I’ve seen virtual tradeshow platforms before and have been mildly impressed. But after spending twenty minutes getting a tour of Social27’s new virtual tradeshow / event platform, it appears to be a substantial entry in to the virtual tradeshow world.
Want to bring your LinkedIn profile in so that you don’t have to re-create a new profile? Done.
Want to send a quick tweet out or post to Facebook while attending the virtual event? Easy to do.
Want to watch a keynote speech on video? Check the theatre, sit back and watch.
Want to connect instantly with other attendees via instant chat, or send a quick email to a speaker or event exhibitor? Not a problem.
While attending virtual events rarely comes up on my calendar, it’s not an uncommon thing to hear about in today’s economically-challenged event world. With companies looking for ways to cuts costs – and event organizers looking for a way to engage people that may choose not to attend, a platform such as the one offered by Social27 deserves a close look.
The company was formed in 2007 by two former Microsoft employees, Ike & Bally Singh Kehal, so it only seems natural that Microsoft would be among the first clients for Social27. Along with the Redmond software giant, Social27 has also worked with the University of Washington. The virtual tradeshow event product is a mere six months old as of this writing, so it’s to be expected that the company may want to iron out a few bugs before a major launch.
Still, they’re making a splash: recently Social27 was winner of the Northwest MIT Enterprise Forum’s Start-up Demo in Spring of this year. The gathering is sponsored by six regional angel investment organizations, looking to highlight entrepreneurs and the next big ideas.
Social27’s event platform is aimed at a variety of virtual events, including tradeshows, conferences, training seminars and the like.
A user, once logged in, is treated with an array of tools including message walls, links to Twitter or Facebook posting areas, conversations, videos and more.
Each individual tradeshow booth is skinned with logos and links to content such as PDFs or videos, which can be from YouTube or hosted privately if needed.
Theatre offerings include the opportunity to ask questions of the presenter, post comments to a forum and meet up in a lounge to discuss the presentation.
Other items include the ability to offer incentives to greater participation by offering an ongoing point tally for various activities in the show; an event organizer has the ability to offer prizes or rewards for the highest point tallies. The system is also API-enable, giving organizers the ability to include outside applications such as wikis or blogs.