On May 31, Jeff and I facilitated a free educational Webinar on virtual events, sponsored by iCohere. The Webinar featured five meeting leaders talking about their experience with virtual events. The panelists’ wrapped up their discussion with a lightning round of their 15-second-or-less prediction for the future of virtual events. I enjoyed hearing the predictions, so I’ve transcribed them for your reading pleasure.
What’s on the Horizon for Virtual Events?
- Regina Coll of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC): “I think you’re going to see 3D virtual events grow as the gaming platforms and the gaming utilities become easier to use.”
- Jack Coursen of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): “Short term, more of them [virtual events]. Long term, longer, more permanent online communities similar to sort of a robust professional wiki, more video, and members using the same technology to reach clients too.”
- Helen Li of Abt Associates (USAID SHOPS Program): “I think we’re kind of already there, but completely mobile-based attendance. Being able to not only attend but maybe chat and interface that way on a mobile phone.”
- Tom Manning of Learning Forward: “I think you’ll see the content from virtual conferences used as jumping-off points for ongoing continuous conversations.”
- Marie A. Bass of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA): “I actually see virtual events as the go-to place for information about your business. For example, Facebook is the go-to place for personal networking, LinkedIn for professional networking, and a virtual event for HFMA might include all the education, late-breaking news, things like that.”
My Two Cents
During the Webinar, Jeff and I shared aggregate data from the survey behind our Association Virtual Events report, and then the panelists added color from their organization’s experience with virtual event. One of the bits of data I cited had to do with the elements association virtual events include. We asked survey respondents about 10 specific elements, and the most popular was “archives after the virtual event ends.”
I find the popularity of archives interesting—because it bespeaks a future where virtual events evolve into perpetual online environments, not constrained by time where learners can return again and again to access knowledge and engage in ongoing activities. So I was gratified to hear Jack Coursen, Tom Manning, and Marie Bass each talk about, albeit in different ways, the growing persistence of virtual events.
If you think of a virtual event to a book focused on a particular topic, then I see the future as a 24/7 library where learners return to peruse shelf after shelf of books.
For More about Virtual Events
In case you missed the Webinar, you can get hassle-free, no-need-to-sign-up-for-anything access to the recording by visiting my previous post “Five Critical Aspects of Virtual Events and Predictions for the Future—All in a Complimentary Webinar,” which contains an overview of the topics covered in the Webinar as well as links to the recording.