4 Ways to Use Video to Enhance Your Virtual Event

Many conference organizers have historically relied on third-party tools such as an abstract management system to collect, review, select, and schedule papers and presentations for an in-person event. What’s not as widely known is this same software can also be used in non-traditional ways to better support your virtual or hybrid event.

If your abstract management system features a built-in video recording and submission tool, like our CATALYST abstract management software does, you can easily collect pre-recorded session videos to be included in your event schedule. What’s more, these same video capture capabilities can be leveraged in other ways to enhance the event experience for your speakers, attendees, and sponsors.

Here are four ways meeting planners are using video that go beyond just capturing session content:

1. Audition your virtual speakers

Giving a presentation to a virtual audience requires a very special skill set. Understanding how to present the material in a way that is engaging without being able to use movement can be challenging. Some presenters really rely on audience feedback—eye contact, smiles, laughs, nods—to maintain their energy level and enthusiasm.

To ensure that your speakers are not only presenting relevant, high-quality content, but that they can carry a 30-to-60-minute virtual presentation, consider having them use your abstract management tool to record and provide a short audition video as part of your initial submission process, and include them in your review criteria. You can even provide the ability for your reviewers to leave feedback for submitters so they can make improvements before the final presentation.

2. Perform a presentation test-run before the event

Ask your selected speakers to create a test recording of a short portion of their presentation in your abstract management system to confirm their A/V setup is sufficient. Items to check include quality and sharpness of their camera, whether the audio works and is loud enough, lighting, and background. That way, they can address any potential issues well ahead of the event.

3. Gather videos for event marketing

At some point between when your speakers are selected and when you prepare content for your virtual event platform, you’ll need to collect additional information from your speakers such as headshots and bios. This is also a perfect opportunity to have your speakers and session leaders use your abstract management software to record and submit short intro videos that can be used on your website and social media channels to promote the event.

4. Gather videos from sponsors and exhibitors

Your sponsors and exhibitors want as much opportunity as possible to get their message in front of attendees. Pre-recorded videos are great to feature on your virtual event platform and to promote premier sponsors and exhibitors on your website and social media channels. But not all sponsors and exhibitors will have a pre-produced video. If this is the case, a company representative can easily use your abstract management system’s built-in video recording and submission tool to record a short message that is personalized to your attendees. It’s an easy, low-cost solution that provides increased exposure and value.

While the format of events has changed, the need to source high-quality content hasn’t. But in a virtual setting, that definition of “quality” extends beyond the subject matter. The presentation style of the speaker and the technical quality matter too. Pre-recorded videos can help you minimize issues for your virtual attendees before the event begins. They can also provide opportunities to create a better experience for your speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors.

Important Things to Consider When Designing A Training Program


Kirk Sundling, Director of Training Development at International Food Protection Training Institute talked to Omnipress about some of the challenges that arise when designing a training program.

Watch Kirk discuss his organization’s approach to translations, versioning and incorporating learner feedback into their course materials.

Dan wraps up the video by suggesting a way to manage inventory risk when the popularity of your new course is unknown.

Video Transcript:

Important Things to Consider When Designing A Training Program

DAN: Last week we were privileged to sit down with Kirk Sundling of the International Food Protection Training Institute to discuss some of the things they consider when they develop a new course.

KIRK: The process for launching course all starts with regulation and the implementation of FISMA.

And the big one was preventative controls for human food.

That was our largest. And versioning is kind of the process for keeping up to date.

Obviously, there’s always changes in regulations and what those stipulations are. And that kind of drives the versioning.

But obviously you print something the first time, it’s not going to be perfect.

So what you have to do is you have to understand that going into it and create an appropriate timeline for those changes to get the next version.

So going from version 1.0 and then going from a version 1.1.

The same thing with even translations. From going from an English version of preventative controls for human food to a Spanish version.

You’ve got to be very careful on that versioning and also on the translation.

DAN: Kirk, thanks for sharing. Some really good information for organizations to consider when they’re developing new course material. I think all organizations are challenged with similar things.

You have to consider your version control, when is content going to change? Is it based on regulations or is it based purely on attendee feedback?

Then you have to consider language—are you going to need to do translations for your content?

The most important part of all that then is making sure you select the right print model so you don’t overproduce and have a bunch of unnecessary spending.

It’s always kind of an unknown world, you’re not sure when things are going to change.

So maybe out of the gates with a new course, you don’t want to take advantage of a large print run and the cost per unit, only to throw things away.

So maybe print-on-demand is the right model out of the gates until things get solidified.

Kirk, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and information. I hope other organizations can find this beneficial.

Introducing CATALYST | Video

Over the last few weeks, we’ve written quite a bit on this blog about CATALYST, our new abstract management system. Today is your chance to finally see why we are so excited about it!

Designed for meeting planners, by meeting planners.

CATALYST is such an exciting announcement for us to share with the meeting planner community because they have played such an important role in designing it.

We’ve been helping associations bring remarkable content to their conferences over the past 40 years. During this time, we’ve learned what they need in a collection system to be successful. We’ve also seen how their submitters use it (or don’t use it…until the last minute!). These insights began shaping CATALYST long before the first line of code was ever written. It truly is designed to help meeting planners collect the educational content for their conferences because their experiences designed it.

