UBM to triple virtual conferences in 2010

Business media giant UBM will triple the number of its InXpo virtual conferences this year, the company said in a statement.

According to an agreement the two companies signed earlier this month, UBM will hold 100 virtual conferences this year, up from 30 in 2009.

Under the agreement, UBM’s UBM Studios division becomes the first global media licensee of the InXpo Virtual Events Platform.

“We think we have a great opportunity to take advantage of the complementarity between online and offline events,” said UBM CEO David Levin in a statement. “Through our UBM Studios business this year we’ll run many more virtual tradeshows, recruitment events and in-house training sessions for industries as diverse as construction, shipping and healthcare.”

For example, this year UBM said it will re-launch COMDEX, the world’s most famous technology tradeshow, as a virtual event next November.

UBM isn’t alone.

Businesses such as Cisco, Disney and AAA are increasingly adopting virtual events and environments as a cost effective and engaging way to extend and leverage live event and training investments,” said InXpo CEO Malcolm Lotzof.

The virtual conference and trade show market has more than doubled from 2008 to 2009, according to a report by Market Research Media, which predicts a compound annual growth rate of 56 percent through 2015.

And according to a report from Forrester Research, 75 percent of business decision-makers attended three or more Web-based events during the previous 12 months.