The New England Alarms and Controls Council (NEACC), has announced that after months of research it has found an interactive virtual platform to host the Northeast Security Systems Contractors Expo, as well as additional industry trainings/classes, conferences.
For over 40 years, the association has held the largest security expo in New England. After March of 2020, they had to postpone their event.
“At first, we thought we could just postpone the expo, but as the months went on, we realized that a live expo at the level we wish to provide for our exhibitors and attendees just wasn’t feasible”, says Julie Robillard, board president and regional sales manager for National Monitoring Center, NEACC.
“We also knew that if we went the virtual route, it had to be great. After extensive research we were able to connect with Richard Wobby, Executive Director of the Associated General Contractors of Vermont. He showed us an incredible virtual platform called The Echo that he used for the association’s annual meeting in December. He had tremendous success with that event, with a 33% increase in attendance and very positive feedback. Once we took a tour of his island and spoke with additional organizations, including the Concrete Foundations Association based in Iowa, about their successful events with the platform, we knew we had found the right fit for NEACC.”
The NEACC virtual island will be launched within the next few weeks, offering an interactive event environment through 2022. The island features a whole community with several buildings including an expo hall, meeting rooms, auditoriums, additional exhibit halls and even a beach, lighthouse, and soccer field with stages for presentations and entertainment. The platform is an app-based program where attendees can attend events with an avatar (which they can customize to look like them). Visitors to the island can have live conversations through their microphone, their avatars can shake hands with colleagues or even dance to music performed on the entertainment stage. The island even features boats that the avatars can drive (or race!) off the beach, plus a fully functional soccer field that the avatars can play on. One feature that makes it even more efficient than a live event is that visitors to the island can see the names of others on the island at any given point. With the click of a person’s name on the navigation menu, the system will walk their avatar directly to that person so that they can say hello “face to face”. Attendees love the ability to network in a more human way again versus just having flat conversations via Zoom.
This platform will allow for NEACC to host their Northeast Security Systems Contractors Expo in May 2021, as well as additional industry events through 2022. NEACC has put together a sponsorship menu for the buildings to be named by companies for promotional exposure to all of the attendees of the island throughout the year, as well as for the company’s own use for client meetings, trainings, however they would like to use them. Other associations that have used the platform love this feature.
NEACC is in full swing on the building of their custom private island and it expects it to be up and running within the next few weeks. In the meantime, NEACC’s event producer and association management company, Pat Hoey Productions, will be running weekly tours of the demo island so that NEACC’s customers and associates can choose buildings, meeting rooms, and booth types in the Expo Hall. Once the island is up and running, NEACC will be running networking events on the island with entertainment and tours for the weeks leading up to the expo in May.
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