The excitement is contagious!

We’ve also seen a lot of excitement from meeting planners themselves as they experience a demo of CATALYST for the first time. Their excitement comes when they that see a time-consuming, manual task they dread doing every year now can be automated. What was once “that’s just the way it is,” suddenly becomes “that’s not the way is has to be.”

Or maybe their excitement comes when they see that the new interface and forms are much more intuitive than in their old system. That means that they will be spending less time on answering support questions from confused submitters. Even simple things like having individual log-ins and automated password resets have a tendency to bring out an “Oh, that’s great!” response from veteran planners.

See for yourself.

The video above is just the beginning of how CATALYST can help you bring high-quality educational content to your conference. Drop us a line and we’d be happy to talk with you about how CATALYST could improve your specific process. We can also schedule a time to walk you through all that the system is capable of.

When you think about it, other than the manual, repetitive tasks you dread doing, what do you have to lose?

3 Simple Steps to Save Time During Your Collection Process (Video)

Conference content begins with the collection and review process. Before your content website is built or your app is approved, association staff, submitters, and reviewers begin the work of determining what content will be included in the annual meeting. This process is important because choosing the highest quality content, vetted by industry experts, sets your association apart.

But collection and review can be challenging. In fact, in our 2016 State of the Conference Industry survey, it was chosen as the single greatest challenge by 33% of respondents.

Why is collection and review so frustrating for meeting planners? Some things are just the nature of the beast: submitters will always want an extension, and last-minute schedule changes will happen, despite your best efforts to avoid them.

Other factors have more to do with the capabilities of the tool you use for abstract management. If you run up against your system’s limitations, you may find yourself spending a lot of time on manual work-arounds.

Thankfully, some issues can be addressed by making a few simple tweaks to your process. In our newest video, we outline three simple changes you should consider making to your collection process before your next call for papers:

  • When is the ideal time to think about your end outputs (printed materials, website, app, etc.)?
  • How can you set up optimal deadlines to keep your event planning moving forward?
  • What more can you do with your abstract management system that you might not be doing today?

View the video to learn more!

Have you found ways to save time and stress during your collection process? Leave a comment to share them with others!


Evaluating Your Call for Paper or Abstract Process: Part 4

To round out this video series, Bob Hamm focuses on content beyond collection in Part 4: Final Materials & Outputs. When you work with Omnipress, you can use one source for collection and just about any final product you can think of, including:

If Bob’s description of a complete online collection system (and full-service vendor) sounds like a good fit for your organization, let’s talk! Reach out to us to learn more about how a single-source partner can save you time, make your life easier and free you up for other important tasks to prepare for your next event.

Evaluating Your Call for Paper or Abstract Process: Part 3

After the review portion of the collection process is over, it’s time for scheduling to begin. Part 3: Scheduling within Your Collection System, featuring Senior Account Manager Bob Hamm, covers best practices for collecting final presentations and building your event’s schedule. Staying organized during this process makes final outputs and importing much easier.

Evaluating Your Call for Paper or Abstract Process: Part 2

In Part 2: Assessing Your Review Process, Bob Hamm helps you take a closer look at the challenges facing reviewers and association staff during that crucial step in your collection process.

Between set-up considerations like assigning submissions and rounds of review to rating systems, Bob walks you through every aspect of collection to consider. The central theme is clear: Why handle something a better system could do for you, simplifying your life in the process? To keep it easy, work with a partner and a system that can help you get the information you need, how and when you need it.

Evaluating Your Call for Paper or Abstract Process: Part 1

In this first installment of the four-part video series, Senior Account Manager Bob Hamm discusses how associations handle the invitation to submit papers or abstracts.

For example, Bob suggests thinking about what information you’ll need at the end of the process for programs, mobile apps, proceedings, and websites. Ask for what you need from the beginning, which means you’ll have less chasing to do later on.

Watch for more information on the first step of a successful collection process. Coming up tomorrow: Assessing your review process.

Digital Publishing Platform Video!

If you’ve been following the blog over the last month, you’ve learned a lot about our Digital Publishing Platform. Clearly we’re proud to share this new product with you. In addition to the blog posts on the subject, you may have seen changes to our website, the press release, and social media coverage on the DPP.

Take one more look! This video presents the Digital Publishing Platform in just over a minute. Watch it now and contact us to see a demo of the product in action.

Learn About Using Social Media for Events

Yes, this is an advertisement for Engage365.org, but let’s move beyond that.

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. It might have something to do with people enjoy watching videos. Creating fun little videos like this is a bit more entertaining, yet it shares the same message as this:

<be sure to hum a dramatic tune while reading>
Currently meeting planners and associations are having to deal with a decrease in event attendance. And that makes people a bit nervous. Using social media is proven to help increase event awareness and attendance. But, many meeting professionals don’t understand social media or how to use it effectively for their events. They need help understanding social media for events and how to engage attendees. Engage365 is a great resource for meeting professionals.

Engage365.org – Social Media for Events Community

YouTube makes it easy for your to tell a story… It’s called YouTube search stories. If you’ve ever “googled” anything, then you’re qualified to create these free videos. Pretty neat, eh?

Skip to content Top