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Posted by Jackie Rousseau-Anderson on June 29, 2010
Last week, I attended the AMA virtual event, “Unveiling Marketing Research’s Future Online”. I was very excited to see just what this virtual event would be all about. Mentally, I was trying to marry the idea of a Webinar with the experience of a live event and was left wondering what the union would look like. On Wednesday, I logged in and was prepared for technical difficulties but, surprisingly, I connected without a single hitch! I immediately began to explore, trying to acclimate myself to my virtual surroundings. The environment was easy to understand and navigate. Areas were clearly marked so you knew exactly what was going on where and when. Again, I was pleasantly surprised. Overall, I found a great balance between content and exhibitors and enjoyed the ability to listen to a session while also perusing the materials in the exhibition hall — yes, I admit, I was event-multitasking!
The topic of the future of market research (MR) is obviously a big draw, and sessions like those on DIY research and social media research in the B2B sphere could create quite a lot of chatter. But I think the virtual nature of the event itself is a topic to be discussed. Is this the future of events in general? Will networking over evening cocktails be a thing of the past? Will we simply know each other by our avatars? Here’s my take (the good and the bad). For me, virtual events:
Overall, I think the virtual event was a great success. The feedback that I saw on the chat wall in the auditorium was overwhelmingly positive. I also think that these virtual events are a great addition to the MR conference schedule and offer unique opportunities for us to learn new content and connect with each other virtually. But, I think the mainstay MR events aren’t going to disappear anytime soon. After all, we do need to leave our cubicles and talk with each other in real time at some point! Until then, however, I still look forward to chatting with your virtual selves through the blog and Twitter!
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