs no fewer than 1,400 such products, across more than 40 categories, on his website (corbinball.com). To drill down to the essentials, we've selected and demystified today's hottest meetings technologies. These are the methods techsavvy planners already are using to make their meetings more efficient and effective. Those who aren't should consider following their lead. Mobile Apps

Mobile technology is one of the hottest areas of development in any industry. Mobile applications will continue to change the way we meet and travel, and their influence will continue to grow. Global smartphone wholesale revenues were expected to hit $97.3 billion in 2010, according to New York City-based ABI Research -- a yearover-year jump of nearly 57 percent. ABI expects revenues to climb to more than $175 billion by 2015. As a fastgrowing majority of planners and attendees have smartphones in hand, the opportunities for mobile meetings management and mobile event engagement will skyrocket. On a basic level, mobile apps for events fall into two types: a web-based program that might be accessed through an Internet-enabled phone, iPod or tablet, or downloadable software that runs natively on a specific device. Of the latter, developers primarily are focusing on three operating systems: iOS, the Apple mobile operating system that powers the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad; Google's Android, an open operating system that runs on a fastgrowing number of devices; and BlackBerry, those smartphones made by Research in Motion that long have been favored in the corporate world.

SUMMARY: Tech-savvy planners are using latest technological innovations to make their meetings more efficient and effective. This article by Michael J. Shapiro demystifies today's hottest meetings technologies. http://www.meetings-conventions.com/articles/how-meetings-benefit-from-today39stechnology/a38382.aspx 76 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Marrying Physical and Virtual World to Improve Business Impact and Reduce Costs

Events enables partners, employees and customers to come together, build networks, gain fresh perspectives, exchange knowledge, and nurture relationships. In spite of all these significant benefits, a lot of organizations are doubtful whether events deliver business impact commensurate with their costs, especially during recession. Sky-scraping costs, limited audience reach, low flexibility, and unpredictable outcomes are some of the challenges associated with traditional events. You can no longer assume that all attendees will travel from around the world for an event. As technology begins to offer more options, attendees will want to participate how and when they choose. Some will prefer to join an event remotely. Many of these challenges can be overcome by adding a virtual component to a traditional event. A hybrid event (marrying the Physical and the Virtual World) expands options for participation in both space and time, enabling the attendee to choose to attend in person or remotely, live or on a delayed basis, and for the entire program or just selected sessions. It offers you a great opportunity to cast a wider net and attract more attendees with smaller travel budgets or from across the globe. Based on Cisco’s experience, hybrid events not only cut the cost and augment attendance, but also enhance the attendee experience and greatly increase the event’s impact.

SUMMARY: A hybrid event (marrying the Physical and the Virtual World) expands options for participation in both space and time, enabling the attendee to choose to attend in person or remotely, live or on a delayed basis, and for the entire program or just selected sessions. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2011/01/marrying-physical-and-virtual-world-toimprove-business-impact-and-reduce-costs/ 77 | Virtual Event Resource Book


How to Handle Those Hot Virtual Tradeshow Sales Leads

It’s the Holy Grail of online lead generation – you generate sales leads that pursue you and your company (rather than the other way around). This Holy Grail scenario often plays out in B-to-B Virtual Tradeshows. Some attendees come to the virtual event with approved budget, purchasing authority and a specific need. As such, they’re shopping around with the various exhibitors to see who offers the solution that best fits their requirements. These attendees will ask you (or your colleagues) very specific questions, covering technical specifications, product features and pricing. At the conclusion of their visit, they may ask to be connected to a sales representative from your company. How better can it get for you as an online marketer? For this opportunity that fell into your lap, be sure to close the loop (with sales) on this lead or else the happy ending may be told by your competitor. Here’s a sample chat that’s representative of what I’ve seen in virtual events: Attendee: Thanks for the information about your products. Exhibitor: You’re welcome! Attendee: I’d like to set up a meeting to price out a configuration and discuss a few requirements that the product needs to meet. Exhibitor: Where are you based? Attendee: New York City Exhibitor: (a few minutes later) OK, the area sales manager for NYC is Bob Johnson. His email address is bjohnson@acme.com and his phone number is 212-555-1212. Attendee: Thanks, I’ll contact him. Not good enough! The exhibitor missed out on a golden opportunity here. Additional steps that I’d recommend: • Copy/paste the transcript of the chat and immediately email it to Bob Johnson • Connect with Bob via email, IM, etc. – letting him know about the hot lead • Update your CRM system (e.g. Salesforce.com, SalesLogix, etc.) with the transcript of the chat and a summary of the sales inquiry • Urge Bob to follow up immediately with the attendee — let the attendee know (during the chat session) that “Bob is ready to take your call right now” – or, “Bob will call you first thing in the morning” • Get Bob to login to the virtual event right now – you already know that there’s one hot lead from his territory – a sales opportunity waiting for Bob to close • Provide your own contact info to the attendee, letting her know that you can be contacted if Bob cannot be reached

