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Compliment your Events with Virtual Environments
August 31, 2012 @ 01:50 AM | By Eric Vidal

Virtual environments and events are rapidly redefining the role of event marketers and event planners.  Where once their focus was primarily on driving attendees to a location, they are now being asked to think outside their comfort zones and determine how to use virtual platforms and tools to increase the value of those events.

QuoteEven offering only a few key aspects of a traditional event online provides considerable value for those who can – as well as those who cannot – attend in person.

Think of it as an enhancement to the physical event. By offering presentations and other event materials online, not only will your event reach a larger audience, but those who were on-site are able to access reference materials afterwards.

Let Event Atendees Spread your Message for You

For example, perhaps they enjoyed a particular panel session and want to share some of the insightful answers with their colleagues back in the office. With a virtual component to the event, it’s as easy as emailing a link to the content – as opposed to trying to re-write the key points from memory or even photocopying handouts from the event itself.

Keep your Event Alive with a Persistent Virtual Environment

Where virtual really pays off for event marketers is when it moves from being tied to a specific event into a persistent virtual environment (PVE) – an online location that can house documents and videos, provide an opportunity for dialog via discussion boards, chat, IM and other tools, and generally become a go-to location for the industry.

Having a PVE helps the event provider keep the conversation going year ‘round improving the value of events exponentially.

Expectations are Changing for Event Hosts and Planners

Event marketers and planners need to consider the changes in expectations from prospective attendees in our increasingly digital world. For many in organizations where travel restrictions have become much tighter, being able to access world-class content without having to get prior approval for travel is enough to impact their decision on which events they will participate in and which they won’t.

The event marketers and planners who understand and address the changing needs of the event audiences of today will be the ones marketing and planning for tomorrow.

Eric’s article was originally published on IBM’s Smarter Commerce blog. View it and other posts>>

Eric VidalEric Vidal is a Director of Product Marketing at InterCall and is considered a leading voice and expert in virtual business, which expands from marketing to collaboration to learning. He has more than 15 years experience in developing, implementing and optimizing strategies in these areas for numerous organizations and Global 2000 companies. As the director of product marketing for InterCall’s event services, Eric manages the strategy and initiatives for the virtual technologies that include virtual environments, streaming, event management services and operator assisted services. Previously from WebEx, Eric managed the virtual classroom product, as well as brand advertising and new media. Over the last several years, Eric has held management positions at Cisco, WebEx, IBM, BBDO Worldwide and Macromedia.

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