Right this very moment, you’re reading this blog posting on the INXPO web site (and thank you for that!). Presumably, you arrived here because you found the topic or title interesting. In a virtual event, blogs can create a similar benefit. They can serve as a destination for interesting content related to the event’s theme. Here are 5 reasons to incorporate blogs into your virtual events.
1) Great Content That’s User-Generated
When you incorporate blogs in your virtual event, the cost is little (to none), but the payoff is large. You can increase both the quantity and quality of event-specific content, tapping into a loyal base of users: your attendees!
2) Sustaining Content
In a typical “live” event, much of the “generated content” during that event is temporal. All of the great chatter in the Networking Lounge becomes a bit less interesting the following day. And that’s the great thing with blogs – the content remains “fixed” in the virtual environment and available for consumption (and commenting!) weeks or months after the “live event” has concluded. In blogging, we use the term “permalink” – in your virtual event, the more “permalinks” you leave, the more content “on demand attendees” will find.
3) Allow Attendees to Have a Voice
With Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, we’re in an age of “consumer as publisher”. All too often in virtual events, the “voice” of the event is dictated by a small portion of the constituents (i.e. the presenters). By incorporating tools like blogs, you give your attendees a voice and allow a wider base of individuals to contribute and shape the event’s content.
4) Complements Real-Time Interactions
In a “live event,” everything is so real-time. Sure, that’s exciting and all, but blogging allows you to complement all the real-time interactions with conversations that don’t require immediate answers. Who knows, you can become even more enlightening when given the opportunity to think through a response (to a blog posting), rather than typing away “on the fly.”
5) Natural Progression to 365 Communities
Blogging can be your gateway from the “live events” (that you schedule once a year) to a 365 community that’s “always on.” In any community environment, you need a reason to pull users back in. If you can recruit a few industry experts to maintain blogs to complement the user-generated blogs, you’re putting together the right formula for audience loyalty.
We’re a big fan of virtual events and we’re a big fan of blogs. Put the two together and you get a dynamite combination. Now that you’ve read this blog post, let us know what you think – does it make sense to incorporate blogs into your next virtual event?
Post contributed by Dennis Shiao