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Virtual Social Networks: A Major Shift in Engagement Marketing White Paper


White Paper Web3D Host Co.

Virtual Social Networks: A Major Shift in Engagement Marketing In global markets, the dialogue between people and brands is changing drastically and permanently. A new approach to reaching and connecting with audiences is creating a paradigm shift—from traditional media vehicles to digital communications platforms to virtual experience technology marketing solutions. These new marketing solutions are made possible by advanced technologies that bring an entirely new approach to marketing and are establishing new marketing communication channels. The evolution from “one to one” and “one to many” to a dynamic synthesis of the two has dramatically shifted the idea of engagement marketing. This rapid transformation is the result of increased penetration of social networking media platforms such as MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube. Everyday, more people around the world validate these as viable social networking technology applications to engage and share information. With 40 million active users in the United States, social networking has grown 93% since 2006 and is poised to play an increasingly vital role in the current economic downturn.* Every minute, millions of virtual interactions occur in the social network space. Another major factor in behavioral change is the increasing importance of event More than half of 300 senior marketing executives believe event marketing best accelerates and deepens relationships 29% of senior marketing executives expect to transition from event to experience marketing

marketing. According to a 2009 EventView Survey**, more than half of 300 senior marketing executives believe event marketing best accelerates and deepens relationships with target audiences. But, twenty-nine percent are planning to go further over the next 12 months

Website for Cisco Live! Virtual.

and transition from event marketing to experience marketing, which “involves integrated live and online experiences that drive deep brand interaction through highly relevant story telling and brand immersion.” And a third of those polled said they’ve already made the switch. However, in challenging economic times, creating physical experiences is costly and can be difficult to justify from a marketing perspective. This is why,

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White Paper Web3D Host Co.

by enabling richer interaction and engagement with online communities, new virtual technologies are transforming the standard in-person tradeshow event and conference marketing model at a lower cost. The increasing acceptance and need for benchmarks for new experience marketing platforms is driven by virtual technology that generates a more authentic interaction between people and business. This technology provides significant benefits that align to personal digital lifestyle behaviors established in social engagement platforms. Further, it creates marketing experiences

Website for Intel Virtual Event.

that are perceived as authentic and generate critical viral and strong word-of-mouth response. And, for sponsors, it satisfies the demand for measurable marketing spend and accountability. For marketers, virtual experience technology solutions deliver benefits that are compelling, tangible, and immediate. These include faster time to market with immediate distribution of strategic information and content; greater overall marketing ROI achieved through an integrated environment that can achieve multiple product and partner objectives simultaneously; instant global reach fostered through accessible and borderless virtual communications; precise metrics and measurement that dynamically track visitor behavior and content preference continuously; and a reduced carbon footprint. In terms of environmental and corporate responsibility, the amount of carbon reduced in moving from physical events to virtual environments is extremely significant. Sixty-six percent of marketers polled said they plan on implementing or have already added a Green Initiative, up from just 32 percent in 2007.** 6Connex represents a pioneering breakthrough in virtual technology marketing solutions. Its Virtual Experience Platform enables businesses and individuals

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White Paper Web3D Host Co.

to connect anytime, anywhere through dimensional environments in the form of virtual tradeshows, events, conferences, and other critical marketing and communication platforms. The result of parent company Design Reactor’s awardwinning experience in 3D, motion graphics and animation, 6Connex creates rich and engaging online virtual experiences that generate advanced levels of impact, interaction, exchange, and response. Though relatively new, this innovative technology is already proving superior to established virtual event alternatives. A 2007 study on Best Practices for Virtual Events*** reveals that the average number of registrants at a virtual event is 3,102 compared to 4,491 for a 6Connex event. The number of leads generated for each sponsor at the average virtual event is 348, while the sponsor of a 6Connex event can expect an average of 865 leads. But, the most significant difference lies in attendee interactions. While typical virtual events generate an average of 13 interactions for each visitor, the average attendee to a 6Connex experience engages in over 255 interactions with content, sponsors, and each other. And in sustaining post-event value, the average number of archive days with standard event technology is 90 compared to 6Connex’s 208. Given the increasing value of marketing dollars spent in the pursuit of generating qualitative brand interactions, these increased benchmarks are significant. A key reason for this performance variance is that 6Connex delivers a rich virtual 3D animated environment that creates a heightened sense of place. Animated and life-like people appropriately populate each environment with accompanying sound and motion. Users can communicate in real time through a robust chat system to other attendees, product specialists, subject matter experts, and booth hosts. Virtually translating primary physical, auditory and sensory cues is critical in creating a level of comfort that elevates and sustains exploration and interaction.

