What is PlatformQ?
PlatformQ, LLC, is a digital media company specializing in all-live, interactive virtual events. The company was co-founded in 2007 by CEO Robert Rosenbloom, who was also one of the co-founders of iCongo.
Rosenbloom says that while he was still at iCongo he decided the time was right: “We were coming to a crossroads where – on the business side – social networks, professional networks, and chat video had all become accepted and widely used applications.
PlatformQ was formed with the intention of focusing on the production of virtual events. “We like to think that they are like no other virtual events out there,” says Rosenbloom. “It’s a comprehensive production, support, and customer service team that we’ve put together.”
Which markets does PlatformQ serve?
PlatformQ currently serves three vertical markets – education, health care certification, and energy – through these live virtual events: CollegeWeekLive, CardioCareLive, and the Virtual Energy Forum. CollegeWeekLive targets young people applying for college; CardioCareLive attracts cardiac healthcare practitioners seeking continuing medical education (CME) credits; and the Virtual Energy Forum is a conference encouraging corporate adoption of clean energy practices.
PlatformQ partners with corporate and private entities for these events: The U.S. Department of Education participates in CollegeWeekLive; Johns Hopkins University in CardioCareLive, and the U.S. Department of Energy in the Virtual Energy Forum.
What is CollegeWeekLive?
CollegeWeekLive is a two-day virtual college fair held twice a year, in March and November. Most recently, CollegeWeekLive took place March 25th and 26th, 2009. This virtual event is all-live, with video and text chat for all presentations and in all booths.
Keynotes and sessions cover topics such as how to choose a college, how to get into college, and how to finance your education.
Recognizing that CollegeWeekLive is a student and youth market, PlatformQ has made special efforts to include student video chat sessions.
“We ship webcams to students at schools across the country and around the world,” says Rosenbloom.”We’re training them and getting them up to speed in the process that we use from a customer service perspective.”
See the CollegeWeekLive website for more information: http://www.collegeweeklive.com/
What is CardioCareLive?
CardioCareLive is a two-day virtual cardiovascular medical conference for healthcare professionals interested in cardiometabolic risk management. PlatformQ partners with Johns Hopkins University Medical School, which offers continuing medical education (CME) credit for attending the sessions. CardioCareLive debuted in September 2008; the second CardioCareLive took place in March 2009.
Keynote speakers have included Clyde Yancy, MD (Director of the Baylor Heart & Vascular Institute and incoming President of the American Heart Association) and the real Dr. Patch Adams (founder of the Gesundheit Institute and subject of a film starring Robin Williams).
See the CardioCareLive website for more information: See the Virtual Energy Forum website for more information: http://www.virtualenergyforum.com
What is the Virtual Energy Forum?
The Virtual Energy Forum is a two-day virtual event held in June and December, which focuses on how leading companies can adopt clean energy alternatives. The Virtual Energy Forum debuted in June 2008. The next forum will be on June 3 and 4, 2009.
Keynote speakers have included Congressman Ed Markey, U.S. House Committee on Energy Independence; Joseph T. Kelliher, Chairman of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and Doug Kaempf of the U.S. Department of Energy.
See the Virtual Energy Forum website for more information: http://www.virtualenergyforum.com
Does PlatformQ use its own virtual environment software?
How is a PlatformQ production different from other virtual events?
The content is all-live, and it emphasizes interaction via video and text chat. “We don’t do any semi-live,” says Rosenbloom. When the company produced its first CollegeWeekLive event, some of the presentations were on-demand. On-demand was tested against live content. “In sessions where the audience is not able to participate, once you get past the 10 - 15 minute point, traffic drops off considerably,” says Rosenbloom.
What does PlatformQ do to keep its audience?
PlatformQ focuses on engagement of and interaction with the audience. Streaming video is a large part of that process, but it’s also a matter of high production values, and keynote speakers or booth representatives who are providing what the attendee is looking for.
Regarding production of keynote content, PlatformQ rents professional studio space around the country, usually eight to ten studios for a given show. Speakers are webcast live from the studio.
Since CollegeWeekLive is attracting a youth market, PlatformQ pays special attention to providing peer networking through video chat sessions with students at colleges around the world. For CardioCareLive, PlatformQ invited the incoming president of the American Heart Association (Dr. Clyde Yancy) to deliver a keynote session – not just for the audience to hear him, but to be able to ask him questions and interact.
“It’s like the early days of CNN,” says Rosenbloom. “The focus here is on the production of an online event … it’s everything behind the scenes to produce it.”
What is the future for virtual events?
First, Rosenbloom thinks comparing virtual events to physical events is a mistake. “I get the question all the time ‘Should we do a virtual component through our physical event?’ I honestly tell people I would never do it. When I go to a physical event the experience that I have is very different than what happens online. I view online events as another lead generation activity in a marketer’s overall suite.”
In 3 to 5 years Rosenbloom expects a couple of dramatic changes: The cost of developing virtual environments will go down. And the real game changer will be the entry of a video application that will enable interaction on a professional level. “The online meetings and virtual events are going to be less about 3-D booths and all about the live video interaction,” he says.
Where can I find more information about PlatformQ and its virtual events?
100 Crescent Road
Needham, MA 02494