Unisfair has formed a multi-year partnership with Carlson Marketing the largest independent marketing firm in the U.S. Together, Unisfair and Carlson plan to change how virtual events and environments are delivered by offering a full-service Virtual Engagement Platform that streamlines the process of creating a virtual event or environment.
“We’re excited because we can now create conferences, meetings, shows and events that last six months or a year rather than just three days,” noted, Mike McWilliams, Event Strategist for Carlson Marketing. “Take all the things we do well for physical events -- the strategy, all the management, the marketing, the content development, the measurement -- all those things are the same components we are bringing into our virtual event practice.”
Carlson has been delivering online meetings, webinars, webcasts, and e-learning solutions to clients for more than 10 years. Now, they’ve taken the next step and entered into a partnership with Unisfair to develop and deliver more robust conferences and they are already having a lot of success with some of their major clients. This virtual conference solution is a part of a more robust Carlson Virtual Engagement Suite.
“We are delivering a lot of different types of web-based content for clients that ensure their attendees get and stay engaged longer,” said McWilliams.
Although Carlson has built many technologies in-house, there are times when they partner for solutions, and that’s what they’re doing here within a virtual conference space.
“They’re (Unisfair) one of the leaders in the virtual technology space and we’re one of the leaders in the engagement space and partnered together, you really have an opportunity to bring some great solutions to our clients,” said McWilliams.
Under the terms of the agreement, Unisfair will provide its virtual environment technology to Carlson clients while Carlson acts as the client’s strategic consultant, helping businesses chart out everything from strategy and selling to staffing and analytics. Carlson will produce each event with responsibility for everything from interactive product design and sponsorship sales to promotion and event operations. Following each virtual event, the companies will provide the client with the industry’s most comprehensive research and analytics, which offers valuable insight into attendees and outlines ROI.
Carlson plans to do quite a bit of custom booth development, and a lot of the content development and creative design. “We have a fantastic digital creative team and they do a great job with customizing the tools and making sure that there’s brand relevance.”
The plan is to wrap a lot of Carlson’s strategies around the concept of interactive engagement, leveraging a host of mobile, social and virtual tools to deliver a complete event lifecycle. There is a pre-event phase which then remains active during the event and also allows the event to stay online for months afterward in one persistent environment. They have developed methodology around the concept of interactive engagement that they can leverage with clients.
“Obviously technologies will always change,” noted McWilliams. “Technologies will always improve. What’s critical is the way you use them to drive engagement and really achieve business results, and that’s where we focus. The key is developing a strategy that applies the right technology with the right audience, leveraging to right strategy and content, and being able to measure the results.”
“The possibilities are limitless when it comes to measurement. For example, you can track attendees through any environment and understand what sessions they attended, what booths they visited and what white papers they downloaded. Those things are all very tactical and mechanical. But we also have a proprietary methodology for measuring relationship strength. Virtual technology affords great new opportunity to apply that methodology and demonstrates industry-leading thinking.”
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