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Virtual Events 101 Presentation at MPI EMEC

On Monday, 1 March 2010, I gave an introduction to Virtual Events presentation at the European Meetings and Events Conference in Malaga, Spain.  While most introductions to virtual events presentations concentrate on the technology involved – I tried to keep the focus off of technology and on the when and why to use virtual events as part of your event strategy.

Here is the slide deck. Some notes from the presentation are below:

[slideshare id=3344908&doc=emec2010virtual101-100305101811-phpapp02]

What is a virtual event? How are people using them?

This presentation contained some insights and ideas from my participation in the “Virtual 3rd World” at the Virtual Edge Summit (Read more here). Where I tapped into some of the latest research data from Virtual Edge and George P. Johnson regarding virtual event usage and statistics. Also, I discussed the big question: What is a virtual event? and showed some of the graphs from Kelly A Graham’s presentation on Virtual Events.

Three Types of Attendees in the LikeMinded Community

One of the radical ideas that I proposed – was this idea that there are three types of likeminds in your event community:

1. Those that are attending.

2. Those that cannot or do not attend

3. Those that don’t know who you are but believe how your attendees do.

In my opinion, the virtual event is very powerful for giving the people that are your fans (and cannot attend) a platform for participation and sharing. In this sharing, your virtual participants can help draw in other likeminded individuals that don’t know about your organization, brand or event.

New Opportunities that Digital Technology Creates for Events

I shared my framework of the four opportunities that digital technology creates for events: Extend the Event Experience, Include More People, Increase Interaction and Leverage New Formats. Then, I discussed four different types of virtual technologies that could be used for their events and explained the advantages and differences.

One of the points that I tried to make in this presentation is that events are an explosion of content. While that is great, virtual events help us extend that content explosion and spread it much further. Also, they help us re-use the content that goes into these events over a much longer time.

Also, I shared some planning timelines from Cisco, where I made the point that a “Virtual Event” is a real event. You need to still go through your planning process in the same way that you would for another event.

Metrics and Best Practices

The final section covered some metrics and best practices that I wanted to share with the audience. In fairness, I could have developed this a little further – but I considered these bonus slides. I didn’t think that we would even get to these slides.

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions or comments on the presentation or the content, please let me know. I would be more than happy to answer any questions and expand on any of the ideas that were discussed.

Written by

Samuel J. Smith is the Managing Director of Interactive Meeting Technology, LLC. He wakes up every morning to save the world from stuffing attendees in chairs for hours on end at events. Oh, and he has small children who usually want some breakfast.