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One person’s nightmare is another one’s heaven. This Halloween, Shanghai Disney visitors were locked in the park following a COVID outbreak, unable to leave until they received a negative test result.
November 3, 2022 | 5pm | ZOOM
The State of Events

The roller coaster ride continues as we resume in-person meetings with a high-tech touch and resume digital meetings with high-touch tech. Hear from Adam Charles and Dan Carter of Freeman, along with Tara Back from Google, about how companies large and small should be thinking about their blend of events.

Irrational Exuberance or Did You Really Miss Me?
Image credit: Pinterest

People miss seeing each other up close and personal. Having recently attended some live events, I walked away feeling like I was at a “released from captivity party.” Folks were enthralled to dish in person, restaurant lines were long, and hallways were filled.


But when 2 of my staff came back from a recent event with COVID (mild as it was), and I tallied up my tab for exhibiting versus my business ROI, I wondered whether the return to pre-pandemic events was irrational exuberance. When I asked the question on LinkedIn the results were mixed.


The Rule of Three
Here is one way to decide whether to attend an event or risk FOMO? I’ve developed the Rule of Three; if I have 3 good reasons to be there (and one involves doing good business) you can count me in. If not, I’ll take the digital road. Watching, networking, and being entertained by brilliant speakers online can be extremely satisfying and often just as lucrative. Catherine McConville, a member of our board of directors, quips “I apply the rule of three to leaving the house these days, never mind events.”


We Like to Watch
Also, a “looking” vs. “learning” paradigm is emerging. To be somewhere live and in the moment is an unparalleled way to ingest the group vibe. But to hear A-list panelists addressing an audience is actually something I’m starting to prefer doing online. They get to the point faster, they seem more prepared (perhaps because the audience is larger), and the audience is less distracted. 


Share your thoughts on how you’re deciding to go in-person or virtually.

Like Moses on the Mountain
I spent some time with my ten-year-old grandson last week. He wanted to show me his new game, He called it a game. I called it generative AI, but he really didn’t care to hear about the whys and wherefore. 

Next, we went to Roblox where he plays Be Dead Forever Simulator and Arsenal. Both are kinda lame but both have have that South Park sense of humor. Having to one-up him I took him to my hangouts: Walmart’s Universe of Play on Roblox and Forever 21.
Image credit: Walmart Universe of Play
Gender difference? Age difference? He was thoroughly unimpressed. And he’d never heard of the metaverse. Which makes you wonder whether all the stories you’re reading about brands pouring money into Robolox experiences will see the fruits of their labors or whether they need to learn the art of “gaming” better? It’s a digital native thing.  I’m like  Moses on the mountain, looking down but will never see the promised land.  My grandson will never know life without it.
Will Zoom Tell a Different Story? 

I don’t know too many people who describe a hybrid experience as bringing happiness, but Zoom does. On Nov 7 and 8, Zoomtopia — a sort of Mardi Gras for the Zoom Community — will attempt to wow users and financial analysts with its continued growth and new features. Zoom boasts over 300 million daily meeting participants but growth is definitely slowing and competitors are nipping hard on their heels.

New features, new products, and undoubtedly new pricing schemes will surely be announced as part of this year’s festivities. Folks at Zoom are holding their cards close to their virtual vest, but expect them to make a strong case for delivering happiness to schools, corporations and consumers: three audiences who have very different expectations and needs.


Zoom’s biggest hurdles include how to manage slowed growth as in-person meetings resume. But they’ve got plenty of other headaches, too. Read the pricing choices and the new release features documentation and you’ll see what we mean. Zoom wants to be a platform but discoverability and integration are still pretty onerous. I’m guessing Zoomtopia will focus on work-from-home, education, use of avatars (when appropriate), and better analytics from Zoom meetings. We hope that they really improve on their app integration, too. Becoming a platform is hard to do. 

Compare and contrast with LinkedIn — a platform that expanded its services into video conferencing and events. Is it easier to expand an existing platform to encompass events or to build a native events platform?

Tools of the Week
When all the good names are taken, try Namelix, an AI-powered business name generator.
Image credit: Techonomy

Thinking about AI to write your copy and blogs? I tried Jasper and Article Forge this week. The results were mixed, probably because both the system and I are newbies to AI writing. Read more on Techonomy., the popular newsroom site, is now hosting Virtual Events for your online press conferences.

Mark Your Calendars
December 15, 2022 | 2:30PM | Zoom
We’re calling it Bring Your Favorite Tools to Work Day. Jeremy Caplan from the Newmark School of Journalism and the author of the Wondertools blog will show us some of his favorites. We’ll show him some of ours. Email me if you want to present a tool.

Is it Gaming or is it the Metaverse? 
62 million US gamers (37%) are excited to experience gaming in the metaverse, with 38 million gamers self-identifying as metaverse enthusiasts. Begging the question… is the metaverse just one big game or is there more to it?


Metaverse and Business
If you missed the Metaverse Spectrum Business Council, you missed a wide array of experts discussing whether or not the metaverse is monetizable. You can view the sessions by using the password “metaverse”. Worth taking a look.

Don’t Call me an NFT
NFTs are tanking, except for the one bright shining light, Reddit’s NFT Marketplace. They generated $2.5 million in daily trade volume and prompted 3 million people to sign up for NFT wallets on the social media platform, according to this article in Coindesk. Part of the secret sauce is the absence of Web3 gobbledygook. They call a wallet a Reddit Vault and an NFT is called an avatar. Using relatable terms for an audience that’s tech-savvy seems to have done the job.

Hear from industry veterans Live from IMEX in our special video report. 
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