I’ve been talking for the last several weeks about how virtual environments can help organizations expand their reach while maintaining a budget. Last week, there was an announcement that is the perfect example of this, making an island (literally) more connected.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2011 Hawaii Host Committee and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii recently launched the Hawaii Virtual Business Marketplace, an online space where local businesses can advertise their products and services and virtually engage with global audiences during APEC Leaders’ Week next month.
InterCall Virtual Environment was chosen to create the Hawaii Virtual Business Marketplace, which will serve as a virtual campus modeled to look like a regular physical convention or major meeting, including booths, exhibition space and a networking lounge. The best part is that it will help connect local Hawaiian businesses with the 21 APEC Economies and U.S. mainland companies. If this isn’t the epitome of using technology to eliminate any distance barriers, I don’t know what is.
The organizers of the event are setting it up so Hawaii companies can feature their products or services as well as other company images, videos and marketing materials in their “booths” — all of which will be featured at http://events.unisfair.com/rt/hvbm~hawaii. During the event, a showcase hall will highlight the state’s key industries and a resource center will be available to provide a knowledge bank of important and useful resources to help enable the easy exchange of information and promote seamless business transactions. And what event wouldn’t be complete without a networking lounge where attendees can chat with each other in real time.
Delegates will be able to log into the site from their own laptops or tablets available at the Hawaii Convention Center during Leaders’ Week. The event is expected to attract approximately 20,000 attendees including the leaders of the 21 APEC economies, ministers, business leaders and news media.
Have you tried to bring your ‘island’ closer to the mainland? I’d love to hear about examples of how you’re creating new business virtually.
Organizations have been providing virtual human resource services for several years, and now some leading organizations are taking virtual HR to another level. Organizations often leverage virtual technologies to outsource payroll, benefits administration and even human capitol management.
So what are the ways to make your HR efforts virtual so you can do more with fewer resources and less budget?
In a new whitepaper, we explore some of the newer, more complex HR functions that are going virtual and go into detail on how three organizations, KPMG, CareerBuilder.com and ACS (a Xerox company), leveraged virtual environments to recruit, on‐board, train and help truly change the way their organization manage strategic HR functions.
What do you think? Has your HR organization tried to make any of these activities virtual? What has been the result? If you aren’t doing it, what are your challenges or obstacles?
If you’re thinking about conducting virtual training for your company as a way to reach more people while saving money, you’ll definitely not want to miss this upcoming webinar.
Join us at Thursday, September 22, 2011, at 1:00 PM Eastern, to hear how ACS (a Xerox company) is being more cost effective and engaging by leveraging virtual environments. You’ll find out how they effectively aligned with corporate initiatives to drive business forward by enabling instant access to content, subject matter experts and peers. You’ll also learn how ACS was able to leverage virtual environments to provide an array of opportunities to facilitate formal, informal and social learning and give attendees control. Thanks to interactivity, the ACS attendees learn real, applied examples—not just theories.
During this interactive session you will learn:
Caroline Avey, director of strategic learning, ACS (a Xerox Company)
Eric Vidal, director of product marketing, InterCall
Moderated by CLO Magazine
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011, at 10:00 AM Pacific/1:00 PM Eastern
Organizations have been leveraging human resource services for several years, and now some leading organizations are taking virtual HR to another level.
Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 1:00 PM Eastern where we will explore some of these new creative solutions and how complex HR functions are now going virtual. We will hear how organizations like KPMG and ACS (a Xerox company) leveraged virtual environments to recruit, on-board, train and help truly change the way their organizations manage strategic HR functions. You will also be able to hear first hand from an industry leader at CareerBuilder.com about how they have leveraged virtual environments in order to help customers and partners better recruit and reduce the time to hire by 60%, lower the cost per hire by 70% and more.
In this interactive webcast you will:
James Gilliam, virtual HR expert, CareerBuilder.com
Eric Vidal, director of product marketing, InterCall
Moderatored by HR.com
Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 10:00 AM Pacific/1:00 PM Eastern
We frequently get questions about virtual environments: What are they? How can they help my organization? What is the ROI for them? After working with customers over the last several years, I’ve seen customers in several verticals use them in a variety of ways. No matter the customer or their application, the one thing they have in common is they quickly realize the benefits of virtual environments: cost savings, increased reach and a more engaged audience.
Below is an example of how RAPS, the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society, built upon the success of their online Regulatory Career Connections, which allows members to search, post and review job listings at their convenience. They turned to virtual environments to provide their members with a more interactive and robust alternative.
