The 2018 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Virtual Forum, Opioid Crisis: No Community is Immune, was live streamed from the NASW national office in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, November 14, and Thursday, November 15, 2018.
Now, before we dive deeper into details about the event itself, did you know that 85% of opioids are used by US citizens? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every day nearly 200 people in the United States die from overdosing on opioids. The addiction to opioids has become a serious national public health crisis that affects people of all walks of life and is a very real and relevant topic impacting the social work community.
For our clients at NASW, it was critical to reach and engage with their members to discuss how social workers are an integral part of the collaborative multidisciplinary approach in working to respond to the current opioid epidemic.
So you might be thinking, how? How can the largest membership organization of professional social workers, with over 120,000 members nationwide, reach and engage with their community from remote locations? Well, here is where the wonderful world of live streaming and virtual forums came into play for NASW.
We had the opportunity to speak with two key players from the association, Richard Loomis, Conference & Event Planning Manager, and Rafaele Vitelli, Director of Professional and Workplace Development, each weighing in on their virtual conference experience and the relationship that has evolved between NASW and CommPartners.
To start off the conversation, we wanted to get some background information on why the association chose to take the virtual route and how this type of event fit strategically within their organization.
“As an association that is committed to positioning as the premiere source for social work and related health care profession, NASW saw the live streaming of virtual forums and conferences as a key component in providing our community with high quality content while also allowing the association itself to extend its reach and footprint,” said Loomis.
They also spoke on the fact that not only does live streaming allow the association to extend its reach, but it shows the members that they are taking innovative approaches to provide both flexibility and value to their membership. Audiences can tune in from their phone, work, or even their own home office. This provides a great advantage for the members because they are able to save costs on travel and hotel, but still receive the same high quality content as a site based conference.
The virtual forum itself consisted of 4 plenary sessions and 8 breakout sessions where the audience had the opportunity to engage and ask questions through a live chat. In preparation for the event, NASW handled the content side and CommPartners handled the operation and technical side. This was the fourth event that NASW and CommPartners have collaborated on and the relationship continues to grow.
Loomis shared his thoughts on the partnership and how CommPartners contributes to the success of the programs, “The partnership with CommPartners has been phenomenal and in place for a long time. We have worked with the team on multiple events and the company does not fail to deliver. Over the years, we have formed friendships with the colleagues at CommPartners and when you have that relationship and trust in each other it contributes to a successful program.” said Loomis.
To conclude the conversation we touched on a few highlights from the forum, one being the remarks from the President and CEO of Addiction and Policy forum which provided outstanding context to what was being addressed, said Loomis. Overall, both Loomis and Vitelli agreed that putting together a virtual event takes time and effort to ensure success. The association received very positive feedback from the attendees with many requests to continue hosting virtual forums. Loomis said that their members can certainly be expecting two more virtual forums in 2019.
About CommPartners Live Stream Services:
CommPartners helps organizations grow their event attendance and revenue and create highly interactive webcast solutions. We’ve produced thousands of webcasts over the past eight years, from small single camera programs to multiple camera, multiple location productions. What separates CommPartners from other providers is we professionally manage every aspect of the event; we do all of the heavy lifting for you. Our team of experienced event planners manage every detail and our experienced multimedia technicians handle all of the technical details. Our webcast platform offers dual encoding, redundant back-up streams, mobile friendly, and offers attendees active engagement opportunities to help them be an active participant.
Click here to find out more about CommPartners live stream services.
We sat down with JJ Area, the Education Programs Manager at AILA, to understand their educational programs and how they have developed over the years.
Who is AILA?
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is comprised of more than 15,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. Our mission is two-fold: to increase the level of knowledge and professionalism of our members and to encourage advocacy before Congress, the Judiciary, the Federal Agencies, and the media, for immigration-related interests. The association was established to promote fair and just immigration policy, advance the quality of immigration law, and enhance the professional development of its members.
Where does education fit into the overall structure at AILA?
All of AILA’s members have to be licensed to practice law in one of the US jurisdictions, and most of the jurisdictions require continuing legal education (CLE) courses. This means we have a built-in audience. Additionally, a large portion of our members are solo practitioners, so they aren’t members of large firms that have a large financial backing. Therefore, anytime we can offer quality education and save them a bit of money, they appreciate it.
One of our strategic goals is to increase the knowledge and professionalism of members so our education program is one of the main ways we accomplish that. We want people to have the most current information available. We offer a podcast feed as a way to disseminate information that we want to get out quickly and at no cost. These tend to be niche topics that we don’t feel our members would necessarily see a big return on investment for, therefore, our podcasts are a way to provide the information without a price point.
