Online event The network is expected to launch at the American Society of Association Executives annual meeting in Dallas, August 11–14.agency bXb Online is creating a hub for virtual meetings content. It will be available to any organization that produces virtual meetings and has the early support of three meetings industry associations.
“It’s a delivery system for all the great content coming out of meetings,” said Tony Lorenz, chief executive officer, bXb Online, speaking at the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders conference on January 10 in San Diego. The bXb Online network will house online meetings content for participating organizations. The network will start with no more than four core industries—most likely including events, technology, and healthcare—then grow to incorporate more channels over time.
PCMA, ASAE, and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events are all charter supporters and are working with bXb Online to develop the concept. bXb Online is also in discussions with Meeting Professionals International about joining the network, said Lorenz. InXpo is the company’s technology platform partner.
Associations and companies will be able to use the network to post content from face-to-face meetings, either live or on-demand. Participants will then access that content through the bXb network, and will be able to access content from other organizations within their industry. For example, PCMA members would be able to view PCMA content as well as content from ASAE or IAEE. Organizations will have the option to limit access to certain content if they wish to keep it exclusively for members.
bXb Online hopes to get input from meeting professionals during the development process. “It would be presumptuous of us to launch an industry platform without asking the industry for feedback,” said Lorenz. Planners can share their thoughts via the bXb Online blog or in hybrid forums that will be held in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, London, Frankfurt, and Barcelona. Check for updates on bXb Online, as well as the PCMA, IAEE, and ASAE Web sites.
“For associations, the ability to distribute content is the Holy Grail and this allows us to do it,” said John Graham, president and CEO at ASAE. “How we make it a value to our members is the future. ASAE is delighted to be on board,” he added, speaking at the press conference at Convening Leaders.
PCMA President and CEO Deborah Sexton said making content easily accessible can advance the industry. “If it succeeds, so will the industry,” she said at the press conference. PCMA 365, which is PCMA’s portal for online meeting content, will remain the association’s virtual platform and brand, but it will share content with the bXb network. Sexton and Graham believe that hybrid meetings enhance an association’s ability to attract attendees to face-to-face events, as PCMA experienced this year at Convening Leaders.