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Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

  • 1.  Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

    Cvent Staff
    Posted 11-09-2020 11:04
    Edited by Danielle Czark 11-09-2020 11:03

    Hello, all! Let's kick off our next Huddle of the Week discussion. We have all experienced the pivot to virtual events in our industry, and especially understand that this brings many changes to how the event itself is executed. One of the main aspects of an event is of course the content being shared to the attendees and the goal from said content. Keeping your agenda and content in mind, read along for this week's discussion questions:

    • What is the best mix between truly live content versus pre-recorded or semi-live content?
    • How are you structuring your agenda in the virtual setting - meaning are you including a full-day of sessions, spreading out the content into multiple days, or a combination?
    • What success have you seen thus far in the way you/your speakers present your content?
      • By the way, if you are looking for some ideas for your speakers, take a look at the current polling question in the Open Forum! Right now, limiting presentation slides seem to have the biggest impact.

    Share your experiences and ideas below, and feel free to ask any questions you may have, too! We look forward to hearing from you. 😊 #HuddleoftheWeek #VoiceIt


    Danni Czark
    Senior Associate, Online Community Marketing

  • 2.  RE: Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

    Community MVP
    Posted 11-10-2020 09:00
      |   view attached
    Good Morning
    We held our 1st virtual event for our internal team a few weeks back in mid-October.  We took what would have been a 2 day in person event (1st scheduled for June 2020, then November 2020, now November 2021) for 400 people and made it a 4 day virtual event. In the virtual format, we were able to include more people since we did not have to pay for T&E.
    Each day's core  sessions began at 1pm ET. 
    We had 4 content "buckets":
    • General Sessions
    • Breakout Sessions
    • Networking Coffee Breaks
    • Wellness Sessions
    Each day had one General Session (Wednesday had 2 sessions) that we ran live through ON24.
    Each day had a choice of breakout sessions 4 breakout sessions conducted via Zoom 
    We ran a daily yoga or meditation class via Zoom each morning (11 ET).  We sprinkled in a nutrition session and also something called "Tapping"
    We had 13 "coffee breaks" - staff volunteered to run a an informal zoom session on a topic of their choice. We added the to the registration site
    We held a screen free night.  We shipped HelloFresh meal kits to all attendees and asked them to spend time with their families.

    99% of the content was live.  A small team (6 people) gathered at one of our midwest offices. We hired a camera man and set up shop in a conference room.  We all wore masks (except the speakers) and all sat 6-8 feet a part. 

    I've attached our agenda template and I'd be glad to talk thru the agenda or our technology, etc with anyone just starting on the journey.
    Our event went so well, we are going to do it again in the Spring.  We may now have 2 events a year - one live/hybrid and one virtual.
    We set the bar high and now I need more ideas for our next meeting!

    Maribeth Bluyus
    Edelman Financial Engines


  • 3.  RE: Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

    Community MVP
    Posted 11-16-2020 08:38
    @Maribeth Bluyus, brilliant!

    I am TOTALLY stealing the Hello Fresh idea, with full credit to you, of course. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the coffee break idea with an expert on a topic ready to answer live questions. I'll post what I did for my first Virtual Event using the #VirtualAttendeeHub. â€‹â€‹

    Brenda Ainsburg
    Channel Program Manager
    Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    United States

  • 4.  RE: Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

    Community MVP
    Posted 11-17-2020 08:36
    Here's the HelloFresh contact information.  They have a new "Tiger Team" to do this sort of thing.  And it took me 5 days to get in touch with the right team.  I started by chatting with customer service and was told they couldn't send 400 boxes.  But I persisted and found Michelle. She made it so easy.  We collected the staff preference (chicken or vegetarian or no box) and preferred address during registration and then sent her a spreadsheet.