SUMMARY: Remember, leads in a virtual tradeshow can be very hot. Handle with care and don’t treat them like hot potatoes. If you do, then your competitors may be eating your lunch. http://www.ubmstudios.com/resources/best-practices/how-to-handle-those-hot-virtualtradeshow-sales-leads/ 78 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Tips for Integrating Video & Webcasting into your Online Marketing Strategy

SUMMARY: List of 10 quick tips, developed by UBM Studios, for making the most out of your video and webcasting opportunities. http://info.ubmstudios.com/tips-for-integrating-video-webcasting-into-your-online-marketingstrategy 79 | Virtual Event Resource Book


5 Presentation Ideas to Screen Share with the Pros in Online Meetings

Wow your boss, customers and vendors with these screen sharing tips to make your next virtual meeting the toast of the office. Online meetings and screen share are a vital part of the way we do business today. In online meetings, we showcase our products, collaborate on documents, share websites and more using today’s most innovative screen sharing technology. But when you share your screen, ever wonder if your boss gets the big picture and if the technology is clear enough to impress your customers? Or do you dread an embarrassing instant message popping-up during the presentation? Here are 5 presentation ideas to help you screen share with the pros in online meetings to get that next big raise or close that deal: 1. Pick the right screen sharing technology. With the plethora of free screen sharing offers, it’s easy to get roped into sub-par screen sharing experiences. To avoid delays, resolution problems and “can you see it?” hassles, pick a screen share solution integrated into an online meetings platform that is built for business, like iMeet video conferencing by PGi. Here are some benefits:

SUMMARY: 5 presentation ideas to help you screen share with the pros in online meetings to get that next big raise or close that deal. http://www.pgi.com/learn/articles/5-presentation-ideas-screen-share-pros-online-meetings

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Monetizing Digital Events Apparently it’s fairly easy to monetize a virtual event if you have the customer base, an understanding about what works and what doesn’t for your audience and a platform with ample monetization opportunities. A recent Thought Leaders Live Webcast from INXPO shed some light on the myriad ways to earn revenue from digital platforms. Attendees also received a copy of the company’s white paper (registration required, but it’s worth it) detailing the assets (banners ads, messaging, Webinars, directories, lounges, etc.) and bundling strategies that event hosts can deploy. Ali Libb, online event manager, American Marketing Association and a Webcast presenter, explained that she takes her cues from live event sponsorship opportunities. A veteran of 11 virtual events since February 2010, Libb outlined her success using tiered sponsorships—each level having a different mix of offerings from speaking opportunities to logos in email and branded landing pages. She offered three specific takeaways in her presentation: • Matching presentation topics with sponsors who would like to be associated with those specific subjects, while taking care not to allow overt selling, is a successful approach for attracting sponsors. • Content—Webinar presentations, videos, white papers— is easier to monetize than sales opportunities such as virtual trade show booths. • Making the content (and the sponsorship opportunities) available for at least 90 days after the virtual event is a good selling point for prospective sponsors and a benefit that physical events can’t offer.

