Archive for the ‘Virtual meetings’ Category

Using Video to Promote and Extend the Life of Your Events

November 14, 2012

©2012 Corbin Ball Associates

Internet video is seeing unprecedented growth for communication and marketing. This paper will cover this impact of this growth for promoting and extending the life of events with examples and ideas for improvement.

Video in Society

The use of internet video is growing at an exponential rate. There are several intertwining contributing factors:

Growth of online video:

The number of videos watched in the US grew by 660%.from February 2011 to February 2012. At the same time, the number of hours of online video watched by an average user increased by 60% to 21.8 hours per month.  US viewers watched nearly 38 billion videos during the month of February 2012 along with 7.5 billion video ads with Google’s YouTube generating the highest number of views at 16.7 billion1.

YouTube and other video sharing sites:

Consider the following YouTube statistics, the largest video sharing site and the 3rd largest internet site in the world after Facebook and Google 2, 3

  • Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute:      60 hours
  • Number of videos viewed on YouTube everyday:          4 billion
  • Number of unique visits to YouTube every month         800 million
  • Hours of video watched on YouTube each month           3 billion hours
  • Percent of YouTube visitors that come from outside the U.S.      70%
  • Number of countries with localized versions of YouTube               42
  • Total number of languages YouTube is broadcast in                        54
  • Total number of views YouTube had in 2011                              1 trillion                         (140 views for every person on Earth)

As highly trafficked as YouTube is, it draws less than 40% of online video visits with many other video sites drawing significant traffic as well4.

Growth of internet connected television:

DisplaySearch forecasted in July, 2011 that 200 million connected TV devices will ship in 18 months5.  This, combined with Internet-enabled devices connecting TVs including Xbox (23 million+ customers), PS3, Wii, Apple TV and Roku totals to about 300 million TVs connected to the Internet in the next 18 months6.

Mobile video:

A top activity for mobile users is mobile video. For the first time, video accounted for over half of all mobile data traffic (52%). By 2016, video will be over 70% of traffic. The number of mobile devices will exceed world’s population in 20127.


Touch tablet computers are on track to become the fastest growing technology hardware in human history8. Market research firm IDC has raised its forecast for tablet sales in 2012 indicating that it saw greater than expected shipments in 2011. IDC now expects consumers will buy 106.1 million tablets in 2012 – a 54 percent increase from 20119.  By 2016, mobile-connected tablets will generate almost as much traffic as the entire global mobile network does in 2012 and much of this will be video10.

Social media impact:

YouTube statistics indicate a very strong connection between video and other social media11:

  • 500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook, and over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute
  • 100 million people take a social action on YouTube (likes, shares, comments, etc.) every week
  • More than 50% of videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community
  • Clicks on the ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ button on YouTube have doubled since the start of 2011. For every ‘dislike,’ YouTube gets 10 ‘likes’- people like to tell other people about the stuff they love.
  • People now watch over 2 billion videos per day – on YouTube alone! That is almost twice the prime time audience of the three major television networks put together12.

To conclude, internet video is heavily used in the U.S. and globally and it will continue to grow substantially in these next few years.

Benefits and Reasons for Internet Video Growth                                                                                                 


Simply stated, video is more engaging and compelling than other media. It is an easy way to present information with no reading required! People are accustomed to television and like to watch video.

Video combines pictures, sound, text and movement to create an impact far greater than individual elements and far more than a web page of text could ever provide. People tend to watch more than they read or listen. Web videos allow viewers to sit back and absorb the message, just as presented to them. What could take many paragraphs or even pages of text to communicate can be presented in just a few engaging moments. Web videos captivate, engage and entertain site visitors.

Increased retention:

Studies show that most people are visual learners13. Other adult learning studies show that we remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, and a huge 50% of what we hear AND see14! Video can make a typical website up to 300% more effective for audience retention15.


Internet videos are viewable on many sources including computers, phones, tablets and, increasingly, television.


With social media links and integration, videos are an ideal channel for sharing content to an audience. If done right, the multiplying impact of viral videos (those that are shared widely) can quickly spread a message. Videos are an ideal channel for sharing value added content to your audience.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

A 2010 Forrester Research study found that videos are 53 times more likely to generate a first-page ranking than traditional SEO techniques16. Google’s universal search showcases video content on the first page and, usually prominently above the fold (the top part of the webpage which you can see without scrolling). Video is a significant opportunity to drive traffic, leads, and, ultimately, business through your website by executing a basic video content strategy.

