The Virtual Event Resource Book

a collection of resources for planning, producing, and marketing successful virtual events and meetings

Welcome to the Virtual Event
Right now the worlds of marketing and meetings are changing, likely forever. Due to the global economic turmoil, companies are cutting travel across the board or in all but customer facing situations that are identified as critical to close business. The pendulum has swung totally away from travel causing chaos in the physical event and meeting market. Out of this chaos of cancelled trade shows, conferences and meetings of all types, has come the need for marketers and meeting planners to rethink their plans and look for innovative new ways to achieve the goals of these events without the travel. Though virtual events and virtual meetings have been around for some time, the current situation has created extremely high demand for all virtual marketing and meeting solutions. If you are reading this now, you probably are well aware of what is happening in the virtual events space and are one of the many marketers and event producers that are trying to create a strategy that involves deploying virtual events in place of or in addition to, your physical events. What is important to understand is that this is a seismic shift that cannot be undone. Although the pendulum will swing back, it will not swing back to where things were. This is not like post 9-11 or the SARS epidemic where travel came back even stronger than ever. These difficult economic times will be with us for a long, long time and businesses will continue to look at ways to keep costs down wherever they can. The good news is that virtual events and meetings are working. Companies are realizing significant ROI and even physical event producers are seeing profitability increase with virtual events versus

continued

physical events. Why? Attendance is going up because more people can attend since they don’t need to travel. The vast majority of money spent to participate in an event never went to the event producer…the registration fee, if there was one, was a fraction of what the attendee and the event producer had to spend in travel, lodging, food and beverage, AV, rental fees, etc. IBM was recently featured in a TV interview talking about how they have saved $350,000 in just one meeting by going virtual. Multiply that by the hundreds of thousands of meetings companies were doing and you can get a sense of the vastness of the potential ROI. We don’t believe that physical event will ever go away but things have changed and there will be fewer physical meetings and more virtual; there will be fewer people attending physical events and more attending the same event virtually. The technology needed to conduct virtual meetings is improving rapidly while becoming more affordable and available every day. Though we can’t replace the “handshake” in a virtual environment, technology is available to create a photorealistic image/avatar of yourself that walks, talks, sees and hears …and yes they are working on the handshake. This book is a collection of useful resources we found at the time of production. We will constantly update it and add more useful features and functionality. If you have feedback or want to contribute, please email us at info@virtualedge.org. Thanks and good luck with your events!. Michael Doyle Virtual Edge

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Virtual Edge Summit 2009 Program Highlights The ABC’s of Virtual Events, Meetings & Marketing (What You Need to Know) Going Beyond Lead Generation (Virtual Events that Drive Sales) Keynote: Get the Virtual Edge! (Mix Physical & Virtual Events to Get Results) Event & Marketing Professionals; Skills for Virtual Worlds (Learn New Skills & Techniques) Revenue Development Part I (Selling Sponsorships, Exhibits & More) Planning & Strategies (Building Profitable Strategies for Virtual Events) Revenue Development Part II (Selling Paid Content, Registration & Services) Social Networking Strategies (Create Strategies that Drive Audience & Community) Measurement, Tracking & ROI (Measuring Your Virtual Events ROI) Defining & Creating Virtual Communities (Community Building Strategies & Tactics) Voice, Video, IM & Chats (What Works and Why in Virtual Environments) Keynote: The Future of Virtual Events—after the recession ends (Key Part of the Marketing Mix) Audience Acquisition Strategies (Plans & Techniques to Build Event Audience) Looking at Virtual Worlds (An In-World Guide to Virtual Worlds for Events) Solution Provider Open House (F-R-E-E ½ day Program to Test & Demo Virtual Event Technology) Content Development & Format/Experience Strategies (Content Planning & Experience Mapping for Virtual Events) “x”Casts & Telepresence (Products, Technology & Tactics for Successful Online Meetings) Workshop: The 30 Day Plan! (Everything You Need to Know to Build Your Virtual Event Plan) Workshop: Building a Social Media Marketing Plan for Your Find out more or register at www.virtualedge.org

Speakers and faculty from such companies as:

Registration Information (Before April 30th) Full Conference $395* (Save $200!) Group Rate (3 or more) $295*(Save $900!) Workshops $195 Open House $0**(Save $25!) *Includes workshops. **Open House 5/29 1-5pm with no access to regular sessions or workshops.

