Virtual Conference Planning

Steps for Setting up a Virtual Conference at CRAEA

This protocol is in development as of July 1, 2020  (Editors, Amy Moine, Lisa Downing, Corlene Collum, Julie Danker, Sarah Nelson)

Proposal in the System: Template

  1. What is the purpose of your Conference?  Who is the Audience?
  2. Did you check the Agency Wide PD calendar, Lead Inspire Innovate, and Well Being calendars to make sure you aren’t scheduling too close to another event?
  3. Put your event and course number on the agency PD calendar.  (just copy from your personal calendar to the agency one. If you do not have access, contact Amy Moine or Lisa Downing to add to the calendar. 

ZOOM:  

For Virtual Conferences:

  1. Work with the Director of PL and Director of Info Tech to be sure you are supported with ZOOM accounts and privacy settings so uninvited guests don’t pop on your screen.
  2. Have the IT team practice with the presenter ahead of the conference to do sound check, camera check and see how the presenter is set up in their setting.
  3. Give a guidance document to speakers  (tips on how to present professionally via ZOOM) (Please talk Sarah Nelson or Beth Strike for this resource)
  4. Determine who will be HOSTS for ZOOM
  5. Hide non-video participants
  6. Pre-assign breakout rooms
  7. Audio transcription: If sending out transcripts after the event, please note, all private chats will be included in the Zoom transcripts.  This may change with updates to Zoom.
  8. Ask for feedback: With Zoom Video Webinars, you can include a post-event survey to collect feedback on the presenters, content, and audience satisfaction. All you need is the URL for your favorite survey tool. As attendees leave the webinar, the survey will automatically launch.

Give guidance on one of the opening slides on how people can interact, expectations of cameras and microphones etc…(Lisa Downing and Sarah Nelson information)

Communication:

Decide who on the team will be the point person to communicate with 

  • Professional Learning/ Technology
  • Who will communicate with registered participants/ audience
  • Who will communicate with presenters.
  • Who will be a Spotter:  Assign few team members tagged as spotters to monitor emails, social media, and comments or answer chat questions.The spotter’s task will be to let the lead know if anything is going wrong from an attendee’s point of view.

 

  1. SPEAKERS: If you have speakers whom you want to pay to come present, set up a meeting with Lisa Downing and Amy Moine.  They will need to know:  What is the purpose of the speaker?  How long do you want them to talk? Are there break out sessions?  What is the speaker’s email?  How much did the speaker quote you for a fee? Charging Fees:  Work with Amy Moine on how you should approach charging fees for registration. 
    1. Once Amy and Lisa know that information, Lisa can set up a contract.
    2. Assign one member of your team to be the liaison with the main speaker so you can clarify content of presentation, handouts, logistics of their day etc and be sure to communicate with the PL Director.
    3. If you have participants that will also lead break out sessions, we often let them attend for free.  If that is the case with your conference, those break out session leaders don’t need to register.  On the day of the Conference, please give the list of presenters to Lisa (Registration Coordinator) and she will add them to the roster so they don’t get charged but it will appear on their transcript.
    4. Presenters Communication:  make sure from the very beginning – through email and phone calls – that they had a good overall understanding of the event and also that they understand our expectations for their session. Schedule two calls with presenters during the weeks before the event.

Promoting Event

  1. Communication Protocol from Beth Strike
  2. Communication Protocol for Professional Learning
    1. Communication Protocol to get the word out
  3. If you want Beth to tweet and do promos, talk to Amy Moine and Beth about getting on Beth’s agency calendar.
  4. Set up your schedule
    1. Example Schedule
    2. Example Website for going paperless
    3. If you have handouts upload them (ex: Google site ) before your sessions. 

Do a dry-run of your presentations!

Have a back up plan! 

  1. Example: If you lose the speaker, tech problems, internet access…Have a video (the presenter may have an online video)  that can be played until they are backup or you need to fill time. 
  2. Remember, long dramatic pauses you might use for effect in a face to face presentation don’t work so well, so let the audience know when you are going to be silent or want them to read something. 
  3. Send PowerPoint slides to a team member so that if something goes wrong with your computer the slides could be shown from their computer. Another alternative is to have another computer ready to go, should your primary computer crash.

Think outside of the box. Don’t limit yourself to repeating what you already know. Get creative. Do things that no one has ever tried before. E.g., to boost networking, send everyone a packed lunch for a certain hour and invite people to join a virtual lunch call.

Follow Up  sessions which are essentially office hours for addressing questions and discussing any of the content covered in the event.