Yesterday I attended a tradeshow and conference, Digital Marketing World, hosted by MarketingProfs. I didn’t have to pack a bag, nor get in a car or on a plane, and I certainly didn’t have to check into a hotel and spend lotsa my company’s dough.
Yes, from the comfort of my cozy cubicle, I got myself a cup of coffee and sat down to attend an event with over 14,000 registrants. I was skeptical about this ‘Virtual Conference’. I had meetings throughout the day and a ton to do, so I didn’t want to waste my time.
What I found was a very cool experience. Something like a professional ‘Sims’ game, I quickly created a profile and uploaded my picture, then perused the conference. There was a showroom floor, with virtual show booths manned by staff than instantly welcomed me via chat. The marketing collateral and links to more information could be easily inserted into my virtual briefcase for safekeeping – no need to trek the tradeshow floor to find a bag giveaway to hold all my swag.
In addition, there was an ‘auditorium’ where live webcasts were taking place, a networking lounge where you could chat with other attendees, and a resource center. I didn’t get a chance to view any of the live webcasts, but I did see that they were all recorded. I am particularly interested in viewing the recording of the presentation given my Barack Obama’s Campaign Manager on Online Branding Strategies and Tactics. I downloaded the handout that went with this presentation, ‘The Obama Playbook: How digital marketing & social media won the election’ and it is very interesting.
Once again, there was a Twitter hashtag set up for this event and people were Tweeting all day. It was really fascinating to see this happen for the second time in a couple weeks, and it’s making me think of how we can apply it professionally. It’s amazing how quickly digital media is spreading as a marketing vehicle. Just because it’s ‘free’, there can be a perception that it’s a ‘nice-to-have’ or unnecessary. I think this event showed that it’s essential in business today.
Chalk another one up for Social Media and Social Networking!