SAN FRANCISCO, CA, July 18, 2010 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Economists debate about whether the recession is over but the corporate marketing budgets are still tight and conference attendance is on the decline. Virtual conferences and virtual trade shows are on rise for a very sound reason - virtual tradeshows typically cost much less than traditional trade shows.
To keep finger on pulse of the virtual conference market we asked a few questions to Joerg Rathenberg, Senior Director of Marketing of Unisfair
, the leading provider of virtual events and business environments:
How has the recession impacted the adoption of virtual events?
Clearly, the need to cut costs has driven more people to us as they look for more cost effect ways to generate demand and nurture prospects or train customers, partners and employees. We reduce production cost as well as increase attendance by making it accessible to more people without the need for travel. Today however, marketing leaders understand that working with Unisfair is not just about bringing people together in a more cost effective manner, it is about virtual engagement - building lasting, more profitable relationships with their customers. As a result, virtual events have evolved from the early adopter status to becoming widely used. In particular, marketers are seeing virtual engagement as a successful and proven component of the digital marketing mix.
How has Unisfair's technology changed and evolved?
We have evolved along with the market, and are focusing not just on events, but on virtual engagement solutions that enable our customers to embrace virtual environments for everything from thought leadership to lead generation and community building to training and recruiting.
Earlier this year, we announced V9, a game-changing new release that helps move the industry from episodic virtual events to always-on virtual engagement. Customers, prospects, partners and employees can learn, explore and connect with vendors, peers and industry experts from the comfort of their desktop, whenever they want.
In addition, our Webcasting Studio enables our customers to produce and broadcast their own webcasts by plugging high-end professional video and audio gear directly into their computers and broadcast right from their offices - they can even use the built-in laptop cameras. This has a huge effect on bringing down the costs of virtual events, rather than using external production service.
What's more, with the new Venue Builder, customers can create their own virtual environment with just point and click, which is essentially as easy as customizing their Yahoo environment. Unisfair offers the only three-tier organizational model, where customers can use their Virtual Engagement Center to set up any number of Venues, in which they can host any number of events. Their attendees keep their identity across all of these, so that just like in Disneyworld, with one pass they can visit all the venues and events the organizer will allow.
What do you attribute you strong growth to?
With Unisfair's strong self service capabilities, we are able to expand more rapidly than our competitors, who are inhibited by a services intensive model for setting up and running their individual events. In the competitive model, each event requires the services team weeks and months to set up and manage. Changes will have to be done by the platform provider's staff before the "code freeze day" - often weeks before the live event day, where you can't change anything in the environment. On the contrary, Unisfair customers can make their own changes and customizations anytime, even while the event is going on - e.g. swap out a partner logo, add a room, booth, venue etc.
What's your growth rate?
We are seeing 60 percent YOY growth.
How will you create new streams of revenue / continue to grow?
We'll continue to focus on our core market of Fortune 2000 companies in High Tech and Life Sciences, and grow relationships with our key customers. In addition, we're growing our channel program (e.g. Cramer, Carlson Marketing, Simpson Healthcare, Careerbuilder.com). Lastly, we'll replicate the success and momentum we've seen in our core business with new offerings targeted at the SMB and training markets.
Who are some of your biggest customers?
Marquee customers include Ariba, CA, IBM, Intel, Intuit, KPMG, Medco, Oracle, Quest Software, Novartis and many others.
Information provided by Unisfair coincides well with predictions made by Market Research Media Ltd, a leading market and technology research company, in its recent research report "Virtual Conference & Trade Show Market Forecast 2013-2018
". According to this market study the worldwide virtual conference market is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 56% between the period of 2013 and 2018 and to generate $18.6 Billion revenues over the period 2013 - 2018.
Market Research Media Ltd is the leading international provider of market research and intelligence for the governmental and business communities. Our premium market analysis is your unfair competitive advantage.