New Features: What’s New in ReadyTalk Conference Center?

What’s New in ReadyTalk Conference Center?

ReadyTalk continues to evolve our product and service offerings to make the chairperson and participant experience even more seamless.  We've made some updates to the ReadyTalk Conference Center, where the chairperson schedules meetings and manages recordings:

Registration requirements for webinar not set by default.New Meeting Details: Remove Default for Registration Type

Now, when creating a scheduled meeting, the chairperson will be required to choose the type of registration they would like for participants. In the past, the registration type defaulted to ‘Register at Time of Meeting’ which caused issues for some of our users, since the registration type cannot be changed once a meeting has been created and saved.

There are two types of registration that enable flexibility in your pre-meeting planning:

1st Option: Register at Time of Meeting

 

What’s this? Registration information is collected from your participants when they login at the start of the conference.

 

 

When should I choose this option? This option is most useful for internal audio or web conferences or non-lead generating webinars.  As a chairperson, you want to know who attended your meeting, but mostly for roll call purposes only.

 

 

2nd Option: Pre-Register before the Meeting

 

 

What’s this? Registration information is collected from your participants before login.

 

 

When should I choose this option? This option enables a chairperson to track attendance, control access to the meeting, and is most helpful for lead generation webinars. In addition, a chairperson can then choose to automatically or manually confirm registrants.  The manual confirmation process is especially useful for highly confidential meetings, such as an investor call, while the automatic confirmation process is helpful when managing a large amount of registrations.


Confirm email addresses for webinar participants with a second email address.Participant Registration Process: Require Double-Entry of Email Address

 

 

This enhancement requires a participant to enter their email address twice during the registration process before entering into the meeting. Often, participants’ accidently make a mistake when entering their email address, causing them to not receive confirmation emails, meeting updates, etc. In addition, capturing accurate participant email addresses is crucial for post-event follow-up and driving attendance with event reminders.

What other information can I gather from my participants during the registration process?

With both types of registration (pre-register or register at time of meeting), participants are required to provide their first and last names, as well as their email address (twice!). As a chairperson, you can choose to gather even more participant information such as company name, job title, industry, or create custom registration fields.

 

web conference meeting timer countdownParticipant Lobby Page: Countdown Timer to Start of Meeting

It’s more than likely that meetings are held in multiple time zones, and it can be challenging for the chairperson to convey every participant’s time zone in the meeting invite.  In turn, participant confusion over the meeting start time can impact attendance rates.  Now, when a participant joins your meeting, there will be a countdown timer displayed on the Meeting Lobby page, letting the participant know, to the second, when their conference will begin.

 

Beth is a Product Marketing Manager and works with our customers to understand their needs as they relate to event services and our conference center, which is used to setup the details of our clients' upcoming meetings. Outside of the office, Beth loves to spend time with family and friends, cook, and hit the slopes.

ReadyTalk Makes National List of Top Workplaces

 

Today Inc. Magazine and Winning Workplaces announced the winners of the 2011 Top Small Company Workplaces. ReadyTalk is thrilled to be included in this year’s list.

As a ReadyTalk employee, there’s no denying that the benefits and perks are tremendous—amazing healthcare, generous retirement, beer, yoga and more (for the complete list, check out our careers page). But, in my opinion, these are the things that make ReadyTalk an awesome environment.

For me, the best thing about working at ReadyTalk is the collaboration. ReadyTalk is by far one of the most collaborative companies and environments I’ve worked in. Here are a few examples:

  • Workspace: Short cube walls don’t always equal collaboration. I’ve worked in places with short walls where you could hear a pin drop. That’s not the case a ReadyTalk. It’s common to see two or three people standing over their cubes having an impromptu conversation rather than sending an email.
  •  

    Employees at ReadyTalk busy collaborating in the kitchen

    Free Drinks + Free Snacks = Lots of Input: The ReadyTalk kitchen is a favorite spot around the office. Stocked weekly with snacks and drinks, there are always people in the kitchen (especially after 4 p.m. when beers are being poured). It’s a great place to get an opinion from colleagues or brainstorm new ideas.

