Client Success Story: NASW Expands Reach to Cover a Real and Relevant Topic Impacting the Social Work Community

Client Success Story: NASW Expands Reach to Cover a Real and Relevant Topic Impacting the Social Work Community

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.

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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.

Five Tips to Ensure a Successful Virtual Event

Five Tips to Ensure a Successful Virtual Event

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.