Advanced Micro Devices and a group of partners that include Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems on Tuesday unveiled the Virtual IT Experience, a 3-D online resource aimed at providing IT decision makers with a trade show-type interaction without the associated cost and time commitment.
The online trade show is also expected to enhance the technology providers' investment by targeting a level of visitors often not present in person at trade shows.
"Generally you see influencers walking the floor, but not the real sweet spot of decision makers we want," says Paul Dodd, director of strategic commercial marketing for AMD. "We believe we can get more key IT decision makers to access this type of information."
Other vendors participating in the online site are Accenture, CDW, Novell, and Oracle. Dodd says it can cost about $1,000 for each lead created at a trade show booth, far exceeding the cost of a face-to-face sales call, which is about $400. Since senior-level executives like CEOs, CIOs, and CTOs often can't spare the time to attend trade shows, those in attendance are generally influencers who report back. The online trade show allows AMD and its partners to get straight to those most highly targeted.
The Virtual IT Experience includes an interactive walk-through of individual vendor booths, allowing attendees the option to view demos, obtain information, and engage in live chat. For those attending at times when a live chat is not ongoing, there will be "most frequently asked" archives available.
In a survey commissioned by AMD by Russell Research, respondents say they find clear benefits in attending trade shows, but 44% say they don't get their money's worth. Key drawbacks to trade show attendance are cost, cited by 33%, and time required, cited by 32%.
AMD hopes the Web site can help the company further expand its commercial business, where it has been particularly successful with its Opteron processor for servers. According to Mercury Research, AMD's share of the x86 server processor market increased to 26% in the second quarter, up from 22% in the first quarter.
The AMD Virtual IT Experience can be accessed at http://virtualexperience.AMD.com.