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5 Hybrid Event Tips for Trade Associations (via @EastVirtual)

February 23, 2012

Learn more about hybrid events (for trade associations) at the EastVirtual Event Workshop, March 21, 2012 at the ASAE Conference Center in Washington D.C.

Read the full post: http://www.eastvirtual.com/5-things-trade-associations-should-know-about-launching-a-hybrid-event/

Introduction

I wrote a guest post for EastVirtual, providing trade associations with five tips on launching a hybrid event. A number of trade associations have led the way with hybrid events (e.g. NAB, ADA, AIA) – if you’re a trade association, you should consider adding a digital extension to your physical event (creating a hybrid event).

The 5 Tips

My 5 tips are:

  1. Extend your reach.
  2. Drive attendance to your face-to-face event.
  3. Start small, then adapt.
  4. Create value for your sponsors.
  5. Put technology to good use.

To read the full post, visit the EastVirtual Event Workshop site:

http://www.eastvirtual.com/5-things-trade-associations-should-know-about-launching-a-hybrid-event/

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Event Planning Tips Courtesy of the Times Square Ball

December 26, 2011

Image courtesy of “Between a Rock” on flickr.

Introduction

As we count down to midnight on New Year’s Eve each year, our attention is focused on Times Square in New York City. There, a ball made of Waterford Crystal descends 77 feet in 1 minute. When the ball touches the ground, millions of people, both on-site and watching remotely, cheer, “Happy New Year!”

For every New Year’s Eve growing up, I made sure to stay awake to watch the count-down on television. In college one year, some classmates and I decided to brave the cold and experience the celebration in person. We never did get close enough to see the ball drop, but “just being there” was worth it.

Let’s consider aspects of the Times Square Ball that you can apply to your events.

Create a Focal Point

What is “New Year’s in Times Square” known for? The Times Square Ball, of course. What is your event known for? If there’s no clear answer to that question, then you should create one. Figure out something unique and special to focus attention around. Perhaps it’s the game show that you host or the great evening entertainment you bring in each year. Create a compelling focal point and you make your event memorable.

Build Up to a Compelling Close

The Times Square Ball is 60 seconds of “action,” but people gather in the square 8 or more hours earlier. Having a “compelling close” to your event helps to build up anticipation, which makes the “close” all the more compelling. Make sure your events have that “can’t miss moment.”

Create a Tradition

According to Wikipedia, “The first New Year’s Eve celebration in the area was held in 1904.” If you combine a great event with a compelling focal point, you create a tradition. A tradition helps to build brand recognition around your event. And, it gives people a reason to return to your event next year.

Create a Digital Extension to Your Event

According to Wikipedia, one million gather in Times Square (at the face-to-face event), while one billion watch on television. Television creates a digital extension that allows the entire world to catch a glimpse of the Times Square celebration. And just like B2B events, the live broadcast of the Times Square “event” doesn’t cannibalize your audience, it encourages attendance at the face-to-face event the following year.

Create a Programming Channel for Your Event

New Year’s in Times Square has “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” (now Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest) and many other programs. Your event needs a programming channel that on-site and remote attendees can tune in to. In the same way that Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest convey what’s happening in Times Square, your event needs a virtual emcee to connect with your digital audience.

Conclusion

Isn’t New Year’s in Times Square a great “event?” It’s got a focal point, a tradition, a compelling close and a great set of hosts. I’ve been “attending” for years and look forward to this year’s event. Now that I live on the West Coast, however, I’ll have to tune in at 9pm local time. Happy New Year!


#HybridEvents: A Look Back and A Look Ahead via @bXbOnline

October 20, 2011

Read my guest post: http://bxbonline.com/blog/2011/10/the-last-four-years-and-the-next-four-years-in-virtual-and-hybrid-events/

Introduction

When I attended my first virtual trade show four years ago, I said to myself, “This is the future of online lead generation.” At the time, I was managing webinar programs for technology advertisers. They’d do 60-minute, audio-based webinars and hope to generate leads to fuel their sales pipeline. At this virtual trade show, those same “leads” attended an online event for hours and had the opportunity to have real-time engagements with those same advertisers. The users loved it and the advertisers loved it.

Fast forward to today and we’ve significant growth in virtual trade shows. But we’ve also seen the underlying technology platforms applied to many other uses, including virtual job fairs, virtual product launches and importantly, hybrid events.

