Improve Your SlideShare Marketing with These 10 Fun Facts

November 16, 2013

10 Fun Facts About SlideShare

Introduction

At DNN, we produce 1-2 webinars per week on topics ranging from online community to content management to website optimization. Recently, we created a SlideShare channel to host all of our webinar presentations. It was a convenient solution for distributing slides to our webinar viewers. And, it would help widen the reach of our webinar content.

Results Have Exceeded Expectations

In the three months since launching our SlideShare channel, our presentations have received 40,000+ views, 47 Likes, 186 downloads, 317 Facebook shares and 180 tweets. One of our webinar presentations, in fact, generated 10,000 SlideShare views during the first week it was posted.

Let’s consider ten fun facts about SlideShare that can help inform your SlideShare marketing.

10 Fun Facts About SlideShare

1) SlideShare has 60 million monthly visitors.

According to their “About” page, SlideShare has 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million monthly page views. They’re among the top 200 most visited websites in the world. It’s a no-brainer, folks: extend the reach of your content (for free) to a potential audience of 60 million people.

At DNN, our webinars might reach thousands of people. With our SlideShare channel, we have the potential to reach millions. As a bonus fun fact, more than 10 million presentations have been uploaded to SlideShare. Check out a neat infographic from SlideShare that marked the occasion.

2) Hyperlinks (in slides) are clickable.

It’s true that Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird have changed the dynamics of SEO, but links are still a primary currency of the web. When creating your presentation, be sure that any links become true hyperlinks. I’ve found that hyperlinks (on SlideShare) are not clickable on Slide 1, but are clickable on all subsequent slides. On the DNN SlideShare channel, our presentations have generated 95 clicks to external pages.

3) Infographics are liked 4x more than presentations, and 23x more than documents on SlideShare.

Earlier this year, SlideShare announced support for infographics. Since then, they’ve published data points that compare engagement and interaction between infographics and other content formats. Just save (or convert) your infographic to PDF, then use the standard “Upload” process in SlideShare. It will detect that the uploaded document is an infographic and place it in “Infographics” tab in your SlideShare channel. We recently published an infographic, “Top 10 Blogs Every B2B Marketer Should Read.”

4) Your URL is derived from your presentation’s filename.

The structure of your URL is important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SlideShare auto-generates the URL of your presentation and you’re not able to edit or change it. So name your file to match your desired URL.

I like my SlideShare URL’s to match the title of the presentation. You’re not guaranteed to get your desired URL: if another presentation has the exact same title, SlideShare will append a number to the end of your URL (to make it unique). Don’t name your presentation “My webinar deck with edits from Jon v2”.pptx unless you want those words to appear in your SlideShare URL.

5) You can link to a specific slide.

You’re already using your social channels to promote your SlideShare presentations. Let’s say you wanted to share a surprising statistic on Slide 7, however. It’s not a great user experience to tweet about Slide 7, then drive users to the Slide 1 of your presentation.

SlideShare has an easy solution: to permalink to Slide 7, just append “/7” to the end of your URL and you’re done. Once users land on Slide 7, they can still navigate backward or forward. SlideShare explains further on their blog. In the spirit of sharing a specific slide, here’s a fantastic quote on community management (from a recent webinar).

6) SlideShare supports audio in the form of Slidecasts.

You can upload an MP3 (audio) file and synchronize it to your slide presentation. Side note: I’d like Morgan Freeman to narrate my presentations. SlideShare provides step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

By grabbing the audio track from your webinar (and then doing the synchronization), SlideShare can be a convenient place to host on-demand webinars!

7) You can easily embed SlideShare presentations on web pages.

You can embed any SlideShare presentation onto a web page, including those published by others. By embedding your own, you play the role of promoter or syndicator. By embedding presentations from others, you play the role of curator and commentator.

When viewing the presentation on SlideShare, simply click the “Embed” button at the top of the player. Copy the HTML code for use on your site (or blog). You can also copy a “shortcode” for WordPress.com blogs. Using embedding, we generated 10,000 SlideShare views in one week (for a webinar presentation).

