Taking a Program or Event ‘Virtual’
Maybe your event or program is so popular that corporate wants to take it nationwide – but without cloning eight of you. Maybe you’re simply looking for a cheaper way to reach more people, more quickly with a more consistent message. Perhaps your targeted workforce or attendees are mobile, demanding some sort of off-site offering, but in several sites at once.
Whatever the reason, more and more programs and events today are going fully virtual, or have a virtual component to expand their reach and accessibility.
That poses significant challenges to individuals and departments accustomed to delivering traditional, location-based events or programs. Specifically, what technology platform do you use to present the content, and how do you repurpose content to fit this system of delivery, look good on the devices it will be viewed on, and leverage the technical tools available?
So, what are my delivery options?
When it comes to delivery platforms for virtual programs, the options are practically endless. Larger companies can access tools provided by their network communications provider or even use their internal tools to deliver programs to their associates’ desktops. Smaller organizations might simply leverage free tools like Skype or Google Hangouts to broadcast content directly to their audience.
Somewhere in the middle falls the webinar, the most common delivery method used today for virtual programs and events. The market offers a myriad of webinar and conferencing tools, and finding a provider that fits your needs shouldn’t be too difficult.
A quick search will reveal a nice features grid and pretty comprehensive reviews of 10 providers on toptenreviews.com (click “sort by standard rankings” to see their picks). You might also want to visit Capterra’s directory of providers, where you will find a lot of customer reviews. And if you want to see one individual’s testing of various providers, go to wpcurve.com.
Information that might help you pair with the right provider is your expected audience size for each webinar; how many webinars you intend to conduct; how many licenses you will need; and possibly, can you integrate it with your registration software. You might also seek some desirable features (easy to use, nice interface, works on mobile, allows screen markups, provides chat/other interactivity, etc.), some of which will become clearer once you’ve developed your virtual content.
What’s so tricky about creating virtual content?
Creating content for a virtual platform is as easy as streaming your program or presenting that same presentation on screen but sharing it through the webinar tool, right?
According to Learning Solutions Magazine, “simply moving the content and lecture portions to an electronic means of delivery is what leads to eLearning at its worst: slide after slide of bulleted information and loss of engaging activities and the contributions of individual instructors.”
There's more, but we're already abusing the scroll tool. To read the full article, click here.
Next New User Training Set for Tuesday, April 21
If you are new to ABC Signup or a bit rusty with the software, join us for our next monthly new user training on Tuesday, April 21, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., live online via GoToMeeting and conference call. We will do our best to answer your questions while reviewing the basics of the system including:
- Administrative Setup
- Event Setup and Management
- Event Page
- Registration Form Questions
- Calendar/Event Listing Maintenance
- Report Options
Cost is $75 per computer session (as many people as you want in a single viewing). For more information or to register, click here.
More Options for Email Marketing (Bulk Email Module)
After you create an email message in ABC Signup, you can now set up a distribution list designating either the registrant database or prior event registrants. You will find the options at Administration > Bulk Email, at the bottom of the screen
Once you click on one of the options, you will be able to leave the message as a draft, schedule for quick delivery, or set a date and time.
When scheduling a message for registrants in a select group of events, you can choose all registrants, confirmed registrants only, or attendees only. You can distribute the same message multiple times, and a distribution log is also available.
Fun With Certificates
It may have slipped your mind, but you can choose the registrants qualified to receive a certificate by a variety of criteria beyond attendance. For instance, an effective way to increase responses to your post-event evaluation is to use the ABC Signup filter to issue certificates only to those who have completed the survey. You can also issue different certificates based on responses to registration questions. For example, those who answer that they are nurse practitioners can receive a separate certificate than those who register as RNs. As always, you can also issue certificates individually based on other criteria you determine.
Blogged Down in the Details
We delve into some research, webinars and personal experience to generate blog articles designed to inform and possibly help make your efforts more effective. It’s all free, so check out these articles on gamification, suggested phone-shutdown practices at events and some online resources that might boost your training offerings.
- Is Your Training Ready to Get in the Game?
- When to Tell Them to Turn Off Their Phones
- 7 Training Resources to Sharpen Your Game
As usual, if you want to receive these articles as they are published, subscribe to our blog by entering your e-mail in the upper right hand corner of our blog page. And, please add to the conversation any time by posting your thoughts about a blog – or your suggestions for blog topics – in the Comments section directly below the articles.