While some appear before Congress and state that they’re “not here to talk about the past,” I’d like to quickly look back and enthusiastically look forward. Let’s take it in four year intervals, shall we?

To read the full post, visit the bXb Online blog:

http://bxbonline.com/blog/2011/10/the-last-four-years-and-the-next-four-years-in-virtual-and-hybrid-events/


12 Reasons to Consider Hybrid Events

August 26, 2011

Read the full post: http://12most.com/2011/08/24/12most-hybrid-events/

Introduction

On 12Most.com, I wrote an article titled “12 Most Compelling Reasons to Consider Hybrid Events.” In the introduction, I wrote, “Increasingly, event planners are adding a ‘digital extension’ to their physical events. The digital extension expands the event’s audience reach across the entire web.”

The 12 Reasons to Consider Hybrid Events

My 12 reasons are:

  1. The digital event provides a marketing tool for the physical event.
  2. Extends your audience reach.
  3. Creates events that never end.
  4. Does not cannibalize physical events.
  5. Use virtual booths to follow up with leads from your physical booth.
  6. Creates a DVR of event content.
  7. Gets you a raise or promotion.
  8. More networking for attendees.
  9. More leads for sponsors.
  10. Measure the effectiveness of event content.
  11. Reach a global audience.
  12. Enables localization.

To read the full post:

http://12most.com/2011/08/24/12most-hybrid-events/

Got a comment on the 12 reasons? If yes, please click through to the article on 12most.com and leave your comments there. Thanks!

Related Content

  1. Blog Posting: Use Virtual Booths to Follow Up with Leads from Your Physical Booth
  2. C&IT Article: “Cisco advocates free virtual content to boost live event attendees

Broadcasting Live from NAB Show 2011

April 10, 2011

Introduction

What happens in Vegas no longer stays in Vegas. In fact, with hybrid events, Vegas events are coming to a screen near you, whether that’s your desktop, laptop or tablet.  I’m off to Vegas to be a part of INXPO’s hybrid booth at NAB Show 2011.

Streaming Live

On Monday and Tuesday, April 11-12, 2011, we’ll be broadcasting live from Las Vegas, via a virtual environment called INXPOLIVE.  Register for free here:

http://inxpolive.com

We’ll be featuring live interviews with attendees and exhibitors of NAB Show – and provide “a taste” of NAB Show Virtual View, the online extension to NAB Show, which goes live on May 12, 2011.

Join Us In Person or Virtually

If you’ll be at the show, drop a comment below to let us know if you’d like to chat with us on camera. If you’re not able to join us in Las Vegas, we hope to see you there, virtually.


Hybrid Events Roundtable: Help Us Determine the Questions

March 31, 2011

Hybrid Events Roundtable - Help Us Determine the Questions

Introduction

I’ll be moderating a Focus Roundtable, “Best Practices for Your Next Hybrid Event.” The Roundtable will feature Dave Lutz (Velvet Chainsaw Consulting), Malcolm Lotzof (INXPO) and Samuel Smith (Interactive Meeting Technology, LLC).  We’d like you to shape the questions that get asked to this esteemed panel.

How to Participate

There are a number of ways to participate.

1) Provide your input on Focus.com.

I’ve posted four questions that I may ask to the panel.  Write an answer to the question (on Focus), letting us know which of the four questions you’d like me to ask – and why.  To post an answer, you’ll need to sign up to become a Focus.com member.

2) Vote via Twtpoll.

I’ve posted the same four questions on Twtpoll (Twitter poll).  Visit the Twtpoll page to view the current results – and, to log your own vote.

The Roundtable Flow

The Roundtable is scheduled  for April 6th (Wednesday) at 11AM PT.  Anyone can access the Roundtable via telephone:

Toll-free Dial-In Number: (866) 951-1151
International Dial-In Number: (201) 590-2255
Conference # : 4999006

All callers (besides the speakers) will be muted.  However, you will be seen and heard via Twitter.  Use Twitter hash tag #FocusRT to ask questions of the panel – and to provide comments.  I plan to ask four questions:

  1. Question with the most votes (Focus.com plus Twtpoll)
  2. Question from the Twitter audience (#FocusRT), selected by me
  3. Question with the second most votes (Focus.com plus Twtpoll)
  4. Question from the Twitter audience (#FocusRT), selected by me

As an alternative, feel free to leave a comment below with your panel question (for those of you not inclined to tweet your question).  Hope to “see” you during the roundtable!


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