8) You can link your SlideShare account to your LinkedIn account.

By linking these two accounts, activity on SlideShare gets fed automatically to LinkedIn and seen in the Newsfeed of your LinkedIn Connections. As you upload new presentations or “Like” existing ones, your LinkedIn Connections will know. Check out how you can use this to share social media content in five minutes a day.

9) You can share your videos on SlideShare.

Presentations, infographics and audio, oh my. Now comes video. Yes, you can share your videos on SlideShare, too. Check out this FAQ on videos (from SlideShare) for further details.

10) SlideShare PRO gives you some premium features.

After seeing early results with SlideShare, we decided to upgrade to SlideShare PRO Silver, since it gave us the ability to embed registration forms, as well as a deeper view of analytics. The Silver plan costs $19 a month, so it was a no-brainer. Have a look at this SlideShare for more info on PRO.

Conclusion

We hope you liked our fun facts as much as we liked documenting them. Beyond the fun, we hope you can apply many of these facts to become a more effective marketer on SlideShare. Sixty million visitors are waiting.

Related Resources

  1. The DNN Software SlideShare page.
  2. A Twitter chat I participated in: Tips for Using SlideShare in Content Marketing
  3. Prior post: How a Webinar Presentation Generated 10,000 SlideShare Views in 1 Week

Originally published on the DNN Software blog.

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How Mobile Video Changes Things

July 15, 2011

Photo credit: Tommyvos on flickr.

Note: This is a collaborative blog post authored by Jim Reilly (@oldantler) and me.

Introduction

In the first generation of web-based video calling, families could stay in touch (e.g. Skype), while companies could conduct business meetings over several locations (e.g. Polycom, Cisco Telepresence, etc.). Mobile-based video calling options dramatically changes things.

iPhone users can now call one another via the pre-installed Facetime app, as long as both parties are connected to a WiFi network. With Skype app (iPhone, Android and Symbian), Skype users can video-call one another from their smarthphone over WiFi or 3G. Let’s consider a few use cases to demonstrate how mobile video changes things.

Calling Home While on Business Travel

Let’s say Mom has gone on a business trip for a few weeks. In a typical scenario, Mom calls home each night to check in with Dad and the kids. If Mom has her PC with Skype installed, perhaps they do a video call every other night. Now, imagine Mom has an iPhone. She connects to her hotel’s WiFi network and dials up her daughter at home using Facetime. The daughter has an iPod Touch and is connected to the WiFi network at home.

Now, Mom and daughter can see and hear one another. And with mobile, they can now see their surrounding environments as they walk about. When Mom asks, “Are you taking good care of my garden?”, the daughter can walk to the garden and give Mom a close-up view of the vegetables. When the daughter asks, “How is your hotel room?”, Mom can give her a quick tour.

Buying a New House Before Relocating

When a family relocates to another part of the country, the husband or wife typically heads out before the rest of the family, to secure housing and get things set up. This can make home-buying a challenge, as both spouses are not able to see the house before making a decision. Mobile video changes that.

Now, the husband can land in the new city, make appointments with a realtor, then video-call his wife to view the houses together. He can take his wife through the family room, kids’ bedrooms and yard.  While the listing page (on the web) for the house may provide panoramic, 360 degree views of the home, the mobile video-call transforms the 360 degree view from an “on-demand viewing” to a live guided tour.

Repairing a Server in The Data Center

A server has gone down and the only engineer available is the most junior member of your IT team. Not to fear – have him initiate a video call once he arrives. From there, senior members of your team can provide direction on how to fix the server.

The junior engineer powers down the server, then pulls out the blade server in slot 2. He points his smartphone at the server as the senior members explain how to carefully extract the card. Note that in this scenario, mounting the phone on a tripod would be helpful, to free up the junior engineer’s hands!