Brad Pierson, manager of integrated product sales, quickly recognized the opportunity to expand RAPS' services by adopting virtual technology. In the spring of 2008, RAPS launched its first virtual career fair using the InterCall platform. With 13 major pharmaceutical and biotech (booth) sponsors, over 750 registrants and a fully customized environment, this virtual fair proved to be RAPS’ turning point for its job search solution. Job seekers had direct access to the hiring company, HR and regulatory experts with a click of a mouse. Because of the positive feedback from sponsors and members alike, RAPS added two additional virtual fairs that year. The virtual fair allowed Brad to reach more of his constituents, extend the RAPS brand and create a level of engagement between its members like never before. The virtual fairs also proved cost-effective and engaging and delivered highly qualified candidates to sponsors which, in turn, dramatically decreased the hiring cycle. Recently, in April 2011, RAPS Virtual Career Fair garnered:
Building upon this success, Brad took another step toward RAPS virtual strategy by adopting the VEC (Virtual Event Center) model. The RAPS VEC allows members 24-hour access, 365 days a year to a virtual environment rich in content, up-to-date information and hiring companies’ resources. By producing just 1-2 major virtual job fairs a year, the VEC gives RAPS another way to keep the organization “top of mind” even during the period between events. The VEC underscores a continuous and sustainable model which RAPS has strategically leveraged for the benefit of its more than 11,000 members.
From the eight virtual career fairs RAPS has implemented since 2008, they delivered highly qualified candidates, resulting in a shorter hiring cycle for sponsors, developed RAPS Virtual Event Center to support member career initiatives and achieved greater brand awareness and reach.
Have you used virtual events and seen similar success? If not, what are your obstacles? Have you tried other alternatives?
On September 8, InterCall and industry leader MarketingProfs are teaming up to present Engagement Marketing: Interrupt Less and Interact More with Virtual Events and Environments. This free, one-hour webcast examines a real-world case study from ASI Corp, a leading distributor of IT hardware and software products.
Join us and learn how you can:
Plus, all attendees will receive a free Frost & Sullivan whitepaper detailing how companies are leveraging virtual technologies to market to and communicate with their customers and prospects.
We hope to see you there!
Welcome to the Virtual Learning Blog, a place where we'll share and collaborate on virtual learning trends and technologies. This will be a forum for sharing best practices, trying to solve problems, providing tips and hearing directly from learning and development leaders that are utilizing these platforms. The technologies we will focus on will cover everything from virtual classrooms to virtual learning environments—and everything in between.
With that said, let’s start with virtual learning environments. Just what are they? According to the research arm of CLO Magazine, a high-level definition is the following:
An interactive platform designed to deliver training and allow instant access to content, subject matter experts and peers. These virtual learning environments can be customized, with multiple rooms, classrooms, resource libraries, forums, networking rooms and integration with social media.
Based on InterCall Virtual Environments and how I've seen customers use these types tools over the years, I would agree with this definition as it is intended—a broad overview of a technology that serves a variety of purposes. I do feel virtual learning environments can, and will, be more than this. What do you think? I would like to hear how you would add to or edit this description.
I attended my first ‘real’ virtual event today, and I have to say, it was pretty cool. This is a service that InterCall offers through Unisfair, a company that we recently acquired, so I’ve seen how it works, but never experienced it firsthand.
Today’s event was hosted by the American Marketing Association through their VirtualXchange series. I’ve been to plenty of on-site training sessions and conferences, and even though I sat at my desk for this one, I still got the same benefits out of it, and probably some extra perks (not having to leave my office is at the top of the list).
When I entered the lobby, I saw signs pointing me in the direction of the networking lounge, the auditorium where the presentations took place, a download center where I could get any information about the sponsors I wanted and the exhibit hall where I could chat with sponsor representatives. And what event wouldn’t be complete without some kind of goodie bag or raffle? This online event was no exception; there was a prize center where you could earn points in order to win giveaways.
So, how was the ‘beef’ of the event, the actual presentations? Did I get as much out of it as I would have if I were there in person? I would say it is about 90% comparable to the real thing. The presentations were streamed, so there were slides, pictures of the speakers and interactive Q&A, just like a live event.
I suppose you could say that some of these pros are also cons from a marketing perspective; however, feeling like I’m in control will make me a repeat attender and eventually a buyer.
Have you either hosted or attended an event in a virtual environment like this? What do you think are the benefits and drawbacks?