Are you looking to increase audience participation and engagement on your next conference? Have you tried a hybrid meeting? What is a hybrid meeting, you ask? Well it is adding an online or webcasting component to an in-person meeting or conference.
Hybrid meetings integrate in-person discussion and virtual meeting elements, which allows attendees to connect and share information, and even ask questions of the conference speakers. Participants who are unable to travel due to time or budget constraints have a way to easily participate in the event, either live or on-demand.
While some companies believe that a virtual component can discourage participation, it actually typically helps increase engagement. By offering an alternative to onsite attendance, those who are unable to attend live can still enjoy the conference experience. Businesses that provide live and on-demand viewing options after the conference allows even more attendees to view the meetings at a later time at their own convenience. Onsite attendees may even decide to tune into the virtual experience – you never know when conflicting presentation times may cause conference attendees to miss a presentation they would like to see.
Also, speakers and other thought leaders that may be unable to travel to the conference can lend their expertise by presenting virtually. As a result, you won’t be missing out on incredible presentations and can connect and collaborate with individuals across the globe.
Archiving the presentations with a webcast also allow for more opportunities to share the experience after the fact through different marketing vehicles and social media. Edit and re-purpose parts of the webcast for promotional tools or as an educational piece to share with other organization members or employees.
Finally, include online polls or exit surveys to find out how it went and why participants joined virtually. These metrics will allow you to continue to hone the hybrid event experience for future conferences.
Want to incorporate a webcast component to your next conference, but don’t know where to start? We work seamlessly in the background to coordinate the virtual platform with the onsite AV crew to ensure the virtual participants’ experience is as smooth as possible. Need help editing and converting the archive afterwards? No problem! Contact Us Now!
Virtual Event Manager
Today’s guest post is from Roger Courville, Chief Aha! Guy at www.TheVirtualPresenter.com. In September he’ll celebrate his 15-year anniversary in the web conferencing industry, probably with something exciting like a taking a nap.
In multiple surveys over the last several years, given by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute, asked marketers to rank their confidence in various tactics. Most of the time, webinars and webcasts rank just behind in-person events.
What none of their surveys asked, however, was “Why?”
V2 was honored to speak at the recent Eloqua Experience 2013, with longtime partners Fair Isaac (FICO) and Couch and Associates . The 2013 Eloqua Experience was held in San Francisco at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, and featured a keynote presentation by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and an after party performance by Robin Thicke. Major players in the Marketing, IT, and Webcasting world were also on hand, including Deloitte, Lattice, Dun & Bradstreet, Bizo, ON24 and INXPO. EE’s status as a not-to-miss industry event has always been a given, but based on the wattage of star power and sponsors in attendance this year, it’s clear that the conference – just like Eloqua’s namesake product – is hitting the mainstream in full stride.
V2’s presentation with FICO and Couch centered around the recent implementation of an Eloqua / WebEx integration, where substantial efficiencies were accomplished by combining elements of FICO’s existing webinar process into a cohesive Eloqua program. With reduced staffing and infrastructure, FICO’s decision to outsource essential steps in the Eloqua Integration process was a cornerstone to the project’s success. V2 is proud to have played a key role in this process improvement, and was honored to help share this success story with attendees at EE13. We wish to thank our longtime partners and friends at FICO and Couch. In particular, V2 wishes to thank and congratulate Brad Rollin at FICO, for his tireless and outstanding efforts to continually improve FICO’s Marketing presence. It’s a privilege and honor to work with you and your team.
Looking for ways to roll out Eloqua or other CRM webinar integration, but don’t have the staff or know where to start? Give us a call or shoot us an email. We’d be happy to talk through ways the V2 team can help.
By now, web conferencing has been widely accepted by the business world as a standard tool for communication. However, as someone who works with webinars all day long like I do, it’s easy to take for granted why they are so useful. Then I was reminded of it recently when ON24 came out with this white paper. It’s a great read if you want to nerd-out on some interesting web conferencing statistics.
Or if you’re in the mood for something lighter, I’ve taken the liberty to put together my own qualitative data. Here are my Top Ten reasons why webinars are so awesome–Late Show style.
#10: It’s recorded, so you can re-watch the part you missed when you fell asleep (your boss will never know).
#9: No getting stuck in the back row with the IT guys when you’re late to the All-Hands Town Hall.
#8: Executive board meetings from the beach!
#7: Save that travel budget and buy an office foosball and ping pong table instead.
#6: Loads of tracking data so you feel like you really know your leads.
