Today, in the last day of 2011 regular MLB season play, virtual event producer ON24 announced that San Francisco Giants Pitcher Brian Wilson will host VUE2011, the Bay Area company’s annual virtual user conference. Wilson will join the ranks of MC Hammer, Arianna Huffington and Newt Gingrich in speaking at a virtual event, but the Giants’ star pitcher is the first professional athlete to host such a summit. And thanks to the convenience of virtual solutions like these, Los Angeles-based professionals who want to attend the event or simply see MLB’s well-known bearded icon won’t have to travel further than their desktop.
VUE2011, set for November 17, will demonstrate the benefits of communicating virtually with large numbers of people without the time and expense associated with hosting an event in a physical location like a convention center or hotel ballroom. “Just like in baseball, business success requires confidence, communication and the right equipment,” Wilson says. “Virtual events are the communication platforms for high-performance companies. In VUE2011, you’ll learn all about how to easily take your events—and your content—virtually anywhere.” VUE2011 will feature business executives sharing virtual event best practices and will be available on all leading mobile devices, including iPhones.
The November virtual conference marks a dramatic departure from traditional virtual events that normally mimic the trade shows and conventions that virtual events often either replace or supplement. With Wilson as a virtual 3-D host, attendees will be taken on a virtual tour of a magical San Francisco, where ON24 is headquartered. This custom 3-D environment will feature renderings of the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown and Union Square.
“We’ve also developed a unique application for video animation, using it to guide the attendee from one place to another through a cable car—it’s fun and very San Francisco,” says ON24 CMO Denise Persson. “We are designing this virtual environment as a showcase for all the creative possibilities available through our industry-leading platform.”
Because this year’s event has a San Francisco theme featuring well-known local locations, Brian Wilson was the ideal choice for a virtual host. Adds Persson, “Not only is he a local sports hero, but he’s also a top performer, just like many of our clients. And, with his unique look and personality and quirky sense of humor, he’s a one-of-a-kind celebrity.” Persson points out that virtual event producers are often able to attract celebrity hosts and speakers because of the convenience allowed in a virtual event. And 2010’s VUE event was the world’s largest virtual user conferenc, with more than 4,000 registrants.
Says Persson, “Our goal is to take the fear out of the technology and make our solutions more accessible and easier to use in every department within an enterprise.” For a glimpse of Brian Wilson’s debut, check out ON24’s videos on YouTube.
Want to attend? Offered at no charge, the VUE2011 Virtual Events User Experience, hashtag #VUE2011, will be held on November 17, 2011.