On the eve of the Social CRM Virtual Summit tomorrow (Nov 11), Denise Persson, the Chief Marketing Officer of ON24 talks about the partnership between ON24 and Lithium, that makes the Virtual Summit a landmark event.
As Cher famously crooned, “The beat goes on.” But now it’s the conversation that goes on, and on, and on.
This week’s Social CRM Virtual Summit, sponsored by Lithium and powered by ON24, illustrates several important developments in the rapidly evolving worlds of virtual events and social CRM. First of all, the pioneering partnership between our organizations has resulted in the largest online conference to date for social media and CRM professionals and, the first virtual show to demonstrate how a social community integrated with a virtual event platform can result in a new business application—one that is more powerful and that offers more benefits than either stand-alone solution could provide. In other words, one plus one equals, in this case, three.
A problem with traditional in-person events has been support for ongoing communication among participants. Event sponsors invest time and resources and encourage networking. Attendees meet each other, exchange business cards and contact information…and then what?The same thing occurs in the virtual world—except that attendees are exchanging Vcards instead of business cards.
However, there is a shift occurring in the virtual events space; as illustrated by the Social CRM Virtual Summit, an evolving trend is the shift from stand-alone events to ongoing communities. Event sponsors, exhibitors and participants now have the ability to engage with each other on an ongoing basis, providing product updates, for example, and sharing information as appropriate. Instead of being abruptly cut off when an event ends, conversations can continue. The benefits for marketers include faster time-to-market and stronger relationships.
In his highly regarded blog, Social CRM Virtual Summit speaker Jeremiah Owyang has noted that events should, in fact, be integrated with communities and social networks to increase participant interaction. It speaks to the very nature of social communities. They are all about building relationships—with no borders, no barriers.
Once seen largely as replacements for physical events and trade shows, the virtual event is increasingly not an event at all, but a persistent experience. It was the desire to maximize the benefits of an experience that can be ongoing that led to the ON24/Lithium partnership. Through integration, a long-term community experience is made possible, fostering interaction, communication and relationship-building before, during and after the event.
Just think about the nature of networking at a virtual event. The communication is all about sharing information and connecting through a dialog that begins at the event. Why should that dialog end when the event does? It shouldn’t, and THAT is the essence of our partnership with Lithium.
We’ve created a real-time virtual event embedded in an ongoing, growing social community. We’ve taken the best of both worlds and created an industry first—an integrated, social-media enabled virtual event and innovative, next-generation solution for social CRM.
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