Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fixing the Problem - A Series On What's Going On & What Can Be Done

Part Two – Assisting those who are left behind

In any economy, events with a good balance of speakers, educational content, social networking and interaction with new products and ideas do well.

People want to participate in an event because, for many industries, it is the best way to do business.

The good news is events are still happening.

The bad news… companies are sending fewer people, spending less money and putting incredible pressure on event planners to help them turn every penny into an ROI of more (not necessarily a bad thing).

In Part 1 of this series addressing how we can start “Fixing the Problem”, we discussed how to combat attrition. In Part 2, we're going to share how event attendees are including their co-workers back at the office and expanding the on-site ROI into the virtual and NO, we're not talking about Virtual Tradeshows.

While the event is in progress many have taken to Twittering, blogging, and camera phones to share the best finds. BusyEvent is about to launch an easier process that benefits everyone involved (for more information visit the BusyEvent blog to learn how we Integrate Twitter into Every BusyEvent).
Keeping track of the people you meet, breakout sessions, new products, learning and the general excitement of an event can be easily shared in real time through the personal URL you receive when you sign up for a BusyEvent. Getting your co-workers involved by letting you know what speakers, people and product information they want you to collect at the event, can be done in advance.

On site you are assigned a key-fob sized, wearable device that attaches to your badge/lanyard to capture your bookmarks; permanent people, product and information links that can be stored and retrieved later.

Meanwhile, back at the office, your colleagues can see what you are seeing and even text message additional requests along the way.

From a vendor and sponsor perspective, the benefits of exposure to the larger audience are still there and in fact, are there in a more permanent and penetrating way.

The benefits?
  1. The attending company reduces their travel cost.
  2. Electronic brochures, presentations, blogs, and links to social networking via LinkedIn and Facebook all come together to reduce printed material costs and add a Green benefit to the event.
  3. Real-time communications improve the overall experience and assure that the on-site attendee meets who they're supposed to meet and gets to follow up with them in a meaningful way.
Nothing can replace a face to face experience, but with Event Bookmarking we are making it easy for larger groups to glean useful knowledge from an event before, during and long after it is over.

Event Bookmarking also extends the reach for vendors and sponsors to connect with potential customers well beyond the days of the event.

Combine that with how we're integrating Twitter into the On-Site and Virtual event experience and you quickly see that content, communications and control make event attendance "on-site" just one component of the value that a company's overall event experience can have.

Tomorrow, in Part 3, we will discuss how to use this process to grow sponsorship and virtual presence revenues, as well.

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