If not you missed an excellent presentation on virtual and face-to-face events as well as eLearning.
The presentation included a power-house of who’s who professionals from the corporate world now offering virtual events and eLearning. (I had no idea these folks were doing this either.) Here are the professionals on panel:
Ben Chadar, President Stream57 – moderator
Glenn Butcher, Director, Online Communications, Merck & Co
Robyn Duda, Director of Events, Ziff Davis
Celeste Mosby, Vice President, Life Sciences, Wilson Learning Worldwide
Robert Rosenbloom, CoFounder & CEO, PlatformQ
JoLee R. Southard, Director, Professional Programs, GlaxoSmithKline
Neal Thompson, Director, Strategic Business Technology, Maritz Inc.
Don’t miss the cameo by #eventprofs own Paul Salinger too!
It looked like a Sunday morning TV talk show and it was very well done. I was 15 minutes late to the presentation and immediately begin to tweet about it. In a matter of minutes, I had others joining me in conversation as well as the panelists answering a couple of my questions.
If you’re interested in the integration of virtual and face-to-face events or eLearning, you should watch the recording.
Here are some of my take-aways:
- Virtual events are here to stay and panelists agreed they expect 75% increase in growth of virtual events in coming year.
- Attendees will not pay for virtual events or eLearning unless the content is extremely unique or exclusive. Internet flooded with good, accurate free content.
- Virtual events will not replace face-to-face events or cannibalize the face-to-face attendance.
- Neal Thomas of Maritz says an event is an eco-system that encompasses multifaceted approach and exists within larger context of community.
- Ziff Davis used virtual events to gather lead information and see if there was a market for a regional face-to-face event in specific cities.
- Ziff Davis believes in having dedicating people to live tweet and blog about the face-to-face and virtual event to increase reach of message, lead generation, conversation and engagement with virtual attendees.
- Virtual events take just as much time to create as face-to-face meetings. Also, expect content to arrive late for virtual event just as face-to-face event.
- Meeting professionals must begin to understand the technology of virtual events and use it.
- Fear is big barrier to acceptance yet public embracing it quicker now. If company has call center and is going virtual with some events, turn call center into created virtual concierge center for virtual events. Create a virtual attendee ready center before virtual event as well.
- Panelists encouraged use of back-channel and virtual attendee peer-to-peer engagement to increase social and informal learning.
Note: If you were following me in Twitter, you watched me create a major snafu too. I didn’t know hashtag for event so Samuel Smith and I created one. I suggested bodly and meant #boldly. So you’ll see us using tweets with both hashtags if you look at history. About two-thirds into the presentation, Ziff Davis suggested #f2f and we picked that up as well.