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Organize an Online Conference

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  1. PSA Day Organizers' Due Dates
  2. Getting Started
    9 Articles / Instructions
  3. Support for Speaker Senseis
    2 Articles / Instructions
  4. Support for Registrar Ringmasters
    2 Articles / Instructions
  5. Support for Moderator Managers
  6. Support for the Exhibitor Executive
    5 Articles / Instructions
  7. Support for Chief Technical Help Officers
  8. Sponsors
    1 Article / Instruction
  9. Getting ready for the big day
    5 Articles / Instructions
  10. The day of the the event
    3 Articles / Instructions
  11. Other Resources
    1 Article / Instruction
  12. Recordings of previous Drop-In Hours
    1 Article / Instruction
  13. Trial Run
    1 Article / Instruction
Topic 2, Article / Instruction 2
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Roles of the people on the conference team

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It’s time to assemble your crackerjack online conference organizing team. Many of the roles are the same as for an in-person conference while others are unique for an online conference. Each role will require at least one person to be responsible for the duties but many roles are easier if two people work as a partnership to get the tasks done. Links to instructional resources for many of the roles are found later in the course. Many hands make light work so you will need the following people on your team:

The Conference Chair has the following responsibilities:

  • Providing leadership for the online conference organizing team.
  • Recruiting and managing volunteer team members.
  • Coordinating and maintaining effective communication between all team members.
  • Communicating with partner organizations.
  • Assigning, supervising, assisting, and following-up on team members’ tasks.
  • Contacting easyREG to set-up the contract. 
  • Providing easyREG with contact information for your team members so that later communications can be directed to the appropriate person and not have to go through the Conference Chair.
  • Scheduling, planning, and chairing team meetings. Your team will need to make decisions like:
    • How much to charge?
    • How many workshop sessions and how many people can attend each session?
  • Running a debrief with your team to learn about what went well and what could be improved for next time. 

The Speaker Sensei is responsible for:

  • Advertising, requesting, and encouraging presenters to submit workshop proposals.
  • Collecting workshop proposals through easyREG to streamline the process ~ Presenters can enter all of the pertinent information about their workshop, eliminating the need for the manual data entry of workshop titles, descriptions, required materials, bios, etc.
  • Some groups choose to have a speakers’ committee who decides collectively which workshops to accept and where they should go in the schedule. The Speaker Sensei can facilitate or chair this decision-making group. EasyREG has built-in tools to accept or reject a workshop proposal and communicate this with the presenter. 
  • If necessary, signing contracts and/or have presenters sign a contract.
  • Scheduling workshops by quickly converting a proposal into a scheduled workshop in easyREG (which is capable of accepting attendee registrations). 
  • Answering presenter questions and concerns. 
  • Communicating with presenters as required, which is easy with easyREG because there are prepared messages and the ability to write custom messages and reminders that will only be sent to your workshop presenters.
  • Supervising or leading dress rehearsals or practise runs. 
  • Training presenters. Access to easyREG’s growing library of training videos and tips and tricks will help presenters become comfortable and fluent in using Zoom to deliver interactive and engaging online presentations.
  • On the day of, staff an easyHELP desk where presenters can ask questions and seek immediate assistance by text message. Learn more about running an easyHELP desk.
  • Sending thank you messages to presenters.
  • After each workshop presentation, following-up with presenters for a debrief to learn about what went well and what can be improved. EasyREG includes easySURVEY which allows you to effortlessly create and send a feedback survey
  • Advertising, requesting, and encouraging moderators to apply for workshop moderator, a person who will cohost or monitor and respond to the chat feed, control Zoom functions like turning off attendees’ mics, creating and assigning breakout rooms if required, introducing the workshop presenter, and other similar duties, all while enjoying the workshop. It is highly recommended that the moderator manager and moderators complete the self-paced How-to Present an Online Workshop Course. This course is great for those using Zoom for the first time and for those who need to learn how to use specific features.
  • Collecting workshop moderator applications through easyREG which streamlines the process. Moderators can enter all of the pertinent contact and any other information that the organizers would like to collect.
  • Assigning moderators to be responsible for a specific workshop(s).
  • Training moderators or asking them to complete the How-to Present an Online Workshop Course
  • May request cohosts to be tech helpers and conduct the before session tech checklist.
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The Registration Ringmaster deals with all aspects of registration:

  • Determines the requirements of the registration process
    • What information is collected on the registration form?
    • Are people selecting their workshops during registration?
    • What payment methods are accepted?
    • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Answers questions potential attendees have before they register
  • Answers question attendees have after they registered
  • Helps attendees to make changes to their registration
  • Helps attendees to cancel their registration
  • Issues refunds according to the refund policy once a registration has been cancelled.
  • Helps attendees to transfer their registration, if transfers are allowed.
  • Creates and manages invitation codes (discount codes) if required.
  • On the day of, staff an easyHELP desk where participants can ask questions and seek immediate assistance by text message. Learn more about running an easyHELP desk.