Emergency Services

A member of the public comes across an unconscious person in the street, dials the emergency services and is not only sent animated instructions to their phone, but the trained medical staff taking the call gives advice based on video observation of the subject, not just vague description. Vital minutes are saved to administer the correct first aid and potentially saves the person’s life.

Turning Trade Shows into Hybrid Events

Video calling can connect trade show and conference attendees with remote users who were not able to attend in person. The on-site attendee can take the remote attendee on a walk down the exhibit floor.

Exhibitors can take prospects through a tour of their booth, showing them their latest product offerings (in the same way you’d do in person). If the remote attendee switched to a desktop (e.g. with Skype), s/he could even conduct interviews with on-site attendees and post the interviews on a web site or blog. Mobile video allows the physical event experience to be shared with anyone.

Enhancing the Experience with Augmented Reality

With the development of augmented reality (AR), the examples above become even more useful and compelling: in home buying the video tour is augmented with room dimensions, distances from local amenities and details of local crime rates; in repairing the server the nearest spares supplier can be identified and the replacement part purchased there and then; and with trade shows, the video of a stand or product is enhanced with background information, case studies, product specifications, availability and costs.

Further Thought

We are talking about delivering these services over the top (OTTP) of the mobile networks. Where the future possibilities get really exciting are when these services are delivered as an integral part of an intelligent, mobile network.

The network knows a lot about the customer and hence it can prioritise and contextualise the experience. Frightening? Too Big Brother? Or the best way to filter information when we are exposed to ‘way too much’ content and have less and less time to sift through it and consume what we select?

Conclusion

When video arrived on the web, it changed things. Mobile video has arrived in the form of smartphone apps that are “detached” from the “web.” While we’ve listed just a few examples (above), our belief is that mobile video will have a far greater impact on communications than web video. The world becomes flatter and flatter by the day.

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Virtual Mingle Rooms: Show Them What You’re Talking About

November 1, 2010

The following is a guest post by Daniel Ruscigno of Mingleverse.

Introduction

Mingleverse is a new service offering browser-based virtual rooms where 2 to 50 people can get together to talk using 3D audio while watching various types of media together (pictures, presentations, videos, webcam, screen broadcasting, etc).

Although predominantly a consumer-facing service, Mingleverse is used not only by friends and family in Facebook, but also by teachers and trainers, and small businesses.  However, the most interesting adoption has been with authors and athletes who are using their Mingle Room to mingle live with their fans.

Use Cases

For example, best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell had a live virtual mingle with 25 of his fans, where they were all able to ask him questions about his books and his future writing plans.  Gladwell mingled from the comfort of his New York apartment and came into the room via webcam for all of the fans to see.  He commented afterwards that it really did feel like meeting 25 new people, and the fans were ecstatic that they got to meet their favorite author.

The Vancouver Canucks NHL team have also taken advantage of Mingleverse’s virtual Mingle Rooms by embedding one directly on their website.  After each home game the Canucks invite their fans to join the Mingle Room to talk about the night’s game, watch live post game interviews and press conferences together, and watch highlights streamed directly from YouTube.

There are now several professional sports teams who are looking to be the leaders in live fan interaction and are excited about providing fans the opportunity to mingle live with players and coaches.

Conclusion

As Mingleverse has shown, virtual world technologies allow us to become more interactive with people from all over the world and can afford us new opportunities not regularly available in our daily physical lives.  As we adopt these new technologies, perhaps our celebrity idols will ask you to meet them in their Mingle Room in their next tweet!

You can try Mingleverse for free at http://mingleverse.com or through the Mingleverse Facebook Application.

Related: Mingleverse picks up $1.4M in seed funding for video conferencing with cardboard cutouts (from VentureBeat, Dec 2010)


How To Effectively Generate Virtual Event Registrations

September 4, 2010

International Freelancers Day is “the biggest ever (FREE) online conference exclusively for solo professionals.”  Want to know how to effectively generate virtual event registrations? Follow this event’s lead.  They make it easy for you to sign up.  And once you do, they provide you with compelling value well before you attend the live event.