SUMMARY: A recent Thought Leaders Live Webcast from INXPO shed some light on the myriad ways to earn revenue from digital platforms. Attendees also received a copy of the company’s white paper (registration required, but it’s worth it) detailing the assets (banners ads, messaging, Webinars, directories, lounges, etc.) and bundling strategies that event hosts can deploy. http://forkintheroadblog.com/archives/monetizing-digital-events/

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Why Use a Virtual Career Fair for your Campus Recruitment

Brings together recruiting employers with top graduating students in a rich, interactive online environment that has the features of a physical fair without the cost, time and logistics of getting people together physically Creates an online environment where recruiters receive students resumes, chat with students about their company and career opportunities, present interactive company presentations all from the convenience of their office computer

CACEE VirtualVU Presentation

SUMMARY: Take a sneak peak inside of a virtual career fair. See examples of what it will look like and what the advantages are of this great opportunity to expand your business without expanding your wallet. http://www.slideshare.net/janetthompson/why-use-a-virtual-career-fairs-for-yourcampus-recruitment-presentation

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A Method to the Madness Marketers focus on strategies to get the most out of virtual event capabilities Charlotte Woolard Story posted: April 12, 2010 - 6:01 am EDT The next big innovation in the online events market will not come in the form of improved video chat or graphics capabilities. It will have nothing to do with avatars. Instead it will center on the evolution of events marketers themselves as they work to build integrated strategies that leverage the tools already offered by virtual platforms. “[The platforms] have features that most people don't even use yet,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Virtual Edge Institute, an organization that promotes virtual events and best practices. “Even though the technology is going to continue to advance—and there is going to be more functionality, and capability and ease of use—it's going to be up to that person who is planning the event or meeting to really make it work.” Marketers still are learning to integrate data-rich virtual events into their overall programs. They are looking at how to better employ virtual platforms to not only generate new leads but also to communicate with partners, train staff and connect with customers and prospects all along the sales pipeline, experts said. HYBRID EVENTS ON RISE Interest is growing in the creation of hybrid events that combine on- and offline touch points, as well as immersive virtual environments that serve as year-round communities. Many companies plan to increase their investment in the virtual arena, according to the 2010 “Virtual Market Outlook Report” released in March by George P. Johnson Experience Marketing and the Event Marketing Institute. Almost 40% of the 889 marketers who responded to an online survey conducted in December and January said they expected to see their budgets for virtual events grow this year. “People started dabbling in the virtual experience to either augment the physical event or to answer the immediate economic constraints of doing a physical event, and they realized that the successes were there,” said Kurt Miller, executive director of program strategy at GPJ. “With some experience under their belts, they can look at the behavior of their audience, look at the opportunities technologically to extend reach. They can take the more careful and holistic view of how they can incorporate it into a 360 [degree] plan, rather than looking at it as an add-on tactic.” Paul Oliu, director of marketing for the investment services division of Fiserv Inc., a technology solutions provider serving the financial industry, illustrates the kind of evolution that marketers are undergoing. “Annually we had an in-person event, and two years ago we canceled because the economy was not strong,” he said. The company replaced its client conference first with a series of webinars and then with a multitrack virtual event that drew more attendees than any other event, in-person or online, in the division's history.

SUMMARY: No longer an afterthought, profitable online events are becoming cornerstone revenue sources for media companies http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100412/FREE/304129991#see nit 83 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Virtual User Conferences - Are They Right for Your Organization?

Virtual User Conferences  Increases the number of customers that participate in your conference through the elimination of travel time and costs  Allows customers, thought leaders and solution providers to exchange ideas, network with peers, attend interactive presentations all from the convenience of their offices  Allows organizations to gain a deeper understanding of customers, partners and prospects through the detailed tracking and reporting  Protect your brand through the delivery of a consistent message to your stakeholders.

SUMMARY: Increase the number of customers that participate in your conference through the elimination of travel time and costs. The convenience of interactive presentations allows organization to gain a deeper understanding of customers, partners, and prospects through detailed tracking and reporting.

http://www.slideshare.net/janetthompson/virtual-user-conferences-arethey-right-for-your-organization

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Social Media a Top Lead-Gen Channel for Tech Marketers Over two-thirds of high-tech marketing professionals (68%) say lead generation is their top marketing priority this year and 74% cite social media as among the top emerging marketing channels for lead generation in 2010 and beyond, according to a Unisfair survey slated for release in late May. In addition, 39% of surveyed tech marketers cite virtual events as one of the top emerging channels for lead generation in 2010 and beyond, and 34% cite mobile channels.

Among this year's other marketing priorities are brand awareness (cited by 17%) and customer retention (16%). Below, other findings from The Future of Tech Marketing, which surveyed 500 high-tech marketing professionals on their marketing priorities for 2010 and beyond. Lead-Generation Spending Most tech marketers plan to increase investments in websites (69%) and email campaigns (63%) in 2010, followed by physical conferences and tradeshows (40%), online advertising (38%), and paid search (33%).

