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EC20: What Worked Best
- Content – An array of vendors, industry analysts, consultants, and leading-edge customers (as well as quite a few speakers from the BCStrategies team) presented on a range of topics, providing great insights and actionable information. Attendees can access all the session content live or on-demand, with access to the recorded sessions available until the end of this year. With on-demand access, attendees didn’t have to choose between multiple concurrent sessions, and can watch each and every session when it’s convenient (but to be fair, on-demand recordings were also available as part of the live event).
- Virtual Exhibit Hall - Attendees were able to meet virtually with vendor sponsors via the virtual event platform. Sponsor “exhibit booths” include assets such as videos and product information, an “Interactive Zone,” contact information, session information, meeting scheduling, and more. I especially liked AWS’s virtual tour and Interactive Zones.
- With the Attendee tab listing all the event attendees, the digital platform made it easy to connect and make new contacts in a click. Booking meetings with sponsors and exhibitors were also made simple, as each exhibitor had a contact section on their exhibitor home page. I often don’t have time to wander around the exhibit hall due to sessions and meetings, but with the virtual event, I can visit as many vendor “booths” as I’d like – although there’s no cool swag to bring home.
My favorite part of the event was that the sessions began at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT so, those of us on the West Coast didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn. There were no 7 a.m. ET breakfast meetings playing havoc with our circadian rhythm cycle. Also, the length of the event was just right, with sessions going from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ET/8 a.m.-2 p.m. PT each day. It’s hard for attendees to stay engaged eight hours a day, so the timing seemed to work well. And of course I loved the Five9 Puppy Cam!
- Networking. The hardest part of not having the live event was not seeing people who I may only see once a year at Enterprise Connect. I missed running into friends, colleagues, and associates while walking to and from sessions, attending receptions, and of course, at Wreckers Bar (although my liver appreciated not attending five or six receptions and dinners each night)! The event platform allows for networking, making connections, setting up meetings, and more, but it just wasn’t the same as hugging an old friend.
- Q&A. The sessions were pre-recorded with the presenters available during the live event to respond to audience Q&A via chat. Using the Live Discussion chat window, attendees were able to ask questions during the presentation, as well as for 10-15 minutes after the pre-recorded session ended, with presenters responding in the chat window. While logistically this is probably the best way to handle Q&A, this meant that often times there weren’t many questions asked after the presentation. There was often 10 minutes of dead time listening to the background music.
This post is written on behalf of BCStrategies, an industry resource for enterprises, vendors, system integrators, and anyone interested in the growing business communications arena. A supplier of objective information on business communications, BCStrategies is supported by an alliance of leading communication industry advisors, analysts, and consultants who have worked in the various segments of the dynamic business communications market.