For the first time this year, “big ALA” experimented with offering a virtual conference component of its Annual Conference. While some of the divisions have done this in the past (ACRL, PLA) and AASL is currently running a parallel virtual event, this was the first time we’d tried this for the monster, “big kahuna” Annual Conference.
While you may be thinking about MidWinter because it’s just around the corner, we’re thinking about Annual, so the Conference Planning Committee has already started talking about how to improve next year’s virtual Annual. We have a three-year contract with Learning Times, so that will be the platform, but many of the other pieces are up in the air at this point, which makes it a good time to ask for some input.
We can’t promise anything at this point, but what’s your wishlist? There are already some “givens,” but building a structure around them, what would you like to see? Here are just a few of the questions we have, but feel free to give us feedback around other issues, too.
- We can’t do this for free, not if we want to offer a quality, stable video feed. Keep in mind, though, that our members do tend to stream some of the more popular sessions, such as Top Tech Trends, and that will continue. Which sessions are you okay with as volunteer streams versus quality feeds?
- We can’t stream the keynotes because the speakers don’t give us permission, and in fact, they usually forbid it. Otherwise, though, what types of sessions do you want to participate in remotely?
- What does “participate in remotely” mean to you?
- Where are the price points that fit? Are there tiers or does one-size-fits-all work in this type of situation?
- Where can we add value to improve your virtual conference experience? Are you more interested in just sessions, or do you want virtual hallways, networking opportunities, and other comparable experiences, too? If it’s the latter, what do they look like?
- If you’ve seen this done well somewhere else, we’d love to hear about it. Just give us a URL and a description of what you liked about it.
This is your chance to give us input to help shape the future of virtual ALA conferences, so please share your thoughts!