Tag Archives: conferences

twebevent – video and Twitter

twebevent_faviconEvents have been hit hard.  The perfect storm of the down economy, the stigma of business meeting travel, and the advance of technology have led to a sudden change in the events industry.   Less expensive unconferences and virtual conferences are booming.  Virtual components are being added to in-person conferences to help reach those who cannot travel.

Thanks to many great online tools, it is possible to collaborate and contribute in meaningful ways without attending in-person.  There are higher-end tools like The Social CollectivePathable, and Crowdvine that have a nice feature set, but also an accompanying price tag.  Twitter is free and can be used without those tools, but takes some organizing:

  • blog post about a study of how Twitter is being used at conferences
  • paper: comprehensive academic view of Twitter use for conferences
  • great post from Travolution Summit 2009 about their Twitter use experience)

If you want to provide a virtual audience with content richer than Twitter’s 140 character information nuggets, there are new products emerging.  They not only harness the power of Twitter, but also combine a video/audio feed so that everyone can discuss the same content from wherever they are.  Your virtual audience will have a much stronger “feel” for your conference content.

twebevent_logo twebevent.com is one such product.  It allows you to present your brand as the host, stream the live or recorded video, and combine it with a Twitter Chat using whatever Hashtag you prefer…..all for FREE.   twebevent is a new start-up so you may encounter some blips, but if you use the customer feedback (blue button on the right edge of their page), you can give your opinions for product direction.

twebevent provides the :mashup” environment, but a host still need to find a way to video capture and stream. Companies like Speaker Interactive can help with those logistics.  Products like ustream.tv and livestream.com can handle the live streaming.  Qik will even live stream from your phone.  YouTube and Vimeo are two good options for uploading recorded video.  In any of those cases, just copy the embed code to a twebevent and it will appear for your audience.

If you prefer to keep things really simple, avoid the complexities of video and just open up a phone bridge through providers like talkshoe or blogcastradio and connect the audio stream embed into the twebevent.

If anyone has any questions or comments, I am happy to connect.  If you want to read more, check out the lessons learned from the first twebevent live trial or try my previous blog posts re: “Future Conferences”  part 1 and part 2.

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Future Conferences – Part 2

Mapping the Edges
Mapping the Edges

Part 1 talked in more general terms about the ways that conferences can be improved.   This post will list some specific suggestions as well as some of the software providers who are starting to make it happen.

The basic premise is that if you are going to bring people together to a single location you should maximize the collaboration during that time.  Here are some ways.

  • Pre-conference lectures via the web can establish a common foundation of knowledge  and discussion topics
  • Pre-conference online collaboration can help identify interesting people to seek out at the conference and can establish the hot topics that should be covered at the conference
  • Collaboration tools can be integrated into the conference as it runs to help people find the right sessions and the right people whom they would like to meet face-to-face.  Many of the people who are not speakers are likely experts.  Give them a voice too.
  • Post-conference the discussion can/should continue.  Think about how hard it is to get everyone together once a year.  Everyone has to clear their schedule, make travel plans, and incur significant costs.  Yet the collaboration is so valuable to us that we overcome that inertia and attend.  We, of course, would love to interact with those same people throughout the year if given the chance

Some of the companies/tools focused on this space are:

  • Speaker Interactive – providing “Professional Speakers in Digital Form”.  Can be helpful in providing presentations ahead of the event or for supporting “online attendees” who could not attend a live event.
  • The Social Collective – Facebook and Twitter for conferences
  • Crowdvine – Amplify the networking value of your event.
  • EventMingle – configurable event based online social networking
  • EventChatter – Twitter add-on for tweeting around events

Other services out there that will change conference collaboration in some way?