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White Paper Web3D Host Co.

One the strongest benefits of this virtual experience technology is viral content distribution. Product demos, videos, podcasts and pdfs are critical portable digital marketing communications that can be downloaded and sent to anyone. Giving prospects and customers the ability to easily consume and forward content and media assets ensures increased engagement and expanded exposure that is both personal and viral. 6Connex is using virtual experiences to transform how companies approach virtual experience marketing. And the 6Connex Virtual Experience Platform has been validated by the success of Fortune 100 global organizations such as Cisco, HP, Intel, Proctor & Gamble, and WebEx. These companies and their customers

Website for HP Virtual Event Center.

around the world have discovered that virtual social network technology is establishing new industry standard benchmarks. And, in the process, accelerating connections and dialogue between brands and people. This game-changing advancement in technology-based marketing communications is the result of a paradigm shift in the culture. However, as companies around the world standardize on a platform users are already adopting, it will begin driving innovation ahead of the forces that helped create it. For virtual experience technology, the potential, opportunities, and scale are endless.

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White Paper Web3D Host Co.

Footnotes *NetPop Research LLC **The EventView 2009 survey completed by George P. Johnson, The MPI Foundation and the Event Marketing Institute ***The FactPoint Group - all data collected from the launch of the event through Jan 31, 2009 with the exception of the HP TSSales event which launched on Feb 4. Data for TSSales covers the period of Feb 4 – Feb 5, 2009. Terminology definition: • Registration: The number of individuals who have registered for the event • Leads Generated: The number of individuals who conducted a badge swipe at a booth in the event. The exception is Cisco CLV where a lead is identified as anyone who entered a booth • Attendee Interaction: The number of chats accepted by users during the event • Archive Days: The number of days that the entire event is archived and accessible to users

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White Paper Web3D Host Co.

Web3D Host Co.

6Connex, a wholly owned subsidiary of Design Reactor, is the pioneer of virtual experience technology marketing solutions. Our Virtual Experience Platform enables businesses and individuals to connect and engage virtually anytime and anywhere using a dimensional environment-like architecture for B2B or B2C social networking whether it’s as a tradeshow, event or conference, and beyond. 6Connex has developed award-winning, results-oriented virtual technology marketing solutions for industry leaders such as Cisco, HP and Proctor and Gamble. Visit http://www.6Connex.com.

Web3D Host Co. is the one stop solution to hosting virtual trade shows, conferences or symposiums. Leveraging the 6Connex Virtual Experience Platform, Web3D Host Co. offers the tools and technical support needed to host a successful virtual event. They provide their clients with industry best practices and also give companies the tools to track potential prospects with a state-of-the-art data management system. Call them today and start planning for your next virtual event and avoid the frustration and expense associated with physical trade shows. Consultants are standing by. For more information, call 617 849-3428 or visit their front office at http://web3dhost.com.

6Connex, Inc. (“6Connex”) and Web3D Host Co. (“Partner”) are each independent contractors, and nothing herein contained shall be construed to imply the existence of a partnership or joint venture between them, nor to make either one an agent of the other. The use of the term “Partner” is not intended in any way to constitute any type of legal partnership whatsoever between 6Connex Inc. and Partner. The relationship between 6Connex, Inc. and Partner is that of independent contractor only, and is NOT employer-employee, partner, principal-agent or joint venture. 6Connex does not make any representations or endorsement of any of the products or services listed here which are provided by non-6Connex sources. Such information was provided by the named source, and 6Connex has made no effort to independently verify the products or services. Users of this information are responsible for checking with the non-6Connex source to confirm the specific implementation of their system. In any event, 6Connex shall not incur any liability as a result of the listing of this information by the named source. ©2009 Web3D Host Co. All rights reserved. Certain portions of this document were prepared under license using copyrighted material and content of 6Connex Inc. (“6Connex”), and may not be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of 6Connex. 6Connex reserves all rights and ownership in the 6Connex material and content used, and in contributions made by its employees, in the preparation of this document. 6Connex, the 6Connex logo, Virtual Experience Platform, “Where Virtual is the New Reality,” and other trademarks, service marks, and designs are registered or unregistered trademarks of 6Connex in the United States and in foreign countries. Web3D Host Co. is a trademark of Web3D Host Co. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

P 000490

10-09-2009

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Virtual and Social Networks