http://virtualedge2009.eventbee.com http://

Find out more at www.vritualedge.org

Definitions

What is a Virtual Event? Everything below…and maybe more

Webcast A Webcast is a transmission of an audio or visual or a combination of audio-visual media file either live or on demand over the internet. Webcasts generally use the streaming media technology, which broadcasts the content from a single source to multiple viewers or listeners simultaneously. Do I need any extra hardware? A Webcast will require a headset or speakers to listen to the audio script or the version as a part of media file streamed on internet. It does not require any extra high-end hardware other than your PC speakers. Slidecast Slidecast is a set of slides broadcasted on internet with the synchronization of video and audio effects. Slidecast will facilitate the multiple viewers to see the deck of slides simultaneously in a multimedia presentation format, uploaded on a single source. Virtual Trade Show/Online Trade Show A Virtual Trade Show is a combination of some of the most successful elements of a live trade show collected and translated into a multimedia file format and broadcasted or transmitted on the Internet. Virtual trade shows allow the exhibitors and sponsors to reach their target audience round the clock. Some are run over a short time period (1-3 days usually) and others are open for months. Virtual Expo/Online Expo A Virtual Expo is an online virtual exposition hall accessible over Internet. It is a multimedia format that gives the real-time experience of visiting and moving (in 2 or 3-d) around in the virtual exposition hall and booths using arrow keys on your keyboard. Available to visitors online, round the clock though there are usually specific times that the exhibitors are present in their booth and you can chat with them. Virtual Job Fair/Online Job Fair Virtual Job Fair is an online job fair, that gives the potential employers and employees access to up-to-date job openings and company profiles through online booths/stalls that attendees can visit similar to the Virtual Exposition. This can be one of the most cost effective techniques used to attract employees--saving time and

Definitions Cont’d
Podcast A Podcast is a digitally recorded audio multimedia file with playback capability distributed over Internet. Podcasts are generally compatible with web feeds, PCs and specific types of mobile devices. They are downloadable and can be played back at the user’s convenience. Virtual Meeting A live event or meeting that is done using a virtual platform generally available from one of the virtual event platform companies, custom built or hosted on a virtual world like Second Life (SL) perhaps in a virtual conference center. Bannercast Bannercast is an on-demand or live video broadcasted in an inbanner ad using streaming technology. Bannercasts generally provided an optional registration to initiate the interaction between the customer and the advertiser. Bannercast is one of the most effective advertising media on internet, which can often attract the target audience better than a standard banner ads. Audiocast/Telecast An Audiocast or Telecast is a telephone based conference consisting of a presentation that will usually include an audio based question and answer session. On-Demand vs Live On-Demand services/sessions are the content items available online that can be accessed as and when demanded or required by the viewer or listener. Live services (or exclusively live) are online services that usually cannot be replayed as the broadcaster will transmit the program content or service at a fixed interval and once the broadcaster stops live service the viewer or listener cannot access the content. Live Simulated Prerecorded activities/sessions that are generally available to run at a specific time and date and are not publicized as being prerecorded and usually have a live post-presentation Q&A period. Virtual World A virtual world, such as the popular Second Life, is a computerbased simulated environment intended for its users to inhabit and interact via avatars (animated figures). These avatars are usually depicted as textual, two-dimensional, or three-dimensional graphical representations, although other forms are possible.
 

Table of Contents

Virtual Events Help Marketers Virtual Environments for Business Virtual Events Are Green for Business Virtual Events are Generating Demand with Significant ROI Value 2.0 Eight new rules for creating and capturing value from innova Virtual Events: What Should You Be Doing? Building Real World Business...Virtually Case Studies for Virtual Events Launch into Cyberspace: Consider an Online Supplement to Your Trad On Virtual Event Technology Virtual Events: How to Go On the Road Online Virtual Conferences' Home Advantage Tips on Using Virtual Events to Generate New Revenue Economy and Globalization Help Drive Success of Virtual Events NAILED IT: DMNews Interviews Eric Myers, Quest Software Designing an Effective Virtual Tradeshow Experience: An Attendee Pe Three Problems, One Solution: Virtual Events Seven Common Misconceptions that Exhibitors Have about Virtual Tra The Real World Marketing Value of Virtual Events Eight Common Misconceptions that Event Organizers Have about Virt

