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Affordable Online “Private School” for K-12

As education is the “killer app” for virtual events, a convergence of conferences, elearning and continuing education is taking place. Keeping pace of developments in all three sectors will give you an idea of what the future looks like for education in the events business.

While the University of Phoenix has proven the viability of “higher online learning” the “Connections Academy” has introduced an ambitious play to provide online education for the K-12 market on a national basis. The Connections Academy offers two formats in their model. State specific programs are positioned as “free public schools” while their National Connections Academy is positioned as an “Affordable Private School”. A visit to their site is worthwhile


NAB Virtual Event Kick Off Details Emerge

Following up my 12/13 post below, the new virtual event being launched by NAB as a kick off to their major annual tradeshow is called DigitalVision2010. The event is developed in partnership with B2B pubisher New Bay Media and is being developed on the On24 platform.

See the first promotion material for the event

State Department Promotes Virtual Worlds as Green Workplaces

The US State Department recently held a conference titled “Virtual Worlds as Green Workplaces”. The promotional video for the conference found at this link offers several insights into the growing list of successful use cases for virtual environments. The video goes so far as to ask the bold question “do we really need to keep building all these buildings to meet in physically when we can meet virtually?”.

The three minute video is worth watching.

While I remain skeptical of the mass market potential for virtual environments, their growing use in specific kinds of virtual event applications is clear.

NAB to use a virtual event as the “kick off” for their big show

It was just a matter of time before Tradeshow Week 100 events began to use virtual events to support their large annual shows.

At this weeks SISO / IAEE joint executive session during IAEE in Atlanta, NAB’s Chris Brown discussed how they are launching a virtual event in January as a “kick off” to their large annual event in April.

NAB is demonstrating leadership and innovation as they are well beyond debating the merits of virtual events and engaged in developing a new model.

First H1N1 Specific Virtual Environment Solution Marketed

It was just a matter of time before a virtual environment solution provider marketed an explicit use case of their platform tied to H1N1 preparedness.

Metaverse Journal recently interviewed Forterra Systems’ VP Marketing Chris Badger discussing their “RemoteOperations” marketing program

Forterra’s positioning of their platform as a business continuity tool makes sense and I suspect other platforms will follow. InXpo’s “Virtual Office” application is another that has the opportunity for positioning as a business continuity platform yet they have chosed not to do so up to this point

I’m on the fence regarding the question of whether the explicit positioning of virtual environments as a solution for disaster preparedness and business continuity advance or hurt solution providers?

What do you think?

Cisco Virtual Sales Meeting Draws 15k+

The recent Cisco GSX (Global Sales Experience) drew over 15,000 employees from almost 90 countires all over the world. Cisco created a totally integrated experiecne including a gaming environment leading up to the event and a global sales awards ceremony presented virtually by John Chambers. Combined with Cisco Live, and hundreds of smaller virtual events conducted during the year, Cisco has emerged as the world’s premier and most innovative virtual event organizer.

With companies like Cisco, HP, Procter & Gamble, Sony and others producing an increasing flow of private virtual events, traditional event organizers must assess how to participate in the phenonemon rather than be threatened by it.

Is the growth in private corporate virtual events a threat or opportunity for traditional event organizers? What do you think?

Fueling the fire – News about H1N1, Telepresence, and 3D Virtual Environements

First thing this morning we heard about the Government’s warning that 50% of the population may contract H1N1 Flu this flu season. Some of their recommendations are that schools should utilize web based learning platforms to reach students who are out with the flu. Can similar recommendations for the meetings industry be far behind?

The Chicago Tribune reports that advanced Videoconferencing systems (Telepresence) are having a material impact on the business travel market as companies like AMD, HP, Cisco and Nokia are using these systems to replace meetings and routine travel.

The  WSJ reports that companies such as IBM and Northrop Grumman are utilizing 3d Virtual Environments as rich training and simulation platforms.

Three separate sources regarding three different stories that converge to illuminate one reality. The economy is driving massive adoption of virtual event platforms along the entire spectrum of alternative virtual event options.

Whether traditional travel for meetings and training will return when the market rebounds remains to be seen. One thing for sure is that the meetings and events market is undergoing unprecedented change. Those event organizers that embrace the potential of these new platforms to complement the physical event experience will surely prevail over those that wait for the return of the good ole days.

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