Announcing the Virtual Goods Summit University 2009 – Half Day Workshop Before the Virtual Goods Summit 2009

I’ve got a quick blog post / request for input for those of you who read my blog and have an interest in virtual goods. The Virtual Goods Summit is going on it’s 3rd year now and I’m going to make the first major change to the format that we’ve ever undertaken. The more people I talk to, the more I am beginning to believe that there’s a growing divide in terms of what those who are actively in market want to know / hear about at the conference and what those who are newer to the space want to learn. Instead of trying to jam everything into one packed day, we’re going to change things up a bit this year and have a half day of workshops focused on the fundamentals of virtual goods as a supplement to our day-long format. The target market for these workshops is everyone from those who are new to the space to those who are looking to round out their knowledge of the full spectrum of what it takes to succeed with a virtual goods model. We’ve decided to call this track the Virtual Goods Summit University – imaginative, huh?

The Virtual Goods Summit will still continue to focus on the needs of those who are actively in market and pushing the boundaries of what’s doable with a virtual goods model. It seems to me that now’s the time for some segmentation but I’m totally open to feedback about whether or not this is a good idea.

I also wanted to float a list of topics that I think we should cover in the Virtual Goods Summit University – what’s missing? What would you like to hear about if you were to attend the Virtual Goods Summit University?

-Overview of virtual goods and why they work
-Overview of key concepts / terms / jargon
-Managing a virtual economy
-Launching and managing a virtual goods catalog
-Payments and monetization
-Community management and customer service
-Integrating brands and advertisers
-Measuring and tracking your success

As always, comments / feedback are welcome and encouraged.

  • Great idea Charles.
    One high value items you can provide along with the 'how' for the topics above is the 'what' to use to get those systems up and running. For example, provide a compilation of choices for apps/software/saas solutions that managing a virutal economy, managing a virtual goods catalog, payments etc.

  • Thanks, Erin – I really appreciate it. How about a format where each topic had 1/2 time from someone in the solutions business and 1/2 time from a publisher who had addressed the issue? I want to make sure we have balance between people who have encountered and solved the problem and people who are offering solutions to publishers broadly.

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  • Hi Charles, I'd add:
    1) search/discovery of content. If the user can't find it, they won't buy it. Seems obvious but searching for graphical content can be challenging especially with UGC
    2) User inventory and management of goods. Where does all the stuff go and how does a user manage their growing content?

    While the above are product features, they drive monetization and customer service (where's the sword that I just purchased!?)

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