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  • Jennifer Kerhin, MBA, CEM

Hosting Virtual Educational Content

Education is an integral part of any Association conference, and organizations are committed to providing top quality educational content for their members. While in-person sessions are currently not possible in most locales, a virtual conference, if done properly, can offer many of the educational benefits of an in-person meeting. Create a microsite on your conference website as the platform for your virtual event and reap the rewards of the innovative use of technology - make it the hub for the informational and educational opportunities listed below.

Exhibitor Education

Offer sponsors the opportunity to provide specific education to your members with a virtual educational session. Participating companies can post 15 or 30 minute sessions which are housed on your conference website, and can include slides with audio, or video. Users can go online to view each session. Alternately, speakers can host live sessions via video conference such as Zoom or GoToMeeting. Attendees can enjoy their lunch during a "brown bag" education session, or meet for "coffee and donuts" while learning from the online instructor. This is a great vehicle for sponsoring companies to showcase their products and services, and because it is prerecorded, it is widely available to attendees.

Virtual Town Hall

Live stream as industry experts participate in a virtual town hall to discuss salient topics. An association leader can moderate as invited experts discuss events or advancements in their area of expertise. Members may submit questions via virtual meeting technology (Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc.), email, and social media. Allow sponsors to share their content by inviting their speaker of choice, and raise their brand awareness through the placement of their logo in email communications and online during the Town Hall.

Webinar

Engage your audience with an interactive webinar that includes expert speakers, Q&A, online polling, and tracking analytics. Companies that are aligned with your topic are ideal sponsors, and could provide speakers and content. The Webinar format is similar to the Town Hall in that it provides the opportunity to have sponsored speakers and logo placement. Provide transcripts or recordings of the Webinar after your event so that attendees may revisit the content.

Virtual Poster Gallery

Did your current postponed or cancelled meeting have posters? This opportunity is an excellent way in which to showcase your poster authors’ valuable work while providing virtual education to your members. Innovative ideas to draw traffic to your virtual poster gallery include online voting for the “People’s Choice Award,” or as a reflection of current times, “Best Poster to Read during Remote Work!”

Just like a physical conference, showcase your education - your new virtual education. Use your conference website as a platform for your content to reach your organization’s members and attendees.


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