Cool New Marketing Technologies: Caught and Served

Archive for the ‘Event Solutions’ Category

Virtual Events for Pharma #VEP11 – How to Create Impact and Maintain Compliance

By Greg Jones

If you’ve ever wanted to check out a virtual event live, here is your chance. Starting at 12:30 pm today, We are hosting “Virtual Events for Pharma #VEP11 – How to Create Impact and Maintain Compliance.” Here is a description of the event:

The life sciences industry is in the midst of a virtual revolution. No longer are national and global meetings constrained by venue or geography. Today, life science professionals can gain access to industry expertise, content, and news with the click of a mouse through a virtual engagement platform. Learn how your company can leverage this new trend to dramatically increase your reach to both external and internal audiences while also ensuring compliance with the requirements of our industry.”

We are using the Unisfair platform, and have a number of experts lined up to talk including:
-Taren Grom, Editor-in-Chief, PharmaVOICE
-Derrick Wood, SVP, Creative Services, Cramer
-Peggy Robinson, Directory of Strategic Alliances, Veridex (J&J Co.)
-Brent Arslaner, Vice President, Unisfair

If you plan on attending, the twitter hashtag is #VEP11
If you are interested in the subject matter, the virtual event platform as a solution, or just getting your networking on, come check it out. The keynote starts at 12:45 pm.

/end shameless plug

Recap of VES 2011 Opening Session: Virtual and Hybrid Meetings Deliver More Value

By Steve Gogolak

Virtual Edge Panel 2011

I just sat through one of the better panel presentations I’ve seen in a while, despite the fact that it was a series of monologues with the occasional cross examination.  Here are the highlights:

Michael Doyle, Exec. Director of the Virtual Edge Institute introduced the panel with the theme of engagement.  That won huge points with me since I’m all about audience engagement as the #1 consideration for any event.  He specifically stated that in 2010 we dropped the “or” from our consideration of Virtual OR Physical.  Now it is about “how we engage our audience to reach a common goal.”

Chris Price from Graph Expo extolled the value of using a virtual event prior to and immediately following his physical expo, but was careful to change terminology from virtual “event” to virtual “preview” to satisfy the skeptics within his organization who were concerned with cannibalization.

Tony Uphoff from Techweb, part of UBM, had a few great insights:

  • He said that the media industry in general has to stop thinking about “Media Platforms” and start thinking in terms of “Platforms of Engagement.”  There’s the “engagement” again!
  • The first insight supports the overall trend away from PUSH and toward PULL style media.
  • One of the more aggressive insights were the idea that we’re actually shifting away from search and toward social, meaning that the way we find information is actually, ironically, returning to push, but that it’s being pushed from our social network rather than a media outlet.  I agree, but I still believe that search will play a central role in information distribution for a long time to come.  After all, search answers our questions where social insights offer more of a “wow, that’s interesting” sort of experience.
  • Finally, he introduced the concept of Marketing-as-a-Service (MaaS) where marketing is considered more of an ongoing service rather than a start/stop project or campaign.  Completely agree, but how it materializes is still left to be seen.

Steve Lieber, CEO at HIMMS, offered his take on the two annual events that his organization has run each year since 2007.  His key insight was that providing a familiar environment that your audience is used to is most important when you’re starting out, emphasizing the importance of easy navigation.

Chris Brown from NAB mentioned something that is familiar: “virtual events are still work.  Just because it is online doesn’t mean that it is easy.”  That was backed up by the 1100 staff-hour figure that Steve presented for effort expended producing one of their events.

Kara Wilson from Cisco rounded out the panel with a fin story about being pulled over while she was attending a WebEx video conference on her iPad, which had the audience roaring.  Her real insight, however, was about how to sell virtual events into any organization by envisioning what your success will look like and presenting that to your decision makers.

Overall the panel was lively and packed a lot of good information.  The general mood in the room was positive and encouraging, which is a far cry from last year’s PCMA conference when virtual was not well understood and looked at as a rival and not an ally.

LinkedIn Polls Making Advances, Still Buggy

By Greg Jones

LinkedIn recently revamped it’s polling abilities. It is easy to share on Facebook, Twitter, and is embeddable like the below. Take my LinkedIn poll to give it a try, then make your own!

The best part is the intelligence gathered as a result of creating a poll, including Age, Gender, and Seniority of the people who responded to the poll. It seems to still have bugs, including refreshing/voting multiple times, error messages, and user data from shared sources (like Facebook) not appearing correctly. I’m sure those will be worked out with time. Until then, experiment!