Supporting the Virtualization Community
The VMware User Group (VMUG) is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration and events. With over 110,000 members worldwide, VMUG is the largest organization for virtualization users, and its standing partnership with VMware has allowed it to create an ever-growing network of customers and partners who continue to strategically impact VMware products and services.
Meeting Solution Couldn’t Cope with Large-Scale Member Engagement
To communicate with its membership and handle a variety of use cases, VMUG implemented a webinar program using a lower-end meeting-based solution. However, as their volume and member engagement increased, they found that their solution had limited flexibility, and its picture and audio quality were insufficient. In addition, it was very difficult to export recordings in order to provide them to presenters for their own marketing purposes. These frustrations led VMUG to search for a high-quality solution that they could use to host multiple member engagement activities at the same time without interference.
Replacing a Shaky System with ON24
As part of its due diligence, VMUG reviewed ON24’s live and on-demand feature set – including capabilities like chat, polling and Q&A and the ability to effectively manage content using the ON24 Gateway. In tandem with the selection process, ON24 provided VMUG with guidance about what was needed to accomplish a large-scale VMUG virtual event and then helped incorporate innovative design and hands-on labs into their virtual environment.
In addition to finding ways to push the envelope for its virtual events, VMUG evaluated and selected ON24 for its capability to handle more prosaic tasks, including meetings, conference calls, regional meetings and customer events – providing VMUG with a comprehensive, one-stop platform.
VMUG cites the following advantages that make working with ON24 so easy:
- Easy to use
- An easy registration process
- Easy-to-change widgets
In addition, VMUG reports that the ON24 Gateway makes webinar organization easy; each webinar is posted to the content gateway with a click of a button, organized by VMware topic so that members can find exactly what they want.
With ON24, VMUG hosts multiple webinars at the same time across multiple programs, with no interference. “It’s important to VMUG that multiple people can be hosting Elite events at the same time. We don’t have to worry about scheduling them on top of each other,” explains Nikki Kueker, VMUG Program Manager. She added that this is especially critical given the wide variety of use cases.
A One-Stop Platform for Online Community Engagement Strategy
Today, the ON24 platform serves as the central hub for a majority of VMUG’s virtual communications, hosting local and regional meetings and VMware, customer and partner events on a regular basis. Thanks to ON24’s rock-solid reliability, VMUG hasn’t experienced any issues with scale, and audio/video issues are a thing of the past. On a daily basis, a team of ten uses ON24, leveraging ON24’s ease of use to quickly create branded, professional webcasts and meetings to support VMUG’s community. Webcast attendance has increased 35 percent with the ON24 platform.
In addition, ON24 served as the platform for the flagship VMUG virtual event. Impressive results for their February 2015 event include.
- 10,359 registrants and 4,529 attendees
- More than 900 on-demand viewers
- 176.6 minutes of average viewer duration
- Over 28,000 documents and webcasts viewed
VMUG’s post-show analysis found that attendance for the virtual event and full-day UserCon in-person event only overlapped by 5 percent, meaning that they captured a 95 percent market of new individuals – an important metric for a membership-based organization like VMUG.
ON24 Gateway enables VMUG to efficiently offer its members a wide range of on-demand webinars covering topics such as storage, virtualization, hybrid cloud and emerging technologies and data center management. The VMUG ON24 Gateway is also embedded in the website and VMUG mobile app. This “on-the-go” access, combined with savvy promotion and seamless, one-time registration, has increased content gateway views by 72 percent in less than two months.