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Dispelling the Myths of Going Virtual

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The recent economic situation has provided a catalyst for companies to look at cost-effective alternatives to scheduling and executing face-to-face meetings and events. This situation combined with ...

The recent economic situation has provided a catalyst for companies to look at cost-effective alternatives to scheduling and executing face-to-face meetings and events. This situation combined with reduced travel and marketing budgets, has given rise to virtual events. A successful virtual strategy reduces costs, increases productivity, extends reach, provides rich data intelligence, and benefits the environment. Yet, meeting professionals are hesitant to incorporate virtual elements into their meetings and event portfolios. Leveraging real-world case studies, this session will dispel several myths about “going virtual”.

Get answers to your theories like:
• Virtual will cannibalize my physical audience.
• Virtual will be a costly element for me to include in my budget.
• Virtual will only be used by my most technically savvy members.
• Virtual is only for larger corporations.

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  • Before we begin, let’s look at the definition of virtual events as defined by the virtual edge institute. Having this common definition, the questions that many meeting planners ask themselves is
  • Why go virtual? There are many responses.
  • Saves money for attendees with no travel
  • Which increases productivity
  • You can better track a person’s activity for better analytics
  • And there’s a green benefit as well
  • So why not virtual? Despite the many benefits of virtual, there are several myths that still abound. Before e start, would like to take a quick poll …
  • That’s great – so let’s look at some of the key myths
  • while we haven’t seen one, we still believe in them. Let’s dispell some of the common myths about virtual
  • The first is that virtual will cannibalize your audience
  • We’ve found that virtual actually extends your reach to a larger audience
  • The American Payroll Association added a virtual component to their event in May, attracting 1900 people to the physical event in Washington DC and nearly the same for virtual – doubling their total audience
  • And interestingly, there was only a 7% crossover
  • So people will come to your event, how about exhibitors and sponsors – this will cannibalize your revenue opportunities. The reality it that this is where exhibitors are heading.
  • According to a recent survey by Champion Exposition Services titled “Exhibitor Trends Survey”, 72% of exhibitors find virtual to be valuable on some level
  • Furthermore, by combining your live event
  • With virtual
  • exhibitors feel that virtual attracts more participants and extend global reach
  • So virtual provides an extended audience for your event, what about the costs? While a “virtual event platform” may cost quite a bit, there are several options to providing a “virtual experience”
  • As we saw earlier, here is the definition of a virtual event.
  • Now let’s take a look at it again and now we can consider virtual with a different perspective – as an occurrence of people connected together online by using computers and the Internet. This opens the possibilities by beginning to add virtual components such as
  • Social media with a twitter feed or discussions on a facebook page dedicated to the event
  • HD video recorders are 200-300 dollars. Record videos of exhibitors and attendees and conduct interviews. Upload them to a dedicated channel and encourage attendees to upload content as well
  • And now, connect a webcam to the internet and presto, you can stream anything live on the Internet. While most services offer a free level which include advertising and size limits, this is another option to begin broadcasting live.
  • People are remarkably adaptable. Look at how long some technologies took to reach 50 million users
  • 38 years for radio
  • 13 for tv
  • 4 for internet
  • 3 for ipod
  • And 9 months for facebook
  • I’m not going to dispute this. we need to stop thinking of virtual as a replacement or comparing it against f2f
  • Rather, look at how virtual augments and facilitates f2f
  • According to a Forbes survey, while face to face is a integral for business relationships “Web-, video- and teleconferencing have their role …
  • many see the ideal as a mix of face-to-face and technology-enabled meetings and conferences. (Fig. 9
  • Rather, look at how virtual augments and facilitates f2f
  • Rather, look at how virtual augments and facilitates f2f
  • Rather, look at how virtual augments and facilitates f2f
  • CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success”: August 2010
  • Elsevier case study: http://www.foliomag.com/2010/hybrid-events-live-virtual-combo

Dispelling the Myths of Going Virtual Dispelling the Myths of Going Virtual Presentation Transcript

