By J. Michael Applegate - President of ProAccess,
Inc., an Internet services company that focuses on providing web‐based solutions for associations. Mike can be reached at 800‐850‐6330. http://proaccess.net/

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Please tell us about your virtual event experience, what was great or not so great.

 
 
A hybrid event is a tradeshow, conference, meeting, seminar, or workshop that combines a "live" in-person event with a "virtual" online element.

With the growing popularity and cost-effectiveness of virtual events, hybrid events have become a widespread approach of increasing participation in traditional events at a relatively low cost. They also enable participation by people who might be unable to attend physical events due to travel or budget constraints.  Hybrid events also help in reducing the carbon footprint of the event.  Internet access is a necessary component at hybrid events.

Generally, the virtual component involves an online representation of the live event. For example, online participants might have access to
: live audio or video streaming of keynote speakers or workshops alongside their presentation material, online presentations (webinar, webcast and podcast), online chat or discussion forums, event videos and images, incorporation of other social media tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Hybrid events enable physical events to reach a wider audience.  With hybrid events, there also exists a means for physical attendees to interact not only with each other and the event organizers but also with online participants, and also for online participants to interact with each other.

Event content can also be logged and made available online to encourage further discussions after the event has ended, build out a knowledge portal for event participants, and help market the next year's event by sharing highpoints from the current show.

 
 
A virtual tradeshow is an online event displayed in a virtual environment that goes live and stays live for a limited period of time or indefinitely. It is comparable to a traditional tradeshow or exhibition, but exhibitors and visitors connect with one another via the Internet, regardless of geographic location, to exchange valuable information, conduct sales and attend presentations.

The body of a virtual tradeshow includes a virtual exhibition hall, show floor and breakout rooms. Virtual Tradeshows offer visitors networking opportunities through online chat, a social lounge and exhibitor booths. Exhibitors display their promotional materials related to their company’s products or services, just as they would at a tradeshow in a convention center but in digital format. Like their physical counterparts, virtual tradeshows have other components such as web conferences, webinars or other instructive presentations in breakout rooms.

Virtual tradeshows typically cost much less than traditional tradeshows. Since virtual tradeshows can be joined from a PC, the cost of travel and accommodations is eliminated.  The cost of constructing a virtual booth is also less costly than traditional booths at a physical tradeshow since all content is digital.
Virtual Tradeshows' are environment friendly since the carbon footprint is much less in comparison to a traditional tradeshow.
 

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    Paula Lobsenz

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