Virtual events in a safer-at-home era.
The Learning Guild takes face-to-face events online and engages attendees with Adobe Connect.
Santa Rosa, California
Manages and organizes multi-room virtual events for up to hundreds of attendees
Create successful virtual events to replace canceled in-person ones
Streamline login process for event and conference attendees
Support community members with resources devoted to learning
Engages audiences with a variety of interactive pods
Quickly develop events to connect participants and subject matter experts from across the globe virtually
Provide secure access to events with 'Event Passports'
Use room templates to bring consistent experiences to events
Supporting successful learning at any time, in any industry
Change is a constant in life, and adapting to changing technologies, customers, and markets is a critical part of finding business success for any individual or company. Integral to someone’s ability to keep pace with constant changes is easy access to ongoing training and learning.
Since 2002, The Learning Guild has supported learning efforts worldwide by creating a community of learning professionals, for learning professionals. Through newsletters, publications, and events, The Learning Guild gives learning professionals a place to share knowledge and ideas to build better learning experiences for all.
While The Learning Guild uses a variety of online and offline methods to communicate with members, the organization has long used Adobe Connect for virtual conferences, webinars, and events.
"Adobe Connect works for us. Presenters aren't limited to what types of content they can present, says Karyn Gleeson, Online Production Manager at The Learning Guild. “We've worked with many types of technology, but we still recommend Adobe Connect for a robust, engaging online session."
“We had to work fast, and Adobe Connect made it easy to pivot our face-to-face events to virtual ones.”
Online Production Manager, The Learning Guild
Bringing events online during COVID-19
The Learning Guild hosts numerous conferences and events every year, both virtually through Adobe Connect and in-person. But many plans changed suddenly when the COVID-19 pandemic limited travel and group gatherings. Rather than canceling all in-person events and conferences, The Learning Guild took a different approach. Using Adobe Connect, the organization quickly shifted directions to deliver events virtually.
Every year, The Learning Guild hosts an event called DemoFest. The fun event offers a unique way for learning professionals to share projects through a science fair-like atmosphere. Like a science fair, each participant gets their own booth to highlight their project, from using digital escape rooms for learner engagement to incorporating augmented reality into training. Event attendees are encouraged to wander between booths, ask questions, and eventually vote on their favorite projects in different categories. Winning ideas are often highlighted in future webinars and talks from The Learning Guild.
This year, The Learning Guild moved DemoFest online and created a virtual showcase for top ideas. Over the course of four weeks, the Learning Guild introduced four projects each Wednesday. Members appreciated the chance to connect with fellow learning professionals and continue sharing knowledge though a fun virtual format.
“We had to work fast, and Adobe Connect made it easy to pivot our face-to-face events to virtual ones,” says Gleeson.
“Presenters can use whatever platform that they want for their virtual sessions, but we’ve found that most work best as Adobe Connect sessions. There’s such a variety of pods, so presenters can find many ways to get audiences involved.”
Online Production Manager, The Learning Guild
Flexible platform for active learning
One of the reasons that Adobe Connect has been such a mainstay for The Learning Guild is its flexibility. The Learning Guild can insert many types of pods structured into layouts into the virtual meeting spaces to accommodate any type of virtual event. Presenters can share screens, play video, or draw on a virtual whiteboard. Quizzes, polls, and Q&A windows allow participants to interact with the presenter and share their thoughts. Presenters can use multiple chat windows simultaneously to foster small group interactions based on topics or areas of interest.
“Presenters can use whatever platform that they want for their virtual sessions, but we’ve found that most work best as Adobe Connect sessions,” says Gleeson. “There’s such a variety of pods, so presenters can find many ways to get audiences involved.”
At the same time, Adobe Connect provides powerful tools to support conference and webinar production with greater control and ease. The production room gives hosts, presenters, and session producers a “behind the scenes” avenue of communication that is built into Adobe Connect but kept hidden from the participant view. Hosts can remind presenters about time, or presenters might ask a producer to quickly display a poll in response to an audience question.
The Learning Guild can also create templated room layouts for different types of common sessions. Not only do templates help The Learning Guild maintain a common branded feel for conferences, but having templates also reduces the time needed to create a room even further.
“The multitude of native and custom pods allow us to create almost any room in Adobe Connect, but working with room templates can be very beneficial for participants,” notes Gleeson. “Using templates allows us to keep common pods in the same area across different rooms, which means that participants can quickly familiarize themselves with rooms and navigate the interface with ease.”
Giving guests a passport to learning
The Learning Guild makes attending virtual events even easier with a unique “passport” system. The organization typically uses eight Connect rooms for a conference. Before the event, the organization emails each attendee a list of session links with custom appendages to the URL to serve as identifiers. Session producers use this information to allow registered attendees into sessions as approved guests. This passport allows attendees to easily navigate between sessions while promoting secured access.
“The passport system makes events easier for our attendees, as they only need to keep track of one ‘passport’ email — no passwords or logins to remember,” says Gleeson. “Adobe Connect is simply one of the easiest ways for both participants and presenters to engage with each other virtually.”