Higher click-through rates compared to traditional email:

Video email is more likely to be opened than traditional email. Video email marketers detail this. In one case, in first quarter of 2012 video mail had a 66% click-through rate, and a 21% unique click-through rate. This compares to an average of a little over 5% for traditional text email17.

Video email offers the recipient more information in a shorter time. The email message with the vdieo “play triangle” in a picture is visually more appealing than text, and is easy to access on most mobile devices as well. The email tools offer social media links for sharing and videos, if done well, are likely to get played multiple times.


Video views can be tracked, and, in some cases extensive details on view behavior can be obtained. Depending on the video distribution product, view receipts, viewing times, length of view, repeat views are just a few of the tracking behaviors available. With outbound marketing campaigns, personalized URL’s (PURL’s) can be used to create unique links per recipient with unique tracking codes to determine viewer identities without a guestbook or login requirement. Others viewers can be tracked can be done using a “guestbook” registration form. These data can be very helpful in marketing efforts.

Plummeting Costs:

From equipment to distribution channels, the cost of video production is a fraction of what it was just a few years ago. Video hardware continues to get smaller, better quality and cheaper each year. HD video cameras are in our mobile phones.  A video production and streaming studio “in a 9-pound box” with switchers, special effects generator, multiple audio/video inputs/outputs is available for under US$5,000 from Roland Systems Group among others. This replaces what used to be hundreds of thousands of dollars and palates full of equipment.

Good basic video editing software is free from both Apple and Microsoft and the cost for very high-end editing software has plummeted over the years as well.

Distribution channels are also getting less expensive. Skype provides free HD video conferencing. Google Hangouts and Hangouts On Air provides free multi-point video conferencing and streaming tools. The cost for professional web streaming is also lower than in past years.

Although professional video production capabilities are often needed for events, the above trends are making it less expensive to provide these services thereby enabling video at many more events. When done correctly, video delivers extraordinary economies of scale and measurable results.

Simply stated, video is not a trend. It is an imperative. Attendees and viewers today demand engaging and interactive content. They expect that content to be highly functional, highly intuitive and highly intelligent. Video delivers all of that. It’s an innovative and non-intrusive way of marketing.

Video for Events                                                     

Events by their nature are visual and social. Events are content creators. Events are a natural for video to help engage attendees before, during and after meeting. There is a multiplicity of ways that this can take form:

Before the event:

Events are content generators. There are speakers, entertainers, exhibitors, gala dinners, and satisfied attendees from past events. All are natural to include in email and online promotions for an upcoming event.

Here are a few suggestions in making this happen:

  • Create a video from the CEO, show organizers, and/or key volunteers about why viewers should attend this meeting. This promo clip can give a quick overview of the coming highlights of the event, speakers, performers, networking opportunities, topics, giveaways, how to register, “save the date” information and much more. Include a specific call to action (i.e. register by specific at a specific webpage) if possible.
  • Post this video to YouTube, at your web site, and use embedded video links in promotional email regarding the event. Video links have demonstrated a much greater click-through and share rates compared to standard email increasing the impact.
  • Most speakers, musicians, and other entertainers have YouTube clips. Post these on and aggregated “video page” at your event website.
  • As part of the speaker contract, ask speakers to create and post to YouTube a short video promo about what they will be speaking at the event.
  • Create a YouTube Channel to aggregate these video in one spot.
  • Post these promotional videos on your Facebook Page, Facebook Event Page, LinkedIn Company Page, LinkedIn Event Page, and other social media channels.
  • Create a Pinterest page to aggregate these YouTube videos as well.
  • Post links to this video promotional content on Twitter.
  • Create and promote an event twitter hashtag to promote as a search vehicle through all social media channels including video.

