How Online Communities Can Ignite Live Events

How Online Communities Can Ignite Live Events

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This article is written by Anna Huddleston for Skift Meetings. 

In less than a year, the AVIXA Xchange online community has grown to over 11,000 registered users and over 150,000 visitors engaging with the content.

AVIXA Xchange is the online community of AVIXA, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, producer of InfoComm trade shows worldwide, co-owner of Integrated Systems Europe, and the international trade association representing the audiovisual industry.

It connects thought leaders, industry-leading solution providers, and innovative manufacturers with audiovisual buyers. It’s also a vital part of the company’s in-person events helping drive content, tapping into new audiences, and keeping the conversations real.

A Home for the Community

Conferencing and collaboration, content production and streaming, digital signage, and learning solutions are some of the themes of the online platform. They also are the inspiration for the in-person events.

Public rooms focus on specific topics, including the Technology Manager’s Forum, A Culture of Inclusion, and Sustainable Audiovisual. Private and hidden rooms also exist for subgroups to chat in.

“It was so important for us to build a place exclusively for the pro-audiovisual community,” said Rochelle Richardson, senior vice president of exposition and event services at AVIXA InfoComm USA. “It has provided us the opportunity to bring together buyers and sellers and create a 360, 24/7 community where a lot of things happen, and that extends beyond the in-person event.”

The Xchange is also designed to be a “soft landing space for adjacent audiences,” said Samantha Minish, vice president of content delivery for AVIXA. “There’s a lot of overlap with enterprise IT, live events, and learning, among others. Audiovisual might be just part of their role, so the Xchange allows them to learn about the industry.” 

One of the critical goals for the team is to develop these audiences into potential new attendees for live events and help them engage with the company’s other products. “We focus on our usership and visibility because there’s so much value in this,” said Richardson. “It’s a great connection point, and it really has the ability to extend the life of our shows.” 

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Go to the profile of Franciele Mesadri - AVIXA
over 1 year ago

Great article @Krystle Murphy, thank you for sharing it. 

In fact, online communities can play a significant role in igniting live events. Here are some thoughts about how we can use Xchange as a valuable platform to connect with attendees and create a sense of excitement and engagement around live events:

  1. Generate buzz: AVIXA Xchange can help generate buzz and excitement around live events. Members can share information about the event, discuss their expectations, and encourage others to attend.

  2. Build anticipation: By engaging with members of the community, event organizers can build anticipation for the event. This can be done through teasers, sneak peeks, and behind-the-scenes footage.

  3. Increase attendance: Online communities can help to increase attendance at live events by promoting the event to a wider audience. Members of the community can share information about the event on social media, invite their friends, and even organize group meetups. There are specific rooms in Xchange where you can find valuable information about some of the biggest AV events and share your impressions. 

  4. Enhance the experience: During the event, online communities can enhance the experience for attendees by providing a space for real-time discussions and sharing of photos and videos. This can create a sense of community among attendees and increase engagement with the event. 

  5. Extend the lifespan of the event: As mentioned by Rochelle Richardson, online communities can also help to extend the lifespan of the event beyond its physical boundaries. Members can continue to share their experiences and memories, and organizers can use feedback from the community to improve future events.

Any other thoughts @Peter Schädel  @Monisha Devaiah ?

Go to the profile of Monisha Devaiah
over 1 year ago

Very nicely summarized @Franciele Mesadri! I think from a very broad level, online communities help make real connections, break the ice and set the tone for events. Simply put, for a trade show  attendees, it is a great way to 'scan' the show floor in advance, connect with potential providers, evaluate various opportunities and options and finally have a productive visit to the show, while making new connections. 

Go to the profile of Lisa Matthews, CTS - AVIXA
over 1 year ago

All of this! Well said @Franciele Mesadri and @Monisha Devaiah! There are so many positive aspects of bridging an in-person event with an online community such as Xchange and I’m sure, as we continue to grow, we’ll discover even more!

Anna Huddleston’s article is a terrific summary of how Xchange envelopes the excitement, technologies, and topics of a live show into a community for meaningful conversations and connections that live year-round. It gives attendees, as well as those unable to travel to the show, a personal handshake with presenters, instructors, solution providers, influencers, industry experts, and more. We can connect with the brands and the people behind the brand. And that’s just the beginning.  

I hope everyone is “Watching” the InfoComm Room and will join in the conversations. What tech are you excited to learn more about? Which sessions are you planning to attend and why? What are this year's hot topics? Where can you find the best cup o' joe?  

There's no need to wait for the ribbon to be cut to start enjoying the show and the people surrounding it!