Table of Contents II

The New Tool for Marketing Success Seven Steps to Marketing an Online Event Successfully BtoB Marketers Moving Towards Virtual Events As Budgets Tighten & ROI The Inside Line on Generating Leads and Getting Results Internet Initiatives for Not-for-Profit Organizations Virtual Meetings Will Erase Face to Face Dos & Don’ts of Virtual Events Virtual Worlds & Metaverse Resources Project Wonderland—3D Toolkit for Building Virtual Worlds for Busines From the Fire-Pit to the Forbidden City IBM Academy of Technology Runs First Multi-Day Virtual Conference Current Reality and Future Vision—Open Virtual Worlds Virtual Worlds for Business Best Practices in Webcasting for Publishing—Proper Planning, The Value of Webcasting in the Virtual Workplace:A Key Component of Enterprise Communications 8 Steps to a Successful Webcast Webcasting vs. Web Conferencing: How to Choose Which to Use Best Practices in Webinars Webcasting for Marketing and Lead Generation On the Job: Virtual Job Fairs Expand Search Options The Making of a Successful Virtual Job Fair Tips for Attending a Virtual Job Fair (podcast)

Virtual Events Help Marketers

Rising costs and dwindling budgets are making it hard for business marketers to attend and run events. So instead of going on the road, many companies are getting on the Web. Direct talked about the pros and cons of hosting online gatherings.

http://directmag.com/disciplines/channelsurfing/0901-virtual-events-help-marketers/

Virtual Environments for Business

This blogger discusses how virtual interactive sites like Second Life helped pave the way for ,and at the same time necessitated, easyinterface virtual event applications like InXpo, ON24 and Unisfair.

http://billives.typepad.com/portals_and_km/2008/02/virtual-environ.html

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

Virtual Events Are Green for Business

Dog and Pony Interview with Malcolm Lotzof Malcolm Lotzof is the CEO of InXpo, a virtual event provider that is drastically expanding the reach of physical events with their 3D interactive customizable events. Malcolm points out the financial and ecological benefits of their green business solution.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mClbcc20Adc

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

Virtual Events are Generating Demand with Significant ROI

Reducing the traditional cost of physical marketing events (i.e., venue rental fees and travel expenses), online events are a way to significantly increase marketing ROI while creating quality leads.

http://chiefmarketer.com/metrics/roi/0813-virtual-events-demand/

Value 2.0 Eight new rules for creating and capturing

We are at the beginning of an era of true transformational change. The full power of the Internet, globalization and innovative new technologies are coming together, and in doing so, are changing the rules of business, culture and society. The purpose of this paper is to help executives understand the new ways in which emerging technologies and principles are enabling value creation through what we call the “new rules of Value 2.0.”
\http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/bus/pdf/gbe03016-usen-02-value2.0.pdf

Virtual Events: What Should You Be Doing?

Learn how the way successful companies deliver information to large audiences is being revolutionized through virtual events.

http://buzzmarketingfortech.blogspot.com/2007/12/virtual-events-what-should-you-be-doing.html

Building Real World Business...Virtually

Delivering similar knowledge-sharing and personal interactions, read how virtual events now look and feel remarkably like their physical counterparts.

http://www.managesmarter.com/msg/content_display/marketing/e3i083fb00d6f46a8883f5a2ca70

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

Case Studies for Virtual Events

ON24, Inc. works with over 600 customers on their corporate and marketing initiatives, such as lead generation, webinars, town hall meetings, executive communications, and product launches. They have brought together many best practices on how their customers leverage webcasting and rich media for business to business (B2B) marketing, publishing, and sales lead generation.

http://on24.com/abouton24_casestudies.html

Launch into Cyberspace: Consider an Online Supplement to Your Tradeshow Product Launch

The Internet can be a powerful ally in a product launch initiative before attendees actually arrive at the show. While the effectiveness of methods adopted may vary , the general objectives of product launches are the same—to generate a buzz and interest about a product that converts into leads and eventually sales. This article outlines seven steps to create a successful online product launch that will supplement a planned tradeshow product launch

http://www.itradefair.com/technology/expotech0901.doc

On Virtual Event Technology

The rise in popularity of virtual events and environments will enhance the jobs of event managers and planners and will help solve some challenges they currently face.

http://www.virtualedge.org/articles/index/view?id=1651552:Article:1850

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

Virtual Events: How to Go On the Road Online

Rising costs and dwindling budgets are making it more and more difficult for business marketers to run events. Today, instead of hitting the road many companies are hitting the Web. Learn how and why.

http://chiefmarketer.com/Channels/online/0708-virtual-events/

Virtual Conferences' Home Advantage

Growing interest in virtual conferences is fueling a miniboom for companies like Unisfair. Read how companies like Cisco Systems are hosting virtual events to attract participants who wouldn't otherwise be able to attend.