During the event:

Live events are replete with content opportunities to use video to extend the footprint of the meeting and for promotion of the next event. Consider some of the following:

  • Webcast the keynote addresses and other key portions of the event extending the event far beyond the four walls of the meetings space. Video brings and extra dimension that is more impactful than other media channels. A video production crew should be used for high profile video production.
  • Stream portions of your event to remote audiences in a hybrid meeting format or as a webcast to increase the footprint of your event.
  • Use produced video to provide compelling introductions and content during general sessions.
  • Video record your CEO or other executives discussing something cool, new or important about your company, association or a specific product.
  • Encourage speakers to incorporate video in their presentations to provide compelling, time efficient and engaging ways of describing elements, product demonstrations.
  • Bring in remote speakers (either by design or to fill in for missed flight connections) using streaming video.
  • Content capture the video of the educational session for delivery on demand after the event either for a fee, for certification programs, or as promotion of next year’s event.
  • Record the video for event press releases to increase the impact:  Press releases that include video components have received a 500% increase in views17.
  • Interview speakers at the event and use this video for additional web content.
  • Interview satisfied attendees at the event to use to promote the next event. Ask them why they came, what they have learned, and what they liked. This will likely produce lots of great content for promotional videos. People love the attention and these videos will likely be shared with their friends and colleagues.
  • Video record the galas and other special events to show viewer what they missed as promotion for the next event.
  • Live stream an event channel from the exhibit hall with interviews, commentary and other content.
  • Interview the “top 10” exhibitors or the ones with the most creative or innovative content to combine in a compelling video to provide content and increase exhibitor exposure.
  • Exhibitors can use video in creative displays (3D video, interactive iPad video, video walls, etc.) to attract and engage exhibit attendees to their booths. Video can provide high-quality and focused messages about services/products that can be compelling to visitors. On-demand video can answer specific questions freeing staff up for other interactions.
  • Exhibitors should create videos of demonstrations of their product to post on YouTube and have on demand at their boot.
  • Encourage attendees to upload their event experiences videos to YouTube, Facebook and other social media channels using the event hashtag in the title and description.
  • A video wrap-up at a closing session is often a great way to remind your audience of the event highlights and key topics and themes covered, saying thanks to the attendees, sponsors and those that made it possible.

After the event:

There are significant opportunities to use videos of the content generated during the event to extend the life of the meeting after the event and for promotion of future events.

Here are some of the ways that this is happening:

  • An edited video of conference highlights to showcase the event can be posted at the association, corporate or event webs and the social media channels, reminding attendees of what a good time they had and showing non-attendees what an excellent meeting they missed. Videos allow you to show rather than tell how spectacular the event was: the venue, the décor, the food displays, the impressive turnout, the exiting entertainment, and the amazing speakers. This content makes excellent material for a variety of marketing vehicles including blogs, other social media channels, mobile channels, email campaigns, and web content such as next year’s event website for promotion.  Include a “save the date” announcement within the video.
  • This video often times should be posted to YouTube to reach potentially a larger audience as well. It is recommended that this video be in high definition, short (about 3 minutes or less), and with care taken for using key words in the title, description and tagging.
  • Ask sponsors, participants, speakers and exhibitors to share event related videos on their social media channels, an easy way to greatly extend the impact of the video.
  • Video recordings of the sessions (all or part of them) can be posted for on-demand viewing (for pay, for free, with restricted access to attendees only, for members only, or open to everyone). This can be used for review for those attending the session; to enable attendees going to other sessions to see what they have missed; to provide benefit for members unable to attendee the meeting; or open to the public to advance an idea or as promotion for future events. Ideally, the video and audio should be combined with the PowerPoint slides and other presentation graphics though services such as Brainshark providing capabilities for all video presentations to be shared on all video platforms, with every view tracked.  Through a content delivery network and/or a customized event portal you can charge viewers to stream or download your conference videos. A portal acts as a one-stop-shop for all event content and presentations, ensuring maximum impact long after the event has ended. You can also use presentation “guest books” to capture viewer contact information, include survey questions to gather input, and track viewership to better forecast attendance and topics of interest for your next event.
  • Videos of key sessions can be highlighted throughout the year providing continuous fresh website content on a regular basis improving your web site traffic.
  • Videos are also great for testimonials.  Let your speakers, exhibitors, attendees and others sing the praises of your event. There is nothing like a satisfied customer telling potential customers how well your event or product works. The more details, the more believable.
  • A collection of exhibitor interviews of the best booths or most innovative products at a show can provide compelling content and is another vehicle for exhibitor visibility as well.
  • Feature sponsors in the promotional videos. If done right, they may use this video as a marketing tool getting more views about your event.


