ReadyTalk’s Charitable Contributions Committee

ReadyTalk is proud to have formed a Charitable Contributions Committee in an effort to give back to the community. The committee is headed and run by ReadyTalk employees and any charitable projects are brought to the committee by the employees. Projects are voted by the committee on a case-by-case basis. There are currently three projects that the Committee has approved.

The Relief Project
In collaboration with other recognized non-profit organizations, The Relief Project (TRP) supports communities in immediate need across the United States and around the world. TRP uses music as its platform to raise money, to educate, and to inspire groups and individuals to take a more active role in caring for humanity.

TRP will kick off this next phase of work with a live benefit concert November 29th at the Oriental Theater in Denver, Colorado that will showcase some of the city and state’s best bands. By bringing together top Colorado artists, TRP will raise money to support The Denver Children’s Home, a local nonprofit organization that provides programs and services for emotionally distressed children, adolescents and their families. Specifically, the money will be earmarked towards DCH’s Residential and experiential Art and Music Therapy programs. In conjunction with this effort, TRP is releasing its second compilation CD, The Relief Project, Vol. 2, which will feature songs from Colorado’s most popular and emerging talent.

 

The International Alliance For Women

The International Alliance for Women’s Microenterprise Development Program alleviates poverty and empowers women by funding Village Banks around the world (more than 60 so far, in Afghanistan, Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, and Uganda).

Meet the Wilderness

Meet the Wilderness teaches life skills by providing adventure education programs to youth groups. The programs instill trust, self-discipline, self-esteem, teamwork, communication skills, leadership qualities and confidence in their abilities to meet unique life challenges, actively engage in their community and gain an appreciation of the natural environment. ReadyTalk will sponsor a day trip to Vail, Colorado where children of the program and ReadyTalkers will spend the day team building and enjoying the great Colorado Outdoors.

ReadyTalk is excited to be supporting these wonderful groups and is looking forward to future contributions.


[tags] The Relief Project, The International Alliance For Women, Meet the Wilderness, volunteers, charity [/tags]

Stage V: Contingency & Post Event Plans

istock_000003944811xsmall.jpgIn the final installment of the series, I am going to discuss the contingency plans you should have in place as well as the actions that should be taken post event.

 

I. Contingency Plans


In any web seminar, there a many moving parts that must all come together for the event to be successful. With that in mind, it is important to have some back up plans in case some of these parts fail to come together at the right time. Remember, it is better to over-communicate with your event speakers and staff than to under-communicate. Below are several things that you should be doing in case something does not go as planned.

 

  • Recruit Help: Try to get as much help as possible for the day of the event. Make sure technical staff is on hand and easily reached; use a Q&A manager to help manage questions; runners are never a bad idea; and audience plants to get Q&A rolling are nice to have as well.
  • Reserve Now: Make sure all the proper hardware and office space is reserved well in advance. This includes phone lines and web technology; the rooms that you will need; and any equipment needs you will have.
  • Emergencies: Make sure you have back up equipment including headphones, modems, computer etc. Also, always keep a direct line open with the operator at all times.
  • Detail, Details, Details: Validate log-in numbers one final time, place water near the speakers, make notepads and pens available, have hard copies of the presentation available and test back-up equipment.

 

 

 

II. Post Event


By following a few simple steps at the end of your event, you will be able to maximize your return on the event.

 

  • Post Event Survey: Immediately at the end of the event, ask attendees to fill out a survey. Be sure to include the following elements in the survey:

     

     

     

     

    • A space for attendees to ask for additional questions.
    • Allow attendees to give suggestions on how to improve future events.
    • Allow attendees to give you further information about their interests
  • Follow-Up: Make sure you follow-up with attendees within a week of the event by sending:

     

     

     

     

    • A thank you for attending e-mail that includes a link to the recorded presentation.
    • Any white papers or items you offered as incentive for attendance.
    • Notification of drawing winner if a contest was held. This will build credibility.


And, finally conduct a post-event audit to make sure your goals and objectives were reached. This audit should be in-depth enough to provide qualitative and quantitative results that will justify your next web conference.

 

 

[tags]web conferencing, web seminars, webinars [/tags]

 

Stage IV: Speakers

istock_000002126461xsmall.jpg The fourth installment of conducting successful web conferences is about working with your speaker. Finding a great speaker and working with them to organize the presentation can be the most challenging aspect of planning a web seminar. After you have confirmed that the speaker will be available for your web seminar, the checklist below will help ensure that you stay on target.

  • Kick off Call: All speakers must attend this initial call which you will use to review the event and determine who will be presenting what if there is more than one speaker. In the kick-off call, make sure you cover:

    • Schedules and Deadlines: This includes presentations, rehearsals, technology training and pre-event call.
    • Promotional items: Pictures, bios, titles and logos.
    • Technology: What technology you will be using and the features that the speakers can use.
    • Presentation guidelines: Tips on keeping the presentation concise and exciting.

