What a great time to be in the virtual event business! Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun in years. Coming as I do from a 21-year career in print publishing, it’s refreshing to be part of a growth sector. It’s like the 80’s and Websites all over again – a new technology, a new way to organize and distribute content – but this time with two-way interaction and engagement.
Are virtual events perfect? Of course not. Is the engagement where it needs to be? Nope. Are the results and ROI as great as was promised? Not yet.
But that’s part of what makes it all so exciting. It’s like the Wild West out here and we get to help mold and create an industry.
I realize it’s a bit easier to be excited sitting in my seat rather than yours. I haven’t just been instructed to launch a virtual event in Q2 next year with no knowledge of how they work, no new staff to produce it, and, of course, no budget.
But that’s where the Virtual Edge Summit comes in. You can get all the education you need to go from zero to 60 in just two days. There are more than 30 sessions and nearly 80 speakers on everything from audience acquisition and lead generation to sponsorship sales and measurement.
New this year, are education “tracks,” of sorts, specific to your type of virtual environment . With so many different groups adopting virtual as a facilitation tool, there are endless opportunities to learn from one another. Check out some of this killer content:
- Successful New Product Launches Through Virtual Environments
- IBM’s Virtual Event Center
- Technology Innovations for Events and Communities
Association/Trade Show Sessions:
- Virtual Event Models that Work
- Building a Virtual Expo and Sponsorship Sales Program that Delivers Results
- Audience Acquisition Strategies That Drive Attendance
- Using Virtual Technologies to Meet Tomorrow’s Training Challenges
- Virtual-Enabled Learning Programs that Expand the Learning Experience
- Next Generation Corporate Training and Learning: Case Studies
And still more sessions we can all learn from:
- Building the Digital Events Team of the Future
- Lead Gen and Nurturing with Virtual Events
- Beyond Events: Engage 365 or Someone Else Will
- Community Strategies and Tactics
- Engaging C-Level Executives in Virtual Environments
Whether you’ve already started down the virtual path, or you’re still deciding if you want to jump on, you owe it to yourself to spend two days in January in Las Vegas at the Virtual Edge Summit. It truly is a great time to go virtual – and these sessions will help you get there.
(If you’ve got virtual questions, start sending them my way, and I’ll be sure to get them to the right VES speakers and get you some answers. I look forward to a discussion here or on Twitter at @virtualedge and #VES11.)
Founder and former Publisher of EXPO Magazine
Program Consultant for the Virtual Edge Summit