Internet video is widely used in society, is growing rapidly and has great opportunities for use in the events industry. Videos can engage viewers, can increase retention of content, are accessible via many devices, and can be easily shared via social media channels. The use of videos can improve your search engine rankings and video email marketing has fully trackable and higher click-through rates compared to traditional marketing methods. The costs to produce and distribute video from point of inception to delivery have reduced dramatically.

As events are visual, the visual nature video is a natural alternative to help market and extend the reach of events. Videos can be used before, during and after the event to convey the message and to improve attendance at future events.


New Meetings Innovation Trends Highlighted with EIBTM’s 2012 Technology Watch

November 8, 2012

©2012 Corbin Ball, Chair of the EIBTM Technology Watch Judging Committee

The EIBTM Technology Watch is the most significant and longest running technology award for the meetings industry. The goals are to recognize technology innovation and to highlight significant trends impacting meeting planners, attendees and exhibitors at events.

The winner and five honorable mentions for were selected from a tie-breaking record 56 applications. Six judges with experience in the meetings industry and technology but not currently selling any technology product scored the entries based on innovation, completeness of concept, and the value to the meetings industry.

The companies selected highlight several paths of technology innovation including the impact of video, event content curation/distribution, electronic course note/presentation file distribution, gamification, HTML5, indoor positioning and mobile matchmaking.

EIBTM TechWatch 2012 Winner: BOBtv
This year’s EIBTM Technology Watch award winner for meetings technology innovation goes to BOBtv from bXb Online, a global online event platform designed specifically for events and associations. It is a standardized way of making event content available to remote attendees either live or on-demand. Endorsed by major meeting industry associations such as PCMA, ASAE and IAEE, this vendor-agnostic platform will curate event content and make it readily available to potentially a much larger global audience.

The judging committee felt that two significant trends were shown in this entry: the move toward video as an event communication vehicle and the increasing ability to provide event content remotely for hybrid meetings. In essence, BOBtv, or similar technology, has the ability to become the moderated “YouTube” channel for event communication.

Honorable Mentions:
Additionally, five finalists were included by the judging committee honorable mention pointing to additional significant technology trends:

ATIV Software’s EventPilot is very robust interactive conference program/show guide mobile app built for large, complex scientific meetings with thousands of presentations and poster sessions. Provided in multiple native platforms including iPad, tablets and phones, it has a host of features to improve the attendees’ experience including a complete and searchable conference schedule,  personalized agenda builder, rich social media integration, mapping, networking, QR code integration, and sponsorship advertising opportunities. Similar features are found with a number of event apps.

The differentiator is the ability to for the attendees to read and take notes on presentation slides during the presentation. Similar capabilities can be found with posters and other documents. The presentation slides with notes then can be emailed to the user or other interested parties. This ability to attendees to see and take notes on presenter slides increases retention of the material and bridges a significant gap where events have gone paperless and no longer provide presenter notes in paper form.

MERA Labs NiceMeeting also provides presentation slides to attendees electronically with some additional features. The product turns attendee’s mobile devices, such as iPad, iPhone, Android tablet as well as notebook computers, into a full-featured personal presentation slide display units by enabling real-time presentation screen mirroring, chats, polling and files exchange between delegates. Speakers can use personal iPads and other devices to manage presentation, get questions from the audience and do polling. Event organizers can place sponsor’s adds in the service interface and grow their earnings from sponsorship.

Unlike EventPilot, NiceMeeting operates as a service rather than an app using local WiFi networks.

EventMobi is included for honorable mention for their pioneering work using HTML5 to produce rich, multipurpose apps for event attendees. With a few limitations, HTML5 is a simpler, faster and cheaper development app development model compared to building native apps and is reflected in lower costs and faster turnaround time.

EventMobi Fusion is the industry’s first ever event app that works across all devices and continues to function without an internet connection, allowing attendees to access their event app whenever and wherever without worrying about an unreliable internet connection.

Also recognized as part of EventMobi’s effort is their GamifyApp which consists of three different games, each designed to help meet different event objectives. They include Scavenger Hunt used to enhance team-building, Session+ used to enhance the educational experience at sessions, and Expo Game used to drive traffic to exhibitor booths. The use of mobile games to engage attendees, enrich the event experience and increase attendee retention is felt by the judging committee to be a very important trend. GamifyApp is one of the best examples on how this can be implemented for events.

