Virtual events have been one of the fastest-growing areas of the b2b publishing business in the past few years, and just about every trade publisher has increased their portfolio of offerings. Publishers love them because sponsors love them. The format not only generates solid leads for a vendor, it often gives the client a stage on which to demonstrate his wares.
But this same tight integration of sponsor with the content also raises questions about maintaining editorial independence and authority in these products. Often editors are moderating a session that can seem as much an ad for a sponsor as it is helpful content for the audiences.
With that in mind, the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) just issued a series of guidelines for b2b companies to follow in designing and selling Webinar products. These guidelines are now being included in the larger Guide to Preferred Editorial Practices.