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Press Release

Sonic Foundry, MPI Foundation Unveil New Tools to Help Planners Understand the Value of Hybrid

First comprehensive research on hybrid events highlights trends, offers roadmap for successful planning

MADISON, Wis. — September 11, 2012 —More than 90 percent of meeting professionals exceed their goals through hybrid meetings, according to new research supported by Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the trusted market leader for video management and event, academic and enterprise webcasting,  and the Meeting Professionals International Foundation.

Through qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey completed by 1,800 participants, including meeting professionals, event delegates, technology vendors and consultants, the research report provides a comprehensive snapshot of hybrid events, as planners focus on the growing importance of the trend.

“This research clearly supports what we have known but lacked scientific data to support.  By strategically using hybrid technology, the planner can expand the reach of their event which increases the ability to drive business results – a far more valuable asset than merely controlling costs,” said Cindy D’Aoust, COO and interim CEO of Meeting Professionals International.

MPI created a special knowledge center at which features the full report and toolkit (free to MPI members and available for purchase for non-members) along with other free resources, including on-demand presentations such as “Creating the New Connectivity Through Hybrid Meetings” from the MPI WEC 2012 annual conference.

Key findings from the research include:

  • 93 percent of planners surveyed meet or exceed their objectives when organizing a hybrid event
  • 70 percent of respondents say hybrid meetings will be an important part of meetings in the future
  • 50 percent of respondents say they record their conference content for on-demand access, a strong indication that organizations recognize the value of sharing content with those unable to attend in-person

“The survey results pointed to a gap between what attendees value and what meeting planners are actually doing,” said Samuel J. Smith, researcher and president of Interactive Meeting Technology. “Sonic Foundry and MPI invested in identifying what successful planners are doing, and also in developing a roadmap to show how others can be successful as well.”

The full research report provides a comprehensive look at the way hybrid events are currently carried out and how they are perceived within the meetings industry, with insights and guidance gleaned from experienced hybrid event organizers. The report features:

  • Key facts about this important part of the industry’s future
  • Case studies from eBay, Thrivent and the Society of Automotive Engineers
  • An extensive how-to guide for understanding hybrid event formats, selecting technology vendors, building an effective hybrid event team, designing content and developing an engaging user experience
  • A lessons learned document with best practices from the field
  • Full results from the quantitative survey with an executive summary

“Sonic Foundry is proud to partner with the MPI Foundation to support the first comprehensive research on hybrid events. We firmly believe, and the results of the survey corroborate, that hybrid events will play an important role in the future of meetings,” said Gary Weis, chief executive officer of Sonic Foundry. “Through the explosive growth of our Mediasite Events group, we’ve seen first-hand how early adopters of hybrid meeting strategies have expanded the impact and reach of their events, creating deeper attendee engagement and valuable online knowledge while contributing meaningful ROI.”

Smith will present a free webinar, “Insights from MPI’s First Hybrid Meetings Research,” with Sonic Foundry at 11 a.m. CT September 18, 2012.

About the MPI Foundation

The MPI Foundation is passionately committed to bringing vision and prosperity to the meetings and events community worldwide by investing in results-oriented initiatives that shape the future and bring success to the meetings and events community. MPI is the meetings and events industry’s largest and most vibrant global community comprised of more than 21,000 members representing 84 countries worldwide. For more information, visit

About Sonic Foundry®, Inc.

Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Madison, Wis., Sonic Foundry (OTC: SOFO) is dedicated to transforming how the world works and learns through innovative and scalable technology solutions. Sonic Foundry’s brands include Vidable® and Global Learning Exchange® which help unlock a smarter, more connected world for learners, workers, and entrepreneurs everywhere. For more information visit


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