Members of ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, and Professional Convention Management Association have offered positive feedback on the creation of a new industrywide hub for virtual meetings content—separated by vertical industry segments—by online eventagency bXb Online.
The concept of establishing a single network for all the content that comes out of meetings in various vertical industries, including the meetings and events industry, was introduced in January by Chicago-based bXb. The online network will house content for live and on-demand meetings for participating organizations.
The Meetings/Events channel will be the pilot channel when the network launches in the fall with ASAE, IAEE, PCMA, and other industry organizations adding content. The rest will align to the 14 sectors of the economy that the Center for Exhibition Industry Research Index tracks. The healthcare channel will be next, followed by the others.
At the launch at PCMA’s Convening Leaders conference, bXb Chief Executive Officer Tony Lorenz said the organization would work with its partner, the Virtual Edge Institute, and charter supporters, ASAE, PCMA, and IAEE, to elicit feedback on the hub.
While a variety of mechanisms were employed to collect comments, the primary means were live feedback forums for members of ASAE, IAEE and PCMA. Here are some of the predominant themes from those sessions:
- The network will drive alignment among industry organizations and that alone is viewed as necessary and productive. Further, associations working within respective channels will be motivated to offer the very best content available within their industries.
- The network will motivate association executives to create a structure for ownership of content strategy and management for their organizations.
- The network can potentially create new markets and a wider audience for associations. It offers associations a means to extend their brand and content to members who do not attend their meetings as well as nonmembers in their industry sector.
- The network offers a whole new level of distribution given its proximity to other industry organizations. The industry channels will be the primary structural component of the network, so professionals can easily join a relevant online community in their channel and search for the best content in their area of interest. Content owners/associations continue to own their content.
Feedback will continue to be gathered via additional forums. The next feedback forum will be held during the IAEE Mid-Year Meeting May 30-June 1, 2012, in Washington, D.C. The network is scheduled to launch in fall 2012.
“Candidly, we’re thrilled to see this kind of interaction and feedback from every aspect of the events community,” says Dave Olender, chief operating officer at bXb. “We are highly encouraged and energized by the constructive and positive direction across the board, along with the spirit of improving the industry as we know it today.”
Feedback can also be shared at the bXb blog as well as on Twitter at @bXbonline.