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.

6 Webinar Presentation Tips On Preparing Your Webinar Speakers To Deliver Amazing Experiences

6 Webinar Presentation Tips On Preparing Your Webinar Speakers To Deliver Amazing Experiences

The truth is that all subject matter experts don’t always make great speakers. Additionally, some people can deliver a killer in-person presentation but fall short when presenting to a virtual audience. We’ve compiled a few webinar presentation tips that will help ensure that your webinar speakers are equipped to deliver an amazing and memorable presentation experience:

Our Top 6 Webinar Presentation Tips for Speakers

  1. Deliver on the expectations of the learner – provide solutions, education, and inspiration. Leave your attendees with key takeaways and action items. But be sure to make it entertaining – tell stories, speak to personal experiences, include video or bold imagery. Case studies or real-world scenarios also work really well to help illustrate points.
  2. Encourage speakers to have personality and add energy. It can sometimes be awkward when you have to present to your computer screen and you don’t have an in-person audience to infuse natural energy. Consider having another person in the room so the speaker feels like they are talking to an audience. Standing up to present (with the right headset to ensure audio quality) can also help ease a presenter who is more used to in-person events.
  3. Speak the language of your audience. When preparing your webinar presentation, know who is on the webinar – their role, industry, department, etc. If you have a varied audience, that is okay, but be sure to acknowledge that on the live webinar and set the expectation that some of the content may not be completely applicable. This is also a great way to encourage post-event follow-up if you are unable to address specific audiences.
  4. Remove the fear of presenting. Presenting can be scary and doesn’t always come naturally. Layer that with a presenter that isn’t all that tech savvy and we may have a recipe for disaster. Consider having another voice to help moderate and make the presenter more comfortable. Always have a training session on the technology before the live presentation to reduce fears about how the webinar platform works, or consider hiring an event production company so that presenters can simply focus on delivering content. Lastly, always do a thorough sound check – bad audio can ruin the best presentation.
  5. Create a slide deck that encourages engagement. The following list includes our favorite tips on how to prepare a webinar presentation slide deck that people will pay attention to:
    • Include polls, breaks for questions, or even encourage attendees to openly use the chat window to share ideas. If the speaker is comfortable they may even address some comments on the live webinar.
    • Know the flow of the presentation and your story.
    • The webinar should address ONE thing. Don’t try to cram too much into a webinar, you will lose your learner and will simply run out of time.
    • Avoid cobbling together a presentation from old decks – start with the narrative first, then build the presentation.
    • Leave time at the end for questions and conversation. This can be a great way to infuse the participants own personal experiences around the topic.
  6. Rehearse – but not too much! Know your narrative in and out, but don’t rehearse to the point that the delivery feels rigid. Rehearsing will also help boost the confidence of the presenter. Comfortable, interactive, and confident speakers top the list of how to ensure your next webinar will be a success.

Need Help Managing Your Webinars?

As a webinar production company, CommPartners has 25 years of experience helping to enhance and advance our clients webinars. We hope these webinar presentation tips will help your speakers deliver an outstanding and memorable learning experience! If you’re looking for someone to manage your webcasts, fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (800) 274-9390 to see how we can help.

Want to talk about how you can take your webinars to the next level? Explore our learning management system, Elevate. Give Meghan a call at 443.539.4851 or email mgowen@commpartners.com for more information.

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.

Live Event Webcasting: Leveraging Public & Private Webcasts to Grow Your Organization

Live Event Webcasting: Leveraging Public & Private Webcasts to Grow Your Organization

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 mgowen@commpartners.com or give her a call at 443-539-4851.

Post Written by Bryan Ranharter, CommPartners Multimedia Producer