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HydroVision Preview: Getting the Most out of HydroVision: Connecting to the Hydro Community

DirectEventConnect, an interactive online community for hydropower professionals, will be available for the first time to HydroVision International participants. The website allows attendees to reach out to exhibitors and plan their visits weeks before the event begins.

So you want to come to HydroVision International 2010, the world's largest gathering of hydropower professionals, July 27-30 in Charlotte, N.C., USA.

More than 2,500 delegates and more than 250 exhibitors from throughout the world will be meeting in Charlotte for a week of hydropower-focused discussions, workshops, tours, and the world's largest hydro exhibition. The use of hydropower, the world's largest and most reliable form of renewable power, is expected to rise as the world strives to reduce air pollution while trying to meet the soaring demand for energy.

But first things first: Before booking your flight to Charlotte, you'll need the boss' approval.

Planning your visit to HydroVision and justifying the cost has just gotten easier, thanks to Penn-Well Corp.'s DirectEventConnect, an interactive online community that allows exhibitors and attendees to connect before, during, and after the event.

Registered attendees can use the online service weeks before the conference begins to compare exhibitor products, set up meetings, and target favorite exhibitors on a printable floor plan.

DirectEventConnect is a new offering at HydroVision. For the first time, attendees will be able to go online and map out their visit ahead of time, instead of spending hours upon arrival going through the on-site show guide to figure out where to begin.

DirectEventConnect offers attendees an efficient way to justify the cost of the trip and to generate the greatest return on investment, said MaryBeth DeWitt, director of Event Operations at PennWell.

"It will be a lot harder for a supervisor to decline that travel request when you've done all that planning," DeWitt said. "This platform allows our attendees to do that."

To see what DirectEventConnect has to offer, go to http://community.hydroevent.com.

How it works for exhibitors

Every exhibitor at HydroVision has a profile on DirectEventConnect, showcasing their products and services. A content team is available to help each exhibitor create a profile with company logos, product pictures, and detailed descriptions.

"The HydroVision content team is available and ready to assist with giving each exhibitor the best possible way to set up your listing," DeWitt said. "They're there to do it for exhibitors. They just need the exhibitors' input to do it."

All exhibitors receive a basic listing for US$275. But exhibitors can increase their visibility on DirectEventConnect by upgrading their listing to a Gold or Platinum Elite listing. The cost: US$495 for Gold and US$995 for Platinum Elite.

"For less than $1,000, you get ten product pictures and descriptions, you get a 500-word description online, and you get 150 words in the printed show guide," DeWitt said. "For a basic listing, you get 35 words, so you get five times the visibility for less than $1,000."

DeWitt encouraged potential exhibitors to book their space early to maximize the benefits of DirectEventConnect.

"They're going to be charged $275 whether they book two weeks before the event or 11 months before the event," she said. "You might as well get the best bang for your buck."

What's more, it's a great way for exhibitors to get more sales leads.

"Everything is trackable," DeWitt said. "Each exhibitor can look and see how many people clicked on what pictures, how long they stayed, how far they drilled down, and how many meeting requests. You cannot get greater lead retrieval."

How it works for attendees

After logging onto DirectEventConnect, attendees can preview what companies and products will be featured on the exhibit floor. What's more, attendees can search for the product or service they're interested in and get a list of companies that supply that specific product. Once you find what you're looking for, you can request more information or send a meeting request to that supplier. It allows the attendees and exhibitors to schedule their meetings long before the event begins.

For the first time, HydroVision attendees can use an online service known as DirectEventConnect.

Meeting requests are submitted through the online community's "My Event Planner." Once you find the products, services, and exhibitors that interest you, you can save them to your personalized Event Planner. You can build, refine, and add to your Event Planner right from your own desktop. It costs nothing to subscribe.

After bookmarking your favorite exhibitors and products or services, they are highlighted on your printable floor plan for you to use during the exhibition.

"You can print it out and take it with you to the show," DeWitt said. "If you forget it, you can log in at the product locator at the event and print it right there at HydroVision."

My Event Planner has a series of features that help you plan your visit, by managing your profile, your personal calendar, and your favorite products, services, and exhibitors. All communications are done within the online platform.

"They have the privacy of communicating just within the platform," DeWitt said. "They control the communication."

My Event Planner is a "to-do" list and meeting scheduler that allows you to bookmark and save exhibiting companies, products, and services that interest you.

My Event Planner has the following features:

— Profile: View and update your personal data under which you will be listed on DirectEventConnect;

— Messages: Receive important information about your account, as well as messages from registered attendees and exhibitors who want to get in touch with you;

— Show Planner: Maximize your time by preparing your visit with a printable, customized floor map that targets the exhibitors you're interested in;

— Favorites: Choose and monitor your favorite products, exhibitors, or attendees;

— Calendar/Events: Save all important appointments and events to your personal calendar; and

— Matching Service: PennWell provides you with a free, personalized newsletter that keeps you informed about all new products, services, and exhibitors that might interest you. You select the information in your newsletter, which means only information relevant to your search criteria reaches your inbox.


Pre-Conference Events at HydroVision International 

July 26 and 27

July 27

Meetings for the following organizations:


Russell Ray is associate editor of Hydro Review.  

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