Archive for the 'Virtual Events Business & Marketing' Category

Virtual Events in 3D

I have seen “Alice in Wonderland” over the weekend and I was wondering if 3D could enhance the attendee experience of a virtual event (despite the special glasses and some headache)?

3D movies and a whole 3D experience is basically a game where technology is fooling our brain to give us a 3D experience. I am fan of it. You come closer to the action and feel more part of it, add a surround system and it even gets better. Would’t that be nice as a virtual event experience? The question of course is if it is worth the investment? Highly likely not.

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Interesting Stats about Virtual Events

Someone pointed me to the following blog post with research stats about behavior at virtual events. Interesting.

http://www.foliomag.com/2007/study-behavior-virtual-events-examined

Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX)

Frequent visitors of this blog know that I consider Cisco one of the leading innovators when it comes to virtual events. A few weeks back they held their Global Sales Experience. This time it was not a live event but for the first time a virtual event. A complete shift if you ask me for such kind of conferences.

There are several good posts about this event  called “GSX”.

First a few stats from GPJ, one of the companies involved in setting up the event:

  • 88 hours of consecutive sessions crossing 24 time zones
  • More than 13,000 active players of “The Threshold”, alternate reality game
  • More than 8,000 participants in group chat within the Chat Zone
  • More than 9,500 playing GSX mini games
  • 90% cost savings
  • Content satisfaction scores comparative to previous events

Click here for a good blogpost with more in dept analysis and references to other posts.

This strategy was taking a risk. Companies should allow people to take more risks in order to progress.

Personally I think that a hybrid model for these type of events (objectives) will probably be the right approach.

Thanks Cisco for doing this and sharing the results and learnings with the public!!

Virtual (Event) Engagement

Last week I had an interesting conversation with Joerg Rathenberg from Unisfair. Unisfair is one of the leading providers of a digital event platform.

The one thing that I really liked is that they don’t position themselves as a “Virtual Event Provider” but as a “Virtual Engagement Company”. This makes more as sense as I am a believer that virtual events are part of an events strategy and events are part of the overall marketing mix, not standalone tactics.

Idem for a virtual event; one of the most successful strategies will be that the virtual event platforms will become virtual engagement platforms where from time to time a virtual event will take place for a certain target audience. And all this in combination with live events. That strategy will be a winner.

The New Efficiency

I just have been exploring the Microsoft New Efficiency Launch on the Virtual Event Platform. Each new event on the platform is adding features and functionality.

  • In this release I especially like the 2 screens for watching the presentations; you now see the presenter and the slide deck in the configuartion you want (big, small, side by side etc). Whatever you say, I prefer to see the presenter. It keeps me more focussed and more eager to stay and listen.
  • The Notice Board with special announcements and ready to click items. Faster access to critical items.
  • The evolvement of the social media integration, especially Twitter and the sharing functionalities.

What you also see here is the way Microsoft is scaling the content of the small live event in SanFrancisco. Not only via the Virtual Event Platform event but also via the New Effciency Launch website. Both digital channels are just a means to an end and the content is consumed in a media player. 

The expo is there, all breakout sessions are here. The positive thing is that it takes less clicks than before to actually see a session and with the 2 screens … A really neat improvement.

Nice!

Duration of a Virtual Presentation

Today we typically see an online presentation as part of a virtual event last for about 45′, 60′ or even 75′. This is basically just a copy of the live event format and duration of a presentation.

Is this the right duration? Who will tell? What I do know is that TED is hugely successful with its maximum length of 18′ sessions. And honestly, even in busy times I will watch entirely an 18′ video when the speaker and the content can inspire me and learn me something.

We need to think twice what the objectives are and how can we best reach our target audience. Content stays king and a virtual event and a virtual event platform is just a means to an end. It is just a content delivery mechanism. And that can also be reached by means of a webcast, a live meeting, a conference call, a media player etc.

Key Learnings for a Virtual Event

If you consider setting up a virtual event, please keep the following 3 items in mind:

  • Like any other event, content is king, including audience participation and user-generated content. Any virtual event platform is just a means to an end and a delivery mechanism
  • It is still an event, meaning you need to do all the strategy, planning, execution and follow up as for any other event. Don’t think you have a shorter lead time
  • Technology needs to stay up!!

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