Tag Archives: virtual events

Aug 25

First impressions matter, virtually or in-person. “Your appearance, makeup, hair and clothes are as important as your smile. When you project an image of confidence, you are more likely to succeed in business and social relationships,” according New York image consultants.

Whether you’re seen or not, participating in a virtually event doesn’t mean that you have to forget about how you look.

Nowadays, with office-casual attire accepted in most corporate environments, and given that you can work from home in your PJs (if you feel like it), you might under-estimate the value of business attire in a virtual meeting or event environment. Lazing around in PJs or shorts and a tee-shirt with tousled hair makes you look and feel unprofessional. Even if you’re not on video during your virtual event, the way you look definitely affects the way you perform, speak and think!

Check out The CBS Interactive business network’s savvy video about dressing for business.

When you attend a virtual event where you’re seen by your colleagues, consider the following seven tips to make sure that you come across professionally and feel good doing it:

1. Focus on the upper half of your body since head and shoulders are usually the most visible on a webcam.
2. Make sure that the background around you is neat and tidy.
3. Dress professionally. Your attire and grooming are important for you to feel and act more business-like.
4. Make sure that your hair is clean and styled, teeth brushed and face washed and/or shaved. Women, if you normally wear make-up, apply it as usual, and use some powder to get rid of any of those shiny spots.
5. Sit up straight. It shows that you’re interested and paying attention, plus, good posture helps keep your energy level up.
6. Wear a plain shirt or top, or one that has a small insignificant design. Heavily patterned, brightly colored, or too detailed-oriented garments will distract your audience away from your message.
7. Avoid gaudy jewelry like large earrings and chunky necklaces – another major distraction.

The Golden Rule is that “understated works best.” However, even though you’re concentrating more on the upper part of your body, don’t ignore the lower half. If you dress the part, you’ll be the part, geared up for your virtual event success.

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Feb 19

On February 23rd I’m going to experience another first.  Dennis Shiao, Director of Marketing at InXpo, and I will be presenting together at the Virtual Edge Summit, to be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, February 22-23, 2010.

Although I have been presenting my tradeshow training workshops for over 25 years, and I have presented virtually for many years, I have never before co-presented where one presenter is live at the conference, and the other is virtual. I’m going to be the virtual component for the session Prevent Virtual Event Nightmares: How Producers Prepare Speakers, Exhibitors and Attendees.”

The topic we’re covering is far larger than the time we have to cover it. However, the major challenge to overcome is making sure all players know what to do, and how to do what they need to do, in a virtual environment. Dennis will focus on the technology, or the hardware, and I will concentrate on the software, or the people skills.

The key ingredient for all players to engineer a successful event lies in the simple process of planning and preparation.  Easy enough, yet very few exhibitors really take time to truly understand what this means.  Participating in virtual events means not only knowing, and understanding the technology platform, it also means honing the necessary skills for successful results.

For a speaker this includes knowing the program objectives, audience needs, as well as delivering good solid information.  Speakers who have never participated in a virtual event could experience a rude awakening, if unprepared. Speaking into thin air is a far cry from presenting in front of a live audience.  The dynamics, the energy, and presentation style all come into play.

My recommendation for event organizers is to either do a superlative job of preparing the speaker (if they are not of “prima donna” status, and are coachable), or rather select a presenter with some virtual event experience.  So much of the success of an event hinges on the quality of the presentations, and the information shared.

As for the exhibitors, in addition to becoming familiar with the technology, they need to know what outcomes they want to achieve, set measurable goals and then plan their strategy accordingly.

Hope that many of you can attend the session and the show – it’s complimentary.

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Jan 28

Picture 3

This the fourth and final part of our Trends for 2010 tips. Today, I’m focusing on five rules to help you leverage technology to add to your trade show success.

1. Online is not an add-on.

The virtual component must be integral to every step of your trade-show planning.  Select the best online communities to reach your customers. And maintain your brand voice and image in every message.

2. Accessibility is key.

Make sure your trade-show web page is optimized for all the browsers, including those on smart phones. The design that looked great on Internet Explorer may be unreadable on a Droid.

3. Make your message move and speak.

Use web video, still images, and podcasting as well as text. Multimedia approaches engage more of the user’s attention. Live feeds from your booth can extend your trade show message to customers around the world, and YouTube videos can make it accessible months or years after the event is over.

4. Update often.

Keep your customers coming back to check for more. Good content may be news and links, helpful tips, community-building, or just the sense of a warm, engaging person as the face of the company.

5. Listen as well as talk.

Twitter, Facebook, and blogs offer almost instantaneous feedback on what’s working and what’s not. If a member of your booth staff was rude to a customer, you can be sure the news will be all over Twitter in five minutes. Monitor the Internet and the Twitterverse with automatic searches, and respond instantly to any problems.

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Jan 14

What’s ahead for trade shows and other marketing efforts in 2010?

Last week, I referred you to the StrongMail “2010 Marketing Trends” survey which polled more than 1,000 business leaders across a wide range of industries about their marketing plans for the upcoming year. This week I’ll continue reviewing the trends.

Trend: Everybody is jumping on the social media bandwagon. A whopping 59% of surveyed companies will be increasing their social-media budgets. How many will be spending less? A mere 3%.

Social media has become the new essential tool for marketing.

3 things this means to you:

1.  Choose the right social networks. Twitter covers almost every audience. Facebook and Myspace pages work best for products with consumer appeal. LinkedIn groups are most appropriate for BtoB marketing.

2. Stay on message. The speed and flexibility of social media can be a huge advantage, but it can also be a pitfall. Set clear guidelines for all communications, and review the messages and results regularly.

3. Use social media to support trade show exhibits. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can allow you to increase the effectiveness of your trade show appearances. You’ll reap great benefits when you integrate social media into your overall marketing strategy.

“Twitter: Best Practices and Tips”
If you’ve felt like tweeting for quite some time now, but didn’t know where to start, this guide is for you.

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Oct 01

For years, keynote speeches and major product announcements have been shown live to audiences who cannot attend a trade show. Now you can use cutting-edge technology to create streaming video from your trade show booth—and you don’t need a news van complete with photojournalists to get great results.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing how you can create professional streaming video and use it to maximize the return on your trade-show investment.

Why use streaming video? Here are five reasons:

Continue reading…

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