Posted by: Dennis Shiao | March 2, 2010

Day 2 Recap: Virtual Edge 2010

Day 2 of Virtual Edge 2010 took place on February 23, 2010.  Similar to Day 1, the agenda was chock full of valuable sessions.  The great thing about this conference was the hybrid aspect – the in-person gathering in Santa Clara, CA was complemented by virtual components from various virtual event platform providers.  The platform vendors incorporated live streaming of all sessions from Stream57 – and those same sessions remain available for viewing (on-demand) today.

Via the on-demand archives, I’ve been able to view (at my own leisure) sessions that I was not able to attend in person.  Here are some highlights from Day 2.

SPECIAL WORKSHOP: How to Strategize, Plan, and Execute a Virtual Event

Kelly Graham (@KellyAGraham) and Helaine de Tomasi (@deTomasi) presented a 2-hour workshop that provided a “soup to nuts” view of producing a virtual event.  They started with a definition of a virtual event (good idea), the proceeded to map out a virtual event strategy, walked through a strategic methodology and helped you define your objectives.

In the second half of the workshop, Kelly and Helaine focused on logistics, execution and technology – they covered common features available in virtual event platforms, Webcasting overview, the event timeline and measurement/metrics.  They also answered some interesting questions that were posed from both the in-person and virtual audiences.

Secrets Revealed from Cisco Systems’ Virtual Global Sales Meeting – GSX

In 2009, history was made with Cisco Global Sales Experience (GSX) – a 100% virtual internal sales meeting with 19,000 attendees across the globe.  Angie Smith, Manager of Global Sales Experience at Cisco, took the audience through the amazing journey.  Angie started from the very beginning, when she learned (in late 2008) that the annual sales meeting would be moving 100% virtual.

Then, she covered the planning process, during which input was collected from the field to help map out the event strategy for GSX.  A profile was assembled on the typical sales person – and the online experience was tailored to achieve maximum interest and engagement.  Angie then covered the structure of the team behind GSX, the schedule of sessions and key statistics from the event.  She leveraged screen shots and a short video to give viewers a taste for what it was like to experience GSX.

Virtual Event Platforms are not Virtual Events

Steve Gogolak (@sgogolak) presented best practices on planning and executing a virtual event.  In short, the approach Steve outlines is “objectives first, technology second”.  Steve encourages virtual event planners to first answer the questions, “What is the purpose of your event?” and “How do you know if you were successful?”.   Steve’s presentation was much than just planning, however – he also provides tips and insights on virtual event logistics, such as “pre-event conversion hurdles”, “building out a timeline”, video calls-to-action, lead quality and more.

Steve has posted the slides from his presentation on aWiderNet.


The session content at Virtual Edge 2010 was outstanding – it’s great to see innovation in our industry, but even better to have the experts and thought leaders share their knowledge and expertise.  We’re looking forward to hearing again from industry leaders at Virtual Edge 2011.


  1. Thanks for the mention, Dennis. It was great to meet you out in Santa Clara!

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