SUMMARY: Virtual events are on the rise: Asked to name virtual engagement technologies that hold the most promise in 2010 and beyond, tech marketers cite Web meetings (53%), virtual business events (27%), and video conferencing (15%). http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2010/3626/social-media-a-top-lead-gen-channelfor-tech-marketers 85 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Hybrid Events Gain Momentum

Digitell saw strong growth in hybrid events over the past year, figures have shown. The statistics report 300% growth in hybrid events between April, 2011-March, 2012, compared with the same report between April, 2010-March, 2011. Also, last six months of data showed hybrids rose 374%. Based on Digitell’s experience, hybrid component can provide significant outreach for those associations streaming sessions free of charge and generates revenue for those associations charging the user. Digitell revealed that most of its clients who are charging the end users attract around 50-250 virtual users. Whereas, clients who offer a live stream for free attract 500 – 3,000 registrants. Digitell president Jim Parker said this is exciting news for everyone in the Hybrid Event business. “We are getting calls daily from associations looking to add a Hybrid component to their meeting,” he added.

SUMMARY: Digitell saw strong growth in hybrid events over the past year, figures have shown. The statistics report 300% growth in hybrid events between April, 2011-March, 2012, compared with the same report between April, 2010-March, 2011. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2012/03/hybrid-events-gain-momentum/ 86 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Capturing, Maximizing and Monetizing your Content Think your content’s old as soon as your event’s over? Actually, you’re just getting started…

Speakers

Learn to capture and reuse the live event content you've worked so hard to create during this FREE livecast, presented by the Virtual Edge Institute. Whether you’re part of an association or corporation, you’ve got lots of content – and there are lots of ways to package and reuse it. You can sell sponsorships and access to educational content that’s already been presented at a meeting or event. You can market content around a particular solution or product to a target audience to generate leads. You can educate current customers with tutorial content to create new opportunities. And you can use your content to help build robust year-round communities. In this FREE livecast, we’ll show you: Strategies for packaging content How to market that content What it costs to capture the content AV and meeting site issues to be aware of • And how to monetize the content if that’s your goal

• • • •

Celess will discuss how her association captures and monetizes its annual meeting content – all stored in an online library. She’ll show us how she selects and packages sessions to market them to specific groups, and how she regularly draws traffic to the library via free monthly CEU courses. Celess will share the tips and ideas that have taken this association’s captured content revenues from $700 per year to more than $35,000.

Sourabh Kothari will discuss how Cisco is capturing, delivering and repurposing content from events around the world to transform event audiences into year-round virtual communities. Content management has been at the forefront of Cisco’s ability to extend its brand to prospects, customers, partners, and key industry players globally.

SUMMARY: Learn to capture and reuse the live event content you've worked so hard to create during this FREE livecast, presented by the Virtual Edge Institute. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/livecasts/ 87 | Virtual Event Resource Book


SUMMARY: Whether the decision to hold an online conference is driven by financial considerations or the need for member outreach or beneficial global dialogue, the fundamental process for planning and implementation remains the same. These five success factors outline important steps to creating a 100% online conference. http://forkintheroadblog.com/archives/monetizing-digital-events/

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10 Reasons Why Some Virtual Events Fail

I have come up with the following 10 reasons why a virtual or online event might fail: 1. Not having an audience. A rock solid, front end invitation process is absolutely essential - nothing is sadder than an event that nobody attends. To avoid the problem, invite your audience to attend, ask them to commit/respond/register, then ask them again to attend (if they haven’t already responded), then remind them just before the event that they’re attending. 2. Complicated or flaky log-in process. If your audience have to spend more than 30 seconds logging-in, then you’ll start to lose them. Take note: there are two things that your audience will remember: their email address and a password. Ask them to remember three things and you can say goodbye to your audience. 3. It’s not a Virtual Event. It’s a live event with a locked-off camera at the back of the room, with poor sound quality and a procession of dull presenters supported by a gazillion PowerPoint slides that you can’t read. 4. Viewing Problems (latency, buffering and juddering). If the online audience are experiencing viewing problems, then you’ve got about 30 seconds before they give up, wander-off, or switch-off all together. To avoid the problem, choose an experienced supplier and then test, test and test again the viewing experience in all the chosen geographies before you go live.

