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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 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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Dispelling the Myths of Going Virtual

  1. 1. Dispelling the Myths about Going Virtual Presented by Cece Salomon-Lee November 17, 2010
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. VIRTUAL?
  4. 4. CO$T SAVINGS
  5. 5. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
  6. 6. BETTER ANALYTICS
  7. 7. GREEN BENEFITS
  8. 8. NOT VIRTUAL??
  9. 9. POLL: How many are using virtual? Yes, currently using virtual technology No, not using at this time Unsure when we will
  10. 10. DISPELLING FIVE VIRTUAL MYTHS
  11. 11. Myth #1: Cannibalize My Audience X X X XX
  12. 12. EXTENDS AUDIENCE REACH
  13. 13. EXTENDS AUDIENCE REACH APA: 1900 in person, 1885 virtually
  14. 14. EXTENDS AUDIENCE REACH APA: 1900 in person, 1885 virtually Only a 7% audience crossover
  15. 15. Myth #2: Cannibalize Sponsors/Exhibitors X X X
  16. 16. 472% of exhibitors find virtual valuable
  17. 17. LIVE
  18. 18. +LIVE VIRTUAL
  19. 19. +LIVE VIRTUAL = MORE PARTICIPANTS EXTENDED GLOBAL REACH
  20. 20. GE Healthcare – Virtual Exhibit
  21. 21. GE Healthcare – Virtual Exhibit @ RSNA 2009 • Identical to physical booth with 3D renderings
  22. 22. GE Healthcare – Virtual Exhibit @ RSNA 2009 • Identical to physical booth with 3D renderings • Physical event : 10,000 attendees • Virtual Exhibit: 5,000 attendees
  23. 23. GE Healthcare – Virtual Exhibit @ RSNA 2009 • Identical to physical booth with 3D renderings • Physical event : 10,000 attendees • Virtual Exhibit: 5,000 attendees • Average time spent at virtual exhibit: 1.5 hours • Cost 30% less than a flash-based, static microsite
  24. 24. GE Healthcare – Virtual Exhibit @ RSNA 2009 • Identical to physical booth with 3D renderings • Physical event : 10,000 attendees • Virtual Exhibit: 5,000 attendees • Average time spent at virtual exhibit: 1.5 hours • Cost 30% less than a flash-based, static microsite “This is all about connecting customers to specific GE people“ – GE Healthcare
  25. 25. Myth #3: Co$t$ Too Much
  26. 26. “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
  27. 27. “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
  28. 28. Social Media
  29. 29. Social Media Video
  30. 30. Social Media Video Livestreaming
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. Myth #4: Only for Technically Savvy
  34. 34. 38 years 50 million users
  35. 35. 38 years 13 years 50 million users
  36. 36. 38 years 13 years 4 years 50 million users
  37. 37. 38 years 13 years 4 years 3 years 50 million users
  38. 38. 38 years 13 years 4 years 3 years 50 million users 9 months
  39. 39. Myth #5: Not as Good as F2F
  40. 40. VIRTUAL AUGMENTS & FACILITATES F2F
  41. 41. “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
  42. 42. “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
  43. 43. VIRTUAL AUGMENTS & FACILITATES F2F NOT A REPLACEMENT
  44. 44. CISCOLIVE VIRTUAL 2009 • Added virtual component for 2009 event • Survey to in-person and virtual attendees
  45. 45. 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
  46. 46. 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
  47. 47. BONUS MYTH: NO ONE is Doing It
  48. 48. BONUS MYTH: No One is Doing IT 96% of respondents already using virtual events and meeting solutions
  49. 49. * CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success: August 2010 DISPELL THE MYTHS
  50. 50. * CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success: August 2010 DISPELL THE MYTHS: VIRTUAL • expands and extends reach of audiences
  51. 51. * 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
  52. 52. * 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
  53. 53. * 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
  54. 54. * 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
  55. 55. * 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 used by someone in your organization
  56. 56. * CWT Travel Institute, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success: August 2010 QUESTIONS?
  57. 57. 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 Adriaan Bloem 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
  58. 58. Contact Cece Salomon-Lee PR Meets Marketing Twitter: @csalomonlee www.linkedin.com/in/cecelee cece@prmeetsmarketing.com

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