Summer 2019 Course Schedule

Live online classes meet 11 am to noon Chicago time on Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 23, 2019 to Sept. 5, 2019. Sessions are also available on demand below for those unable to join a live class.

Questions? Contact Leslie Wingler at lwingler@pcma.org or +1 312-423-7272.

Module 1: Introduction to Digital Events

What is the definition of a digital event and how will this course equip participants with the necessary skills to plan, produce and measure results of this type of engagement? In this introductory module, we’ll review how the digital event landscape has evolved and how organizations are finding success by incorporating digital events into their communications mix. We’ll take a holistic look at learning objectives from all of the modules to come, review key definitions and provide tips on how to effectively chart a course towards certification including a technical tutorial of the format of the program.

TUE, JULY 23

Module 2: Part 1: From Organizational to Event Strategy

What role does organizational strategy play as the starting point for event strategy? The first part of this module lays the groundwork for understanding how organizations create value, and ultimately change over long periods of time with clearly defined event strategies as a driving force in the short term. Using a robust case study, we’ll explore how one association defined their organizational strategy and designed a first-time digital event to activate on that strategy.

THU, JULY 25

Module 2: Part 2: Building Digital into your Meeting Strategy

It’s an exciting time in the space with so many available technologies and digital event configuration possibilities. How will you put together the right strategy to be successful? The second part of this module demonstrates how to clearly articulate your digital event strategy in a one page overview the leaders of your organization can buy into. We’ll review the various meeting types and how to align with digital technologies and the resources you’ll need to build your “dream team” including supplier roles.

TUE, JULY 30

Module 3: User Experience

In this module you will learn how to define your audience, understand them and know how to connect with them. We will review desired attendee outcomes and focus on how people learn online, as well as understanding your audience’s learning needs will be key to your event’s success. We’ll focus on the desired audience experience and how to leverage engagement using the tools you have available to you. We’ll map out the entire user journey you’ll want your participants to consume while attending your event.

THU, AUGUST 1

Module 4: Content Strategy

The role of content in event planning has changed dramatically in the past few years and your relationship with your audience is now more dependent on your content than anything else. With this module, we’ll share best practices for content strategy, creation and delivery that will allow you to significantly influence your audience and extend the ROI of your digital events through quality content that can be re-purposed to drive results well after the event ends. We’ll discuss how to collaborate with speakers and effectively crowdsource to curate content around audience need while translating those preferences into effective session design.

TUE, AUGUST 6

Module 5: Engagement Strategy

How do you get your attendees to engage and interact during your events? This module begins with developing an understanding of what engagement looks like and why it’s vital to your digital experience; and the challenges involved in keeping audiences engaged. We’ll examine the techniques for fostering attendee interaction, what the options of engagement and networking are in various types of digital environments and how they can be successfully implemented. Just as you find in the physical event world, “structured networking” opportunities often work best in virtual environments. This module will explore successful tactics and strategies for fostering robust attendee communication and interaction.

THU, AUGUST 8

Module 6: Part 1: The Technology RFP Process

How do you determine the best technology solution for you? In this module, we review the steps required to select the best technology to meet your organization’s needs. We will walk through a five step process from establishing and evaluating your needs, examining the wide spectrum of solutions options from open mobile streaming to robust enterprise platforms, analysis of the various solution to the final vendor selection.

TUE, AUGUST 13

Module 6: Part 2: Other Elements for Integration

The second part of this module examines the current state of technology, how to use tech to project manage, collaborate and how to use technology to enhance the engagement and attendee experience.

THU, AUGUST 15

Module 7: Revenue Model + Strategies

The key outcome to building a monetization strategy is to attract and grow your audience through your brand. Engaging your audience through valuable targeted content, and leveraging your reach and expertise will drive your monetization strategy. Monetization is more than just revenue. We’ll review the range of channel options to facilitate monetization and how to make smart decisions as to what channel[s] work best for your organization. We’ll also explore the ROI opportunities beyond hard dollars and how metrics play an important role in your monetization success.

TUE, AUGUST 20

Module 8: Production: Part 1 of 3

As with physical events, the success of digital events is predicated upon efficient project management. In this module, we’ll share examples of detailed project plans and timelines to organize the various moving parts. We’ll examine the skillsets, internal collaborators and outside resources you’re likely to use as you launch your initiative as well as day of responsibilities. This includes a discussion on how to build out an environment that properly represents your brand and fosters interactivity. Technical insights abound. We’ll detail key A/V requirements for digital and hybrid events including cost benchmarks, share expert tips for executing quality production, and demystify tech considerations for streaming, encoding, encryption, and internet testing. Also covered are best practices for finding, vetting and coaching good presenters including legal nuances of speaker contracts for digital events – and engaging sponsor participation and recognition.

THU, AUGUST 22

Module 8: Production: Part 2 of 3

As with physical events, the success of digital events is predicated upon efficient project management. In this module, we’ll share examples of detailed project plans and timelines to organize the various moving parts. We’ll examine the skillsets, internal collaborators and outside resources you’re likely to use as you launch your initiative as well as day of responsibilities. This includes a discussion on how to build out an environment that properly represents your brand and fosters interactivity. Technical insights abound. We’ll detail key A/V requirements for digital and hybrid events including cost benchmarks, share expert tips for executing quality production, and demystify tech considerations for streaming, encoding, encryption, and internet testing. Also covered are best practices for finding, vetting and coaching good presenters including legal nuances of speaker contracts for digital events – and engaging sponsor participation and recognition.

