This post is about the webinar form IDIGBIO, this was the July 28, 2020: Planning for Virtual Events: Lessons learned from Digital Data & SPNHC Conference Planners webinar. This covered Topics to include: Registration, Planning the Schedule, Recruiting and Trainings for Presenters and Moderators, Planning for Posters and Oral Presenters (Storage, Communication, Accessibility – time zones, etc), Vendors, Website and Organization, Benefits of a Virtual Mtg

The reason I watched this webinar was that I was interested in the way things a changing in the way of covid and the way that we are doing these events virtually.
The first thing I found very interesting is the number of people that would have attended the conference vs the number that went to the webinar. There was an increase in the people that went to the webinar so this showed that they were able to reach a boarded group of people that might not have been able to come the in-person conference. As seen in the slide

In this webinar they went over that they decided to not charge for this free event due to the cost was low but that you should think about cost such as the manpower that goes on behind the scenes of putting one of these events on. They also talked about making the experience better with things like breaks, chat rooms, and break out rooms for other to talk about other ideas in the conference. The bigger plan was to make sure that the way people experience these virtual webinars. I think if you were going to host one of these that you really need to plan ahead to make sure that it runs smooth. It was eye opening of how many people that it takes makes sure things run well.  It also went over things like sponsorship how they did it traditionally and how they could do things in the future for these things.

It was also good to see that they had training sessions for the presenters and also a guild for them to use on the different technologies. This seems helpful for them so that they know how to do the things before the webinar, also that they had support for each presenter that was a person dedicated to them if they needed help. This is a great idea to have a point of contact for questions.  After watching this webinar, I had a better insight in the way people use different technologies to have virtual conferences. It is also good to think about how we can reach a wide range of people to have better webinars or virtual conferences. I have participated in many online webinars, conferences, or classes. I feel that some are great, some are not that great, but overall, I feel like with virtual things like this I have many more options to explore different areas that I might not have the opportunity to actually go to or see.

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