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 By Alan Rosenspan, president, Alan Rosenspan & Associates

Twice a year, Intel hosts an Embedded Channel Conference.

It includes keynote speeches and presentations, new product demonstrations, and of course, a lot of relationship-building and networking.

The cost of $300,000 is judged well worth it – because the conference attracts 150 key employees and business partners.

Last year, with the poor economy, Intel decided to cut back – but before simply canceling, they looked for a way to deliver the same content and interaction without the huge expense.

The answer was holding a virtual conference in Second Life.

Intel advised potential attendees beforehand and presented the virtual conference as a benefit.

“We understand that time and money are scarce resources, especially right now. With this as a growing concern, Intel's virtual tradeshow promises greater access to more information at no cost to you.

You'll have:

 • Simple, one-click access to industry-leading speakers and technologies

 • The freedom to view the information you want on your own schedule

 • Downloadable information you can save and review at your convenience

 • No travel expenses or lost productivity.”

The virtual conference was a real-world success. It cost a little more than 10 percent of the original $300,000 budget (not including saved travel expenses).

And the conference evolved into an ongoing Resource Center, where customers and employees could download videos, white papers, keynotes, and education courses, months later.

“We wanted a face-to-face conference. Second Life gave us the ability to ‘meet’ our customers, face-to-computer... the cost savings are immense,” said Elaine Cook, Intel Events Manager.

The other benefit was that this was Intel’s greenest, most carbon-friendly conference ever.

---Source: Alan Rosenspan is President of Alan Rosenspan & Associates, a direct marketing consulting and creative firm. For additional articles and a free newsletter, please visit www.alanrosenspan.com
 

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