I first started working with INXPO in 2010, when my organization (a trade association) fell on hard times due to a lack of attendance at in-person events. With the recession in full-swing, we needed to do something – and quickly – to turn the downward spiral around. Luckily, a huge increase in attendance at our webinars signaled, “put your conferences online”. The response was outstanding – we had over 11,000 people register for our first event in February 2010, and brought in over $100K in sponsorship revenue.
Following that success, I produced 25 online conferences during my tenure with the company. What made it unique is that almost all of those were done as a self-service client, meaning that I managed the event content, marketing, and the platform setup and execution. Now, I’m transitioning to my new role as a Project Manager at INXPO. I find myself applying all of my self-service know-how to this position, and I’m excited to share my top 5 tips on how to master being a self-service producer on the VX product.
First, Be Open to Learning
Your company has signed a contract and you’re officially a Self-Producer client! Now it’s time to learn! It’s understandable that you may be overwhelmed with the amount of information being thrown at you at first (I was, there’s a lot of technology to learn). But, I can tell you that it’s not as scary as it seems. Start by familiarizing yourself with the VX interface, and take advantage of the wealth of training resources at your fingertips. Consult all of the videos and documents available at INXPO U. They will do wonders to help you find your way.
I can’t stress this enough. Ask questions of your INXPO Account Manager, email the Solutions team and become friends with your webcasting engineer. I’m thrilled to work with a very talented team who are MORE than happy to answer your inquiries, and will work with you to find the answer to even the most complex of questions.
Get Yourself Organized
As a previous self-service client, this was key. However you organize is up to you, but here’s what worked for me. For each event, I’d create the following:
- A content and marketing plan. Since I managed all aspects of my events, this document served as the starting point and contained everything from promotional copy to outlining marketing efforts and dates, presentation information and more.
- Tracking documents for both presentations and the environment build-out. These allowed me to keep tabs on all of the moving pieces. I also shared these with our assigned webcast engineer, so s/he was aware of our progress.
- An environment check list. I’m a list person, so I’d also create a list of all of the tasks I needed to do to properly set up the event. To me, this checklist was THE tool – it kept me on track and aware of all of the details that went into the event build-out.
Train your Team (and Sponsors) for the Live Day
Whether you have a full-team dedicated to your event, or have to solicit a few colleagues to help you out, it’s so important to make sure your co-workers are prepared for the event day. Show them the environment ahead of time, answer their questions and provide them with tools. For example, in addition to the event agenda, I created a FAQ document for each event. It contained login information, technical tips, troubleshooting links, information on sessions, and more. Your colleagues are there to support the event, and they need to be as knowledgeable as you are to make sure it’s a success. The same goes for the sponsors. Allow them to preview the event environment, consult on booth build-out if they require it, and provide them with the FAQs so they are as prepared as you are.
Keep Calm and Produce On
Planning and executing an event can be stressful, and throwing technology into the mix adds a new layer to the process. Learn from one event and apply those learnings to the next. Remember, at the end of the day, you’re the expert and you possess the knowledge to make your event amazing. Armed with that mindset, and the tools you’ve used throughout the planning process, you’ll remain grounded and set yourself (and your company) up for success.
If you are interested in trying our self-service platform, you can sign up for a 30 day free trial of INXPO’s XPOCAST Prime.