  • Technology Training: Your vendor should thoroughly train speakers who are unfamiliar with the technology you plan to use.
  • Presentations: Drafts should be turned in one week before the event, with final slides and supporting materials completed no later than two days before the event. Also, make sure to submit the presentation to technology vendor as well.
  • Rehearsal: Conduct a dry run one week before the live event so you will have time to make the necessary changes.
  • Touch-base Call: This is held two hours before the actual event. This is an important call to get everyone on the same page and make sure everyone is ready and calm.
  • Live Event: Dial in 30 minutes before the event to touch base with the operator. Your speakers and support staff should dial in 15 minutes before the event.
  • Debrief: Ask the operator to put you and the speakers into a sub-conference after the event is over so you can debrief while the event is still fresh in your mind.

Finally, here are some general tips for working with speakers:

  • Get all of their contact information because you never know when you will need to contact them.
  • Get to know the speaker’s assistants.
  • Find out if anyone is techno-phobic so you can pay them special attention.
  • Get to know the group dynamic such as who is in charge and any areas of sensitivity.

Stay tuned for the final installment of Conducting Successful Web Seminars when I talk aboutyour contingency plans.

[tags]web conferencing, web seminar, speakers [/tags]

Stage III: Web Conference Registration

istock_000003327006xsmall.jpg Today, as part of the third installment of successful web conferences, I wanted to talk about the registration process for your participants. A registration page must be made as soon as your event strategy is in place. There are three purposes to a registration page:

 

  • Secure contact information
  • Discover source of lead
  • Obtain qualifying information

 


Keep these three purposes in mind when you are designing your registration page. Also, realize that the average conversion rate for a visitor who views the registration page is 50%. Therefore, it is important to lower the barriers to registration – don't try to gather too much information or you risk losing them.

Now that you understand the purpose of a registration page, the table below lists some of the elements you will have to consider when creating one.

 

tableresize.jpg

 

Once people register for your web conference, only 67% of them will show up! In order to combat this trend, it is important keep registrants interested in attending by keeping them informed as your event draws closer. To maximize attendance, consider doing the following four things:

 

 

 

  • Confirmation E-mail: Send an immediate "thank you for registering email" with a request to mark it on their calendar.
  • One week reminder: Email a reminder and instructions for testing their system one week before the event.
  • One day reminder: Email conference access information; also, if possible, a phone call is appropriate here as well.
  • Day of reminder:Send the access information again and place a phone call if you had not done so before.


*Send a minimum of three reminder emails to help ensure strong attendance*

 

Remember to include contact phone number and email for technical questions in your email. Also, do not use any capital letters or words such as "free" that might be caught in a spam filter.

As you can see, there is quite a bit of thought that goes into the registration process. As this is the process that dictates attendance to your web conference, it is worth your time to carefully plan each element as outlined in the table above.

[tags]registration, web conference, web seminar, web event [/tags]

Stage II: Promoting your Web Conference

 

istock_000002727864xsmall.jpgLast week, I started a series on conducting successful web conferences. On Friday, I discussed all of the preparation that goes into the planning stage, from choosing a speaker to selecting a web conferencing vendor. Today, I wanted to talk about the next step of the process: Promotion. Once you have decided upon all of the elements in the planning stage, you will need to promote your web conference to the public so you get your desired attendance.

 

Promoting your event – reaching your audience, convincing them to register and getting them to attend – is the hardest part about web conferences. Consider some or all of these potential avenues for exposure:

 

 

  • Paid advertising:This can be in the form of print or online ads.
  • Media Releases:Target publications or other media outlets that reach your desired audience.
  • Articles: Write and submit articles about the event to key print and online media.
  • Home Page Promotion: Your homepage is the best place to announce your upcoming event.
  • Word of Mouth: Use Web 2.0 techniques to take your event viral.
  • Third Party Sponsors: Secure a third party sponsor that will help you promote your event through their own avenues.
  • Email: Don't forget email to your opt-in lists or your current customers.
  • Salesforce: Ask your sales team to place personal invitation calls to their current customers or do a call campaign to promote the event.

 

 

Use a combination of the above or all of them depending on your resources. The most important thing to remember is that promotional efforts are best done about 30 days before the event. If done earlier than 30 days, your registrants might forget about the event;done to late and people will not be able to block that time out for the web conference.

 

 

Finally, how much promotion is enough promotion? Here is a simple example using an expected attendance of 300.

 

 

Rate Reach
Promotion: Reach x Frequency 100,000 impressions
Average response rate: 2% 2,000 clicks
Registration among visitors: 50% 1000 registrants
Actual Attendance: 33% 333 attendees

 

 

As you can see from the table above, if your desired attendance is around 300 people, you will need to reach about 100,000 with your promotional efforts.

 

 

A promotions plan is important if you wish to reach your desired attendance. The list above is just a general outline of the activities you might wish to undertake.

Later this week, I will go over the importance of the registration process in securing your attendees.

[tags]web conference, web seminar [/tags]