#5: The word ‘webinar’ just sounds cool!
#4: Show off that PowerPoint 3-D animation effect you just discovered.
#3: Kick things off by playing your new toilet flushing ring tone…followed by a “just kidding!”
#2: Instead of trying to picture your audience in their underwear, you can actually BE in yours.
#1: You can hire a V2 Event Producer to take care of all the details, so just relax!
Author Erin Armentrout is a Virtual Event Producer with V2 who has honed her skills in the world of webinars since 2008. Prior to V2, Erin contributed to the ever-evolving use of technology in the event industry as a Mobile App Product Consultant for the event software expert, Cvent.
Today’s guest post is from Roger Courville, Chief Aha! Guy at www.TheVirtualPresenter.com (but you really shouldn’t listen to him because he often gets on airplanes to teach people this webinar stuff).
Imagine you’re hosting a webinar with a whole lot of important people involved, and something goes SO wrong that you fear losing your job.
This is one lesson you can learn from someone else’s epic faux pas.
The webinar production team didn’t get the call
I’ll spare you the story of the company’s politics. Suffice it to say that the writers of Game of Thrones might have found another storyline.
The challenge? The company is going to have a HUGE PR event using web conferencing, and the marketing department didn’t want to use the production team who did nothing but produce webinars all day long.
Every important person in the world was invited
The webinar was to be a big PR event. The PR team had invited and confirmed the attendance of analysts, journalists, and influencers. Part of the stunt was that the company’s CEO and VP of Marketing were to sit at a desk… perched from a sign in Times Square (yes, NYC).
And then very smart people did a really dumb thing
The marketers who put the event together were not stupid. It was a killer PR idea. They did all the right things… except one.
They used the wrong tool for the job
For this event it was decided to use an external audio conferencing number. No problem so far.
You know how in many companies you get a standard-issue audio conferencing number assigned to you?
That’s what they used. And it supported a maximum of 96 connections. Oops.
The fury of Hades came bubbling up
Attendees could get into the web conference. Unfortunately a bunch of company employees were already taking up slots on the audio line, so it didn’t take long to run out of telephone lines.
The web conferencing Q&A went wild.
The marketing department called the event services department, and the latter quickly provisioned the correct audio type and used “chat to all” to get it out to the audience.
How this relates to you and me
There’s a high likelihood that you have the same problem in a different way. Here’s how:
What IT departments buy for companies are meeting platforms. Meetings are for smaller groups collaborating, team meetings, sales demos, etc. They do this because that’s the most frequent use case.
But when it comes to doing a webinar or training session, you do things differently (you do offline, too!).
Consequently, the more advanced conferencing companies build variations of their products that have more advanced features, and those features are configured for subtle-but-important differences in how we communicate, share, and manage.
By analogy, you can use Microsoft Word for creating editing some pictures and publishing a newsletter, but if you go to the team in the organization responsible for communications, you’ll probably find the team using Adobe InDesign and Photoshop (or other advanced tools).
What I see over and over and over again is organizations that use a meeting solution for webinars and training sessions.
And then wonder why they’re struggling to really rock the house.
The bottom line
You are smart. If you’re like most people, your job isn’t to keep up with the hundreds of vendors and their various web conferencing, webcasting, and virtual classroom solutions.
Just know that at some point you might want ask your IT department what it would take to be better equipped.
One of the more common questions we hear at V2 is what is the difference between a Webcast and a Web Conference? And where does video production fit into all this? In today’s blog we will simplify the difference between the two and explain how video production or Streaming Video Services fits into the equation. We’ll touch on the technology behind each, the workloads they require and offer some typical use cases.
A Webcast is a media presentation that is broadcast over the Internet using streaming media technology. A professional video production team is brought onsite to the broadcast location. A video signal of the proceedings is pushed through an encoder which is then streamed out to an online audience via a Flash-based console such as ON24 or INXPO. This type of online event is designed less for collaboration and more as a broadcast. Some examples where you may use a Webcast are for large events such as a corporate quarterly or yearly wrap up, investor relationship meetings or large e-learning seminars.
Web Conferences on the other hand are usually smaller, more collaborative meetings that allow users to both view and share resources such as PowerPoint presentations or PDFs as well as allow you to desktop or application share content, all over a TCP/IP connection. These meetings may also include polls and question & answer sessions to elicit audience feedback and participation. The presenters in Web Conferences may speak over a standard telephone line or by utilizing VoIP technology (or a combination of both), depending on the web conferencing platform they’re using. Participating in a Web Conference may require an additional software download although that is not always case. Ideal scenarios for holding a Web Conference may include a marketing product rollout, smaller group training sessions or internal team meetings.