Zerista is yet another multi-featured event app and web platform including attendee information, conference agenda, interactive mapping, surveys, social networks, exhibitor collateral, and matchmaking tags.

What stood out was Zerista’s very strong match making and social media integration. Included are:

  • Hyper relevant personalization and matchmaking for attendees.
  • Personalized Digital collateral libraries for session content, multimedia offerings, and exhibitor marketing documents
  • Automatic qualified lead generation and sales intelligence data for CRM systems for exhibitors.

Sherpa has consistently been an innovator for the meetings and tradeshow industries. A past winner of the EIBTM Technology Watch, Sherpa’s entries this year included three important advances.

WaveLocator is a unique indoor positioning system using ultrasound. Since GPS does not work indoors, and Wi-Fi-based systems can’t work on the iPhone, Sherpa came up with a new twist. Combined with ActivTouch, Sherpa’s mobile app, the microphone of the user’s SmartPhone receives specific codes used to help attendees to quickly identify their current location in the venue and map routes to discover different events, products, or exhibitors. Even better, users can quickly locate their friends and business acquaintances. WaveLocator, thanks to its quick set-up and accessibility via many types of mobile devices may be the best option for precise geolocation for events.
ActiveMetrics, is a unique attendance measurement system using the Wi-Fi signals transmitted by the attendees’s smartphones to generate heat maps to determine traffic patterns within an exhibit hall or meeting venue at a lower cost and more efficiently that previous methods of determining traffic flow.

Finally, Sherpa’s new version of their robust convention and exhibit guide apps (and winner of the 2010 WWTW Award) — ActivTouch V2, shows significant refinements from their previous version including advanced analytics, new customization options, and several new key modules like SmartReview, SmartRoute and ActivContact, all designed to help attendees better prepare their participation, manage their time on site and meet their business contacts.

This year’s tie for record number of entries:
The large number of entries (56 entries) points to the vitality of the meetings and trade show industries and how technology is increasingly used to improve the way events are managed.

Technology trends highlighted:
A number of trends were highlighted in analyzing the entirety of entries. As in the past year, mobile technology innovation was dominant (15 entries or 26% of all entries had a strong mobile component. Other trends include: Lead exchange/OR codes  (12%) eRFP/sourcing (11%), social media/matchmaking (9%), room diagramming/floor plans (9%), gaming (9%), registration and/or abstract management (7%),.document distribution (7%), and virtual events/tradeshows (5%).

About the WWTW Judging Committee:
Chair: Corbin Ball, CEO, Corbin Ball Associates
Michelle Bruno, President, Bruno Group Signature Events
Ruud Janssen, CMM, CEO, TNOC | The New Objective Collective
Paul Hussey, Business Development Director, BSI Meetings and Events
Bruce MacMillan, President/CEO, Bandwidth Management and former President/CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
Martin Sirk, CEO, International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)

EIBTM is one of the largest tradeshows in the meetings industry. The 2011 meeting had over 15,219 participants from over 90 countries. Included were 3,961 hosted buyers — top-level decision-makers bought to the event as part its Hosted Buyer Program. This year’s show dates are 27-29 November in Barcelona.



Bonus Trend: 12+ Meetings Technology Trends to Watch for 2012: Face-to-face meetings and trade shows will remain vialble

December 7, 2011

©2011 Corbin Ball Associates

This is last in a series of 13 weekly blog postings covering the major technology trends affecting conferences, events and trade shows:

Bonus trend: Despite the economic downturn and the increased use of virtual meetings technology, face-to-face meetings and tradeshows remain viable (a repeat from last year’s predictions).

Virtual meeting and web conferencing usage is up and conference attendance has dropped for some markets in these economically challenging times. However, meetings and tradeshows can still provide very good value for your education, networking, and sales budgets. Events offer unparalleled opportunities to bring buyers and seller together, to build relationships, to brainstorm, to network. For an exhibitor, it is often the best way to meet so many qualified buyers in such a short time. For buyers, it is a great chance to meet vendors of interest – all together in one location, categorized and mapped for your choosing. The events, tradeshow and hospitality industries are relationship-based and events and tradeshow are some of the best ways to build these relationships.