Prominently feature of a short video on the event home page

You can’t visit the home page for this event without noticing the prominent video.  It’s short and effectively markets the event (e.g. why should I attend?).  You’ll notice that the home page is not heavy on text that describes this event – instead, the messaging and background is contained within the video.  A well-produced video can describe and promote your event better than any paragraph of text can do.

Make registration easy

Registering for a virtual event typically requires the user to complete a registration page with 10-15 questions (or more!).  Ever wonder why registration counts are down? Could be the complexity of the registration process itself.  With International Freelancers Day, I simply enter my email address.

The event used a “double opt-in”, which means that I received an email, which prompted me to click on a link to confirm my registration.  This is a good protective measure, as a single opt-in would allow anyone to register any other user (email address) for the event, without that user’s knowledge.

In addition to this model, I expect to see virtual events adopt “social registration”, allowing users to register via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. That would also make virtual event registration very easy.

PROVIDE VALUE on your confirmation or welcome page

All too often, a virtual event’s registration confirmation says “thank you” and “see you at the live event.”  That’s it?  Instead, build a page that provides value to the registrant.  These days, attendance rates at virtual events (e.g. free virtual conferences or virtual trade shows) are 50% or lower.  That means that half or your registrants (or more!) never attend.

Your challenge, then, is to demonstrate value to the user as soon as they register.  Consider the confirmation/welcome page a big opportunity.  International Freelancers Day does a great job:

Pre-Event Training Videos

What a great idea – provide content to the registrants, in the form of videos from experts.  Registrants are provided access to 6 training videos.  The first 3 videos had these titles:

  1. A Simple System for Landing More of the Work You Quote
  2. How to Pick the Right Target Niche
  3. Ask Better Questions

Videos #4 through #6 are not yet available, but if you’ve registered for the event, you’ll receive an email when they become available.  Another great tactic – a steady, pre-event flow of content, which keeps you coming back.  That, in turn, keeps the event “top of mind” with registrants.

If users enjoy these videos, they’ll gain confidence in the value of the live conference, which means they’ll be more likely to attend live.  Finally, each video was hosted on a unique URL and allowed comments to be posted.

Video #1 had 17 comments, which means that registrants are viewing the videos – and, they’re already starting a dialog with the event host (and each other) prior to the live event!

Allow registrants to promote the event on your behalf

This event’s welcome page also included the following:

  1. A link to the International Freelancers Day Facebook Page
  2. A “tweet button”, allowing you to share the event with your followers on Twitter – and, a mention of the event’s hash tag (#IFD10)
  3. A snippet of HTML code, so that you can “add the International Freelancers Day badge to your website or blog”
  4. The Twitter ID’s of the event’s co-founders

Conclusion

I’m not a freelancer and yet this event registration process has me sold!  Generating registrations and attendees to your virtual event is a two-tiered process.

You first need to generate registrations.  Then, you need to get those registrants “through the door” (to attend live).  Use effective tactics, like those employed by International Freelancers Day, and you can excel at both.

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Top 3 Ways To Improve Virtual Event Experiences

July 30, 2010

We need to create better and more engaging virtual event experiences.  We need to better approximate the valuable face-to-face encounters and experiences that physical events create.

1: Create a stronger feeling of “there”

There’s nothing like walking into an over-crowded trade show floor and hearing the buzz of attendees and exhibitors.  It’s similar to walking into a popular restaurant or bar.  The buzz permeates the environment.  If I were to login to the world’s most popular virtual event, there’s hardly an indicator to tell me so.

The closest thing we have today is a list of avatars (also known as profile images) in a given event area.  If I see a long list of other attendees listed, then I know the area is quite popular and there must be something going on (e.g. perhaps there’s a live chat session occurring).  Beyond that, it’s hard to tell that “there’s a ‘there’ there”.

