Posted by: Dennis Shiao | November 21, 2010

Virtual Events, Real Business Intelligence


We attended FountainBlue’s First Annual Business Analytics Trends Event, hosted at SAP in Palo Alto, CA.  Chris Meyer, our EVP of Sales & Marketing, spoke on a panel titled “Applied Business Intelligence in the Consumer, Clean Energy and Life Science Spaces.”

The Panel

The event featured experts in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence.  The Applied Business Intelligence panel:

  1. Facilitator Sandy Orlando, VP of Marketing, SatoriTech
  2. Amr Awadallah, Founder, VP of Engineering and CTO, Cloudera
  3. Melissa Karr, Vice President, Marketing, Brain Resource, Ltd
  4. Chris Meyer, EVP, Sales and Marketing, INXPO
  5. Brad Peters, CEO, Birst
  6. Jeff Veis, Group VP, Industry and Solutions at SAP BusinessObjects

Democratization of BI

During introductions, a common theme from panelists was the need to democratize business intelligence – with the key being to get data to users when they need it (as opposed to making them wait for data loads, schema builds, analysis, etc.).  The barriers to adoption must be brought down, said the panel.

Virtual Events and BI

Chris spoke about the massive amount of data that a single virtual event can generate.  Consider the journey of a single attendee:

  1. Login to the event
  2. Visit the Auditorium
  3. Attend a Live Session
  4. Visit an Exhibitor booth
  5. Download 3 documents
  6. Add 2 documents to briefcase
  7. Private chat with a booth staffer
  8. Visit the Prize Center
  9. Complete a show survey
  10. Visit the Lounge and participate in a group chat

With adherence to user privacy rules and guidelines, INXPO uses the wealth of data generated to help guide and enhance the user experience.  In addition, exhibitors and event hosts can mine data generated with their content (e.g. booths, documents, sessions, etc.) to gain valuable insights into their constituents and sales leads.

Biggest Needs / What’s Missing

An attendee asked each panelist to comment on what’s missing today, in their industry or in their product mix. Chris noted that for virtual events, research is needed to better understand user behaviors in a virtual environment.  In addition to user behavior, research is needed to better understand the explicit business impact gained from virtual environments (e.g. productivity, learning impact, etc.).


While the panelists represented a broad range of industries, there was agreement on the importance of reach for BI tools: the more we can empower end users to get what they need, the larger the impact BI will have within the business.

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