As MacWorld turns, Virtual Events rise!

While people are gearing up for the annual migration to MacWorld (despite the absence of Steve Jobs), truth is such events are on the decline. Costs are high, and planning can be a drain on company resources. As a result, we are beginning to see a rise in virtual trade shows and events.

Viewstream has worked on a number of virtual events, for Autodesk, Microsoft, HP and others. Over the years, we have seen the concept of the virtual trade show develop and, to certain degree, mature.

We’ve also seen virtual event providers come and go. The biggest problem with these new companies is the insistence on taking the cookie-cutter approach, generally characterized by corny 3D worlds for attendees to navigate. These companies following the same model for every event, creating scalable products for virtual shows.

This approach is faulty from the get-go. Users don’t care to have a 3D navigable environment-there is Second Life for that. And that is to say nothing of the lowest-common-denominator delivery. (Sorry, 240×180 pixel videos just don’t cut it!)

We all know that success comes from standing out from a crowd. In these similar 3D environments, people loose interest because they’ve seen it before. Viewstream’s approach is a more customized professional services offering. We take the right approach – by making you stand out and by delivering your message to the right audience. We take advantage of all the possibilities of the online world to create true “social” experiences and deliver stunning content.

Here are a few of reasons why more companies are doing virtual meetings and events, and the value attached to them:

  1. Saving Costs: Bottom line – virtual events are cheaper then flying in customers or team members from around the world.
  2. ROI Measurements: Even if you track leads from a trade show, how do you really measure the ROI? And how often does the investment in a trade shows lead to a return on your investment? There is no solid proof of good ROI from external events, particularly when compared to online events. With online events, everything is measurable and results can be tested. In fact, if your ROI measurement tools in the online world are already in place you can easily extend with little cost to virtual events.
  3. Content Archives: All content created for online events become mini websites in themselves, and user’s questions, social media elements like blogs, etc., are very valuable to leverage to other marketing arenas.
  4. Search: Having a “spiderable” set of world class content is nice, and is surely a consideration for high ROI in itself.
  5. Extend Reach: Online events are not limted by geography-meaning more people can attend from around the world.
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