January 2, 2011
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.
About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.
In 2010, there were 87 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 202 posts. There were 220 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 8mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was September 28th with 213 views. The most popular post that day was Trends In The Virtual Worlds Industry.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, linkedin.com, facebook.com, en.wikipedia.org, and hootsuite.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for virtual calendar, match.com, all virtual worlds, gregory house, and comdex.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Trends In The Virtual Worlds Industry September 2010
6 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,
Virtual Events Calendar December 2008
The Business Benefits Of Second Life March 2010
About December 2008
COMDEX Re-Launches As A Virtual Trade Show March 2010
Leave a Comment » | Virtual Events | Tagged: 2010, 2010 in review, Automattic, COMDEX, Facebook, HootSuite, Linkedin, Taj Mahal, top posts, Twitter, Virtual Events, virtual tradeshows, Virtual Worlds, Wikipedia, wordpress | Permalink
Posted by Dennis Shiao
December 12, 2010
“Time flies when you’re having fun.”
It all started two years ago today. The first blog post was made on December 12, 2008. Since that time, I’ve covered virtual trade shows, hybrid events, virtual worlds, Second Life, social media and many other topics. It’s been a fun ride to date, but I’m even more excited about what the next 2 or 5 years will bring. For now, let’s take a look back at five selected posts from the past two years.
What Started It All
My first post, from December 2008, looked ahead to 2009. It was titled “2009: The Year We Go Virtual“. I was mostly on target with this post, except for that innocent comment where I noted that face-to-face event producers would struggle to survive. I should have known that physical events would never go away – and, I hadn’t considered what would follow in 2009/2010, the hybrid event. Whoops.
Lenovo’s 3D World, Powered by web.alive
This posting, from January 2009, remains today the top grossing piece on this blog. Lenovo launched a 3D world to promote their Thinkpad notebooks. It used the web.alive 3D platform from Nortel (and is now part of Avaya, via Avaya’s acquisition of Nortel). While touring the environment, I met Nic Sauriol, the Venture Lead for the project and he took me on a personal tour. Read more: “Review: Lenovo’s eLounge Virtual World“.
Musings on Physical Events & Virtual Events
(Photo courtesy of “ExhibitPeople” on flickr)
Physical events have been around for a long time. So I decided to write about what we like at physical events and consider how those “features” could work in a virtual event. I didn’t expect it at the time, but this turned out to be one of the most popular postings this year. For more: “Bringing The Physical Event Experience To Virtual Events“.
Whose Platform Do I Use?
Once you’ve decided to do a virtual event, one of the key steps is finding the right virtual event platform. In my Virtual Events 101 series, the most popular posting was this one: “Virtual Events 101: Tips For Selecting A Virtual Event Platform“. For me, it comes down to the 6 P”s – People, Platform, Production, Price, Process and Partners.
Branching Out A Bit
Branching out from virtual events, I shared some thoughts on the topics of social gaming, location-based services, “gamification” and loyalty programs. In the coming 1-3 years, gamification, location services and virtual events will come together (via API’s and integration). On the gamification front, it’s noteworthy that San Francisco will be home to the Gamification Summit in January 2011. For the full post: “The Name Of The Game Is Engagement“.
It’s been a great two years. It’s hard to imagine what the (virtual) “world” will look like in another two years. There’s one thing for sure: I’ll be blogging about it. Come along for the journey and subscribe to regularly receive my posts. Until next time!
2 Comments | Virtual Events | Tagged: #gamification, 2009, 2010, 3D, Avaya, B-to-B, best practices, Gamification Summit, location based services, Nic Sauriol, Nortel, phyiscal events, platform providers, Second Life, social gaming, The Year We Go Virtual, Twitter, virtual event platform, Virtual Events, Virtual Events 101, virtual tradeshows, Virtual Worlds, web.alive, Year of the Ox | Permalink
Posted by Dennis Shiao
September 9, 2010
In the book “Duct Tape Marketing” by John Jantsch (subtitle: “The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide”), there’s a paragraph in Chapter 2 titled “What You Really Sell.” Here’s an excerpt of that paragraph:
“Here’s the funny thing about business. You don’t sell what it is you claim to offer. You sell what the eventual buyers think they are going to get from your product. For instance, insurance sales folks don’t sell insurance; they sell peace of mind. Chiropractors don’t sell neck adjustments; they sell some form of relief.”
Virtual event platforms sell a lot of things. To some degree, the term “virtual events” is an injustice (or misnomer), based on the wide variety of applications supported by today’s platforms. In fact, I wrote previously in a “virtual events futures column” that the term “virtual events” would disappear by 2011.
I don’t know whether my 2011 prediction will come true, but I do expect that by later this year, the “virtual” qualifier will start to be dropped, in favor of broader names. With that being said, and in the spirit of Duct Tape Marketing, here’s my Top 10 List of what virtual “events” really do:
- Sales Pipeline Fueler
- Learning Platform
- Analyst Relations Venue
- Product Launch System
- HR Recruitment Engine
- Partner Community Enabler
- Corporate Training System
- Content Distribution Platform
- Revenue Generator
- A Marketer’s Ultimate Dream
Each of these terms better describes “what the eventual buyers think they are going to get from your product” than the term “virtual event.”
