DEI Spotlight: Lisa Dyson, DES

Author: Curt Wagner       

Lisa Dyson believes the future of digital events — especially in the association market — is “very bright.” In fact, she’s already seen an uptick in requests for digital components by speakers and session organizers for events she plans at Alexandria, Virginia–based TESOL International Association. Dyson earned her DES certification in 2015 through a scholarship provided by Meetings + Conventions Calgary.

What is TESOL and your role there?
TESOL International Association is a global organization with more than 12,000 members from more than 100 countries. TESOL stands for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. As director of conference services, I am responsible for the association’s annual convention and regional conferences (including any hybrid elements).

What prompted you to pursue the DES certification?
Like any truly international organization, TESOL’s overall strategy for growth increasingly includes digital and hybrid events. So the certification allows me to assist TESOL in this strategy.

How specifically are you using digital and hybrid events at your organization?
Most of our professional learning options are online/virtual, including our new self-study courses. For most of our hybrid events, we live-stream sessions from a conference — although last year we did team up with the British Council for an online conference that was very successful.

What is the future for digital events?
As more and more associations go global, they will need to be doing digital events to serve their membership and customers. In the not-too-distant future it will be very common for an association convention to feature speakers from all over the world appearing virtually — it’s certainly being requested more from our presenters and session organizers.

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