Virtual Edge Institute's Program Features 80 Speakers, 30-plus Sessions

November 27, 2011

The Virtual Edge Institute’s Virtual Edge Summit 2012, on tap Jan. 9-11 at the San Diego Convention Center, has unveiled a robust education program on everything a show organizer needs to know on virtual and hybrid events, with 80 speakers and 30 sessions.

The theme of the summit, “Accelerate: knowledge. strategy. results”, will focus on presenting digital solutions for meetings, events, learning, training and community and feature speakers from companies such as 3M, Cisco Systems, Herbalife, HIMSS, IBM, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, VMWare, and Xerox.

The summit runs in conjunction with the Professional Convention Management Association’s Annual Meeting Jan. 8-11, also at the San Diego Convention Center.

“VES 2012 reflects a shift in our industry over the past 12 months,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of VEI and founder of VES. “Whereas our program previously focused on helping event practitioners and marketers make a business case for virtual to their organizations, today our audience is seeking the knowledge, strategy and skills to deliver and measure real business results from digital programs.”

He added, “And VES 2012 is the only place to gather the intelligence, education and business contacts one needs to accelerate knowledge, strategy and results.”

In honor of the presidential election next November, the summit’s general session will be “The Great 2012 Digital Debate”, in which a debate will be held with thought leaders in the digital space, including Larry Cook, manager, Events and Digital Metrics, IBM; Tony Lorenz, founder of bXb Online; David Rich, senior vice president of Strategy & Planning, worldwide, George P. Johnson; Tony Uphoff, CEO, UBM TechWeb; Kathy Visser-May, U.S. Marketing Channels and Analytics director, Microsoft; and John Graham, president and CEO of ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership.

According to VES organizers, the panelists will be discuss what is and isn’t working today in virtual events and meetings, what the future looks like, which monetization strategies will succeed or fail and other issues.

Some of the other education sessions scheduled were formulated after a report, “Business Motivations and Social Behaviors of In-person and Online Events”, was conducted by PCMA, UBM Studios and VEI and indicated that 41 percent of face-to-face and 51 percent of online event attendees have tweeted or texted information to their networks.

Some of those sessions include “Social Media Strategies to Drive your Virtual Event”, “The Integrated Event: In Person, Online and Mobile” and “Simple Online Events to Engage Members and Fuel Community”.

For a full schedule of sessions and other events visit

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