    Michelle Sonnenfeld Senior Business Partnerships Manager - Denver, CO

    Mobile: (918) 638-4188

    Maribeth Bluyus
    Edelman Financial Engines

  • 5.  RE: Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

    Posted 11-12-2020 12:24

    As an attendee, I prefer all live content in order to facilitate q&a and feel more "normal" than watching prerecorded webinars. I also
    prefer half-day blocks of content. Sitting in front of the computer watching sessions all day without the usual breaks is a bit much. 
    Limited slides, while presenting live works best for me. I also prefer for the organization to share the presentation links afterwards so you can pick up things you might have missed.

    Amy Zientek
    Director of Sales
    Visit Lubbock The Convention and Visitors Bureau

  • 6.  RE: Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

    Posted 11-13-2020 10:20
    For our agenda, rather than fill each day with non stop content, we decided to spread it out to make it easier to consume.

    Coy Rushton
    Graphic Designer
    Primary Residential Mortgage

  • 7.  RE: Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

    Community MVP
    Posted 11-13-2020 10:38
    Although I prefer the in-person event, I like that when you have a virtual event, you can still review the sessions you are not able to attend usually afterwards by watching the recording as a lot of times you want to go to several session that are happening at the same time. 

    I don't like that you don't get the interaction and questions the attendees ask in the sessions you don't attend. 

    Shorter breakout session should be held for virtual events, to keep attendees engaged.

    Andrea Timbes
    CRM Administrator & Lead Catcher
    Visit Fort Worth

  • 8.  RE: Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

    Community MVP
    Posted 11-16-2020 08:59
    Edited by Brenda Ainsburg 02-23-2021 17:14

    Job title: Channel Program Manager, Americas Channel

    Event Description from Summary page:

    The annual Americas Solution Partner Conference, which brings together Solution Partners from North, Central, and South America for networking, sharing ideas, and learning how to bring the best solutions to businesses everywhere, will be Virtual this calendar year of 2020.

    Join us for an interactive series of sessions and round tables to meet with other Solution Partners and network with both them and Siemens experts across all Solution and Industry Domains.

    Event Dates: November 10 - 12, 2020, with Nov 9 reserved for a big internal meeting using the Virtual Attendee Hub.

    Type of event: Training and Enablement conference for Solution Partners

    I just finished my first Virtual Event through Cvent's #VirtualAttendeeHub with 7 weeks to plan it (!). It was a huge challenge to try to train the speakers to use the VAH tech (we were all full live, either Collaborative Zoom Room using the Cvent Conferencing side of it, or Live with Q&A in the VAH using Cvent Video Player - Live).

    We had about 50 sessions, including advanced production for General Session with a mix of live (our VP acting as Emcee) and recorded (our executives presenting for 10 - 20 min each).  Kudos to Chris Bentivegna for an OUTSTANDING job with a very difficult advanced production scenario. We were full live for our Awards Banquet and Chris B managed to do our VP live on camera, then switch to the PPT with the winner, and then do a split screen with the slide and our VP, then back to just our VP live. Chris B #KilledIt with his skills!

    We went completely live for every session. We announced this to attendees and more than doubled our registration with an 86% attendance.

    Where did I fall down?
    • Too little time to configure and use the conference app
    • Too little time and too high a learning curve to get our 6-8 weeks of Know Before You Go emails out - our attendees should have had a series of emails introducing them to the Attendee Hub
    • Forgetting to hit the Record Button on full collaborative Zoom Sessions