So where does video production fit in? It’s more of a stand-alone process of capturing moving images electronically, editing those images and then broadcasting the final, polished product a number of different ways. Obviously when you think of video, television or home videos uploaded to YouTube come to mind. The way we think about it is more from the corporate video side where a client of ours would host it on a video streaming server. They could then share it with their employees for training purposes or other corporate communications via their website or thru a Flash-based web console and broadcast in a Webcast or a Web Conference.
And that’s where we come into the picture! Need Event Production Services to assist with your video production needs or to produce your webcast? Need a skilled Event Producer to guide you through your important Web Conference? We can do that! Contact Us today and let us know how we can help.
Section 508 of the American Disability Act describes what accommodations are required to facilitate disabilities in a webinar. You can find the full description here, but for the brevity of section 1194.1, take a look at the following snippet which is the lifeblood of what services are available to our disabled affiliates (keep in mind that these services only need to be ‘turned on’ in the case of a disabled attendee):
Section 508 requires that when agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities, seeking information or services, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.
To better understand the rules that apply to online events, you can look in 1194.22, described as web-based intranet and internet information and applications. Even though the 1194.22 guideline calls out ‘technologies’ the primary responsibility lies in the presenter and how the information is portrayed. So even though section 1194.22 gives a hefty list of applicable devices and technologies, the heart of it is captured in the exercise of ‘offering a text equivalent for every non-text element in the presentation’.
Another ADA requirement for online events resides in section 1194.23, telecommunications products which explains the assistive technologies recommended for online events. It is a very extensive list but its focus is around TTY. TTY simply stands for Text Telephone and is the key assistive technology for deaf telecommunications. Since TTY is required on both ends, most companies prefer to go with an operator assisted relay service.
The real key to the American Disability Act is to be prepared. You don’t want to find out moments before your webcast one of your attendees requires TTY and not have a service provider available. Since many telephony companies provide varying types of TTY take the few minutes well before your online event to line up the service. If you have questions on the use of TTY or transcription services on your next webcast, feel free to contact the V2 Crew.
Author-Cam Nicholson, V2 Business Development, has been in the conferencing industry for seven years, spending five of those as a Online Services champion with Microsoft.
Many professionals today are required to complete Professional Certification (Hours, Credits, and Units) in order to maintain their professional license, and more importantly, stay in touch with their industry. If your title is one of the following; accountant, real estate agent, nurse, teacher, interior designer, architect, engineer, educator, mental health professional, social worker, or electrician, you have completed one of these courses. Additionally, you know a one hour ‘on premise’ seminar takes a lot longer than a one hour online course.
To meet the demand for this on-going requirement and facilitate the need with a little less stress, V2 partners with companies to produce hundreds of continuing education seminars online for constituents such as ADP, TestAmerica, and Moss Adams. The V2 tool uses a customized customer portal which streamlines the audit, delivery, and retrieval of continuing education information. Our portal allows accredited agencies to focus on subject content and delivery instead of certification qualification and processing. Additionally the V2 Event Production team will bring their substantial E-Learning experience and ensure your online event is engaging and interactive.
So, whether you’re a government entity offering CEU’s, an educational facility offering CE/T, or a corporation offering credits like CPE, our application will authenticate audience attendance and participation based on your industry qualification standard, giving you the peace of mind to focus on content and delivery.
Author-Cam Nicholson, V2 Business Development, has been in the conferencing industry for seven years, spending five of those as a UC champion with Microsoft.
Although there are many different reasons and ways to use video in webcasts at V2, we generally see/recommend video for any of the following three scenarios. First is the Town Hall or company-wide meeting where a CEO embodies a visual representation of the brand. Second, in the case of a panel discussion where video distinguishes who the speaker is to the audience. Finally, video can be a great medium to demonstrate new product launches and updates.
When in front of the camera V2 goes through a litany of checks but here are some basics that are often overlooked:
- Smile often but not always
- If you wear glasses tilt them so they do not glare
- Keep your head still so your voice volume does not fluctuate
- Lean toward the camera
- Wear colors that are complimented by your backdrop
If you are looking to try video give us a call. Video will not only drive higher attendance to your webcast, but will increase engagement and the amount of information your audience will retain.
Author-Cam Nicholson, V2 Business Development, has been in the conferencing industry for seven years, spending five of those as a UC champion with Microsoft.