  • Dispelling the Myths about Going Virtual
    Presented by Cece Salomon-Lee
    November 17, 2010
  • Definition
    “A virtual event is an occurrence of people gathering together where some or all of the attendees are not physically in the same location but are connected in a common environment. The common environment
    might be one of many types but is usually enabled
    through the use of computers and the Internet.”
    - Virtual Edge Institute
  • VIRTUAL?
  • CO$T SAVINGS
  • INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
  • BETTER ANALYTICS
  • GREEN BENEFITS
  • NOT VIRTUAL??
  • POLL: How many are using virtual?
    Yes, currently using virtual technology
    No, not using at this time
    Unsure when we will
  • DISPELLING FIVE
    VIRTUAL MYTHS
  • Myth #1: Cannibalize My Audience
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
  • EXTENDS AUDIENCE REACH
  • EXTENDS AUDIENCE REACH
    APA: 1900 in person, 1885 virtually
  • EXTENDS AUDIENCE REACH
    APA: 1900 in person, 1885 virtually
    Only a 7% audience crossover
  • Myth #2: Cannibalize Sponsors/Exhibitors
    X
    X
    X
  • 472% of exhibitors
    find virtual valuable
  • LIVE
  • LIVE
    +
    VIRTUAL
  • LIVE
    +
    VIRTUAL
    = MORE PARTICIPANTS
    EXTENDED GLOBAL REACH
  • GE Healthcare – Virtual Exhibit
  • GE Healthcare – Virtual Exhibit @ RSNA 2009
    • Identical to physical booth with 3D renderings
  • GE Healthcare – Virtual Exhibit @ RSNA 2009
    • Identical to physical booth with 3D renderings
    • Physical event : 10,000 attendees
    • Virtual Exhibit: 5,000 attendees
  • GE Healthcare – Virtual Exhibit @ RSNA 2009
    • Identical to physical booth with 3D renderings
    • Physical event : 10,000 attendees
    • Virtual Exhibit: 5,000 attendees
    • Average time spent at virtual exhibit: 1.5 hours
    • Cost 30% less than a flash-based, static microsite
  • GE Healthcare – Virtual Exhibit @ RSNA 2009
    • Identical to physical booth with 3D renderings
    • Physical event : 10,000 attendees
    • Virtual Exhibit: 5,000 attendees
    • Average time spent at virtual exhibit: 1.5 hours
    • Cost 30% less than a flash-based, static microsite
    “This is all about connecting customers to
    specific GE people“ – GE Healthcare
  • Myth #3: Co$t$ Too Much
  • “A virtual event is an occurrence of people gathering together where some or all of the attendees are not physically in the same location but are connected in a common environment. The common environment
    might be one of many types but is usually enabled
    through the use of computers and the Internet.”
    - Virtual Edge Institute
  • “A virtual event is an occurrenceof people gatheringtogetherwhere some or all of the attendees are not physically in the same location but are connectedin a commonenvironment. The common environment
    might be one of many types but is usually enabled
    through the use of computersand the Internet.”
    - Virtual Edge Institute
  • Social Media
  • Social Media
    Video
  • Social Media
    Video
    Livestreaming
  • IMTS Uses Social Media to Engage
    • Used variety of outlets: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and SCVNGR
    • Organized contests through YouTube videos and game, including:
    • 60 Second video sales pitch
    • Question of the Day
    • Tweetchats on related topics
    • Geo-location Scavenger hunt
  • IMTS Uses Social Media to Engage
    “The attendees have specifically mentioned how present social media was and that they want more of it”
    - Monica Haley, AMT
  • Myth #4: Only for Technically Savvy
  • # of Years
    38 years
    50 million users
  • # of Years
    38 years
    13 years
    50 million users
  • # of Years
    38 years
    13 years
    4 years
    50 million users
  • # of Years
    38 years
    13 years
    4 years
    3 years
    50 million users
  • # of Years
    38 years
    13 years
    4 years
    3 years
    9 months
    50 million users
  • Myth #5: Not as Good as F2F
  • VIRTUAL AUGMENTS&FACILITATES F2F
  • “Web-, video- and teleconferencing have their role, but the executives in the survey do not expect them to make the need for face-to-face meetings obsolete. Rather, many see the ideal as a mix of face-to-face and technology-enabled meetings and conferences. (Fig. 9)”
    - Forbes
