Pleasanton, California (EastBayDaily) — In the last few years, event professionals and marketers have come to recognize the full value of virtual extensions for their face-to-face meetings and events. Digital solutions are a larger component of event strategies, while leading corporations and associations view virtual events as a vital part of achieving key business objectives.
Today the virtual and hybrid events industry reached another milestone with the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI) receiving a strategic investment from the Professional Convention Management Association(PCMA). PCMA is an association whose 6,300 members manage some of the nation’s largest meetings and events, while VEI is an organization solely dedicated to educating people on the uses and best practices for deploying digital event, meeting, community and learning solutions. With this funding, VEI will accelerate the development of standards for the digital events industry and the establishment of best practices and education. The organization will also continue its vision to expand the adoption of virtual and hybrid events as a vital component of a marketing and events strategy.
“Virtual and hybrid events are playing a critical role in expanding our audience and increasing business opportunities,” explained Deborah Sexton, President and CEO of PCMA. “PCMA recognizes the fundamental changes that are taking place, and we see the tremendous opportunity to be a leader in the discussion on behalf of our members as they shape the future of the meetings industry. Furthermore, there is a tremendous need for educating the industry on how to best plan, deploy and manage these digital programs and VEI is the source for this specialized education. Our investment in VEI enables this education to reach our members, and the industry as a whole, much faster and on a global basis.”
Pioneering Organization Shines Spotlight on Virtual and Hybrid Events Since its inception in 2008, VEI has done more than any organization to spark the conversation, adoption, growth, and learning around digital solutions for meetings, events, learning and community. With a membership community of 1,500 event, marketing and learning professionals, VEI launched the Virtual Edge Summit in 2008, the industry’s only conference dedicated to hybrid and virtual events and has continued to stay on the edge as technology changes and becomes even more critical to business by developing the curriculum that has led to the introduction of the first certification program for Digital Event Strategists (DES).
“The PCMA Board of Directors has identified digital extensions of events, be they perpetual environments or simple hybrid programs, as critical to the continued growth of events and meetings for collaboration, marketing, selling, and relationship building,” explained Susan Katz, Chairman of the Board of Directors, PCMA, and Director of Corporate Events and Travel, True Value Company. “Face-to-face and digital extensions are now part of the same tool kit. Event producers, venues and technology providers are all going to need to come together to drive the next wave of innovation in our industry.”
According to Michael Doyle, Executive Director of VEI, VEI will leverage PCMA’s support to establish programs to help drive the education, conversation and growth of the industry forward. For example, the organization will debut six DES modules at the Virtual Edge Summit 2012(January 9-11, 2012, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego), enabling candidates to begin the process for DES certification. “We’re also talking with other associations and organizations that are interested in sharing this education with their members. Now we have the resources to accelerate and build upon those programs,” continued Doyle.
Additional Resources: Infographic: Business Motivations and Social Behaviors of In-Person and Online Events: http://wp.me/p1aOSn-N6 Infographic: Virtual Event Market Potential: http://wp.me/p1aOSn-iW Infographic: Summary of 2010 Virtual Event Stats: http://wp.me/p1aOSn-ub
About Professional Convention Management Association PCMA is the multi-channel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. PCMA provides their 6,300 members with a community of likeminded colleagues, innovative education and creative global solutions to enhance both their professional development and their organization’s face-to-face and virtual connections. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 35 countries. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at http://www.pcma.org.
About The Virtual Edge Institute The Virtual Edge Institute is an organization dedicated to advancing the development and adoption of digital event and meeting technology and best practices for collaboration and marketing. Founded in 2008 by Michael Doyle, the Institute does this by supporting and contributing research, education, thought leadership, promotion, and professional networking. Learn more at http://www.virtualedgeinstitute.com.