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  • Silva Shelton posted an update 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    I joined the UK Electronics Group at LinkedIn a little while back. Unlike almost all of the LinkedIn groups I’ve come across this place is good and small using what seems a good membership of professional types. A discussion showed up where the idea was floated about whether perhaps a conference needs to be organised somewhere and just what it should contain. I made what I thought may be an unpopular comment, praoclaiming that I think it would be good idea to check out organising some kind of online conference using webinars. For me this concept solves every one of the problems of conferences – being forced to travel in the united states with a town which is hugely inconvenient for 99% of the attendees, your day or even more out from the office knowning that I’d be able to pick and choose what I participated in. It would also mean that a well organised online event may potentially attract plenty of visitors and make it all very worthwhile to do initially. To my surprise the only other comments around the discussion appeared to trust me – I thought I might get lambasted for suggesting that doing a conference online could at all be much better that one on one human contact!

    This got me thinking about the bradenton area leading to the exhibitions conferences will often be organised around. It seems obvious in my experience that online conferences have become much in their infancy at this time, but have a huge potential. Speaking like a company that that’s just exhibited at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2010 I have recent firsthand experience from the woes for being an exhibitor in an exhibition event. contact us was very surprised to find that lots of exhibitors are in fact happy with a merely a few decent enquires after working a large amount of income plus a plenty of staff time for it to be there. For the big companies I guess brand promotion justifies anything, but for numerous others I spoke to (and us) it seems quite hit or miss whether they get anywhere all-around properly justifying the time and money invested to get there.

    So take all from the problems of modern day specialist conferences and exhibitions:- the place, the cost to demonstrate, time and inconvenience to visit, the number of exhibitors, the quantity of visitors and the volume of seminars, speakers or sessions that have been of great interest to visitors (whatever line-up you put onto only certain sessions are appealing to different people). These problems are all now solvable if you we’re to position the event online. Now to anyone it’s not participated in a webinar this could seem like techie geek nonsense. But should you have attended a webinar that’s hosted properly coupled with content that you just we’re interested in then you’ll know that actually attending a webinar can be a very rewarding experience. This is still a really techie dominated field, but as is always what sort of fact that the techies start to get really involved with it means that its probably merely a couple of years before it hits the mainstream. Firstly only the fact that a webinar is surely an event in a particular serious amounts of in the event you want it then you need being there in those days can be a surprisingly compelling thing. Even though you’re going being watching something online, and maybe not even participating (communicating with them, interacting etc) there’s something about the wedding itself and also the knowledge which you and a great many others will be there at that virtual place completely.

    So then the event itself. Well you can totally cock it up just as one organiser needless to say, however it is also not really a lot of work to create an event which everyone comes from impressed, educated, informed, or whatever the aims are. Its no different for you to get people to fully stand up in a room packed with people and speak – when they are interesting, present reasonably well and have good content for audience this works just as well online.

    However the point that really got me considering all of this can be a webinar I attended today plus a virtual conference I’ve received invites to wait in the future. Both are doing the work inappropriate for me and I still find it interesting how obvious it seems to do it right and why these companies contain it so wrong. Its really very easy – if you apply down to earth rules from what you are doing then it can work equally well (and actually could easily be much better in many ways), but if you use technology to cheat this doesn’t. What niggles me is always that I can see a wonderful way of approaching everything and desire I had some time and resources to generate the perfect system, but there aren’t enough hours in the morning to do my current job so instead I’ll just comment from the sidelines.

    Firstly the not so great webinar. I’ve attended several webinars and also have generally been really impressed about how well they technically just work nowadays. This one was laid on by way of a big worldwide company within the electronics design sector, by having an impressive product I already use. They have a really progressive program of regular emailed short videos regarding their merchandise that are really effective in a way that fits into my silly busy working life (a 2 minute video sent regularly showing often really useful tips is an amazingly effective advertising tool). So I was looking forward to the webinar to understand yet more concerning the system, and in addition simply because it’s a conference that I knew a lot of other engineers just like me will be attending. It was hosted employing a system coming from a company called UP Media Group, whoever the hell they may be. Live streaming social media was basically rubbish. The experience enrolling and having to the webinar was unfriendly, taught me to be jump through hoops to make use of the particular software and settings they wanted me to make use of, then when I got there seemed like it absolutely was designed 20 years ago. So we wait for the webinar to begin, being tipped that people could attend early before it starts as we wanted ‘to get started on the ability early’.