To address this, event platforms and event planners should consider augmenting the experience with sensory stimulation.  The two relevant senses are sight and sound.  With sight, one could imagine  “heat maps” that signal to attendees where the action lies.  Or, animation to direct users to a popular area – or, that something is important is happening in a given location.

Incorporating sound can be a challenge in a B2B environment, since many users mute their computer speakers while at work.  So perhaps one uses visuals to encourage attendees to enable their sound.  Then, platforms could “inject” show floor chatter into the environment, adjusting the level of intensity based on the amount of activity or people present.

Better yet, platforms could allow attendees to speak into a common audio channel.  If I’m in the Networking Lounge, I’m then able to converse with others (via audio) in addition to text chat.  Perhaps the system allows for comment moderation, so that one person is enabled to speak at any one time (a challenge that takes care of itself when folks assemble in person).

2: Create stronger person-to-person interactions

Text chat is great, but virtual events need to go beyond text to create richer and more engaging person-to-person interactions.  That means audio (as outlined above) as well as video.  Bandwidth availability varies depending on where you’re located – but if you have sufficient bandwidth, virtual events should allow you to network and connect with others the “old fashioned way” – with a smile, a greeting and a hello.  Not with a “LOL” or a smiley.

In addition, virtual event experiences need to better enable a community to form.  This is done with effective tools to connect like-minded individuals – and, applications to encourage and foster person-to-person interactions (e.g. blogging, status updates, etc.).

3: Use imagery to strike a deeper emotional connection

In any event experience (whether physical or virtual), imagery can be used to strike a deep, emotional connection with attendees.  In a virtual event, we all too often create this effect:

That is, the imagery that may create that emotional connection is covered by functional elements overlaid on top.  What you’re left with is edges of the “pretty picture” – that is, the small segments that are not covered by the functional elements.  A few options to address this:

Combine imagery and function

Build the functional elements into the imagery.  For Flash-based platforms, the images and the functional areas occupy the same SWF.  There are cost and “repeatability” considerations in going this route, so other options can be considered.

Determine function element placement up front

Before the creative team designs an image, determine what functional elements are included in the event area.  Size these elements (by pixel counts) and then have the creative team design around that.  For instance, if you’re designing at a width of 1024 pixels and you embed a chat window 512 pixels wide, then you have 256 pixels on each side of the chat area.

Have your designers make the most of each 256-pixel segment, rather than designing an elaborate image that has its most compelling 512 pixels covered and never seen.

Conclusion

I’ve listed 3 ways that virtual event experiences can be improved.  Drop a comment below to let us know how you’d improve virtual events.

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Telepresence In Virtual Events With G2Events

June 15, 2010

In the mid-year report card on my 2010 virtual event predictions, I wrote about the first telepresence-enabled virtual event – the “Sustainability Virtual Summit: Smart ICT”, produced by G2Events.  Subsequent to my posting, I heard from Bruno Castejon, Senior Vice President and Co-Founder of G2Events.

“G2Events is the first Virtual event management services firm to truly integrate Telepresence”, notes Castejon. “We captured the Telepresence feed (high definition video and audio) straight out of the Telepresence racks and rendered the true Telepresence experience over IP in our virtual event platform.  It provided the Virtual Conference attendees a truly immersive experience, as if they were sitting in a Telepresence suite”.

Sustainability Virtual Summits

“Sustainability Virtual Summit: Smart ICT” had 8 sessions (out of a total of 35) that included Telepresence enablement.  Five of the eight sessions were round-table discussions with panelists participating from different geographic locations. G2Events is looking at physical events as well, where Telepresence can serve to bridge on-site and remote participants.

According to G2Events, there is a science behind the technology and process for bringing Telepresence into physical events, especially when one factors in cost and scalability considerations.  “G2events believes Telepresence is one of the most promising technologies to bridge the physical and virtual event worlds and optimize the value of a true hybrid model”, said Castejon.

