Key Takeaways from PCMA’s Virtual Edge Institute Summit 2014

Written by Tess Vismale

Just a couple of weeks ago I attended PCMA’s Virtual Edge Institute Summit and it was amazing! For those that weren’t with us, here’s a quick list of key takeaways that I wanted to share.

As Digital Event Strategists, we must think of ourselves as people in film and TV production. It is very necessary for our mindset, and for the ultimate success of our ‘show’.  The one key to a successful digital event is attendee engagement.

Top Takeaways for me:





“Challenges & Idea Share”

  • If attendees have never logged into a virtual space – open a week early – give them limited access to remove the fears of login and tech (sneak peek).

“What is Success? How to Report Back?”

  • From the VEI 2014 Digital Event Benchmark Report:
  • People are streaming:
    • 70% Keynote/plenary sessions
    • 40% Breakouts, interviews, demonstrations & product launches
  • DATA is the buzz! This is how you can gain more insight:
    • Pick out the key goals and objectives you have
    • Ask supportive registration questions
    • Ask questions in your evaluations that speak to your goals
    • Look at your ROI
    • Create small tests to improve things next time
    • Follow-up after the event and see how the attendee feels
      • Convening Leaders – 20+ sessions over 3 days
      • More than 1300 hybrid attendees haven’t attended F2F since 2006
      • 11% attended subsequent F2F

“Creating Memorable Digital Events”

  • Aim to get the attendees to touch their keyboard every 2 minutes.
  • Use the chat feature to ask all attendees a question to promote a response.
  • Ask a poll question every 2-3 slides or 2-3 minutes.
  • Dedicate 10 min for Q&A to stimulate attendee interaction with you and other participants.
    • This should be done on live events as well for better engagement.

“Masters of Digital Events”

    • Embrace Technology, Harness Solutions to Engage Audience On Any Device
    • Enable Emotion
      • Listen to your audience
      • Make dialog visible to all
    • In Person Gatherings Are Important
      • Leverage office infrastructure
      • Build out as needed
    • Celebrate Your Audience
    • Innovate: Think Outside the Box to Win
    • Encourage Networking
      • Enable conversations
      • Reward participation

Being a DES has helped me gain a better understanding of my profession as an event planner. Learn more here.


The following two tabs change content below.

Tess Vismale

Tess Vismale is a multifaceted professional who serves as the Cleveland L. Dennard Conference Center Manager at Atlanta Technical College and Senior Event Lead at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. She is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and member/contributor of the Association of Conference Collegiate Event Directors International, Black & Latino Council and Professional Convention Management Association. She is a board member of the Green Meeting Industry Council – Atlanta Chapter (GMIC), Co-Chair of the Curriculum Committee for Meeting Professionals International – Georgia Chapter (GaMPI), founding member of the T.J. Perkerson Elementary School Foundation and served as a board member of Hospitality Industry Professionals of Atlanta (HIP-Atlanta).

Latest posts by Tess Vismale (see all)