  • Scrum and Daily Stand Ups: ReadyTalk’s engineering department has had great experiences using the Scrum process. Recognizing the value in the process, almost every department at ReadyTalk has implemented a variation of Scrum or Kanban. In marketing, we see a ton of value in meeting daily to talk through what needs to happen each day and what roadblocks might prevent us from meeting our goals.
  • Meetings and Brainstorms:  Want to hone your creative skills? Join the ReadyTalk CEO twice a month for creative thinking exercises. Have an idea for product innovation? There’s a monthly brainstorm session for that. Want to recognize a colleague for his/her hard work? Share at the weekly all-company meeting. There a numerous scheduled opportunities to connect, collaborate and reflect  with colleagues.


All of these collaborative elements make ReadyTalk a Winning Workplace (of course, the office bikes, downtown location and the frequent company parties don’t hurt either). What do you like about your company? How do you collaborate?

 

 

P.S. Will you take just a moment to read Inc.’s article about ReadyTalk and share it on your social network? The more shares we get, the greater the presence we have on their site!

 

What Your Webinar Platform Should Have

 

A couple of weeks ago Ken Molay wrote a great blog post, Conversion Features For Webinar Technologies. He expanded on a post by Brian Massey, which explores what features and experiences customers should expect from webinar vendors (among others).

Ken outlines the elements that he believes should be available to every webinar organizer and I agree. I also think the timing of this week’s launch of the Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk couldn’t be better, since it addresses and expands on many of Ken’s requirements.

Here are a few of his requirements that the cloud connectors address:

Allow Customizable Registration Pages. ReadyTalk’s registration pages are pretty flexible and allow event organizers to create as many 100 custom registration questions (warning: you should be careful about the number of questions you include since as the number registration questions increases the number of participants typically decreases).  Customers, who use Eloqua, can now fully customize the registration pages to maintain a consistent look and feel with existing marketing materials.

 

Follow Lead Source Tracking From Start To End. ReadyTalk already had a built-in campaign tool for tracking where registrations were coming from; but this data lives outside of a customers’ marketing automation program. This is one of the reasons that the Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk  are so powerful. I would also mention your registrants are cookied as well so you can track their digital body language – something a conferencing service does not offer.

 

 

Allow Total Control Of All Email. Not only does the Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk give you control of the look and feel of your emails, using Eloqua lets you automate the email processes so that after the event you can send emails based on actions customers took. For example, registrants that didn't attend can receive one email and those that did can receive another….and this process can be fully automated.


One thing that neither Brian nor Ken touched on is the need for these vendors to integrate with each other. Whether it’s out-of-the-box integration or the ability connect via an open API, the ability to move data seamlessly from one platform to another is essential. Eliminating manual spreadsheet works saves significant time and ensures the accuracy of data. It also makes actionable data available faster.

 

 

What other features would you like to see incorporated into your webinar program? Are there platforms you would like to see integrated?

 

Webinar Best Practices: How to Engage an Invisible Audience

webinar audiences are easy to engage with practice“I’m used to speaking to an audience I can see, so I’m really nervous about speaking to an online audience I can’t see!”

“How do I know the audience is paying attention to me?”

“I can’t see the faces in the audience. I’m not sure if they understand what I am talking about.”

These are just some of the frustration points speakers might encounter when speaking to a webinar audience – and they are valid frustrations!  Luckily there are some ways to encourage your audience’s engagement.

Following are some pointers from speakers who have gone through the frustration of presenting to an invisible audience – some are pretty logical; some are pretty creative!

  • Co-workers can make a great stand-in audience.
    If people sense that you are reading from a script they will tune out very quickly. Instead, make it feel like a conversation. Each person should feel as if you’re speaking directly to him/her. Our recommendation for doing this is to have one or two people in the room with you and speak directly to them as if they are your audience. They will react, and when they do, you should respond accordingly – just like you would in an everyday conversation. Using this technique, your intonation will sound natural and interesting.
  • Use the keyboard!
    Make sure your audience has to touch their keyboard at least every 10 minutes. In ReadyTalk’s web interface you can have them answer questions via the chat feature or answer polling questions. There is also a ‘raise hand’ feature that is a great engagement tool. An example of how to use this would be to ask a question such as “Have you reviewed the documents provided to you prior to this webinar?” You can then ask the audience to raise their hand if their answer is yes. And speaking of providing documents…
  • Distribute PDF files of documents before the webinar.
    These could be note-taking versions of your slides for your audience to use during the webinar, “quizzes” that ask them questions they’ll need to answer at the end of the webinar or a worksheet they’ll need to complete during the webinar. Keep them busy writing something down. They’ll not only pay closer attention to what you’re saying; they’ll remember it better.
  • Consider the “talk radio” approach.
    If you only have one speaker, you might consider using a host to make the presentation more engaging, and it will keep the audience interested since they will hear two distinct voices. At the appropriate moments, turn your presentation into a radio show by allowing your speaker and host to banter back and forth while incorporating audience questions and/or comments.
  • Picture this…
    If you are using slides you should consider including more pictures and less text. This is particularly helpful with an international audience when certain words or phrases may not translate easily. If you do this, make sure the pictures are clear and large enough to show details. If it is a picture with text, make sure the text can be read easily on a slide. Using pictures to tell stories that relate to the concept you’re trying to get across works wonders. If you don’t do this, what do you think will happen? Precisely what we’ve all done; people will minimize the webinar windows, check their email, take phone calls or drop off entirely.