Although webinars are good for short information exchange, meetings offer a much richer learning experience. What happens in the meeting room is important – people have made the commitment to be there and are not as distracted as in the office. However, the conversations in the hallways, receptions and exhibit hall contribute greatly to the information exchange. Meetings provide a vastly richer, more targeted, and more focused learning experience than any virtual meeting. There is no such thing as a “virtual beer!” 

Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP is a consultant, writer and speaker focusing on events and meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity. He has been named by MeetingNews Magazine for four years as one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry. He has also chaired the judging committee for EIBTM Technology Watch for meetings technology innovation for the past eight years. He can be contacted at his extensive web site: and followed on

8 out of 12 Meetings Technology Trends to Watch for 2012: YouTube and other social publishing tools will be used increasingly to promote and manage meetings and to engage attendees

November 3, 2011

This is the eight in a series of 12 weekly blog postings covering the major technology trends affecting conferences, events and trade shows

8. YouTube and other social publishing tools will be used increasingly to promote and manage meetings and to engage attendees

Much has been written about the power of and the other social networking sites to engage potential attendees before and event to increase attendance and networking onsite. I believe the wide range of free social publishing tools will also be used increasingly for similar purposes:

  • (technically a micro-blog and, therefore, a social publishing tool) is widely used at events with event hashtags to engage attendees before, during and after an event. Planners should advertise the event hashtag well in advance of their events for the broadest utilization.
  • Free blogging tools (such as can be used to create event blogs to increase attendance. Ask your speakers to participate to add comments about their sessions. Invite influential bloggers to your event, and give them internet connections to spread the word.
  • Encourage attendees to upload their event photos under a designated event name (using the Twitter hashtag) to so everyone can share their experience. This page can then be used to help promote future events.
  • Speakers can share their slides using
  • (the world’s second largest search site after its owner Google) is potentially one of the most promising event promotion tools around. The old saying goes that “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  A video can be worth a thousand pictures and be far more compelling than web pages or brochures full of text! Video is the most compelling language of the internet.

A few YouTube tips:

a.)   Encourage your speakers to make short video describing what they will speak on and upload this to YouTube.

b.)   Link or embed these videos at your event site.

c.)   Keep the videos short (no more than 3 minutes).

d.)   Record in HD.

e.)   Choose a compelling thumbnail image using the posting tools YouTube provides.

f.)    Enable the comments and sharing options.

g.)   Rename the videos using meaningful names ( is much better than

h.)   Use a keyword laden, meaningful description of the video.

Six out of Twelve Technology Trends to Watch for 2012: Hybrid meetings will extend the reach and broaden the impact of face-to-face events.

October 18, 2011

This is the sixth in a series of 12 weekly blog postings covering the major technology trends affecting conferences, events and trade shows:

6. Hybrid meetings will extend the reach and broaden the impact of face-to-face events.

A hybrid meeting is an event that combines both face-to-face and virtual experience for local and remote attendees. It will become commonplace for many events in the next few years. Meeting professionals are recognizing that it has become much easier to extend the impact of an event beyond the four walls of the meeting room. A hybrid event can multiply the event’s impact and can recruit new attendees for future events.

Live steaming sites such as provide easy methods to stream conference video to remote attendees with a range of pricing plans from free to enterprise level. Increasingly, interactive tools such as polling and remote Q&A will engage the remote participants. using event hashtags is currently being used to allow remote attendees to comment and ask questions during a presentation as well. can connect HD video signal from four locations for free. The HD option allows events to bring in remote speakers or groups in high enough quality to project on a large screen in a meeting room.

Google Hangouts ( is a great free, new option for events allowing video from up to ten locations to be seen on each screen in a reliable and relatively low-bandwidth format.  Event Camp Europe ( has recently used Hangouts to have a “Hybrid Wine Tasting” connecting face-to-face groups from four cities in Europe. The wine was shipped to the four cities, poured and distributed, the wine was introduced and described, attendees held the wines, smelled the bouquets, and tasted them. All five senses were engaged simultaneously in multiple locations!

Five out of Twelve Technology Trends to Watch for 2012: Conference recording and distribution is becoming cheaper, faster and much more capable.