5. Poor sound quality. Your audience will put up with horrible slides, poor lighting and amateurish production values, but they will never put up with poor sound – if they can’t hear what’s being said, the event is doomed.

SUMMARY: In this blog post, Sean Malone explores why some virtual events do not achieve their objectives and are putting off some organisations from staging future online events http://www.virtualstudio.tv/blog/post/61-10-reasons-why-some-virtual-eventsfail 89 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Dispelling the Myths of Going Virtual

SUMMARY: The recent economic situation has provided a catalyst for companies to look at cost-effective alternatives to scheduling and executing face-to-face meetings and events. This situation combined with reduced travel and marketing budgets, has given rise to virtual events. A successful virtual strategy reduces costs, increases productivity, extends reach, provides rich data intelligence, and benefits the environment. Yet, meeting professionals are hesitant to incorporate virtual elements into their meetings and event portfolios. Leveraging real-world case studies, this session will dispel several myths about “going virtual�.

http://www.prmeetsmarketing.com/virtual-events-and-meetings/ 90 | Virtual Event Resource Book


The Role of the Telephone in a Virtual Trade Show

SUMMARY: Simply download this white paper to learn more about how telephone equipment and systems can positively and negatively impact the success of your virtual event. http://www.itradefair.com/technology/whitepapers.asp?action=submit#

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A College Student’s Take on Virtual Career Fairs- A Possible Future for the US? Every day more companies embrace technology and Social Media by integrating them into their business model. Whether that means finally creating a facebook page, a Linkedin account, or tweeting their first tweets, it’s about time. In a world where Facebook, in just five short years, has surpassed Myspace as the number one social network and Twitter has nabbed the number three spot in less than three years, it is vital to quickly embrace technology as it emerges. To do otherwise is to short change yourself. The newest technology to explode on the scene is Virtual Events. However, while much of the business to business market has been quick to embrace and use this technology to their advantage, there are still many companies and schools that are dragging their feet. I can only rationalize this by assuming they have yet to learn of Virtual Events and their great benefits. My own school, Miami University (of Ohio), for example, could do to embrace this technology for the sake of their student body. Each Fall Miami hosts a very large Career Fair with many important companies attending. It’s a great way for seniors to start their job hunt and the rest of the student body to start their summer internship search. I am currently studying abroad in Madrid, Spain and while here, it has come to my attention that it is Miami’s policy that you must attend the Career Fair to interview with a participating company. I was unbelievably frustrated. However, they can prevent future study abroad students from experiencing the same problem by incorporating a virtual component to their Career Fair thus creating a hybrid. Should they choose this, they would utilize the state of the art technology of a company such as IMASTE.

SUMMARY: Every university could stand to benefit from a Virtual component to their Career Fair. It helps students who have fallen ill as well as students who have gone abroad to keep connected and have an equal chance of finding the right job and company for them. http://blog.imaste-ips.com/?p=120

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“Shift Happens” and Virtual Events Are No Exception

After watching this video, we at IMASTE were inspired to take a look at how far we, and in turn the Virtual Tradeshow Industry itself, have come since our very first events. Progress has been driven by the need to create a smoother, more aesthetically pleasing, and thus better user experience. This is not surprising since customer satisfaction and engagement have become the driving force in most, if not all technological advances. However, in no way, shape or form does this diminish the great strides that have been made. Originally, attending a Virtual Tradeshow was more comparable to going on a website to swap industry information (Submit your resume and learn about different career opportunities, for example). The graphics resembled cartoons more than real structures or people, and the transitions between booths weren’t very fluid. This created more of a feeling of surfing the web, rather than attending a live event from your computer. In the last few years this has all transformed into an engaging experience featuring customizable booths, a prerecorded human “guide”, video conferences, video presentations, group or private chats, and improved realistic graphics, all easily navigated and eloquently transitioned in 3D.

