Wednesday, March 14, 2012

VIDM 2012 coming along nicely

Things are starting to fall into place very nicely for the 4th Annual VIDM 2012. Here are the minutes of our committee meeting on March 12th.

1. Update on speakers

We have just 3 sessions unconfirmed with at least 3 people interested in those time slots.

  • Professor Lesley Page is confirmed as opening speaker which will give this event real credibility.
  • We are 90% sure we will be able to arrange a Maori welcome to the conference.
  • We have confirmed a Canadian consumer group to be the closing session which we felt was appropriate for the VIDM. Hopefully we can arrange for an ICM representative to close the conference.
There has been an increased level of interest in being a speaker partly, we feel, because of our increased presence on Facebook and Twitter, and also because I emailed all the midwifery societies associated with the ICM as per the ICM website. We discussed the feasibility of having concurrent sessions but felt that this year we would stick with one stream.  This is partly because we are new to Adobe Connect and also we're not sure how many facilitators we can access.

2. Adobe Connect
We had a play with the Adobe Connect room, which is a web conferencing software and it seemed to be working well so agreed we would go with Adobe. We can have up to 100 seats which may be too few at some times, but on average should be enough.
  • We will opt for using the same room throughout the conference. However, we will need to make sure facilitators stick to time so the next session can be set up in readiness to start on time. We will also need to make sure that the facilitators pass on host rights – if there is no host in the room, the room will close down and we won't be able to open it again.
  • We can separate out the recordings. We can also set up the room with all 24 presentations beforehand.
  • Information on how to use the room, including how to clear chat and presentations before the next session etc will be developed and posted on the wiki asap.
We want to find out if there is a free room provided by Adobe where we can practice being hosts, so if you know anything about this, please let me know. The other thing I want to know is.... how can you enable participants to see the chat box?

3. Social media and marketing
Sarah B and Lorraine have taken over the management of the Facebook and Twitter accounts and have been interacting on pages and groups with any relevance to the VIDM, as well as speakers' pages. This is already resulting in an increase in traffic. We continue to plan for an article about the use of social media in the implementation of an event like this, but will probably wait until after this year's conference when we have more data.
  • I will develop up a newsletter which can be sent by email to everyone in my database, members of the VIDM wiki, which now number 245, as well as FB and Twitter followers. 
  • We're also going to ask a designer to put a poster together that people can download and put up on the wall where they study/work/ If you want one, let me know.
4. Facilitators
The next big job is to organise facilitators. We will continue to use the model of master facilitators and facilitators.
  • Master facilitators will be in charge of 4 – 6 hour blocks. These will be people who are technology savvy. There are going to be at least four master facilitators. Hopefully, we can get another 2 people on board so all we need to worry about is the shorter 4 hour time frames. If you are an experienced online facilitator, especially with experience with Adobe Connect, let me know if you can help us out.
  • Facilitators will be in charge of the hourly slots.Again, if you're intersted in being a faciltator, let me know. You will have to support a speaker to get his/her technology sorted before the conference, and then provide support on the day.
5. Other business
I've been thinking: Is it worth thinking about distributing a CD with the session recordings to the midwifery associations via the ICM website?The main issue is funding, so we need to think how we can raise money to be able to pay for this initiative.

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