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2008/tc2008054_560356.htm

Tips on Using Virtual Events to Generate New Revenue

Generating qualified leads for little overhead cost, highly interactive virtual events give marketers the visibility and reach that they may not experience with physical events, Learn how.
http://www.pubexec.com/article/84000-84999/84507_1.html

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

Economy and Globalization Help Drive Success of

This interview addresses factors driving the success of virtual events, best practices, and innovative ways marketers are using virtual events to increase lead generation in their campaigns.

http://www.marketingpower.com/ResourceLibrary/Pages/Marketing%20Matters/MarketingMatters

NAILED IT: DMNews Interviews Eric Myers, Quest Software

Eric Meyers talks about Quest Software’s decision to choose Unisfair to host its first online interactive event.

http://www.dmnews.com/NAILED-IT-DMNews-spends-a-few-minutes-with-Eric-Myers-director-of

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

Designing an Effective Virtual Tradeshow Experience: An Attendee Perspective

This article addresses the areas that a virtual meeting planner or a virtual tradeshow producer needs to pay attention to when designing the virtual attendee-experience. The content for this article is derived from nearly 5 years of hands-on experience in designing and delivering virtual tradeshows in a variety of industries and applications.

http://www.itradefair.com/technology/The_Virtual_Tradeshow_Experience_An_Attendee_Persp

Three Problems, One Solution: Virtual Events

After choosing to host virtual events, three organizations from diverse industries learn valuable lessons about reaching their audiences.
http://www.exhibitoronline.com/corpevent/summer08/portfolio.asp

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

Seven Common Misconceptions that Exhibitors Have about Virtual Trade Shows

Many trade show producers including industry leaders are earmarking staff and money to building virtual trade shows. Exhibitors in physical trade shows now have the option to participate in virtual trade shows as well. This article presents a compilation of common misconceptions based on first-hand experience in marketing virtual exhibit spaces to Exhibitors.

http://www.itradefair.com/technology/exhibitormisconceptions.pdf

The Real World Marketing Value of Virtual Events

Virtual events provide the lead generation of physical events without the expense ,and often with less setup work. This article discusses the value gained from hosting online conferences and fairs.
http://chiefmarketer.com/cm_report/virtual_events_0226/

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

Eight Common Misconceptions that Event Organizers Have about Virtual Trade Shows

The Internet is a powerful ally for the trade show producers in increasing the value of a trade show’s brand name. However, the term ‘Virtual Trade Shows’ has been loosely defined and much maligned, largely due to many misconceptions that prevail. To help the trade show producers share in the knowledge gained in this emerging area, iTradeFair.com has compiled this list of common misconceptions that trade show producers and associations have about virtual trade shows based on first-hand experiences and data.

http://www.itradefair.com/technology/Organizermisconceptions.pdf

The New Tool for Marketing Success

Virtual events and conferences are supplementing the traditional tools of marketers to generate leads and drive customer traffic. Cisco, IBM, and Quest Software are all recent adopters of this technique.

http://www.1to1media.com/View.aspx?DocID=31202

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

Seven Steps to Marketing an Online Event Successfully

This article covers seven steps to successfully market an online event, based on lessons learned from the Southwest Capital Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma which tripled its attendance through adding a companion online event in October 2000.

http://www.itradefair.com/technology/mktgevents.pdf

BtoB Marketers Moving Towards Virtual Events As

Learn how hosting virtual events can maximize marketing ROI, especially where budget cuts require spending less on physical marketing events.

http://www.demandgenreport.com/articles.php?codearti=1197

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

The Inside Line on Generating Leads and Getting Results

This article discusses how online events can generate more and higher quality leads than traditional marketing strategies.
http://iptv2daileyemails.blogspot.com/2008/09/performance-insider-virtually-better.html

Internet Initiatives for Not-forProfit Organizatio

This article guides you through the top 15 questions you should ask about your organization and goals before embarking on any new internet marketing initiatives.

http://www.itradefair.com/technology/Questions%20designed%20to%20steer%20strategic%2

Virtual Meetings Will Erase Face to Face… NOT!

This article talks about the many F500 companies that are foregoing traditional face-to-face events in favor of virtual meeting halls. Learn about the the pros and cons of this trend.
http://www.businessweek.com/debateroom/archives/2009/01/virtual_meeting.html

Dos & Don’ts of Virtual Events

Guy Piekarz offers some Dos and Don’ts to improve your netiquette in virtual social situations.

http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=604&doc_id=148900&

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

Virtual Worlds & Metaverse Resources 

This interview addresses factors driving the success of virtual events, best practices, and innovative ways marketers are using virtual events to increase lead generation in their campaigns.

http://www.aee.odu.edu/virtualworldresources.php

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

Project Wonderland— 3D Toolkit for Building Virtual

This presentation is a high-level overview of Project Wonderland. Project Wonderland is an open source toolkit for creating 3D virtual worlds. Scaling to support up to twenty users, the software supports high fidelity audio, shared applications, telephone integration, video, and more

