A new “Virtual Engagement Suite” announced by Carlsonmarries the virtual conference technology created by Menlo Park, Calif.–based Unisfair with Carlson’s meeting-management experience.
“If you do a virtual conference properly,” says Kurt Paben, senior vice president, engagement and events, at Minneapolis-based Carlson, “it’s the same amount of work [as a face-to-face event].”
On Carlson’s end, that work will mean providing clients with strategy, content, event marketing, and www.unisfair.com Unisfair that will mean creating customized, Web-based virtual conference environments, where attendees can choose among webinar sessions or videos, download documents, or interact with other attendees. Unisfair environments can be stand-alone events or designed to extend a live meeting. Typically, they recreate the architecture of a traditional conference, with such virtual elements as a booth-filled exhibit hall, a general session hall for keynotes, meeting spaces for breakouts, opportunities to network, and a resource area. The technology allows a show organizer to capture visitors’ demographics as well as metrics on what sessions they attended, how long they stayed, and what materials they downloaded.-tracking around the virtual events. And for nine-year-old
The Carlson-Unisfair partnership is the latest in a string of new affiliations between major face-to-face meeting companies and players in the virtual event space. In spring 2009, InXpo Inc. announced a preferred provider relationship with both Maritz and marketing and events agency George P. Johnson. Other virtual conference providers include ON24 and 6Connex.