Share with us your thoughts – when you “purchase” a virtual event, what is it you’re really getting?
2 Comments | Virtual Events | Tagged: 2010, 2011, analyst relations, carbon emissions, collaboration, corporate university, cost reduction, Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch, lead generation, Learning, Predictions, virtual event futures, virtual event platforms, Virtual Events, virtual tradeshows | Permalink
Posted by Dennis Shiao
December 24, 2009
2009 was a landmark year for the virtual events industry – early adopters expanded their virtual event initiatives and leveraged the technology in innovative ways. Many industries (and associated corporations) entered the mix, producing their first ever virtual event in 2009. Despite the economy (or perhaps aided by the downturn), virtual event platform providers enjoyed healthy growth in client demand, event volume and revenue. The platform market expanded beyond the U.S., with the emergence of new platforms in Europe and New Zealand. We even had the industry’s first ever face-to-face event, the Virtual Edge Summit (U.S. – Santa Clara, CA).
To get a better sense of how 2009 unfolded, I reviewed the past 12 months of postings on this blog and sought to categorize the trends and patterns.
Source: flickr (User: Linzi's Cakes)
Assorted Shapes and Sizes
In the early days, the industry was all about virtual tradeshows. During 2007-2008, new event types were spawned – and in 2009, we saw many more instances of non-tradeshow events: virtual job fairs, virtual sales meetings, virtual partner summits. In addition, we saw innovative concepts applied in hybrid events – where event planners staged concurrent physical and virtual events. I wrote about learnings and observations from Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual, in which virtual and physical blended together. In 2010, I expect to see many more hybrid events, with event planners leveraging creative ways to tie virtual together with physical. In fact, I believe 2010 will be The Year of The Hybrid Event.
In addition to the assorted event types – we’re starting to see the use of virtual event technology to support ongoing business communities. The community concept makes a lot of sense in conjunction with physical or virtual events – instead of “going dark” between live event dates, event planners can leverage the “platform” to keep the community interaction and dialog going – where the events serve as “momentum points” to drive continued activity within the online business community. I brainstormed about tactics that could be applied to sustain virtual business community loyalty.
Social Media and Twitter
With all due respect to Facebook and other services, I believe 2009 was The Year of Twitter. There are many ways in which Twitter can be leveraged for virtual events – here are a few ideas that I blogged about:
- Leverage Twitter for Virtual Tradeshow Outreach
- How to Promote Your Virtual Event on Twitter
- Leverage Twitter Lists for your Physical or Virtual Event
Virtual event platforms have integrated with Twitter and other social networks – in 2010, I see the breadth and depth of integration expanding. The expansion will be fueled both by interest (from the virtual event platforms and from clients) as well as richer interfaces (APIs) from the social network sites. For instance, LinkedIn recently announced an open API for their platform.
In parallel to virtual events, 2009 was a watershed year for social gaming (e.g. Zynga, Playdom and other sites). In 2010, we’ll see virtual event platforms leverage gaming for a mix of fun and business use. I wrote about the reasons that virtual events should incorporate gaming. Lastly, I believe the tried and true webinar needs to become more social – webinars need to encourage and support more participation from the audience.
The market extends beyond the U.S.
In 2009, virtual events platform vendors emerged globally – in order of appearance in this blog:
- ExpoNZ – New Zealand
- IMASTE – Spain
- Ubivent – Germany
I expect to see a few more virtual event platforms emerge in Europe in 2010 – Asia Pac is sure to see local entrants as well.
Virtual Event Best Practices
I wrote a lot about virtual event best practices in the past 12 months. Here’s a selection of the more popular postings:
- Virtual Event Best Practices
- How to Market your Virtual Event
- Best Practices for Virtual Tradeshow Exhibitors
- Lead Follow-Up for Virtual Events
- Assemble the Right Team for your Virtual Event
- Increase Your Virtual Event ROI
- Think Outside the Inbox for Virtual Event Promotion
- How to Run a Virtual Event Command Center
Happy Holidays to all. 2009 was a great year for virtual events. And I have news for you – 2010 will be even better!
2 Comments | Virtual Tradeshows (VTS) | Tagged: 2009, 2010, B-to-B, Cisco, ExpooNZ, Facebook, hybrid event, IMASTE, ROI, social gaming, social networks, ubivent, Virtual Events, virtual job fair, virtual sales meeting, virtual tradeshows | Permalink
Posted by Dennis Shiao
December 18, 2009
I wrote a posting on the InXpo blog about 2010 – I believe the coming year will see lots of hybrid (physical + virtual) events. I’m excited about watching (and perhaps participating in) the innovation that will occur in the blending of physical and virtual experiences. In the blog posting, I cover:
- Audience Augmentation
- Physical <-> Virtual Integration Points
- How to Segment Physical/Virtual Features and Options
Here’s the link to the full blog posting:
2010: The Year Of The Hybrid Event
Tweet This on Twitter
Why 2010 is the Year of the Hybrid by @InXpo: http://bit.ly/2010Hybrid_Event #virtual #marketing #eventprofs
Leave a Comment » | Virtual Tradeshows (VTS) | Tagged: 2010, hybrid events, InXpo, Virtual Events, virtual tradeshows | Permalink
Posted by Dennis Shiao