TelepresenceWorld 2011

Hemisphere, the parent company of G2Events, and NAB recently announced a partnership to launch “TelepresenceWorld 2011” at the 2011 NAB Show (April 9-14, 2011).  Telepresence World 2011 will be a hybrid event, combining an on-site conference with a concurrent virtual event, “TelepresenceWorld 2011 Virtual Live!”.

Notes Castejon, “This will really be a showcase hybrid event demonstrating how Telepresence, in addition of being a very powerful collaboration solution, is also an impactful channel to efficiently reach out to large audiences for marketing purposes”.

Telepresence and Virtual Events

At Sustainability Virtual Summits, Telepresence-enabled panels had increased attendee satisfaction – delegates were most engaged with that format.  Castejon notes that the viewing “completion rate” for the Telepresence-enabled panels was by far the highest of all content broadcast during the show.  “They constituted the very reason why the average time at the event was over 2 hours and 50 minutes per attendee”, notes Castejon.

Bruno contributes two of his own predictions for 2010:

  1. Before 2010 is over, the technology integration will be mature enough to bring Telepresence Live into Virtual Event platforms.
  2. Before 2010 is over, the Virtual event platform leaders will release “full screen” capabilities for video content.  This will take the delegate experience even higher and make Telepresence-enabled panels even more enjoyable.

Hosted Telepresence

Think of it as “Telepresence as a Service” – you receive the benefits of Telepresence without the capital investment and hardware support.  “You can now show up at a public Telepresence facility (e.g. Cisco, Marriott, Taj, Starwood) nearby and rent both the room and infrastructure at a cost of $300 or lower”, notes Castejon.  The “Telepresence footprint” (both private and public) is reaching critical mass.  Castejon adds, “The number of rooms is now such that it provides proximity with most, if not all the main business hubs in the world”.

Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP)

At the InfoComm conference last week, Cisco announced “interoperability between Cisco and Tandberg TelePresence systems, and with other third-party systems, by integrating the Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) on Cisco’s newly acquired Tandberg TelePresence Server”. Castejon says this “is a BIG deal”, since it allows one vendor’s system to interoperate with another’s (e.g. in theory, a session betweeen Cisco Telepresence and HP Halo systems).

While TIP does define interoperability at a protocol level, Castejon notes that telcos will need to follow suit on carrier interoperability.  “Existing private and public Telepresence deployments are on private networks. As of today, I do not believe these carriers have found a way to manage Telepresence roaming. If two parties use different carriers (e.g. one AT&T and the other BT), they still might not be able to communicate”, notes Castejon.

Conclusion

Telepresence is a technology to watch – it can facilitate a “virtual meeting” or “virtual event” on its own.  Combined with a virtual event, however, it can significantly expand its audience reach and power.  If you plan to integrate Telepresence into your virtual events, leave a comment below and let us know of your plans.

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Mid-Year Report Card: 2010 Virtual Events Predictions

June 9, 2010

At the end of 2009, I posted my 2010 predictions for the virtual events industry.  Now that we’re nearly half done with 2010 (can you believe that), I decided to provide a self-assessment for my predictions.

Overall, I’ve decided on a grade of “B” (I’m an easy grader) – which may improve based on the second half of the year.  Let’s review the individual predictions.

Video Integration (Grade: B)

I wrote:

In 2010, I believe that the virtual event platforms will integrate with third party video conferencing technologies in a big way – stirred largely by client demand for it.

While video conferencing integration has not (yet!) been implemented on a wide scale, we witnessed the first occurrence of telepresence enablement in a virtual event.

The Sustainability Virtual Summit: Smart ICT was produced by G2 Events, “featuring telepresence enablement, allowing roundtable and panel discussions to be broadcast between panelists in remote locations worldwide (first in a virtual event)”.

I attended the event and viewed a number of telepresence-enabled sessions.  While impressive, it should be noted that my prediction was around “incorporation of multi-party, HD video conferencing”, whereas the Sustainability Virtual Summit event enabled telepresence via “simulive” playback of pre-recorded sessions.

