Job Posting: Virtual Experience Openings at GPJ

April 20, 2011

Disclosure: I’m employed by INXPO, a partner of George P. Johnson.

Introduction

We at George P Johnson are growing our virtual experience business significantly. We are looking for several positions that would fall into our Digital Experience Group. These positions range from virtual producers to virtual strategists who want to join a group and company that supports some of the biggest clients in the world.

Job Requirements

If you have experience in virtual production, virtual management, and/or virtual strategy, we want to hear from you. Whether you are looking for contracting positions or full time, we want to hear from you.

Some of the skills we are looking for as we build out:

  1. Consult with clients on virtual experience strategy for occasion-based events or persistent environments.
  2. Work with clients to ensure experiences deliver on client goals within technology capabilities and timeframe.
  3. Manage clients’ virtual events
  4. Educate and enable clients throughout the lifecycle of the virtual engagement.
  5. Contribute to the practice by developing and deploying methodology deliverables, training and mentoring other members of the team, and suggesting and implementing improvements to practice management and operational practices such as time tracking, resource allocation, skills management, and other operational systems and processes.
  6. Contributor to the development of Virtual Experience proposals, scopes of work, and estimates.

Open positions are based in our San Carlos, CA office, in Northern California.

Contact

If you want to talk, contact Lori Guy at lori.guy@gpj.com

About George P. Johnson

George P. Johnson (GPJ) is one of the largest experience marketing agencies in the world, with more than 1,000 employees across 29 offices in 9 countries (Australia, India, Singapore, China, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) with alliances in France, Italy, Korea, and Taiwan. The Digital Team is all about remote engagement and fanatical about creating amazing experiences. You will be part of this; a critical part of a growing digital practice focused on solidifying our leadership in strategy and delivery of virtual experiences worldwide for some of the most recognizable brands on the planet. Time to get dirty. Time to make a difference. Time to have fun.


Coming To A Physical Event Web Site Near You: Video, Blogs, Social Networks

July 23, 2009

Source: BtoB Media Business

Source: BtoB Media Business

In the current issue of BtoB Media Business, Charlotte Woodward published a cleverly named article, “Face to Facebook“, that highlights the incorporation (by physical event organizers) of digital technologies into the once-static event web site.  The inclusion of these technologies is helping show hosts extend the life of their events and support a 365 day/year experience – with a (hopefully) engaged online community to go along with it.

The article references the latest CEIR / GPJ research report:

Digital sponsorships contribute only about 7% of an event’s marketing budget, according to a recent report from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research and George P. Johnson. The study, “Digital+Exhibiting Marketing Insights 2009,” conducted online in April and May, surveyed 287 event managers and corporate brand exhibitors about the use of digital media.

As a result of the trends noted in the article, my belief is that in next year’s report, the percent of event marketing budget allocated  to digital will climb to 15-20%.  Why?  Because online/virtual will become a standard component of physical events.  The “new” event web sites of today – that include video, blogs, social networking, trackability, additional “impressions” for exhibitors, additional revenue for event organizers, etc. – could stand to benefit by leveraging a virtual event platform.  So rather than building your own event web site from scratch, you leverage virtual event/tradeshow technology to power the next generation “site”.

For the event organizer, the business model seems rather straightforward:

  1. Bundle sponsorship of the online community with the physical event sponsorship – upsell those low/mid-level sponsorship packages into a premium package, which includes a presence in the virtual component (e.g. full-blown virtual booth, signage within the environment, etc.).  You can create a “presence” for all of your physical event sponsors, but only those who have signed on for the full bundle will have real content behind the virtual booth storefront.  Those who opt not to purchase the bundle will have only their logo in the environment – a great way to incent the non-believers to enter the fray.
  2. Create value to attract online attendees – the online venue cannot solely be an area to appease exhibitors/sponsors.  In the same way you attract attendees to your physical event, you need to make it valuable for online attendees to visit your virtual community.  For me, this means a combination of compelling content (e.g. videos, articles, external links, etc.) and effective social/sharing tools (e.g. blogs, message boards, chat, etc.).

The incorporation (blending) of physical and virtual events creates very exciting possibilities.  Let’s consider what b-to-b publisher Hanley Wood is doing:

Additional improvements also integrate all the customer data Hanley Wood has collected, demonstrating to exhibitors and attendees who register that Hanley Wood remembers them and allowing the company to make recommendations based on a customer’s profile and history of participation at its events.

