Events in the Cloud

Posted:  October 19th, 2009 by:  admin comments:  0

Cloud Computing is taking over the tech world.

Cloud is a metaphor for the Internet, andcomputing is just broad and vague enough to incorporate a growing notion of technical functionality.

According to a Gartner definition sourced in Wikipedia, “Cloud computing is the provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualisedresources as a service over the Internet on autility basis.” In practical application, it means working from software that is not installed on your hardware; it means storing and accessing your files remotely. It means a team of people can work live from the same document regardless of location. It means there will be a team of technical geniuses working on the back end to perfect the tools we use every day. When there’s a glitch, it gets addressed immediately, no waiting for patches or version upgrades. It means I don’t have to waste my time working around imperfect technology. I can actually use the tools as they were intended, rather than putting on my tech support hat to figure out a problem outside of my scope of knowledge.

So, why does this matter to event marketers?

Just about every form of business success depends on a business’s ability to innovate. As events morph into virtual happenings such as webinars and podcamps, we should be thinking of what events might look like in the future.

My imagination sees something like this:

Two keynote speakers (Speaker 1 & Speaker 2) living in different communities (or continents even) can work together on the same presentation file, using Microsoft SharePoint for example.  Each can make changes and see the work of his/her colleague in real time. Speaker 1 will be attending the physical element of the event but doesn’t need to carry a copy of the presentation. In fact, Speaker 2 is adjusting her slides from her home office while Speaker 1 arrives at the venue.

When the presentation begins, Speaker 1 accesses the presentation file online and runs his portion of the event. Speaker 2 begins her portion and references statistics from last year’s Sample Organization Annual Report. (She just added these statistics last minute.) Unbeknownst to Speaker 2, Sample Organization’s CEO is attending this event from his office. He speaks up, elaborates on the study further, and identifies a small margin of error overlooked by Speaker 2. Speaker 2 adds the figure to the event slide and attendees all over the world see the change.

The speakers have planned to end the presentation with a live poll. (Imagine polling a live studio audience without the physical limitations of the studio!) The results are generated instantly from contributions around world.

Create a buzz, spread the word and those who missed the event can re-live the event on demand. And for a dynamic experience, those who watch the recorded event after the fact will be able to respond to the poll which is constantly updating as new respondents add their input.

Some of the most lucrative content in media is perishable content such as sports games and news. In a time where it’s easy to store your favourite movies and tv shows on your PVR or computer, content with a shelf-life attracts an audience in real-time. The live elements and functionality of cloud computing can give events the power of NOW – so your sales event can benefit from the appeal of perishable content.

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