Virtual Edge Institute Certifies Convention Venues as 'Digital Event Centers'

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the Dallas Convention Center are the first venues in Canada and the United States, respectively, to be designated as verified Digital Event Centers as part of its new Digital Event Center (DEC) program, the Virtual Edge Institute (VEI) announced this week.

"We are delighted to become the first verified Digital Event Center in Canada," said Barry Smith, president and CEO of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. "This exciting initiative is very much part of the ongoing commitment the Metro Toronto Convention has to providing our clients with the most robust and reliable technological infrastructure in the business. As our clients' needs evolve and they use new technologies to expand their reach to their communities, clients and members, we want to be at the forefront of enabling their ability to do so. This is one more way we are demonstrating our commitment to helping our customers produce successful events."

The DEC program provides event venues and operators — from convention centers to hotels — with a readiness review of their facility, employees and "partner ecosystem" for planning and executing digital event programs from their facilities, the goal being to highlight for meeting planners venues that are adequately prepared to host hybrid events that include digital extensions of live programs.

To become a verified DEC, venues must submit to an assessment of their network infrastructure and capacity, future road maps, audiovisual services and equipment, and employees, one or more of which must be enrolled in VEI's Digital Event Strategist (DES) learning and certification program.

"The Digital Event Center program was developed as a result of research that showed many event professionals were interested in adding hybrid extensions to their events, but were unsure of how to proceed, were worried about costs, and felt they didn’t have the resources to plan and manage the whole process," said VEI Executive Director Michael Doyle. "This program offers them a simple solution with a set price and agreed-upon features and scope. While the availability of digital event technology is growing, one of the most important elements for success is the plan. VEI will work with event producers at designated DECs to take them through a strategic planning process so they end up with a playbook they can follow to increase their success and demonstrate the overall value of their hybrid extension. "

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