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Events Industry Council Joins Effort to Standardize Virtual-Meeting Data Formats

The collaboration with VSef, the global data format for virtual events, will speed the push to make data easily accessible from and transferable between different online platforms and analytics tools.

In early 2021, U.K-based attendee-feedback platform provider Explori launched the VSef initiative to create a standard format for transferring data between the many virtual-event platforms, sales and marketing systems, and business-analysis tools on the market. And a few months ago, VSef, which stands for Virtual Standard Export Format, released the second iteration of its standards with several new features that better serve events with international audiences.

Since its inception, VSef has received backing from various event organizers and platforms, including Informa Markets, Reed Exhibitions, Tarsus Group, Emerald Expositions, Clarion Events, Grip, Balluun, Notified, Swapcard, Accelevents, ExpoPlatform, and others.

Now, the Events Industry Council, representing more than 30 events-industry organizations, has announced its support for VSef. Specifically, EIC’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX), which sets professional standards across the global events community, will participate in research and advocacy for VSef’s virtual-event data standards. When complete, the singular data format and application programming interface (API) will allow meeting planners to gather and transfer data easily and have access to a wide range of event metrics and engagement KPIs.

Amy Calvert, CEO of the EIC, noted that the VSef initiative “has developed a comprehensive solution on a not-for-profit basis, and we are delighted to bring our APEX Commission [to the initiative] to further develop and establish these essential data standards.”

Mark Brewster, founder of Explori and VSef, added that his firm’s partnership with EIC will move meeting planners away from their present situation with virtual events: “operating in an inconsistent and opaque landscape with barriers to multi-platform integration, consistent measurement, and the essential insights they need to develop event strategy.”

Stephen Rose, head of global communication services for Siemens, a corporate supporter of VSef, said that “to create the right analytics and insights along the entire customer journey, we need to be able to integrate consistent data from various event technologies into our data lake and blend it with data from other marketing and communication channels. It’s not realistic for every individual platform to manage the unique data requirements of every corporate client; and equally, it is not viable for every corporate client to work around each platform’s unique data format. The solution is to have a robust data standard, and that’s why we support the VSef initiative.”

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