Can you describe the evolution of your learning programs?
I’ve been with AILA since 2010, and there have definitely been some ebbs and flows. When we began our distance learning offerings, there was a big rush initially since our members hadn’t seen this from us and found it as an easy, affordable way to earn CLE credit. As time went on, other organizations also began offering CLE courses and the market was saturated; our numbers dipped a bit, so we had to adapt. We have done that in a number of ways.
We started offering live webcasts of some in-person conferences to provide something a little more polished and technologically savvy. Also, rather than listening on the phone you can see somebody there in front of you on your computer and ask questions live, so you have that interaction. This is a new way for people to participate, earn CLEs, and save on travel cost. Plus, we have the recording of the webcast, which we sell and offer to participants to view anything they may have missed.
We heard from our members that they wanted more on-demand content considering their busy and unpredictable schedules. The webcasts and seminar recordings can be done at their own pace and have proven very successful.
How has CommPartners aided in the evolution and growth of your learning programs?
We have worked with CommPartners since 2007. We began with audio seminars, then webinars, and now livestream events. When Elevate was released, we found it a very attractive option, but weren’t sure how to implement it in our organization. At the end of the month we are excited to launch new offerings through Elevate.
Additionally, we’ve found everyone at CommPartners to be responsive, professional and dedicated to ensuring we provide exceptional educational programs to our members. It’s great to see that no matter where someone is in the organization, straight up to Rich, everyone is very professional and great to work with.
What’s next for your education programs?
We saw other associations hosting courses entirely online and we viewed that as the future of learning so we wanted to offer that to our members. At the end of July we will be hosting an online course using Elevate. Ultimately, we want to put together AILA University which will offer micro-learning opportunities for the busy, unpredictable schedules of our members. We want these to be specific, 5 minute videos that can address the questions of our members. These are topics that don’t need to be addressed in a 60 minute webinar, but can be a quick answer so our members can get back to their clients. We are starting this year and hope to keep building upon it and adding a robust curriculum that we can update as needed.
We also eventually want to get into digital badging with these offerings. We see it as an engaging way for our members to advertise their learning track. We see this as an essential element in the future of continuing education, especially with the new generation of lawyers graduating. Our team is always looking into the future and assessing what we need to do to accommodate our members.
To learn more about AILA, please visit: https://www.aila.org/
Columbia, MD – November 1, 2017. CommPartners, a leading provider of Learning Management Software, webinar, webcast, and livestream solutions announced details for Peak 2018 Conference. The event will take place March 15-16, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Peak is a conference designed to inspire, educate, and train association professionals in a wide range of e-learning topics. The event will feature two keynote sessions, eight breakout sessions, deep-dive Elevate LMS trainings, peer knowledge exchanges, and more. Topics include Social Learning, Building a Dynamic LMS, Credentialing, Course Design, and e-Learning Trends. A complete agenda can be found at www.commpartners.com/Peak.
“We are excited to host our first conference where association peers can come together and not only receive extensive training on Elevate Learning Management System and our other services, but to also learn from peers who share similar challenges.” Richard Finstein, CEO, CommPartners
Learning opportunities and trainings will provide value to all professionals who have a key role in their organizations education and professional development strategy. Attendees will be eligible for up to 4 CAE credits and will also have the opportunity to connect socially with peers, partners, and industry leaders during a happy hour reception.
“It is our goal that attendees leave Peak 2018 with clear direction on how to revolutionize their online learning programs and to arm them with the tools to help them get there”, explains Finstein.
Peak 2018 – CommPartners’ First Education & User Conference
March 15-16, 2018
District Architecture Center | Washington D.C.
CommPartners is a leading provider of online education and event solutions. At the core of the company’s solutions is our Elevate Learning Management System. Elevate is the only LMS with fully integrated and embedded webinar, livestream and multimedia software to support learning, how and when it occurs. The connection between live, peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges and traditional continuing education programs leads to improved learning outcomes, as well as increased participation within an organization’s education offerings. To learn more visit: www.commpartners.com
Virtual events are a trend that won’t be going away and are quickly becoming a strategic must for associations. Virtual events can reach deep within organizations and impact a larger number of participants. Traditionally, only a select group of individuals are able to attend in-person events, leaving a majority with nothing. Virtual events are evolving the way associations offer education, are cost effective, powerful and an efficient way of extending your most compelling content to your entire community.
