CommPartners Announces New Suite of Virtual Conference Features for 2021

CommPartners Announces New Suite of Virtual Conference Features for 2021

Columbia, MD – CommPartners, a leading provider of online education and event solutions to associations, is pleased to announce the next generation of Elevate Conference Platform features. CommPartners developed these updates in consultation with clients after producing several hundred virtual conferences in 2020. Organizations recognized that they could increase attendance and reach new markets with compelling online experiences by providing these events to their communities. This coming year, it will be important to continue the trends towards greater attendee engagement and positive learning outcomes.

New features for 2021 include:

  • Trade Show Improvements: With the new Exhibitor Module, plus new engagement features and advanced analytics, virtual trade show participants will have greater independence and return on their investment.
  • Reporting Tools: Use new tools like the Web Content Attendance Report to produce trackable data for more actionable analytics.
  • Networking Tools: Enhancements to the Connect Module and the addition of the Discussion Widget will provide peer engagement opportunities through topical conversations and direct networking.
  • Attendee Engagement: Interactive attendee maps, conference directories, and a schedule planner are just a few of the enhancements that will be available for attendees.
  • Visual Enhancements: New app-like designs will provide an attractive presentation of your event and allow attendees a simple way to navigate to program content.

The new features will be available for current users of CommPartners’ Elevate LMS or as a standalone site.

In a summary of this past year, Richard Finstein, CommPartners CEO, shared,

“It has been a year of growth as we were able to respond to our clients’ needs in 2020. It’s upon us now to continue to meet those needs for virtual and hybrid events as we begin this next year. We are excited to bring these new features to our client community.”

Some features are available now, and CommPartners will release the rest of the features throughout the first half of 2021. To learn more about the features and CommPartners Virtual Conference services, please contact Meghan Gowen at mgowen@commpartners.com.

About CommPartners
CommPartners provides online education and event services to the association community.  Our mission is to provide a well-planned and intelligent approach to sharing knowledge, with a core focus on creating positive user experiences.  Over 1,300 associations have selected CommPartners to manage their eLearning programs. The CommPartners team is diverse, and together they share a common passion: to be strategic thinkers, dedicated to advancing a client’s mission through exceptional education programs.

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SOPHE: COVID-19 Transition Case Study

SOPHE: COVID-19 Transition Case Study

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.

Read the full story.

Monetizing Your Virtual Conference

Monetizing Your Virtual Conference

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:

Exhibit Halls

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.

Subscription Fees

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 marketing@commpartners.com


 

Click HERE to see all the episodes from Going Virtual with Kate!

 

From Client to Employee, Meet Cristyn Johnson

From Client to Employee, Meet Cristyn Johnson

Cristyn Johnson

Cristyn Johnson is the newest addition to the CommPartners team. She may be a new name to some clients, but she no stranger to Elevate or CommPartners. Cristyn is a former client who has joined us as a Client Development Manager. She told me a little bit about her position, what it was like to transition from client to team member, and what unique perspectives she brings to the table.

 

JR: What is your job title, and what will you be doing for CommPartners?

CJ: I am a Client Development Manager. I will be working with all existing clients – that includes Elevate, content capture, live-stream clients – helping them optimize their systems, brainstorming new ideas and initiatives they might be excited to embark on, and making sure they get the most out of our services.

JR: Exciting! What aspects of your new position are you looking forward to the most?

CJ: I am a huge professional development and learning nerd, so I am really looking forward to learning about all of the really cool projects and initiatives our clients are doing or could be doing with CommPartners.

JR: How about association education? What makes you excited working in this space?

CJ: I get really excited when other people get really excited about learning.

JR: Sounds like you’re in the right industry! So, you have the unique experience of coming to CommPartners as a former client, can you speak to what that transition was like?

CJ: In my previous position, I was managing our Elevate platform. As the position grew, I found myself drawn to helping others use the platform more effectively, think critically about how they use the platform, and how the end-users use the platform. So, it seemed serendipitous when this position at CommPartners became available where I could similarly help other Elevate administrators across the platform.

JR: Do you think that experience has given you a unique perspective you can use in your new position?

CJ: Absolutely! I think the association world is very unique with so many dynamics and strategies and ideas, and having that deeper knowledge is going to help me make more informed recommendations to clients. It also means, we can have a certain level of insight that we didn’t necessarily have before, new initiatives or new products can have an added association perspective built into the way they are created.

JR: Now that you’re working for CommPartners, what makes us unique compared to other online education companies you have worked with/have experience with?

CJ: CommPartners takes the time to listen and get to know all of our clients, and I felt that interaction when I was on the other side as a client too. That goes a long way in the association world because a lot of them are not-for-profit entities, other companies can write them off as a faceless name in a crowd – you don’t feel that with CommPartners.

JR: What’s a unique element of Elevate that really excites you?

CJ: Elevate has a module called Connect. It is a great way to connect all your users within your LMS. Where on a discussion board the conversation just kind of ends, the Connect Module allows you to create an interactive community with all of your Elevate users. Users can talk and share resources beyond single product interaction.

JR: Bonus question round! What is one movie you can watch over and over and over?

CJ: Slums of Beverly Hills!

Cristyn is looking forward to working with our clients to make sure they are getting the most out CommPartners’ products and services. If you have an idea you’d like to try out within your education services or feel like your education toolbox could use a refresh, contact Cristyn.
She is ready to find a new way to engage your learners or maybe better leverage what you already have.


Cristyn can be reached by email cjohnson@commpartners.com or phone (443) 539-4858.

CP’s Unique Outlook on Onboarding

CP’s Unique Outlook on Onboarding

The CommPartners Approach to Onboarding Your LMS

Last week, I was speaking with a colleague who had just returned from an all-inclusive vacation in Mexico. During our conversation, I asked what some of the highlights from her trip were. The response I received sparked a thought about the true value that comes with genuine customer service.

Now, you would think that the first thing she would tell us about is the delicious food or beautiful beaches, but to our surprise, there was something that she thought stood out above those luxurious details. What stood out to her the most was every time she and her husband asked for something, the staff responded with “It’s our pleasure.”   This made them feel valued for choosing to invest their time and money into this resort.  It’s our pleasure, conveys a feeling of appreciation.

At CommPartners, we quite often discuss how grateful we are to be involved in the association community, surrounded by an amazing group of people, who we value and feel so fortunate to work with and support.  We know education is a core component for most associations and what we do matters a great deal.

A learning management system is a significant investment, both financially and strategically, that can take months, even years, to make a decision on. Once the decision is made, the client and LMS provider come together to create a unified partnership and shared mindset, determined to fulfill the client’s overall vision.  The onboarding process that follows is a critical time where expectations are confirmed and a foundation for working together is set. This is where “It’s Our Pleasure” comes into play.

Like any first impression, the first moments of the onboarding process are a sign of what to expect down the road. The first thing you notice is the tone of the communication. How professional and courteous is the project manager? Is this person responsive?  Is he or she clear about what to expect, and with follow-up communications. Is this person detail oriented?  These are all critical elements?

Just as important, is if this person has a positive attitude and is enthusiastic about your project?  Do you, as the client, feel appreciated for the decision you have made and the faith you’re imparting on your selected provider? Are you truly in this together?

At CommPartners, we have gone to great lengths to support and empower our onboarding staff who in turn are giving and generous with their time and spirit. They recognize how critical it is that you are welcomed properly to our organization and that we are simply not just saying thank you for your business. Actually, it’s our pleasure to serve you.