TUE, AUGUST 27

Module 8: Production: Part 3 of 3

As with physical events, the success of digital events is predicated upon efficient project management. In this module, we’ll share examples of detailed project plans and timelines to organize the various moving parts. We’ll examine the skillsets, internal collaborators and outside resources you’re likely to use as you launch your initiative as well as day of responsibilities. This includes a discussion on how to build out an environment that properly represents your brand and fosters interactivity. Technical insights abound. We’ll detail key A/V requirements for digital and hybrid events including cost benchmarks, share expert tips for executing quality production, and demystify tech considerations for streaming, encoding, encryption, and internet testing. Also covered are best practices for finding, vetting and coaching good presenters including legal nuances of speaker contracts for digital events – and engaging sponsor participation and recognition.

THU, AUGUST 29

Module 9: Marketing

Marketing a digital event requires good content, specific skills, engaging techniques, and a careful selection of channels to be able to reach and engage your audience. Remote attendees need dedicated messages and instructions to be effectively guided to attend your event, and there are some particular aspects to take into consideration to be successful in promoting digital events.

In this module, you’ll learn how to create a marketing plan for online events or how to integrate a “traditional” marketing plan with specific objectives, actions and tools related exclusively to the virtual component of a hybrid event.

Module 10: Post-Event + Measurement

Now that you have all your strategies in place, you’ll want to ensure you measure the impact of each. A wealth of metrics and analytics are available through the various virtual event platforms, and this module examines how those tools can be used to measure and report activity to stakeholders, sponsors, speakers and your organization’s leadership. We’ll explore the basic elements of measuring levels of engagement and ROI, and how and when to use simple traffic reports vs. more robust, supplemental data. You’ll learn how you can use your data to continuously improve your future events.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

By completing the DES program, DEI-certified individuals will have gained the highest-level of proficiency and achievement within the digital events industry. DES certification imparts several advantages:

  • Improve Skills: Get the skills you need to excel in live stream and digital shows. You’ll learn to extend and increase the value of your events and initiatives.
  • Industry Recognition: DES designation demonstrates your professional expertise, knowledge and experience – and your commitment to professional development.
  • Career Advancement: You’ll be uniquely qualified to lead your organization into the future. The certification validates your capabilities to plan, build, design and execute successful digital engagements and environments, opening new career opportunities within your organization and the larger meetings, events, conventions, exhibitions and learning industries.
  • Peer Recognition: DES certification demonstrates your commitment to the industry and will be instantly recognized by your peers.
  • Professional Growth: The DES program keeps you current on all digital technologies and techniques available to augment physical programs and launch online programs.
  • Produce Results: Drive the digital event initiatives for your organization empowered by the DES certification knowledge, tools and resources.

The DES certification program is a three-part process including professional experience, an online learning program, and a final exam.

  • Application: Each DES candidate will complete an application affirming a specific level of professional experience required to sit for the certification exam. Candidates may submit prior and ongoing learning courses and continuing education units (CEUs) toward their qualification for the certification. Twenty-five hours of qualifying education must be completed to be eligible to take the exam.
  • Online Learning Program: The DES Online Learning Program is a 10-module course in digital event planning and production, and covers the key “areas of focus” to be found on the exam. Applicants earn CEU credits with each course for a total of 14 hours of digital event training.
  • DES Exam: Once a DES candidate has met the prerequisites he/she is qualified to take the exam. The examination is composed of multiple choice questions based on content from the Online Learning Program. After you have submitted your complete application (including fees) and your credentials and CEUs have been verified, we will forward you the proctor and ethics statements documents. Once we receive these documents back from you we will work closely with you to schedule your online exam.

To qualify for the DES credentials, a candidate must demonstrate the following:

  • Applicant must be currently or recently (within 12 months) working in events, meetings, marketing, conventions or learning industries.
  • Applicant must have three year’s experience in events, meetings, marketing, conventions, or learning industries or be a member of a professional association in one of the above fields – such as PCMA, MPI, IAEE, ASAE, AMA, CEMA, etc.
  • Applicant must have experience in various virtual and digital environments. Experience may include attending, producing or exhibiting in online events or meetings.
  • Applicant must have completed (or will complete) 2.5 or 25 clock hours worth of digital-related continuing education in 10 key “areas of focus” within 12 months of application. Programming may include online and/or onsite education programs through the Digital Experience Institute or other as approved by DEI.

Note: While event planning and management certification demonstrates an individual’s high standard of professional achievement within the meeting, event, convention and exhibition industries, DEI recognizes the unique attributes required of digital event strategists. As such, there are no exceptions to the DES program prerequisites. Digital-related CEUs earned in the process of achieving the meeting or event-planning certification may qualify for use toward the DES prerequisites, if they’re approved by DEI and within the stated time frame.

Right now. There is no set schedule of exam dates, so you can begin as soon as your application has been approved.

Please check the upcoming live course dates if you would like to participate in those instead of the self-paced course.

Re-certification will require 20 clock hours of “new” virtual/digital-related continuing education programs, with an average of 10 clock hours per year. Programming may include online and/or onsite education programs through the Digital Experience Institute or other event management organizations as approved by DEI. Need more CEUs? Visit the On-demand library.

Who is a DES?

There are 370+ DES graduates from 17 countries.