Here are five tips to ensure your virtual events are a success:
1 – Plan, Plan, Plan.
Virtual events require a significant amount of planning – maybe even more than place-based events. Ensure that you and your team have openly communicated about goals, intended outcomes, content and metrics. Develop and document a detailed event strategy with defined dates/milestones and pair with a corresponding production plan. A calendar of tasks and project deadlines will make for a smooth execution.
2 – Build-In Engagement.
Capitalize on the unique opportunities that a virtual event and the associated technology can offer. Leverage polls, self-assessments, chat features and integrated social channels. You can start the engagement well before your event and extend well beyond it is over.
3 – Leverage Experienced Production Partners
Having the right vendor partners is essential to the success of your event. Events that are poorly produced or using ineffective technology can leave attendees frustrated and dissatisfied. Be sure your partners can handle all support inquiries during the live event so that you and your team can focus on content delivery.
4 – Prep Speakers & Staff
Once the agenda is set, ensure that your speakers are well equipped to deliver stellar presentations that connect with the audience. In preparation of the event, take some time to guide your speakers on the technology and ensure they feel comfortable and encouraged. Additionally, make sure appropriate staff are prepared and have clearly defined roles for the live event.
5 – Promote & Build Excitement
You have invested significant time in planning and preparing for your event. Be sure to effectively market and promote your event with the same intensity as place-based events. Promote early, often, and increase the intensity as you lead up to the live event. Facilitate the engagement, open up discussions, and promote conversation through social media. Getting attendees excited before the event will promise a lively and robust event and even pave the way for post event conversations.
Virtual events shed a new light on member engagement strategies. They remove the barriers for attendance that exist with place-based events and as a result, extend your reach, revenue, and impact.
CommPartners produces hundreds of virtual events each year, including many that are executed from within an LMS environment. The seamless integration of CommPartners’ webinar and multimedia platforms within Elevate LMS make for a dynamic learning experience and hassle-free management for staff and presenters.
To learn more about how to make virtual events apart of your strategic reality, please contact us.
Webcasting, just like most things tech, is constantly reinventing itself and has evolved from a niche offering to a broad-based, versatile requirement for sharing knowledge online. Working for CommPartners, I have produced webcasts across a broad and diverse range of clients, each with individual needs, where custom and inventive webinar hosting services are often the only way to get the job done best. You know your members and how they prefer to engage, but are you leveraging the power of live streaming to grow your membership and reach?
The 3 most popular ways live event webcasting can be applied to your audience:
- Private Webcasts: These are webcasts where the content is streamed to a specific audience with the credentials to access it. Most organizations like to keep their intellectual “capital” limited to members and other paid parties, and this type of webcast is strictly for members only.
- Public Webcasts: These are free and designed to raise awareness and interest in the organization. Often an organization will utilize a popular live event streaming service such as YouTube or Facebook Live to webcast a portion of their content free of charge, in order to promote themselves and their mission.
- Private and Public Simulcasts: This is a newer category of webcast, where organizations simultaneously provide a private, special experience for their members and other paid or pre-registered parties while live-streaming a part of their content over free social media channels, in order to advertise the experience.
What a strong, exciting way to self-promote! Live event webcasting comes free with YouTube and Facebook, and most organizations already have a presence on these networks. While Facebook may be superior for organizational staff to post small live clips to promote their events, YouTube is the ideal place to provide a high-quality social media webcast experience, which can be shared rapidly among interested parties. As you know, to access a live event on YouTube, all you need is the link, and you can instantly connect to an unlimited number of viewers. An email blast advertising a live event on YouTube would likely be very well-received, as the prospect of participating in a live event broadcast draws viewers at a much higher rate than say a pre-recorded or archival program. By offering live event webcasting as a live promotional webcast on YouTube, the opportunity to organically reach new audience members increases exponentially!
Leveraging the Most Out of Event Live Streaming
CommPartners, in addition to offering webcasting in private, controlled environments, also provides a suite of event live streaming services. We have worked with clients to both simulcast and live-stream events and select content to YouTube. Social Media webcasts are one of the most powerful organic ways to expand your reach. You are already using it to keep members, fans, and other pertinent parties up to date with your organization — So, why not leverage some of your intellectual capital and show the world why membership to your organization has its benefits!
To speak directly with someone at Commpartners about our live event streaming solutions, or to find out how you can add a social media webcast to your event or virtual conference — contact Meghan Gowen at email@example.com or give her a call at 443-539-4851.
Post Written by Bryan Ranharter, CommPartners Multimedia Producer