PCMA’s Catalyst community offers members a platform to ask each other questions, share ideas, or, as the website says, “communicate and collaborate.” Here’s a sampling from a recent Catalyst discussion.
Defining Staff Roles During Digital Events
“My annual [meeting] is in October,” Robin Hayes, CMP, director of conferences and exhibits for the Association of School Business Officials, wrote on the PCMA Catalyst forum. “Like everyone, I’m doing my due diligence and exploring virtual meeting options. I would like to know if anyone has generated a guide and/or template on staff roles and responsibilities they can share for planning a virtual meeting?”
From the Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification course, I recall this list for planning your day-of staffing. Each area should have someone managing just that piece, and this could be used as a guide for preplanning as well, or to augment your current staffing roles. Happy to answer any other questions.
- Event lead — Overall owner/director of the event.
- Production lead — Your production company, or whoever is in charge of mainstage, audio, video, lighting, etc., if broadcasting from a studio setting
- Technology lead — Manages the virtual platform itself. I’d recommend adding a separate person to manage polling, Q&A, etc.
- Social media lead — handles messaging and incoming questions or interactions
- Subject matter experts — your speakers, interviewers, moderators, etc. Assign a “handler” to them, just as you would in a live setting.
— Nann Philips, owner, Scurry Street Meeting Management
In addition to Nann’s listed roles, think about some roles during the actual event.
Hosts (and Speaker Prep)
Webinars and more interactive [elements] should have a session host who is going to start the meeting and would act as the technical support for speakers and attendees. [Some organizations] manage this host role for you plus work with your speakers to get them trained and prepped in the technology or help you prerecord some of your sessions.
When attendees and speakers receive details about the virtual sessions, they may have questions that would need to be answered.
You may have several speakers lined up after each other. Just like on stage, you will need a virtual moderator to smoothly transition from speaker to speaker and to keep speakers’ times on track. Also, at the end of the session, the moderator may ask audience questions from the chat to the individual speakers.
— Silke Fleischer, co-founder, ATIV Software/EventPilot
PCMA has created a COVID-19 resources page to help event professionals find reliable information about the pandemic and to share events industry-related resources to ensure they are prepared now and in the future.