CommPartners is very proud to assist the No Limits Foundation in transitioning their Camp No Limits into a virtual experience. Camp No Limits aims to provide education, mentorship, and support to children with limb loss and differences and their families. This camp provides not only therapy and education opportunities for the campers but is a chance for peer support and is a place to have fun at camp! Stay-at-home orders could not stop Camp No Limits from proceeding, and CommPartners was happy to help the show go on, virtually.
The No Limits campers and staff did what they do best, adapt and grow. They worked hard to incorporate creative elements in each activity to make camp interactive and social. The staff leveraged their energetic personalities and established relationships with the campers to cultivate “camp magic” that was felt through the screens. It included break-out therapy sessions, sibling sessions, plus fun and games like scavenger hunts, karaoke sessions, and a talent show! There was also a Social Hour, where campers could “hang out” in a chat room monitored by Team Leaders during meal breaks.
Read more about our latest CP Cares initiative here.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the event industry to go into a tail-spin. Organizations all over the world were forced to cancel and postpone their events. The Society of Public Health Education, SOPHE, did not want to miss out on the many positive opportunities a conference can bring to an association and decided to take advantage of the Virtual Conference option.
To successfully navigate the one week transition from on-site to virtual, SOPHE staff relied on a harmonic partnership between CommPartners staff and themselves. Accommodations were made to fit the agenda into the virtual world with such a short turn-around period. The three-day conference was expanded to cover four weeks, and the team decided to focus their attention on key events.
SOPHE staff’s preparedness at the onset and their willingness to adapt and learn from CommPartners staff made this a successful event for the organization.
Going virtual doesn’t mean that you lose everything that an on-site event has! A lot of what you had planned for your on-site event can still occur online, it just may look a little differently.
Here are six ways you can maximize sponsorships and attendee revenue in a virtual platform:
In your conference website, a virtual exhibit hall can be built out to house all the resources a sponsor wants to distribute to attendees. In each “exhibit booth”, the sponsor can upload PDFs, videos, company descriptions and links, and other resources. The exhibit hall will be open 24/7 – giving even more exposure for the sponsors that originally intended. The “exhibit booths” can also be upgraded to allow chat room style discussions between attendees and staff from the sponsoring organization. Your sponsors will get maximum and continual exposure to your attendees and will serve as a resource for attendees throughout the conference with having to have a booth “maned” the entire time.
Branding and Logo Opportunities
Because you are building this virtual conference site from the ground up – you have the ability to make an al a carte sponsorship of nearly any page on the website. Have a poster session? Offer this page a sponsorship add-on, with their logo in a prominent location on this busy web page. Giving an option for boosted exposure on commonly used pages on the virtual conference exposure is another way the sponsors can ensure they are getting ROI.
Commercials or Pre-Produced Videos
Sponsors could upgrade their commitment level to include a commercial or pre-recorded video to play before or after a session in the virtual conference. All the sponsor needs to do is provide the video ahead of time and it can be queued up! This gives the sponsor the attendees undivided attention, as they are preparing for or concluding a session. You can also chose to have that video as a permanent part of the archived recording, which means evergreen exposure for the sponsor!
Session and Speaking Opportunities
There are numerous ways to offer speaking opportunities to your sponsors in exchange for financial support. You can offer an entire session to sponsors, or you can create a while section of your agenda dedicated to sponsors giving presentations! Allowing the sponsors to present gives them the feeling that they may miss of being in front of human people. It give a human interaction to a virtual setting.
Attendee Access Fees
Just as you would charge a registration fee for an on-site conference, you should be charging a registration fee for access to the virtual event. You can also break the access into per day or per session registrations if that suits your conference model better. You can also charge for access to various, high-profile discussions or resources. Attendee fees should not necessarily be less for a virtual conference, because while you are eliminating food and venue costs, you are now gaining hosting and technology costs.
Allowing your content to live on in an LMS is a smart move. You are able to continually add to your archive through the years of events and house more resources for 24/7 access. Just because an attendee paid for the conference does not necessarily mean they should receive access to the archives for an undetermined amount of time. You could restrict access to archives and other resources to those that choose to purchase subscriptions to your LMS platform. Entice your attendees to subscribe by offering exclusive content in the subscription model only.
Whether you are going virtual from the onset or rescheduling an onsite event, the conversation about monetization is important and necessary. There are many ways to drive revenue for a Virtual Conference, and these six options are only scratching the surface! Have any other ideas on how to boost revenue in a virtual format? We would love to hear from you at email@example.com
Click HERE to see all the episodes from Going Virtual with Kate!
Jon Corun, Director of Multimedia Production at CommPartners, is no stranger to finding creative solutions to technology roadblocks. So when COVID-19 presented a new challenge for the multimedia team to produce Town Halls for clients, Jon went to work to find a way to deliver, virtually.
Adapting to Change
Town Halls are a popular feature of conferences or serve as a way for organizations to meet with members to discuss popular topics or answer questions. There is typically a panel of specialists referencing a presentation speaking to a room of people. For CommPartners’ clients, a Town Hall means everyone is in the room together. The multimedia team is directly interacting with the panelists, which doesn’t comply with the present health protocols. “Before everyone was in the room with everybody, now no one is in a room with anybody,” says Jon.
ASHA’s Virtual Town Hall
Before, panelists would sit on a stage and present as CommPartners would provide camera equipment, all on-site. Now, using streaming technology, Jon has moved panelists to the cloud. Panelists are now providing their own equipment, that is, webcams, laptops, microphones, etc., (all the things you use to work from home) all from the safety of their homes.
Preparation is Key
Preparation for these events is pretty simple. Jon recommends a test the day before the event with all the presenters to ensure the technology like webcams, audio, and the slides are working soundly. The next step is to check things like presenter’s internet connection, sound quality, backdrop, and camera angles, “once all those boxes are checked, come in ready for the event the following day.”
Presenters should come to their test day with their content already prepared. All the presenters can share their own slides, but Jon advises combining the slides into one slide deck just as you would in a typical Town Hall.
Our Virtual Town Hall runs through Pulse in CommPartners’ collaborative, multimedia-rich learning environment, MediaCenter 2.0. Attendees will have access to a robust and unlimited experience that will allow
SCAI’s Virtual Town Hall
them to participate in a Q&A with your panel. In sessions, a staff member moderates the questions that come in, selecting questions to answers and passes them along to the presenters within the streaming platform.
So far, we have served the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, or SCAI, with this method and look forward to assisting more!
CommPartners specializes in providing eLearning options to you, but even we are not immune to adapting to this changing world. We are committed to making this period of transition more straightforward for your organization.
Interested in adapting your Town Hall into a Virtual Town Hall?
If you are interested in adapting your Town Hall into a Virtual Town Hall, contact Meghan Gowen, VP of Client Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Going Virtual with Kate is a weekly chat on Facebook Live with CommPartners’ Kate Ratcliffe. Kate discusses popular topics, answers questions, and shares ideas about all things virtual events during this time when many organizations are going virtual with their events. We know this decision can be a daunting task that brings with it many questions, especially for organizations that have never hosted an event online and now have to transition an entire conference to a virtual platform.
Find past episodes of Going Virtual with Kate right here, after they’ve aired on our Facebook page. Catch Kate live every Thursday at 4 p.m. EST on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CommPartners.