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Adobe Connect best practices for large events and seminars

Rocky Mitarai, Adobe Systems

June 2013

Expertise Level: Intermediate

  
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Ensure that participants have the best possible online experience

When running virtual events across large audiences, it’s critical that things go as planned. With the various steps required to plan and execute an event, from preparation, promotion, delivery, and follow-up, the task can be daunting. Fortunately, Adobe Connect gives you all the right tools to simplify this experience.

To help ensure that your events result in a successful and engaging meeting experience for your participants, review the event checklist, which highlights the most critical event activities, and the list of proven best practices.

If you are new to running a large event, we highly encourage you to work with one of Adobe’s Event Services partners to help guide you through the process.

Event checklist

Pre-event preparation

  • Schedule your event in advance within Adobe Connect Central
  • Send event invitations and reminders, including this connection test link to ensure quick event entry: www.adobe.com/go/meeting_test
  • Set up room layouts
  • Upload and test content
  • Put the attendee pod in the presenter-only area
  • Test custom pods priorto using acrosslarge audiences
  • Create a lobby layout where attendees can enterthe meeting room early
  • If using a teleconferencing provider,set up the audio profile with your meeting orseminarroom
  • Rehearse event at least one day in advance

Preparation and activities during the event

  • Directly connect to the fastest Internet connection possible
  • If planning to screen share, join via theAdobe ConnectAdd-in option instead of a browser
  • Shut downVPNs and any other programsthat may interferewith the event(email, messaging clients, and so on)
  • Start the recording
  • Keep polls closed until you want to solicit responses from participants or administerthem during the event
  • Use End Meeting to close the meeting, which willshut down the room and automatically close any polls for accurate reporting

Post-event activities

  • Send follow-up emails
  • Analyze engagement, interaction, and campaign results

Pre-Event

Activity Best Practices
Scheduling events with more than 600 attendees

If you are running your event on a Seminar Room license and expect your event to have more than 600 attendees, schedule the event in advance so that all attendees can join. This instructional guide shows you how

Registration questions To maximize registrations, only ask questions that are necessary. Each input field on a registration form acts as an incremental barrier to completion.
Campaign tracking Track how your audience finds your event (for example, Twitter, email, banner ads) by enabling Campaign Tracking. Simply add unique identifiers to the end of your event page URLs. This guide shows you how.
Event reminders Send email reminders to your audience that briefly highlight the key value proposition for your audience. A useful schedule for reminders is 24 hours before the event and 1 to 3 hours before the event. Use custom email triggers to set multiple email reminders.
Participant invitation test link Add the following verbiage and link to all participant invitations and reminders: If you have not previously used Adobe Connect, ensure that your computer and network connections are configured to provide you with the best possible experience by running a test. Visit http://www.adobe.com/go/meeting_test.
Meeting layouts Put all polls and chat exercises on a separate layout. Arrange the layouts according to the agenda so that it is easy to switch during the event. Different content can be loaded into each layout.
Event lobby Create a layout that participants see when entering the event prior to start. Use this “lobby” to provide participants with relevant information, such as audio settings, marketing content, background music, and so on.
Presenter only area Enable the Presenter-Only area in the meeting room, and set it up with relevant pods. For example:
  • Engagement Dashboard to monitor participant engagement in real time
  • Chat Pod to allow private conversations between presentation team members during the event without the audience seeing the messages
  • Note Pod to post reminder messages, questions for the presenter, or standard question responses that you can copy and paste for rapid answers to common queries
  • Presenter View of Q&A to moderate, monitor, and assign participant questions
Attendee list Unless the Attendee List Pod is required for the participants to see who is speaking, consider moving it to the Presenter-Only area to conserve bandwidth and CPU load—highly recommended if you are anticipating over 100 participants.
Uploading content Upload content to a Share Pod, instead of screen sharing, whenever possible. Supported file types that can be shared and presented in a Share Pod include PPT, PPTX, MP4, F4V, FLV, SWF, MP3, PDF, JPG, PNG, Adobe Captivate® simulations (SWF), prerecorded Adobe Presenter courses, and compressed packages (ZIP) containing valid content.
Custom pods Test custom pods before using them across large audiences. Certain custom pods may cause adverse performance effects.
Audio profile setup If you are using a telephony provider and you want to record your event, set up the audio profile with your meeting room in advance, because it can take up to 15 minutes for the settings to sync with your room. See this tutorial if you need help setting up an audio profile.
Event rehearsal and final content test

