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Virtual Event Key Learnings – Part Two

August 21, 2009
at 12:00 pm PST

A couple of post back I mentioned that the team was currently working post event debriefs and metric analysis for the Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual hybrid event that took place on 30 June and 1 July 2009. We just wrapped the debrief meetings and post event final reporting, yeah! A lot of great findings resulted from these efforts so…I though I would share:

  • The top five key learnings
  • High level reporting for all you data junkies
  • Current enhancements under way for Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual

Top Five Key Learnings

  • Reporting: The nature of most virtual event reporting is around hits, views, downloads and exchanges. Useful information to be sure but to really measure the effectiveness of the peer networking tool another layer of data is needed to understand the effectiveness of the hits, views, downloads and exchanges. For example knowing that X attendee ran Y number of profile matches and has Z number of buddies does not help measure the effectiveness of the profile match tool of the buddy exchange can not be tracked back to source.
  • Monitoring: Not talking ‘big brother’ monitoring here…more there are many ways to communicate within a virtual event and right now not as many ways to know where the most relevant conversation is taking place. I will take ‘technical help’ as an example, if I am a virtual staffer and am there to answer WAP questions but the request for WAP information or assistance is being generated via a blog, blog comment, group discussion, or group chat in another part of the virtual show and I have no way of knowing or being notified then we have a ‘Houston we have a problem’ moment. There should be some mechanism for me to get a notification based on my expertise keywords that my help is needed by X attendee with a quick way to reach them.
  • Support: I touched on this last time but now that we have dived into the analysis I have more to share. Be prepared for any and all questions once you open the hybrid event. The virtual support team got questions about what to wear to the customer appreciation party, how to troubleshoot an attendees Linksys router, how to take surveys for the sessions held at San Francisco 2009 (see immersion key learnings below for more on this), and where attendees should go to pick up their CCIE ribbon. Oh and they also got some questions about the virtual experience as well ;)
  • Immersion: Again I touched on this last time but as you can see with the support recap above, it is not just the event experiences needing increased immersion but also the support, the length of time for the hybrid event, the back channel between on site and virtual attendees, and the perks of the live event all need further immersion. More, more, more immersion in all facets of the hybrid event. Our survey results show that attendees overwhelmingly wanted all three main days of the on site experience virtualized. We have a lot of comments on integrating Twitter feeds into the live webcast console directly to allow for back channel discussions between on site and virtual attendees. Of course virtual attendees also want the show bag, the hat, and the free certification exam!
  • Usability: Less is more which is easier said than done at a virtual event. Attendees do not want to sift through search to find relevant content. Content recommendations based on a couple of keywords in their profile are not adequate and recommendations needed to be based on not just the profile keywords but also on overall user behavior and history. The user interface should quickly allow attendees to navigate the environment. I know these seem like simple and no brainer points but believe me they are not simple, all though yes no brainer.

Metric Highlights

  • 4,432 virtual only registrants
  • 6,659 unique virtual only and hyrbid attendee logins
  • 4.16 overall score
  • 40* sessions webcasts available live and on-demand during hybrid event
  • 7,073 sessions webcast views
  • 340 session catalog PDF listings
  • 17,988 session catalog PDF views
  • 11 External Sponsor and Cisco Business Unit Booths
  • 3,956 booth content views

Attendee quotes

  • “Cisco Live Virtual is a great way to interact with other Cisco users and Cisco employees in a way that is not available otherwise online.”
  • “Sorry you couldn’t go to Networkers, did you know you could log on to Cisco Live Virtual? It’s totally cool, check it out!”
  • “Great way to participate, attend training, have Q&A sessions and network with other industry experts when you cannot travel.”
  • “I would suggest that it is a tremendous benefit as an addition to attending the event live.”

*There are now 200+ sessions available for on-demand viewing in Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual.Upcoming Enhancements to Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual

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  • 3D Environment Re-Vamp: We did not spend that much time on the gloss of Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual as we were rapidly preparing for a two day live hybrid experience. However we heard you about the 3D being kind of 2D and are working to polish the virtual environment design up a bit. No construction under way signs but check in often at the Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual Blog Center to get behind the glimpse views of the new design elements.
  • MyStuff Overhaul: OK so MyStuff does not resonate with you all and you would prefer MyEventBag or MyBriefcase…reading you loud and clear. Expect a change soon. Also, the 100MB file size cap for the MyStuff all files zip download is being removed. So after 20 September you will be able to download all technical session PDFs in one fell swoop!
  • Ratings: Currently only lists 10 technical sessions in alphabetical order so therefore one can not review the majority of the ratings. After 20 September you will be able to see them all.
  • New Content: Networkers Brisbane is coming and a live keynote featuring Martin De Beer, Senior Vice President of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies Group, will be broadcast on 29 September. The Cisco Live and Networkers auditorium will feature details on the broadcast time soon. Also, more technical sessions will be recorded at Networkers Brisbane 2009 and added to the Cisco Live and Networkers VirtualSession Catalog in mid-late October 2009.

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