Click here to read this story in the November issue of Business Review USA!
Written by Nadia Ibanez
While we’re right in the heart of the race to the World Series, San Francisco Giants closing pitcher and 2010 World Series champ Brian Wilson – who has been often known for his fastballs, sliders and wild antics off the field – has announced that he’ll be the first athlete in history to host the virtual and free event, VUE2011 (Virtual Events User Experience). While Wilson has a made a name for himself, his long black beard and amazing spandex wardrobe choice for the 2011 ESPY awards, he’s also been an avid player in the social media world, with a very active presence on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
The aim of VUE2011 is to show off the benefits of conducting events on mobile devices and PCs as a way to engage communication with large populations without the time and expense associated with hosting an event in a physical location. VUE2011is reimagining the idea of virtual meetings and events and taking them out of the typical Skype user interface and Go To Meeting boxes to be designed around a theme, like a convention center, showroom floor and more.
The ON24 platform is a complete Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud offering, in which deployment resources or audience downloads are not required. More than 750 organizations, including IBM, Cisco, CA Technologies, Merck, Credit Suisse, GE and Oracle, rely on ON24 for its fully integrated solutions.
WHAT TO EXPECT
ON24, the maker of the new technology and leader in webcasting and virtual event solutions, has created a virtual avatar of Wilson who takes convention attendees through a tour of San Francisco with the help of renderings of the famous Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, China Town and the “Painted Ladies,” otherwise known as the “Full House” homes.
At ON24’s annual virtual conference, Wilson will demonstrate the benefits of communicating virtually on the November 17th event; previous hosts include MC Hammer, Arianna Huffington and Newt Gingrich. The event will feature business executives sharing virtual event best practices and will be available on all leading mobile devices, including iPhones.
“I’m hosting the VUE because I know what it takes to win, in both sports and business,” says Wilson. “Just like in baseball, business success requires confidence and communication. You also need the right equipment. Virtual events are the communications platform for high-performance companies. In the VUE, you’ll learn all about how to easily take your events—and your content—virtually anywhere.”
ON24 is also unveiling new technology, which it calls animated navigation, to pushusers from one place to another through a cable car.
FEAR THE BEARD, NOT THE TECHNOLOGY
Let’s be honest, trade shows and three-day conventions can only bring so much excitement and I can bet you spend more time thinking about lunch, the evening’s social hour and cocktail party than the actual content you should be learning. With VUE2011, Wilson will act as a virtual 3D host while attendees reminisce about the last time they visited the City by the Bay through detailed renderings.
“We’ve developed a unique application for video animation, using it to guide the VUE attendee from one place to another through a cable car. It’s very San Francisco and it’s very fun,” said ON24 CMO Denise Persson. “We are designing this virtual environment as a showcase for all the creative possibilities available through our industry-leading platform.”
“Because our event has a San Francisco theme featuring well-known local locations, Brian Wilson is an ideal virtual host choice,” Persson said. “Not only is he a local sports hero, but he’s also a top performer, just like many of our clients. And, with his unique look and personality and quirky sense of humor, he’s a one-of-a-kind celebrity—a widely recognized talk show regular and reality TV star.” Persson added that virtual event producers are often able to attract celebrity hosts and speakers because of the convenience of participating in a virtual event.
“Our goal is to take the fear out of the technology and make our solutions more accessible and easier to use in every department within an enterprise,” said Persson. “As concerns about the economy increase, interest in virtual events grows stronger. Last year’s VUE was the world’s largest virtual event user conference, with over 4,000 registrants. We expect VUE2011 to be even more successful.”
For more information, visit www.ON24.com.