Require all presenters to attend a rehearsal a day or two prior to the live event. Presenters should be using the same phone, computer, and Internet that they will be using the day of the event. Make sure that the presenters know how to enter Adobe Connect with their proper credentials.

Use the rehearsal as the final content deadline, and take the time to test all content to ensure that it looks and operates as anticipated. If you anticipate participants on mobile devices, be sure to test on mobile as well.

 

During the event

Activity Best Practices
Host and presenter start time

Ask hosts and presenters to arrive 30 minutes prior to start time to test their audio and do final coordination before participants are allowed into the meeting room.

Internet connection Connect directly to the fastest Internet connection available. Avoid using wireless.
VPN closure Shut down VPNs and directly connect to the Internet. VPNs slow down your Internet connection.
Program closure Shut down email, instant messaging, and other programs not being used for the presentation so that participants don’t see these items if screen sharing is used.
Audio equipment Use a good-quality handset. Speakerphones, cell phones, wireless microphones, and low-quality headsets cause voice fluctuations and noisy background audio that is transmitted to participants. If presenters are using a home phone, make sure that they have disabled call waiting.
Audio entrance and departure chimes If using a telephony provider for your audio, turn off audible chimes or notifications when participants join or depart from the call.
Audio mute Muting your audience is a good way to avoid background noise from participants. If you plan on muting your audience, make sure that your presenters have dialed in using a host code so that they are not muted.
Controlling entrance

To avoid getting participant entry requests and having to approve them manually, set the access setting to allow anyone who has the URL for the meeting to enter the room.

Use the Place Participants On Hold feature as a polite way of asking participants who show up early to wait.

Advance entrance Allow participants into the meeting room 15 minutes in advance. Select the Lobby layout to direct participants there upon entry. Use the Presenter-Only area and Preparation mode to coordinate and administer content behind the scenes.
Recording To avoid forgetting to start the recording, put the recording on pause several minutes prior to the event, and resume the recording when the event starts.
Screen sharing

The Adobe Connect Add-in is required for screen sharing. If planning to screen share, join the meeting with the Add-in (versus the browser) to avoid reconnecting with the Add-in during meeting.

Have programs that you are screen sharing open to the appropriate window and ready to demonstrate. Disable computer hibernation, especially if logging in is required.

Chat If you are anticipating over 100 participants, consider switching from an open dialog (Chat) to a moderated one (Q&A). With larger audiences, Q&A conserves bandwidth and CPU load. In addition, with larger audiences, a lively chat can be difficult for hosts to monitor.
Polls Keep polls closed until you want to solicit responses from participants or administer them during the event. Open polls slow down the meeting and can lead to incorrect reporting.
Closing meeting room Use End Meeting to close the meeting room and push an optional survey link to participants. This ensures correct engagement metrics and closes polls so that they can be captured in reporting.

 

After the event

Activity Best Practices
Qualification criteria

Set qualification criteria to qualify relevant participants based on their
duration of attendance or responses to registration or poll questions. This
helps generate more insightful reports on campaigns and conversion.

Analyzing campaign effectiveness View the Campaign Report to understand which campaigns generated the
most visits, registrations, attendees, and qualified leads to help you
promote upcoming events most effectively.
Analyzing engagement View Engagement and Interaction reports in Adobe Connect Central after
your event to understand participant engagement at each point during the
event and address areas where engagement was lacking.
Aggregating data export Download all participation data as a CSV file or use APIs to integrate data
directly with your lead or learner tracking systems.
Follow-up emails Use email triggers to send follow-up emails to participants based on
behavior, such as a thank you email with responses to unanswered
questions to those who attended or a link to the recording to those who
registered but did not attend.

 

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