SUMMARY: The video tackles things such as education, technology, language, and globalization, to name just a few. It is such a fitting update to this incredibly thought provoking series considering how big of a role social media and technology now play in not only our business plans, but our every day lives. http://blog.imaste-ips.com/?p=145 93 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Trends in Virtual Environments -- Conversation with Drew VanVooren

Michael Doyle, Executive Director of Virtual Edge Institute, spoke with Drew VanVooren, President of INXPO, in Fall 2010 regarding trends in virtual environments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsqLJ32Euks&feature=plcp

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INXPO Thought Leaders LIVE Webcast with Tony Lorenz

Recently, INXPO hosted a Thought Leaders LIVE webcast with Tony Lorenz (@TonyLorenzbXb), Founder of bXb Online (@bXbOnline). INXPO holds regular webcasts, in fact, with industry thought leaders. They're all free and available in an online environment called INXPOLIVE. Tony's webcast focused on hybrid event monetization strategies for associations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEJrxHc-tlk&feature=plcp

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Dance on the Volcano - Virtually

By Joerg Rathenberg May 12, 2010 These days, we are experiencing a period of extraordinary growth in the Virtual Events space. Let’s face it, air travel isn’t getting any easier as long security lines, service reductions and flight delays take their toll on traveling executives. Recent pandemics from bird to swine flu prompted companies to implement stricter travel policies. When Eyjafjallajökull erupted in southeastern Iceland on April 14, it led to the cancellation of 78% of flights between Europe and the US in the following week. And when everyone thought that chances of this happening again were like winning the lottery twice in a row, nature seemed determined to prove us wrong. There is another way to meet Extreme circumstances have exposed global corporations–as well as the meeting industry–to unprecedented tension. Already strained by the global recession, meeting, conference and trade show organizers have suddenly realized how dependent they are on a functioning global travel infrastructure. Many of them are looking at technology to help them mitigate this risk going forward. They are increasingly leveraging virtual event platforms to deliver anything from company-wide training, executive presentations, user conferences, job fairs, product launches, trade shows and more. In doing so, companies can not only cut down on the need for corporate travel, but also build a stronger sense of shared vision and community with employees, prospects, customers and partners. What’s In it for You? Virtual events offer many advantages. First, they dramatically increase your reach. Since participants can simply attend from the comfort of their desks, you will be able to draw participants from distant geographies, that would not be able to attend in person. You will also attract busy executives, who can rarely take a day out of their busy schedules, but are happy to spend an hour to view the on-demand session they are interested in, when it is convenient for them.

SUMMARY: Customers are starting to expect a virtual option for industry trade shows and conferences. They don’t have to ask for travel budget to attend the event of their choice. And adding up the time they would spend in the air, waiting rooms, security lines, and taxi queues, it’s no wonder virtual events are showing record attendance numbers. http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2010/05/dance-on-the-volcano-virtually/

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Virtual Environments are Driving Business Engagement & Results

In this video, Virtual Edge’s Michael Doyle talks about how Virtual Environments are Driving Business Engagement & Results. “Corporations, associations, trade show producers and media companies are scrambling to figure out how they can best deploy virtual solutions to grow their business and engage their customers, partners and even employees,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of Virtual Edge Institute producers of the Virtual Edge Summit. “Though still affected by the economy and budgets that have not been, and may not be restored to pre-2008 levels, people are starting to really understand how virtual environments can drive meaningful business results beyond extending physical event attendance.” Watch more as Doyle discusses some of the current trends in virtual events and virtual environments. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/virtual-environments-are-driving-business-engagementresults/

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Virtual Tradeshows – Are They for Real?

Background When internet-based tradeshows were first discussed about 7 years ago, it was a victim of poor timing and a false-start. The Internet-mania clouded the thinking of technology providers. It was impossible for legitimate potential users of virtual tradeshows to sift through the hype and select elements that made most sense to their individual needs. The events industry witnessed companies in the United States and Europe, backed by the promise of big funding and cumbersome technologies try to get the attention of an internet-fatigued audience. The result was a quick retreat by potential customers who did not know how best to harness the tools offered. Like electricity, the Internet can be a great servant, but a bad master. Over time there have been select groups of users who have carefully selected tools and approaches that worked for them, to create a growing industry for virtual venues. There are even dedicated newsletters such as ConferZone that focus on web-conferencing as a business activity. The hype is over. There are no gimmicks anymore. These modern virtual venues mean business. Business users take them seriously.