“We can put together some cross-show marketing, as well as up-sell the events that these people participate in,” Buraglio said.

The aggregation of attendee data from physical + virtual creates value:

  1. Attendees – by better understanding all of the touch points by an attendee (across physical + virtual), event organizers can more effectively package and target content that’s uniquely tailored to that attendee.  Give attendees precisely what they want (or need) and you create a more satisfied user, who will be more likely to stay engaged and return to the site frequently.
  2. Exhibitors/Advertisers – by building a complete picture of physical + virtual engagement from attendees, you can more intelligently plan and execute your lead follow-up paths.  If a user had her badge scanned at your physical booth, then entered your virtual booth to download 3 separate documents, she’s probably an advanced lead / “A” lead.

Related links

  1. Blog posting: The ABC’s Of Lead Follow-Up For Virtual Events
  2. Blog posting: The Convergence Of Physical Events And Virtual Events

Day 1 Recap: Virtual Edge 2009

May 29, 2009

The ABC's of Virtual Events (Virtual Edge Session)

The ABC's of Virtual Events (with Kenny Lauer, GPJ & Kelly Graham, Cisco)

That’s right, even the Virtual Events industry has a need to meet face-to-face.  Thursday (05/28/09) marked Day 1 of Virtual Edge 2009 – a 2-day face-to-face “summit on virtual events, meetings and communities”, held at the Santa Clara Convention Center.  By my estimation, the event had over 150 attendees and approximately 50 exhibitors.

Most of the presentations and panel discussions had “standing room only” crowds.  Two of the noted presentations of Day 1 were “The ABC’s of Virtual Events, Meetings & Marketing” (featuring Kenny Lauer of GPJ and Kelly Graham of Cisco) and the keynote presentation, featuring Paul Salinger or Oracle and Sandy Carter of IBM.

The sessions were streamed live into the virtual world – a combination of live video (via Stream57) and live video in a 3D immersive world (via VirtualU from Digitell).  A physical event on virtual events, which was then simulcast virtually – neat!  The “concurrent virtual”  allowed global access to event, for folks who were not able to attend in person – and that included some speakers, who (of course!) presented their sessions virtually.

In the afternoon, I participated in a panel discussion titled  “Measurement, Tracking & ROI”.  Two of the main themes we heard from the audience were:

  1. Better measuring event engagement – sure, we know about registration-to-attendance ratio, number of live attendees, average session time, etc. And Stu Schmidt of Unisfair introduced the notion of a “virtual engagement index”.  The calculation of that index (or score), however, may need to get “smarter” – for instance with a chat session.  Dannette Veale of Cisco noted the difference between a “where’s the Auditorium” and a “can you send me pricing information” comment – whereby the latter should carry a higher score from an engagement or “prospect worthiness” point of view.
  2. Aggregate profiles by user type – customers are in the need for published profiles by user type, so that they can better plan targeted virtual events.  For instance, if an enterprise is interested in a virtual event for C-level employees, they need to see a published profile (e.g. what does the C-level do in a virtual event), to determine whether the event is worth pursuing (aka what’s the expected ROI).  The panel responded that there are data privacy issues that need to be worked out – since all data is “owned” by customers – and NOT by the virtual event platform vendors.

While I was able to sneak out to attend a session or two, I spent most of the day in the InXpo booth.  I had the pleasure of meeting (face-to-face!) with many colleagues in the industry and also spoke to countless attendees who are considering their first virtual event.  For attendees from corporations, many had already executed virtual events – and were there to learn best practices and refine their game.  On the other hand, I met several folks from the event marketing industry, who were looking to leverage virtual events to complement their clients’ physical event strategy.

For me, Day 1 marked a momentous occasion for the virtual events industry – the creation of a physical event speaks to the legitimacy of the industry – while the turnout speaks to the timeliness and interest in virtual events.  Today, our industry is like the TV sitcom Cheers (“Where everybody knows your name”).  I imagine that this industry will grow quickly enough that it will be challenging to remember everyone’s name – and in a few years, the venue will have to shift to the Moscone Center in San Francisco! Looking forward to Day 2 today.

Related links

  1. Virtual Edge 2009 program: http://www.virtualedgesummit.com/program.php
  2. Virtual Edge 2009 program – to attend virtually: http://www.virtualedgesummit.com/virtual-event-schedule.php
  3. Dean Takahashi covered Day 1 for VentureBeat: http://venturebeat.com/2009/05/28/virtual-events-draw-a-live-in-person-crowd/

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