Sustainability Then

Sustainability Now was last week, so Phil Clark has been looking at the lessons learned (see my post). Overall, the two-day virtual event attracted 1,500 visitors and nearly 2,000 downloads of content ranging from video and audio to two live seminars, so from that perspective a pretty successful event. Phil agreed with me that in future events it might be better to have some themed lounges; he said there was some confusion about why time slots were allocated for pre-recorded videos; and he would have liked more international visitors.

I wonder if one reason for the low international involvement was the marketing campaign? Two or three points occurred to me:

  1. Did it start early enough? From my perspective, I was aware of the event very early in its gestation but, as the marketing guy at BIW Technologies, I wasn’t approached about BIW’s potential involvement until about six weeks before the event was due to start. This gave us little time to prepare material or to publicise our involvement.
  2. Did it tap into the Web 2.0 world enough? Phil is an active blogger and tweeter, and there was ready support from a small circle of fellow bloggers and tweeters who helped spread the word, but, again, the word began to be spread a bit late in the day.
  3. Is construction/the built environment ready for virtual events? Only last week I was in a meeting where an AEC professional asked me what a webinar was. As I have said before, many busy professionals are challenged simply to keep abreast of the technologies relevant to their particular roles and responsibilities, and newer technologies often never penetrate their daily working lives. This may be the opportunity for the Be2Camp project (with which I am involved – see post) – a chance for AEC people to learn about Web 2.0 and its relevance to the built environment and sustainability in its broadest sense (people and productivity as well as planet) – perhaps we can get Phil involved so that it’s also covered by conventional offline media (ie: Building magazine) as well as online?

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