Changing environment One has to look at the environment in which children are being raised, how they are being entertained, educated, and the toys they get to play with, to see how things have changed over the past 5 years, and how they will change in future. Then one can draw a parallel with the world of business.

SUMMARY: This article shares some of the insights of the author through hands-on application of virtual venues in a variety of business and consumer environments over the past 7 years. The author, Ramesh Sambasivan is the cofounder of iTradeFair.com, Inc. http://www.itradefair.com/technology/virtual_tradeshows-are_they_for_real.pdf

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How SC Magazine Used Virtual to Bolster its Live Event In December 2008, Haymarket’s SC Magazine launched its SC World Congress conference and trade show (dedicated to IT security), just at the time when physical events began feeling the effects of the economic downturn. While the event attracted 900 people over two days, it still fell below its goal. For the second event in 2009, SC Magazine was looking at ways that it could enhance the experience for both time-and-budget stressed attendees, and for exhibitors. The week after the SC World Congress physical event, the magazine introduced a series of monthly virtual events designed to extend the reach of the tradeshow’s content — and extend its life for exhibitors. “Over the course of the last two years, we’ve witnessed the increasing challenge of getting people out of the office,” says Gill Torren, the magazine’s Vice President of Sales and Associate Publisher. “We want to bolster physical event sales so we’re offering lead guarantees with the virtual shows. We also want to get more exhibitors into the physical environment. We were getting maybe 10 or 11 sponsors with a virtual event but with a physical event, we had between 50 and 70 exhibitors and sponsors. We wanted to offer them something more by providing them with the opportunity to continue to foster the relationships they built at the physical event throughout the year and also to allow them to meet people who couldn't get out to attend the physical event.” SC Magazine now offers two types of virtual programs: a shorter “virtual symposium” that lasts an hour to three hours, and a more comprehensive five- to 10-hour event spread across two days. Each virtual event features a “networking lounge” as well as instant message and e-mail chats after each session that are moderated by edit staff. Some exhibitors offer chats and video at their virtual booths, something Torren wants to see more of. “If exhibitors are active, they can pull in thought leaders and say, ‘Hey, I have John Smith in my booth between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.,’” he adds. “If it’s a known evangelist, attendees will visit the booth in large numbers and engage. We're getting as many as 700 qualified attendees in the virtual environment at any one time so we actively encourage exhibitors to approach these events in the same way they would a large physical exhibition.” Revenue Model: Sponsorships, Cost-Per-Lead SC Magazine initially sold SC Congress exhibitors who paid $5,500 to $11,000 for a physical booth a presence on the virtual events for $3,000, which included 100 guaranteed leads per year. With its first four virtual events, SC Magazine has already delivered on the lead guarantees for each exhibitor.

SUMMARY: Virtual events are one of SC Magazine’s fastest growing revenue streams and Torren expects them to generate about $650,000 this year in 2010. http://www.expoweb.com/article/how-sc-magazine-used-virtual-bolster-its-live-event 99 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Producing Your First Virtual Event: six steps that can boost your chances of success when launching a digital event.

A MYSTIQUE SURROUNDS virtual events because of their foundation in technology and the very images conjured up by the word "virtual." In reality, many of the same principles that apply to successfully launching physical events apply to launching virtual events. As Kenny Lauer of event management firm George P. Johnson recently put it, "an event, is an event, is an event." That said, there are certainly some nuances associated with virtual events that must be considered. One of the mistakes that many make with their first virtual event is to select a virtual event platform as their first step. This is equivalent to selecting a venue for a physical event before ‌

SUMMARY: This subscription based article will show you how to have a successful virtual event, even if it is your first one. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-202359705.html

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Economy Drives Interest in More Complex Virtual Events

Novell markets by the numbers. So last fall, when registration for the software company’s annual BrainShare conference lagged expectations, the company conducted a poll of past participants. “Their interest in our products and solutions was high, but some were reluctant to spend money on travel,” said Phil Juliano, VP-global brand management and corporate communications. “The number signing up was significantly down. Many businesses have pulled in the reins.” The technology company responded with an announcement that it would cancel the March conference, which last year drew 5,500 participants and 65 exhibitors. In … Read all of this article with a FREE trial

SUMMARY: Since many organizations are tightening spending on travel conferences, many companies are forced to find another way to connect without taking on the travel expenses for the client. This is a subscription site. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-195540533.html