From the Fire-Pit to the Forbidden City

An outsider's look at the evolution of the IBM Virtual Universe Community (VUC). The VUC has been helping to legitimize the use of virtual environments within IBM through its broad range of activites, using a variety of virtual world platforms. In the paper, the author provides a historical and future perspective of the community- where they have been, and where they are going.
http://www.ibm.com/virtualworlds/dwnlds/Firepit_to_Forbidden_City_Final.pdf

IBM Academy of Technology Runs First Multi-Day Virtual

Over 150 people attended the IBM Academy of Technology (AoT) Conference on Virtual Worlds, held in entirely in the virtual world of Second Life -- running behind IBM’s firewall. This report provides a summary of this first-of-a-kind event.

http://www.ibm.com/virtualworlds/dwnlds/IBM_Academy_of_Technology_overview_article.pdf

Current Reality and Future Vision — Open Virtual

This white paper examines the current state of 3D virtual worlds and provides insight into Sun’s vision for the future of virtual worlds as they evolve with open standards and interconnected communities. The paper also provides an overview of Sun’s value proposition in this domain and describes the progress that is already being made toward open virtual worlds. The paper also provides a great overview of the various types of virtual worlds including popular ones like Second Life and Club Penguin.
https://lg3d-wonderland.dev.java.net/presentations/TrainForSucess-July2008.pdf

Virtual Worlds for Business

The Q2 edition of Virtual Worlds for Business features overviews of all the major enterprise virtual worlds technologies and 12 case studies. Find out how companies like yours are using virtual worlds today.

http://events.unisfair.com/env1/ec_140/6697049.pdf

Best Practices in Webcasting for Publishing—
Proper Planning, Compelling

Webcasts enable informative and stimulating presentations at a fraction of the cost associated with in-person meetings and presentations. This guide outlines best practices in how to effectively plan your event, create compelling content and attract your target audience.

http://event.on24.com/event/23675/1/documents/playerdoc/white-paper-on24webcastbestpra

The Value of Webcasting in the Virtual Workplace:

Smart businesses recognize that webcasting is more than a medium— it’s a business-changing technology. This whitepaper discusses the value of webcasting and offer suggestions for finding best-of-breed application services that deliver the necessary functionality, helping companies benefit from using webcasting in the enterprise.

http://events.streamlogics.net/website-tracking/tracking/index.asp?link=eventid=24540

watch as an online

8 Steps to a Successful Webcast

This fifteen minute online webinar reviews eight steps to a successful webcast from determining success metrics to creating the marketing plan.
http://events.streamlogics.net/website-tracking/tracking/index.asp?link=eventid=88989

How to Choose Which to Use

Webcasting vs. Web Conferencing:

What’s the difference between webcasting and web conferencing? Under what circumstances should each be applied? The purpose of this article is to define the benefits of each medium, dispel the disinformation and help you decide which is right for your organization.

http://events.streamlogics.net/website_staging/pdf/WebcastingvsConferencing_streamlogics.

Best Practices for Webinars

Webinars — Web seminars — are powerful and cost-effective tools that can deliver qualified prospects right into the hands of your sales people. But there are several “ifs.” They must be approached thoughtfully, carried out intelligently and the leads they produce must be properly pursued. This paper provides strategies and a checklist for ensuring better results from your Webinar events.

http://www.picturetalk.com/webinar_bestpractices.pdf

Webcasting for Marketing and Lead Generation

This ten minute online video reviews how to generate leads through webcasting for career marketers.
http://events.streamlogics.net/website-tracking/tracking/index.asp?link=eventid=23223

On the Job: Virtual Job Fairs Expand Search Options

Don Best discusses the benefits of virtual job fairs. Jobseekers have access to more search options, for example.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/jobcenter/2008-07-24-virtual-job-fair_N.htm

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

The Making of a Successful Virtual Job Fair

This article attempts to address some of the questions that have been coming up among those interested in virtual job fairs and virtual career fairs. iTradeFair.com has deployed several successful virtual fairs including job fairs since 1999, in academia and Corporate America. In this article the writer highlights factors that make these early adopters want to come back and do the virtual job fairs over and over again.
http://www.itradefair.com/technology/The_making_of_a_successful_virtual_job_fair.pdf

Tips for Attending a Virtual Job Fair (podcast)

Learn about the basics of attending virtual networking events such as online job fairs.
http://www.secretsofthejobhunt.com/profiles/blogs/tips-for-attending-a-virtual

Submit a Virtual Event RFP to Virtual Edge and we’ll help you select the right solution.

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