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Monday
Sep222008

Planning a Successful "Virtual" Event

Have you heard of "virtual events"?  Perhaps you've been asked to trim, well slash a budget, and host an internal announcement on the web, rather than have employees fly in.  Although it sounds strange, virtual events are gaining interest again due to the economic climate, great technological improvements and the push for companies to go green.   I asked Cece Salomon-Lee,  author of PR Meets Marketing Blog and ON24, the global leader in web casts, to provide a few tips for our readers.   I hope Cece's insightful memo below is helpful to your company and future online events.  Read more...
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With higher fuel costs and surcharges for bringing luggage on a flight, virtual events are getting renewed attention by event planners. While a virtual event may save you money while reducing your carbon footprint, consider the following before embarking on a virtual event, conference or trade show:

  • Determine what your objective is for the virtual event. A speech to a few hundred people can be done via a web cast while a corporate sales kick off may require a virtual show set up with booths, resource center and communications center.
  • Know your audience so you can develop a proper audience generation strategy. Some will respond more to direct mail while email may be more effective for technologically savvy people.
  • Provide a guide for people attending the show to familiarize themselves with the virtual environment BEFORE they attend.
  • Recommend that attendees have good internet connections with updated operating systems and browsers for the best experience.
  • Select a vendor that can partner with you for your virtual event from set up, custom looks and feels to training and real-time support.
  • Archive the event for at least 3-6 months. Like video-on-demand, a person can go back and replay presentations or get information that she missed the first time around.

 
The good thing is many of the skills of planning a physical event is needed for virtual events – detail orientated, good project manager and good organizational skills.

 

Disclosure: While Cece's company ON24 helps companies on their virtual events strategies, this post is not a reflection of her company, the product and it's products and services. 

 

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Reader Comments (2)

Nice work Cece! I have often wondered if anyone would ever join in evangelizing the best practices of virtual events.

October 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrent Arslaner

All great ideas but I would also add another item to it: consider doing a virtual event/meeting. Virtual events and meetings are a great way to stay in front of customers, generate new leads and help close business already in the pipeline. These solutions are being deployed so rapidly by companies that the market is projected to exceed $18 billion by 2015. If you are interested in how you can use virtual environments attend the Virtual Edge Summit Feb. 22-23 (virtually or in-person if you are in/near Silicon Valley). There is no registration fee if you take a short survey.

Virtual Edge Summit 2010 is the only event that focuses exclusively on providing education, training and solutions for planning and producing virtual events, meetings and communities. Over 2 days, 80 experts will share their experience with you, and be available for one-on-ones. The event also offers a rich program for featuring experts from Cisco, Stanford, IBM, Disney SAP, Oracle, Intel as well as top virtual technology and service providers like InXpo, ON24, 6Connex, Stream57, CGS VirtualEvents365, George P. Johnson, Unisfair and Digitell.

When: February 22-23, 2010 8am until 6pm


Where: At the Santa Clara Convention Center in California and virtually in browser based virtual environments offering 2D and 3D experiences.

Register at http://www.VirtualEdgeSummit.com

February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAditya

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