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The Real World Marketing Value of Virtual Events When done right, virtual events also deliver incredibly rich marketing intelligence and significant return on investment More and more companies are including virtual events in their marketing arsenal to generate demand. Virtual events can replicate all aspects of a physical event—without all the hassles and costs. Cisco is developing an ongoing partner community using virtual event technology, and other companies such as IBM, National Instruments, and Quest Software each held multiple virtual events in 2007 and plan more for this year. Technologies have advanced to the point where virtual events look and feel remarkably like their physical counterparts, while delivering similar knowledge-sharing and personal interactions. Virtual events include:   

Live conference sessions – Keynotes, product demos and panel discussions with live Q&A. Exhibition floor – Exhibitor booths offer collateral, product demos and live interaction between booth reps and visitors. Professional networking – Combining the most business applicable capabilities of Web 2.0 and social networking enables virtual attendees to search for people with similar interests.

The benefits of virtual events are the convenience and cost savings for both attendees and organizers. It is common to see thousands of people attending an event, and the marketing department seeing a 50-80 percent reduction in costs compared to a physical event.

SUMMARY: When done right, virtual events also deliver incredibly rich marketing intelligence and significant return on investment. More and more companies are including virtual events in their marketing arsenal to generate demand. Virtual events can replicate all aspects of a physical event—without all the hassles and costs. http://chiefmarketer.com/disciplines/online/virtual_events_0226/

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Demo of INXPO VX Platform on The iPad

In this demo, John Leahy (INXPO) provides a demonstration of INXPO VX Platform on the iPad. John shows you how you can experience a Virtual Trade Show from your iPad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n023BjnJxU&feature=plcp

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How to Turn Virtual Events into an Online Classroom Just as the rise of the University of Phoenix and other online universities has shown the potential of new ways of teaching and learning online, there are big opportunities for companies and academic institutions to set up online training with virtual events platform providers like Social27. We’ve written before about how to use virtual events for education. Here are a few examples of how virtual events technology is shaping the future of online learning: Making learning a game: Students remember the most when they’re having fun as they learn. Virtual events don’t have to make learning into a dry, repetitive activity – instead, virtual events can use game dynamics for online learning, with rapid response instant polling and other features to keep people interested. For example, your virtual events platform might include features like scavenger hunts, time-based rewards (who can finish the quiz questions fastest?), and task-based rewards (who can answer the most questions correctly?) to hold your class’s attention and motivate them to do their best. Personal interactions: Virtual events have come a long way from the early days of a conference call and a static computer screen. Instead of feeling like you’re alone in a room, today’s virtual events platforms give students the feeling of collaboration and interaction. There are powerful tools to give students visibility and connectedness to their fellow students, making it easy to converse, collaborate and have more of the feeling of “being there” in person. For example, many virtual events platforms make it possible for attendees to sync up their virtual events profiles with their social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) so they can connect in real time. Richer content: The early days of online learning were often just a simple replication of “real world” learning – remote classrooms linked by video with real-time lectures, static text on screen in place of text books. Now that the technology of virtual event platforms has evolved so greatly, students can benefit from rich content like video, interactive games, and recorded lectures. Learning doesn’t have to take place at one specific time – with the instructor and students all logging in at the same time of day. Instead, many virtual event platforms make it possible to deliver instructional content in asynchronous form so students can learn at their own pace and at their own preferred time of day.

SUMMARY: Given the rising costs of travel and the growing capabilities of online training resources, it’s apparent that virtual events are going to be an increasingly popular way for organizations to deliver training. http://www.virtualeventshub.com/virtual-event-trends/how-to-turn-virtual-events-into-anonline-classroom-2/ 104 | Virtual Event Resource Book


Using Analytics to Quantify ROI

Michael Doyle, Executive Director of the Virtual Edge Institute, spoke with Kevin Carbone, CEO of 6Connex, about using analytics to improve ROI. http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com/2010/07/using-analytics-to-quantify-roi/

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Measuring and Maximizing the Impact of a Hybrid Event

SUMMARY: Simply download this report to learn more about why people attend in-person events versus remotely; generational influences regarding virtual technology; and the benefits of virtual over time. http://www.virtualedge.org/page/measuring-and-maximizing-the 106 | Virtual Event Resource Book