October 12, 2011

This is the fifth in a series of 12 weekly blog postings covering the major technology trends affecting conferences, events and trade shows.

Conference recording and distribution is becoming cheaper, faster and much more capable.

Conference recording has been around for decades starting in the days that audio-cassettes of the presentations were mass-produced onsite and sold in the foyer. Recent technology advances have made it possible to quickly and relatively inexpensively distribute speaker video, audio and visuals over the web in real-time and on demand afterwards.

This technology to do this was simply not there just a few years ago. The price of high-definition video cameras has plummeted (we are even carrying them around as mobile phone feature). Accessibility to reliable broadband is as available for most meeting facilities and the price is dropping. Video streaming encoders are turn-key. Presentation management software has proliferated.

For example, the “video recording and webcasting studio in a box” pictured below is the Roland Systems Group ( VR-5 incorporating a 5-channel video switcher, audio mixer, video playback, recorder, preview monitors and output for web streaming. What previously would have required crates of equipment and $100,000+ has been shrunk into a 9 pound (4.3kg).box for under US$5,000 greatly simplifying the production, recording and streaming of live events.

Using these smaller, cheaper, and faster tools, it is now possible for conference recording companies to record video/audio and slides for dozens of simultaneous presentations and have them available for sale or distribution on the web that evening. Streaming technology for real-time distribution is also easier and simpler than in the past. Some of the companies providing these services are: Content Management Corporation,  Freeman, OmniPress, PSAV Presentation Services, Sonic Foundry, Digitell and Soma Media

More information and details on the benefits for conference recording can be found at the following article:

The Case for Content Capture for Events

March 14, 2011

A large, multi-session event is like a 3-ring circus. You work furiously putting the thousands of pieces together before the event. You work long and intense hours carrying out these plans onsite. And then you fold-up your “tent” and move on.

However, unlike a circus, events are about more than just entertainment – they are about learning and information exchange. A key question should be asked by event professionals: how can I maximize the learning at my event?

Fortunately, advances in conference capture and distribution technology are enabling meeting professionals to extend the reach and the life of their events and to increase the learning exchange to more people.

What is event content  capture?

Conference recording has been around for decades starting in the days that audio-cassettes of the presentations were mass-produced onsite and sold in the foyer. Recent technology advances have made it possible to quickly and relatively inexpensively distribute speaker video, audio and visuals over the web in real-time and on demand afterwards.

This technology to do this was simply not there just a few years ago. The price of high-definition video cameras has plummeted (we are even carrying them around as mobile phone feature). Accessibility to reliable broadband is as available for most meeting
facilities and the price is dropping. Video streaming encoders are turn-key. Presentation management software has proliferated.

For example, pictured below is the Roland Systems Group ( VR-5 incorporating a video switcher, audio mixer, video playback, recorder, preview monitors and output for web streaming. What previously would have required crates of equipment has been shrunk into a 9 pound (4.3kg).box greatly simplifying the production, recording and streaming of live events.

With these advances, many companies have emerged to provide content capture and video streaming services for events at reasonable costs. In fact, in some cases, these costs can be offset or eliminated through the resale of the meeting content to a large audience on the web.

Why use content capture?

Large multi-session conferences are great content generators. So much money and effort is made in arranging speakers, meeting space, AV, room set-up, and more. Speakers strive to develop and deliver their content. Content capture and distribution tools allow this content to go beyond just those that are sitting in a specific meeting room. This content generated there can be distributed to a much larger audience in real time and on demand after the event.


Benefits of content capture include:

  • The ability to deliver content to larger audience through streaming a live event in real time.
  • An ability to deliver content after the event on demand as a refresher for those who attended the session.
  • An opportunity for those who attended the event but could not make it to the specific session to access the content.
  • An opportunity for those unable to attend the meeting to receive the content.
  • A marketing opportunity to show future attendees samples of the excellent content they would receive by attending the next meeting
  • An opportunity to add fresh, compelling web-site content throughout the year in build up for next year’s meeting.
Content Capture Companies:
Listed below are some of the significant companies offering these services (by no means comprehensive):
Clever Zebra
Content Management
Essential Event
PSAV Presentation Services
Sonic Foundry
Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP is an independent 3rd-party analyst focusing on meetings and tradeshow technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings and shows, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity He can be contacted at his extensive web site: and followed on