The Exhibitor Executive is responsible for:

  • Creating an exhibitor fact sheet that explains how online exhibiting will work and how they can achieve a return on investment (ROI).
  • Advertising, requesting, and encouraging exhibitors to apply to be an online vendor at your conference. 
  • Collecting exhibitor applications through easyREG which streamlines the process. Exhibitors can enter their pertinent contact, descriptive, and any other information that the organizers would like to collect. easyREG has built-in tools to accept or reject exhibitors’ applications and to communicate their status directly with them. When an exhibitor’s application is accepted payment can be collected through easyREG which will also issue a receipt.
  • Once accepted exhibitors can customize their online online presences through their own dedicated portal page.
  • Generate ideas for how to promote the exhibitors and for ways that the exhibitors and attendees can interact eg. online meetups, demos, etc..
  • Answer questions and concerns from exhibitors. 
  • Communicating with exhibitors as required which is easy with easyREG because there are prepared messages and the ability to write custom messages and reminders that will only be sent to your exhibitors.
  • Prepare thank you slides and/or images that can be displayed before sessions or elsewhere.
  • Sending thank you messages to exhibitors.
  • On the day of, staff an easyHELP desk where exhibitors can ask questions and seek immediate assistance by text message. Learn more about running an easyHELP desk.
  • After the conference follow up with exhibitors for a debrief to learn about what went well and what can be improved. easyREG includes easySURVEY which allows you to effortlessly create and send a feedback survey.
The Engagement Engineer is  responsible for creating social interactions between attendees and making the conference fun and memorable. Here are some ways that you can do this in an online evironnment:
  • Photo scavenger hunts.
  • Group games like the finding an item in their space and telling the story behind it, eg. Find something that you should have thrown out long ago but haven’t.
  • Online goody bags.
  • Hangout, break rooms, cocktail parties where attendees can socialize
  • Discussion rooms that have a specific topic.
  • Speed “dating” random or matches made based on specific profiles to meet another attendee and have a quick chat.
  • Gamify the conference attending experience through games or activities that can earn attendees points. You can even have a leader board. 
  • Ice breaker bingo: each square contains a statement that is true for someone you meet at the conference and can record their name on your bingo card. 
  • Photo contests.

You’re responsible for advertising and promoting the conference including developing media releases and communication plans, managing social media accounts, writing, designing, and publishing advertisements based on key messages for a variety of platforms eg. print, digital, email, social, etc..

The Chief Technical Help Officer is responsible for:

  • Coordinating technical logistics but by choosing to work with easyREG the online logistics have been looked after for you but you may need to assist presenters with how to technically present online so they will need information about using cameras, mics, and lighting effectively. 
  • Advertising, requesting, and encouraging volunteer tech helpers to apply to be a workshop tech advisor who will answer or escalate any technical issues.
  • Collecting technical helpers applications through easyREG which streamlines the process. Tech helpers can enter all of the pertinent contact and any other information that the organizers would like to collect.
  • Creating a tech checklist that a tech helper is to complete when they enter a meeting room. easyREG will draft and share a version with you soon. 
  • Assigning tech helpers to the specific workshop(s) that they will be responsible for.
  • Answering questions and concerns from tech helpers. 
  • Communicating with tech helpers as required which is easy with easyREG because there are prepared messages and the ability to write custom messages and reminders that will only be sent to your tech helpers .
  • Supervising or leading dress rehearsals or practice runs with tech helpers
  • Training tech helpers. Access to easyREG’s growing library of training videos and tips and tricks that will help tech helpers become comfortable and fluent in using Zoom’s tools to become an effective workshop tech helper.
  • On the day of, staff an easyHELP desk where anyone can ask questions and seek immediate assistance by text message. Learn more about running an easyHELP desk.
  • Sending thank you messages to the volunteer tech helpers.
  • After each workshop presentation follow-up with tech helpers for a debrief to learn about what went well and what can be improved. easyREG includes easySURVEY which allows you to effortlessly create and send a feedback survey.

The Captain of Cash is the Trusty Treasurer who is responsible for all financial matters including:

  • Working with the conference team to establish a budget for the event
  • Managing the conference bank account
  • Paying bills
  • Approving expenses
  • Creating and presenting the final financial report