Cisco Sets Sights on Global Events Industry

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Cisco announced to the world press its strategic approach to revitalize the global events industry.

Cisco's press conference and roundtable included telepresence and WebEx participation from Cisco execs and press members from around the world. Hots spots such as New York, London, and New Orleans beamed HD-quality images of meeting participants, showing that Cisco was ready to walk the walk and illustrate in real time the impact of its new collaboration tools.

Collaboration for Events, a new approach to planning, executing and extending the impact of trade shows and conferences. Collaboration for Events provides event planners and executives with customizable options for using collaboration and business video technologies like Web conferencing, telepresence, digital signage and enterprise social software to expand an event's reach beyond the physical limitation of an event venue.

Cisco says that with these network-based technologies, organizers can conduct interactive physical and virtual events, more effectively measure return on investment, expedite the planning process, and attract the best speakers from around the world, all of which can help raise attendance and revenue.

Execs say that Cisco Collaboration for Events is being introduced at a time when the need for global knowledge exchange is critical, yet travel budgets and corporate spending continue to be scrutinized. In addition, traditional in-person events may find it difficult to make their intended business impact because of a lack of scheduling flexibility and a less-than-optimal, one-size-fits-all approach to diverse attendee interests

Fortune magazine and ExCel London, a host site for the 2012 Olympic Games, are two customers focused on using collaboration and business video technologies to bring about events of the future. Cisco has also achieved cost efficiencies by deploying business video and collaboration technologies for its own events, helping the company realize event-related cost savings of more than $100 million to date.

Highlights:

• Remote Presenter -- With Cisco TelePresence technology, which enables lifelike immersive virtual meetings via high-definition (HD) video, attention-getting high-profile speakers and other remote presenters can be brought to event attendees "live" from all corners of the globe. This solution allows organizers to deliver impressive speaking rosters capable of garnering greater audience appeal while reducing scheduling problems and travel expenses.

• Remote Attendee -- Using video-enabled Web conferencing via Cisco WebEx Event Center, event organizers can offer highly interactive virtual participation as an alternative to physical attendance. Event managers can easily grow their attendance numbers and diversify their audience with new voices and perspectives from around the world.



Enrich Participant Experience

• Extend Participant Conversation -- Cisco's webcasting and video sharing platform, Cisco Show and Share, can help significantly extend the scope and impact of an event by providing access to content before, during and after the live event. This allows people to access content, including video presentations and speaker and exhibitor videos, according to their own schedules, location and personal preferences. In addition, participants can share their own videos or engage in online chat sessions, enabling a unique dialogue and a greater sense of community among event participants that extends beyond the event itself.

• Interactive Digital Signage -- Important content, video and marketing campaigns can be broadcast via Cisco Digital Signs from a central source to large numbers of people in multiple locations at an event, and can be instantaneously changed to display new content when needed. Touch-screen capability allows attendees to interact with digital signs directly from the event floor, instantly accessing information and content that is most relevant to them.



Increase and Measure ROI

• Video Analytics -- Permanent or temporary video surveillance paired with powerful video analytics software can deliver a new level of real-time insight into attendee activity and interest level throughout the event. For example, by monitoring traffic flow, exhibitors can better understand how certain booth exhibits fare at attracting attendees. Additionally, exhibitors can determine how effective specific advertising signs are at garnering attention and a desired number of impressions. Operational staff can monitor traffic patterns along with the time of day, to more efficiently staff certain areas of the venue during the duration of an event.

• Environmental Impact -- With increased virtual participation, Collaboration for Events can significantly decrease carbon emissions associated with business travel.

• Value -- By driving greater interactions between speakers and attendees in multiple ways, event planners increase the overall value and effectiveness of an event. The ability to bring remote presenters and audiences together from various locations addresses cost concerns and helps to significantly strengthen the event's impact.

• Planning Efficiency -- Event planners can streamline pre- and post-event planning by sharing documents with agencies and event providers, coordinating schedules and seamlessly integrating updates while managing version control through shared workspaces and video collaboration solutions.



Cisco Success Highlights:

By employing the Collaboration for Events approach for internal and external events, Cisco has seen quantifiable returns on the use of video and collaboration technologies, including:

• A reduction in overall attendance costs at corporate events by 78 percent as a result of increased virtual participation

• Notable savings in cost per attendee due to virtual participation

◦ Reduced cost per attendee from $4,050 to $520 for Cisco's annual global sales meeting

◦ Reduced cost per attendee from $2,500 to $1,400 for Cisco's senior leadership off-site meeting

• A record live attendance for Cisco Live! in 2009 despite the economic downturn

◦ More than 5,000 virtual attendees represented 28 countries

◦ Cisco Live! 2009 was recognized by Event Marketer magazine as the best event of the year

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