    Where did we exceed expectations:
    • We used our Translation Service's Zoom instance (shout out to Melissa Mann of Arbor translations at where we had live translation from English to Spanish and Portuguese for our full collaborative Principal sessions and 2 special sessions featuring outside expert speakers.
    • A translation hack I invented by using Arbor Translation's instance of Zoom to set up a private translated "viewing room" of our General Session. I used Cvent's Event Management software (Promotion & Communication > Event Emails) and an Internal Info field (need translation = Yes if the country was anywhere in Central or South America; had to use an internal info field because I was exceeding the 3 of advanced search filters with all the country names) to email our Portuguese and Spanish attendees and give them instructions to click a link in the SESSION DESCRIPTION to join the Zoom room. I also posted the link to the Zoom Room in the General Session description. Remember, Advanced Production is via Cvent Video Player - Live. We streamed the blended live and recorded content via BrightCove back end to the player embedded in the Virtual Attendee Hub. What *I* did in our Zoom room is share my screen (Zoom back-end) with the boxes ticked to "share computer audio" and "optimize sound for video" with our audience. Best Practice: share your browser app and maximize the video player screen in the VAH and attendees will see the production but HEAR the translation in the Zoom Room. 
    • We shortened our session content to 30 min of presentation and 15 min of Q&A with a 15 min break before the next session.
    • We used Cvent Video Player - Live for about 2/3 of the content

    We needed better training for our Presenters, which numbered 120! Our presenters DOUBLED in the final 2 weeks. So #ProTip, establish a vetting system for presenters, i.e. they MUST watch the training video AND pass a quiz (hello Cvent Inquisium)  before they are allowed to present using Cvent Video Player - Live. Presenters just "invite" other presenters to present with them. That's fine for a Live-In-Person-In-A-Hotel situation: they get up, run the computer with their Pointer, and talk into the mic. We ran into the problem of several presenters NOT knowing that you cannot start and stop the live stream from their Zoom Room to BrightCove where the content would be streamed live through the Cvent Video Player. Also, Presenters were not understanding that Q&A needed to be moderated in the Virtual Attendee Hub. So VET your Presenters, ensure they have repeated training, and do NOT allow other presenters unless you invent a way to ENSURE they go through the training and retain the training to use the Virtual Attendee Hub.

    I feel confident that our team can execute a great Virtual or Hybrid event using the #VirtualAttendeeHub, especially if we start earlier, provide short (a few minutes) videos on VAH/BrightCove specific requirements, and use the Cvent Event Management email marketing system for advanced and repeated Know Before You Go emails to instruct Virtual Attendees on how to use the VAH. ​​​​

    Brenda Ainsburg
    Channel Program Manager
    Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    United States

  • 9.  RE: Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

    Community MVP
    Posted 11-16-2020 11:15
    Hello Brenda, 

    Thank you for sharing!  The information you shared will help others planning their events.  It sounds like you did an AMAZING job! Congratulations!

    Colleen Beck
    Director of Sales & Marketing
    The Westin Tampa Bay

  • 10.  RE: Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

    Posted 11-17-2020 09:48
    Brenda, did you do the Virtual Attendee Hub on your own or with Cvent Professional Services?

    We are hoping to try the VAH in the Spring, but the fear of the unknown is unsettling.​

    Donna Stout
    Continuing Education Program Specialist
    Lehigh Valley Health Network

  • 11.  RE: Huddle of the Week #8: Agenda Content in Virtual Events

    Community MVP
    Posted 11-18-2020 09:22
    @Donna Stout, we used Cvent's professional services. Ask for Chris Bentivegna, he is amazing! I have 5 years experience and dual certification in Cvent Tech: Cvent Event Management certification, and Mobile App certification. But I had 7 weeks to launch a Virtual Event and NO TIME to learn the Virtual Attendee Hub.  â€‹I'll be certifying in it now that the VAH certification is available. 

    Trust Chris Bentivegna. For General Session we had our VP live acting as emcee in between recordings of our executives' presentations and Chris' advanced production skills ensured we pulled it off perfectly. Also, my VP went totally live for our Awards ceremony, and Chris B flawlessly managed to go from VP on camera to full-screen PPT slide of the winner to side-by-side slide of PPT slide and VP, then back to VP full screen. 

    We went all live for all sessions, over 50 in 2.5 days, and many of them were full Zoom Collaborative, shorter ones were Cvent Video Player - Live with Q&A moderated through the Virtual Attendee Hub. 

    I hope this helps!

    Brenda Ainsburg
    Channel Program Manager
    Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    United States