Hopefully you have found these pointers helpful, and can put some of these to personal use. I’m sure there are many more great pointers out there, so if you’ve done something different to engage your webinar audience, please let us know!

As we come to the end of this entry, here is one last, very important point to remember whether you are speaking to a live audience or an invisible one…every individual is there to learn something, so seize that opportunity!

 

As an event manager, Anthony works with clients on all aspects of their audio and web conferencing needs. Prior to working at ReadyTalk, he was a ReadyTalk customer, so he brings a great understanding of developing and running webinar programs. He enjoys spending time with his family and two dogs, watching movies, reading and exploring Denver’s top restaurants.

Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk: What it Means to a Marketer

 

“Spreadsheet hell” is what we call it at ReadyTalk.

It happens when your conferencing service data is isolated from your marketing automation service. It delays lead follow-up, lead scoring and the lead nurturing process. It complicates the entire process and can lead to data errors.

As a marketer, I am always looking for ways to accelerate lead conversion, arm my sales team with valuable information, simplify reporting and gain a solid understanding of metrics.  The new Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk allow me to take advantage of Eloqua’s platform without falling into spreadsheet hell

.Let’s look at the old way vs. the new way:

 

  Without Integration With Integration Additional Benefits of the Integration
Pre- Event Action Items

  1. Send out invites with Eloqua (or our conferencing service) with a registration link hosted by ReadyTalk
  2. All registrants would flow into ReadyTalk
  3. All confirmation and reminder emails are handled by ReadyTalk
  4. If you want to take an action on registrants (nurture, score etc), you must log into the ReadyTalk system, download a .csv and upload into Eloqua

  1. Emails and registration match your company branding.
  2. ReadyTalk simply hands the unique meeting URL to Eloqua and Eloqua takes care of the rest:

    • Registration is handled by Eloqua
    • Scoring is instantaneous
    • lead nurturing can be complex and segmented
The registrant information is placed into a pre-call campaign in salesforce.com.
As registration happens, our sales team is able to add the human touch to our webinars.The options are limitless now that Eloqua is handling the registration and confirmation process. 

 

 

Post-Event Action Items

  1. Downloaded the attendee list from ReadyTalk
  2. Map the fields to match Eloqua requirements
  3. Clean  up the data and upload it into Eloqua; at this point you can also segment the list based on title or department so they can be put into the correct nurturing programs or contact groups.
  4. Send appropriate post-event emails

Depending on how large the webinar was, this process could take a day or several.

 

 

  1. Attendee list is already in Eloqua
  2. Attendees are automatically scored and placed in the proper contact groups and nurture programs
  3. Measure attendee  engagement on the webinar and refine their score
  4. Send to sales if needed

 

After refining the lead score again, sales can follow-up immediately and are well prepared with duration of stay and registration data. 

 

No waiting, no .csv file and no tedious field mapping.

 

As illustrated in the steps above, integrating ReadyTalk webinar services with our marketing automation platform, Eloqua is saving us significant time and eliminating manual processes that can lead to errors and other problems.

 

If you’re interested, you can learn more about Eloqua Cloud Connectors for ReadyTalk.

What marketing automation platform do you use? Are there other marketing platforms that you’ve integrated and seeing the benefits? If not, what would you like to integrate?

 

Mike Mckinnon, senior demand generation manager at ReadyTalk

 

As the senior demand generation manager at ReadyTalk, Mike helps manage and execute ReadyTalk’s demand generation programs, which include email, online advertising, telemarketing and tradeshows. He also oversees ReadyTalk’s lead management process and marketing funnel by using Eloqua and Salesforce.com to automate ReadyTalk’s nurturing programs and lead follow-up.