Converge with Technology

Thursday, June 21, 2012 2:01 PM by Kelsey Horne

virtual and live meetings
Change is inherent in the meeting's industry. According to Meetings Net, planners can expect a significant spike in virtual meetings and events, tripling in the next five years. Sue Pelletier, with Meetings Net, says this is attributed to ?the convergence of technology, bandwidth and mobile devices, marketing managers, sales managers, and meeting professionals.?

You?re probably familiar with web conferencing, webinars and live webcasts. Pelletier suggests four unique ways meeting managers can enhance their programs using virtual technologies:

  1. Remote Presenter(s): Have a speaker who can't be there physically? Consider streaming video feed as a 3-D hologram or a live feed. This can attract high-profile speakers who may not have the time to travel to a physical event and save your bottom-line.
  2. Social Media Channels: Also referred to as the ?backchannel,? social media represents the virtual conversations in the background before, during and long after a live event. Foster this and create a specific Twitter hashtag and display the live feed, an event-specific Facebook and LinkedIn page, and set up Foursquare check-in locations.
  3. Virtual Environments: Multimedia formats like Second Life, ON24 and others offer virtual attendees a rich experience of moving around and interacting within a 2-D or 3-D environment in real time. Create a virtual networking event where virtual attendees can meet other live attendees and presenters.
  4. Complete Virtual Meeting/Conference Platform: For larger meetings, consider an overall virtual attendee platform complementing the live event. Include the menu of virtual options on the event website. Create custom mobile apps for events, interactive virtual exhibit booths, video sharing, interactive web-based games, virtual goodie bags and more.

Even low budget meetings benefit from integrating technology, as these online platforms and options are often free or inexpensive. They allow additional revenue to be made by charging for many of the virtual services. Discover how successful your next meeting can be in Pierce County.

Author: Kelsey Horne


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