From idea to event in eight weeks
TCASE began its search by attending several other virtual events to help it pin down the key requirements for its own solution.“ We knew that we wanted to have a live video component,” says Ginger Meyners. “If you’re just hearing a voice and seeing a set of slides, that’s a much less engaging experience compared to actually seeing the speaker. Our other priority was ease of use. This was going to be the first time that some of our members have participated in a virtual event, so we had to make it simple and intuitive.”
For the live video component of the new conference platform, TCASE chose Zoom, believing that most members would already be familiar with its simple user interface. TCASE also needed a platform to manage registration, manage schedules, and act as a central hub for information and content.
“We had heard a lot about D2L’s Brightspace platform, and we knew it could integrate with both Zoom and our association management system,” says Ginger Meyners. “The question was more about timing: Could we go live with the Brightspace platform in time?” That’s when TCASE met with enSYNC, a D2L partner that specializes in software solutions for the associations sector. Ginger Meyners recalls: “We did some demos with enSYNC and D2L, and everything just fell into place. We liked how the Brightspace platform looked and how it was built, and we knew that enSYNC could make it happen and meet our timeline.”
D2L and the enSYNC team helped TCASE walk through the implementation plan, assigning the appropriate team members to the project. As a result of this well-planned approach, the team completed the implementation in just eight weeks. “Both D2L and enSYNC have been fabulous,” adds Ginger Meyners.
During the conference itself, attendees used the Brightspace platform to view the daily schedule, get all the information they needed on each session, and access links to the Zoom meetings. “The Brightspace platform was the hub of everything, and that made it easy for our small team to run the whole event efficiently,” says Ginger Meyners.
Staged over three days, the conference provided general sessions for all attendees, plus a wide choice of smaller breakout sessions and community-building opportunities. For example, the Brightspace platform provided access to Zoom sessions during lunch breaks, where attendees could meet for unstructured conversations with their peers—mimicking the “hallway track” of a traditional conference, where serendipitous meetings and conversations take place outside the formal program.