  • “Web-, video- and teleconferencing have their role, but the executives in the survey do not expect them to make the need for face-to-face meetings obsolete. Rather, many see the ideal as a mix of face-to-face and technology-enabled meetings and conferences. (Fig. 9)”
    - Forbes
  • VIRTUAL AUGMENTS&FACILITATES F2F
    NOT A REPLACEMENT
  • CISCOLIVE VIRTUAL 2009
    • Added virtual component for 2009 event
    • Survey to in-person and virtual attendees
  • CISCOLIVE VIRTUAL 2009
    • Added virtual component for 2009 event
    • Survey to in-person and virtual attendees
    • Event messaging very similar: 4.2 vs. 4.3
    • Both audiences increased familiarity with Cisco products
  • CISCOLIVE VIRTUAL 2009
    • Added virtual component for 2009 event
    • Survey to in-person and virtual attendees
    • Event messaging very similar: 4.2 vs. 4.3
    • Both audiences increased familiarity with Cisco products
    BONUS: 34% of virtual indicated interest to attend in-person event in 2010
  • BONUS MYTH: NO ONE is Doing It
  • BONUS MYTH: No One is Doing IT
    96% of respondents already using virtual events and meeting solutions
  • DISPELL THE MYTHS
    * CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success: August 2010
  • DISPELL THE MYTHS: VIRTUAL
    • expands and extends reach of audiences
    * CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success: August 2010
  • DISPELL THE MYTHS: VIRTUAL
    • expands and extends reach of audiences
    • expands and extends reach for exhibitor
    * CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success: August 2010
  • DISPELL THE MYTHS: VIRTUAL
    • expands and extends reach of audiences
    • expands and extends reach for exhibitor
    • can easily be added at minimal cost
    * CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success: August 2010
  • DISPELL THE MYTHS: VIRTUAL
    • expands and extends reach of audiences
    • expands and extends reach for exhibitor
    • can easily be added at minimal cost
    • is for everyone
    * CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success: August 2010
  • DISPELL THE MYTHS: VIRTUAL
    • expands and extends reach of audiences
    • expands and extends reach for exhibitor
    • can easily be added at minimal cost
    • is for everyone
    • augments and facilitates face-to-face
    * CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success: August 2010
  • DISPELL THE MYTHS: VIRTUAL
    • expands and extends reach of audiences
    • expands and extends reach for exhibitor
    • can easily be added at minimal cost
    • is for everyone
    • augments and facilitates face-to-face
    • is already being usedby someone in your organization
    * CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success: August 2010
  • QUESTIONS?
    * CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success: August 2010
  • Resources
    PHOTO Credits
    • By annnna_ via Flickr (Why?): http://www.flickr.com/photos/annnna/2228189828/
    • By aoomar via Flickry (unicorn): http://www.flickr.com/photos/zoomar/141098807/
    • By AdriaanBloem via Flickr (audience): http://www.flickr.com/photos/bloem/5122399298/
    • By photine via Flickr (exhibit hall): http://www.flickr.com/photos/laanba/2273645708/
    • By world2worlds via Flickr (Cisco virtual booth): http://www.flickr.com/photos/26718459@N03/2507132656/
    • By Sebastian Fritzon via Flickr (smoke): http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastianfritzon/509877265/
    SURVEY/CASE STUDY CITATIONS
    • Smart Meetings, October 2010: American Payroll Association
    • Champion Exposition Services. “Exhibitor Trends Survey,” October 2010 – 72% of exhibitors find virtual to be of some value, valuable or very valuable
    • ComputerWorld, “Avatars Rising in the Enterprise”, April 9, 2010 (GE Healthcare)
    • TSNN, “Grease, Gears, and Geo-location: IMTS Gets It’s Social Media Groove On”, October 2010
    • Social Media Revolution: Stats to 50 million
    • Forbes: Business Meetings – Case for Face-to-Face
    • Cisco Virtual Environments, “Analysis of a Virtual Event”, September 13, 2009
    • CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success”: August 2010 – 96% of respondents state that already using virtual events and meeting solutions
  • Contact
    Cece Salomon-Lee
    PR Meets Marketing
    Twitter: @csalomonlee
    www.linkedin.com/in/cecelee
    cece@prmeetsmarketing.com