Having watched videos, read blogs and reviews, and taken part in virtual events group discussions on LinkedIn and face to face, it strikes me what a thoroughly nice, decent and polite bunch of people we are here in the virtual event community!
Now, the ability to 'play nicely' is normally a very good thing (and often a phrase I yell at my kids as the friendly games in the back garden start to become more physical and competitive), but I am starting to question if we need to be a little more critical, or even darn right impolite (sorry to resort to that type of language but that's right, I'm serious here!), to move the debate and the development of platforms and services along at a more rapid rate.
I'm as guilty, if not more guilty, than the next person for worrying that I may be stepping out of line, or offending someone, but maybe we would get better, more insightful debate if we didn't feel that we should pull our punches so we don't upset anyone. If a vendor receives honest, heartfelt opinion, should it not motivate them to examine their product or service offering critically and either defend their position or consider modifications to improve the proposition?
Following a recent discussion thread on the Virtual Events 100 group on LinkedIn, I am hoping to start work on a comparison matrix of virtual event platforms, with hopefully some help and input from others. Now, I am very well aware that this will be time consuming and as soon as it is published it will be out of date as vendors bring out new versions, but at least it will be a start to help marketing people and event organisers find the right companies to approach for further details. In compiling this matrix I'm not too worried about the functionality (is a download required? system requirements? what social media is integrated? communication methods available? etc.), but I also want to add value with a critique of the look and feel, the user friendliness, the level of customer support and other rather subjective attributes. For a valuable critique you need to be able to pull from a resource of open and honest opinion from experts and lay people alike.
So come on, what do you say we all make a concious effort to be a little less considerate and say it like it is, or at least, as it appears to us..............?
I guess my next blog post will prove if I'm willing to take my own advice.