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Cisco targets events industry with collaboration service

Cisco’s latest business video conferencing package aims to bring video conferencing solutions to the global events industry, helping event planners and executives extend the impact of trade shows and conferences.

Announced last week, Cisco’s ‘Collaboration for Events’ takes the companies Telepresence video conferencing technology and enterprise social software to help the events industry reach beyond the physical limitations of an events venue. The company hopes that these network based technologies will help organisers conduct interactive events on both physically and virtually.

One key benefit of video conferencing for the events industry will be the ability to circumvent the problems of traditional in-person events. By using high definition Telepresence suites to conduct keynote speeches and discussion panels, events planners will be able to overcome scheduling problems for both speakers and attendees.

Cisco also claims that the new package will help the events industry measure and increase its Return On Investment (ROI). They say that not only will the technology help streamline pre and post-event planning by sharing material and schedules to agencies and providers, it will also help drive interactions between speakers and attendees in multiple ways as well as offering the potential for significant carbon reductions associated with business travel via virtual participation.

The company’s own use of the package at its Cisco Live! event saw more than 5,000 people from 28 countries attend virtually. When used at it’s internal annual global sales meeting, Cisco says that it resulted in the cost per attendee dropping from $4050 to $520, with the company predicting that if fully implemented it could see overall attendance costs at corporate events drop by 78%.

“Today’s global technology-savvy audiences, coupled with rising economic pressures are driving the need for radical transformation in how we think of meetings, events and trade shows,” says Rick Hutley, vice president of Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group.

“By applying collaboration technology capabilities to events, organisations can reduce costs, boost attendance, enrich the attendee experience and greatly increase the event’s impact and all while reducing environmental impact.”