    This experience involved an individual scrolling chat window, also designed fifteen years ago. It was nice inside sense who’s was type of fun to find out each of the people posting silly comments and to get a real feel to be there with all of these other people, but when you might have more than 5 people on such a system its basically pointless as every one of the messages randomly show up in quick succession. I’ve not seen anyone do this bit right yet, but there are some really obvious innovations to make this experience great and turn a webinar right into a rewarding semi networking type event also. The idea of arriving early and being ‘part’ of it is appealing when the wedding is very niche and definately will attract individuals who specialise in a very particular field – lots of us did. So give to us an experience spend time at every one of these compatible people uniting. Show us maps with the attendees there who are geographically in close proximity to us (I don’t worry about people in Spain, but I’m interested to determine who’s there through the UK or as time goes on from me). Let us easily enter some info, upload a photograph, provide our LinkedIn page, Facebook page, etc, etc. We’re all there to activate and discover cure can there be so make that experience work inside a really fulfilling way for everyone. Finally increase the risk for chat experience work effectively.

    It’s not hard. When someone responds to somebody else show it that way, why don’t we join specific discussions, show us all the things people are speaking about and we all can discover well matched folk to join in with, not just a stupid report on random comments. With the speed of connections today giving us audio and webcam functionality and then we can speak to see others in smaller groups, or perhaps listen in is not at all outlandish. You do it as you loaf around outside a real-world conference, so why wouldn’t you online? Actually online could be better for meeting new contacts becasue it is simpler to use an instant hello online behind the safety of one’s PC rather one on one if the not the confident sort. I could carry on, but this stuff is all so solvable nowadays, really would not be difficult to implement and can transform the feeling into something awesome indeed.

    So then the webinar starts. Well for me no less than it falls over, disconnects more than once, shows me error messages before finally it starts. Its fine, however its only a PowerPoint & audio type experience that’s frustrating when you know that it’s all technically very possible to show a bit of low res video in the speaker alongside, other info about stuff, other visitors, promotion material etc I can scan during the boring bits I’m not into. About 30 minutes during my connection fails for whatever reason so I reconnect. The webinar starts again through the beginning. Not only perhaps there is no way for me to skip through to the purpose I left or the live feed (I’m not going to re-watch the half an hour I’ve already seen), in addition, it becomes completely obvious that the webinar is not live in any way. It’s pre-recorded. You can just begin to see the big corporate company bosses deciding to perform this. Pre-record it, be sure it’s perfect and be sure there won’t be any hiccups. What they avoid getting is always that in doing this they’ve violated normally the one rule of providing a live webinar – it must be live. When you realise it isn’t all with the reasons to wait vanish right away and you will never bother with that companies webinars again. It’s simply a bloody video with someone there to resolve a few questions live at the conclusion.

    So onto the virtual conference. The event is named Virtual PCB and I like this idea. Its not happened yet however it appears like it might be a fascinating experience with seminars and a virtual hall of exhibitors for everyone and connect to. Again it’s the live thing that I think is actually compelling. If you want to visit you’ve got to go there while it’s on and if you do then a exhibitors is going to be readily available to meet you, albeit virtually via your PC. However it’s already broken for me before its even started for 2 reasons. Firstly I had an instant look at the costs the exhibitors need to pay and its really expensive. I’m all for there as a decent cost barrier to entry for exhibitors – it ensures you get a good quality of relevant exhibitors for the visitors. But this is often a virtual exhibition with just a fraction with the costs to put on over a real life event. The prices they’re charging seem ridiculous if you ask me and definately will without doubt postpone most companies exhibiting that I’d actually like to find. However the primary reason it’s broken may be the visitor registration.

    To sign up you’ve to offer your email address contact information of course, and answer all the questions with what you’re into. Nothing strange there – all conferences want this in the hope you’ll forget to tick the box saying you can’t use my details for marketing. However this form has no such box and you cannot sign-up without answering every category. I complain towards the organisers until this is often a violation of people’s to privacy plus its illegal in several countries worldwide including the UK. I’ve not a reply. On the form it states that you simply provide them with permission to give this data for their sponsors.

    Sorry but I don’t walk around a real world exhibition effortlessly of my information and preferences emblazoned on my own T-shirt, so why in the world would I accept this for that online equivalent? I choose who I give my details to. No doubt they’ll even be tracking all of your movements with the exhibition and may they be sharing this using the exhibitors for a fee – he looked through these bits of the stuff for 5 minutes and here’s all his details in order to bombard him with spam. There’s something horribly eerie about knowing people will probably be told you have been looking by simply daring to consider a webpage (oahu is the thing about LinkedIn I really wish they’d change). In this era I think it is a terrible attitude for a celebration organiser to have and demonstrates a whole lack of regard for his or her visitors as well as their exhibitors in a large number of people at all like me will still only not attend because from it.

    So that’s my wee rant over. It felt good, yet it’s really a rant wishing someone would fix these things and present me the fantastic online conference and exhibition experiences I want.
    Live streaming pay per view want to have the ability to attend these items, learn interesting things, meet new people and firms. The realities of the down to earth conferences and exhibitions mean that I can rarely actually justify it though. Once someone around gets it right inside online space this market is going to be massive.

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