Multi-party HD video conferencing over the public Internet is likely a few years away – instead, we’ll likely see multi-party (with virtual event integration) enabled in a corporate setting, with its tighter controls over available bandwidth – and, with the option to distribute the video conferencing streams via IP multicast.

Global Players (Grade: B)

I wrote:

I expect to see another European-based platform emerge in 2010, along with one or more in Asia Pac.

Gensee, based in China, provides a “Web Virtual Events Platform”.  The market for virtual events in China seems to be less developed than in the U.S. and Europe – as such, Gensee may be well positioned to capitalize on any uptick in adoption (in China), as their platform was built to serve a Chinese audience.

“China has more than 400 million internet users, with Flash based virtual games and social network services very popular, although with its own flavors and local providers”, notes Benjamin Chen, CEO of Gensee Technology.

Chen continues, “China has many economic centers and many enterprises have geographically dispersed customers and employees. I already see great demands to complement physical trade shows, expos, events and e-learning with virtual components”.

VisualMente is another European player in the virtual events space – they’re based on Spain and have done virtual event campaigns for BlackBerry, among others.

To be fair, both Gensee and VisualMente were around when my predictions were made, so I didn’t technically predict their emergence.  That being said, I do believe in the trend that more and more players will enter the space, with a growing number of vendors outside of the U.S.  The U.S. is the most developed market to date (relatively speaking) – which means that even larger opportunities lie abroad.

If you’re aware of additional virtual event players (outside of the U.S.), please leave information in the comments section below – thanks.

Source: Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual

Response Rates (Grade: A)

While I can’t provide insight for “relative response rates” on audience generation for virtual events in 2010, I did write the following:

Virtual event show hosts will need to consider the incorporation of gaming, the creation of affinity programs and more.

Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual is incorporating gaming into their upcoming event – Dannette Veale (Cisco) published a post regarding  objectives and considerations behind enabling gaming in that event.  I should disclose that I’m with INXPO, the virtual event platform that’s hosting this event – and we’re big believers in social gaming in virtual events.  So my prediction was a bit self serving.

I do believe in the effectiveness of gaming, especially in a virtual event or virtual business environment (e.g. for learning, retention, sponsor interaction, etc.) – as such, I expect to see an increasing amount of games (especially games with a social component) enabled in virtual events going forward.

Some vendors will integrate them into the core platform, while others will start by creating “one off” games that are loosely coupled with the underlying event platform.

Immersiveness (Grade: A)

In the U.S., the Virtual Edge Summit is the annual face-to-face event in the virtual events industry.  New this year was a “Business 3Di Track”, demonstrating the growing interest in immersiveness [see full program here].  I wrote:

Client interest and demand will drive some platforms to add immersive capabilities in 2010.  I don’t expect a software download, however – it would serve platforms well to support the immersive experience within their existing framework (e.g. Flash, JavaFX, Silverlight).

One of the exhibitors at Virtual Edge was Altadyn, who provides an offering called 3DXplorer – “the first ‘browser-based’ and ‘installation-free’ solution which enables a 3D interactive and fully immersive experience, accessible from any corporate or individual computer”.

In addition to Altadyn, one of the “pure play 2D event platforms” (at Virtual Edge) provided a demo of immersive capabilities they’ve incorporated into their platform.  I expect to see more experimentation and deployment in the second half of this year.

Consolidation (Grade: C)

I wrote:

We’ll see the merging or acquiring of virtual event platform companies.

Since neither of these has yet to come true in 2010, this grade really could be an “F” or an “Incomplete”.  I’m still holding firm on this prediction, however, as I do expect some M&A activity in the second half of the year.

Conclusion

The first half of 2010 sure has flown by – on the predictions front, I’m looking decent so far at the half-way mark.  I’m expecting an eventful second half (pun intended).  What are your expectations for the second half of this year in our industry?  Leave your thoughts below in the comments section.

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