MADISON, Wis. — August 4, 2020 — The 36th annual Distance Teaching & Learning (DT&L) conference can not only go on this week thanks to a complete virtual event solution from Mediasite Events, it can actually triple its virtual registration and cut conference costs in half.
Nearly 900 educators will come together via Mediasite through Friday for professional development and to strategize for the fall at DT&L, put on by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies.
For the past decade DT&L has offered a small online option with Mediasite for people who couldn’t attend in person. As organizers planned this year’s event in the face of COVID-19, they pivoted to a fully virtual conference.
“We are thankful that we’ve teamed up with Mediasite Events once again to offer a virtual participation option, because this is the largest virtual conference in our history. We’ve significantly expanded our registration from years’ past and cut our event costs in half by saving on major big-ticket items like the venue and dining,” said Wendy Fritz, Director, Learning Design, Development & Innovation, UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies.
Mediasite Events is helping organizations of all sizes create virtual and hybrid experiences, complete with features like a customizable event website, live or simulated live session streaming, a content catalogue, e-commerce options, a virtual expo hall for sponsors and attendees to connect, e-poster sessions, interactive features like live chat, and more.
“We have a very small team planning the conference, and we’d never be able to do this on our own without Mediasite Events’ expertise. It’s been such a relief that we can say ‘OK, we trust our partner, we know we can rely on them and trust that they will create an excellent experience for our attendees,’” Fritz said. “We are very excited to stream all of our sessions and offer a virtual exhibit hall. The technology is amazing. Attendees can click to chat or make an appointment with vendors, and sponsors can create their own sites to embed promo videos, company information and connect with attendees. Having the virtual expo hall is really incredible, and we wouldn’t have been able to sell sponsorships without it.”
Fritz continued: “Sponsors are really excited about the virtual exhibit hall, too, because they don’t have to pay to travel and ship their booth materials – a costly endeavor. Plus, the leads are actually better in a virtual hall because only the people who are interested in their products will sign up for an appointment.”
Mediasite Events technicians will capture all keynotes and sessions. Each speaker connects with a technician via a virtual speaker ready room, and the technician handles all the technical aspects throughout the entire presentation to ensure a smooth experience. Speakers present from anywhere via Zoom, while attendees watch and interact the stream from anywhere in a secure and robust Mediasite player. Delivering the content via Mediasite means viewers can benefit from interactive features like live chat, polls and speaker Q&A.
“I think virtual experiences are going to become forever part of our DNA, because professional development funds are going away, people can’t travel like they used to, and people want flexible options. Higher education needs to reach new audiences, and we can’t go back to where we were. We have to keep innovating,” Fritz said. “As much of a tragedy as COVID is, it has opened a lot of people’s eyes. Instructors who have vehemently opposed teaching at a distance are now big fans because they see how being a good virtual teacher makes them a better teacher all around. We can’t go back to the old way of doing things.”
“I absolutely think that virtual events will be a big part of the future of the events industry,” said Michael Norregaard, CEO, Sonic Foundry, maker of Mediasite. “There will be a gradual return to some physical events in the next year, but it will never be what it was. Virtual is here to stay, and event planners who are willing to ‘think new’ and redefine their roles will lead the way in this changing dynamic. Virtual events have potential to deliver more for less, and Distance Teaching & Learning is an excellent example of that – they’re saving money and reaching a much larger audience. We are honored to help them achieve that outcome with our virtual events solution.”
The world’s top companies and continuing education conferences trust Mediasite Events to create dynamic virtual and hybrid events that engage global audiences in this new digital-first world. With the most experienced project managers and rock-solid technology in the industry, Mediasite Events is the complete go-to virtual solution with everything needed to take an event online — turnkey streaming and concierge speaker services and a customized event website with registration, e-commerce, a virtual expo hall, interactivity and more. Mediasite Events is powered by the award-winning Mediasite Video Platform, trusted by more than 5,200 educational institutions, corporations, health organizations and government entities in 65 countries. Learn more at www.mediasite.com/events.
About Sonic Foundry®, Inc.
Sonic Foundry (NASDAQ: SOFO) is the global leader for video capture, management and streaming solutions as well as virtual and hybrid events. Trusted by thousands of educational institutions, corporations, health organizations and government entities in over 65 countries, Sonic Foundry’s solutions include Mediasite®, Mediasite Connect, Vidable™ and Global Learning Exchange™.
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