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Take Away

A STEADY STREAM: Michael Doyle, right, founder of the Virtual Edge Institute, talks with Scott Kellner, CMO, INXPO, in San Diego in January.

practices,“alot ofpeople are interested in us provid- ing peoplewhocanbecertifiedbyVEIas to their lev- el of education, knowledge, and experience.” Because technology is constantly changing,

Doyle said, meeting professionals who earn their DESmust be recertified every two years by contin- uing to take classes.

‘A Whole New Area’ Stuart Ruff,CMP, senior planner of meetings, con- ventions, and events strategy for the International Trademark Association (INTA), was instantly intriguedwhenhe heard about theDEScertification program. Hybrid extensions are “exceedingly important,” Ruff said, and digital events are an industry segment about which he’d like to know more. “As anexperiencedmeeting planner, I feel very

comfortable negotiating with hotels andmost oth- er vendors,” Ruff said, but he’d like to feel just as

skilled when it comes to dealing with technology vendors. “Iwant to build relationships and trust in this area, andknowmore about itmyself, so I can make informed buying decisions,” he said. “I want toknowwhen to question the price or what other questions to askin order bring a better bottom line tomyassociation.” Ruff has a tangible professional stake in learn-

ing how to deliver content online. In 2014, INTA will hold it first city-wide annual meeting in Asia. “We know that a proportion of our membership won’t be able to travel to the meeting,” he said. “Our association is actively engaged right now in thinking abouthowwecan createahigh-quality vir- tual extension for thosemembers.” His interest is also personal—professionally

speaking.Digital events are“awhole newarea that iscoming up, that is here to stay, and will continue toexpand,”Ruff said.“Tobe able tounderstand it now, rather than later, is vital tomycareer.”

ON_THE_WEB: To learn more about the Virtual Edge Institute’s Digital Events Strategist certification, visit www.virtualedge.org.

Barbara Palmer is senior editor of Convene.

www.pcma.org ILLUSTRATION BY GREG MABLY

Setting the Digital Course The DES certification program will offer 16 inaugural modules: 1. Digital Events 101 …It’s Not All Virtual 2. Digital Event and Meeting Management 3. Needs Assessment, Objectives, & Strategy 4. User Experience and Engagement Mapping 5. Exhibits, Sponsorships, and Other Monetization Techniques 6. Marketing and Audience Acquisition Strategies and Methods 7. Product Launches and Partner Events 8. Technologies Overview—Mapping Technology to the Experience 9. OnlineCommunity and 365 Environments 10. MobileApps, ID Tags, and Tools 11. Content Strategy and Development 12. Tracking, Measuring, and Reporting 13. Engagement: Networking, Interactive Strategies, and Methods 14. Social Media for Events 15. Technology and Program RFP 16. Internal and External Resource Management

PHOTO BY JACOB SLATON

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