This book includes a plain text version that is designed for high accessibility. To use this version please follow this link.
Meeting Management: Online By Barbara Palmer


AMore Perfect Union


Attendee video chats and automatic language translation were tipping points in moving an annual show for wedding videographers online.


For most of its history,WEVAEXPO,the annual conference and exposition formembers of the inter- nationalWedding and EventVideographers Asso- ciation (WEVA), rotated among high-profile U.S. destinations, including LasVegas and Orlando. But in 2011, its address was aURL—the 21st


annualWEVAEXPOwasheld entirely online. For two days, from Oct. 5–6, WEVA presented live- streamed keynotes and30prerecorded conference sessions, along with virtual networking, a live video-editing competition — “The Battle of the Videographers” — and an online exhibit hall where participants interactedwith exhibitors via live video. After Oct. 6, the event website remainedopen until the end ofDecember, allowing visitors access to all the education sessions as well to exhibitors.


Found in Translation After two decades in physical locations, WEVA Chairman Roy Chapman decided to move the event to anonline-only format for a number of rea- sons—not the least ofwhich was the fact that the association’smembers are all in the video business. The online environment is evenmore demanding when it comes to engaging attendees, he said, andWEVA’s speakers andmembersknowhowto make video visually stimulating.“Ourmembers are artists,” Chapman said. “They are all very con- cerned about the quality of the presentations.” A virtual-only conference also made sense


because it eliminated travel and lodging costs for WEVA members, many of whom are interna- tional. Plus,mostmembers are independent busi- ness ownerswhopay travel and lodging expenses themselves, and over the last fewyearswere find- ing it difficult to absorb the lost revenue fromtak- ing time away from work. “The economyhit our industry hard,” Chapman said, with manymem- bers taking on second jobs. The cumulative effect took a toll on attendance atWEVAEXPO. But just as important as lingeringeconomic real- ities are the very recent advances in teleconference


38 pcma convene January 2012


platforms that make it possible for attendees to communicate online with other participants through video, rather than by text alone. It’s not the same as physical face-to-face interaction,Chapman said, “but it’s close.” During the 2011 WEVA EXPO, speakers participatedin live question-and- answer sessions, and video chat rooms allowed multiple attendees to gather at one timeto talk. Another deciding factor in taking WEVA


EXPOvirtual had to do with translation. By pre- senting prerecorded conference sessions online, WEVAcould translate key programs into Spanish or Englishand add captioning. Theonline platform also offered attendees the option of using instant language translation to send messages; they could typecomments in Spanish and have themappear in English, and vice versa. Using in-person trans- lators in the sessions would have been prohibitive- ly expensive, according to Chapman,whointends to add text-translation services in 18 languages for the associaion’s next online conference.


The Virtual Planner Linda Elland, president ofA2Zmeetings in Sara- sota, Fla., has worked as a planner for both ver- sions of WEVA EXPO — online and face-to- face. As she prepared for the virtual event in October, somuch had dropped fromher to-do list — everything from dealing with speaker flight delays, to food-and-beverage functions, to set- ting up and tearingdownrooms—she wondered if there would be any responsibilities left for her during the event. Were there ever.“Ohboy,” Elland said. “I spent


just as much time coordinating and wrangling everybody as a virtual planner as I did on-site. Even though I was not running from room to room to room, I had three different computers open the whole time, plus I was texting, and talking on the telephone and by Skype.” Onthe planning side, preparation and attention to logistical details were just as critical. “I would


“I spent just as much time coordinating and wrangling everybody as a virtual planner as I did on-site. Even though I was not running from room to room to room, I had three different computers open the whole time, plus I was texting, and talking on the telephone and by Skype.”


www.pcma.org


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110