The Alaska Library Association Conference partnered with Whova to join librarians across the state for Alaska’s only annual conference dedicated solely to libraries, centered around growth and positive change in the industry. The association provided quality networking experiences using Whova’s many engagement tools, inspiring many attendees to connect through the app’s online discussion forums.
In 2021, we used Zoom to host our meetings and had some difficulties with communicating session information and links, ensuring security for the event so that only registered participants could attend, and making recordings available. Whova helped solve those problems by putting all that information in one place and providing tools for organizers to communicate easily with attendees.Deborah Rinio
About the Alaska Library Association Conference
The Alaska Library Association provides support, resources, and tools to ensure libraries across the state can continue thriving and creating learning opportunities for their members. Their annual events facilitate collaboration between librarians and help advocate for all levels of libraries, including the archives. With Whova’s digital sponsor booths, they ensured esteemed sponsors left the event with quality ROI and great brand recognition.
- Guarantee sponsor awareness
The many valued sponsors, such as the New York Times, San Jose State University, and more, needed great brand recognition and many opportunities to showcase their products or services.
- Separate pre-recorded and livestreamed videos
The organizers wanted to set up all pre-recorded videos in a dedicated space, separate from the live sessions on the agenda, so attendees knew precisely where to go for the different session types.
- Gather attendee feedback
The Alaska Library Association relies on attendee feedback to collaborate in reaching goals together and needed an efficient way to collect this information before, during, and after the event.
- Encourage networking opportunities
The conference was a unique opportunity for librarians to connect all over Alaska. The organizers wanted them to make the most of their time online with an interactive online space.
- Ensuring plenty of brand visibility through in-app banners and virtual booths
Setting up sponsors in digital booths on the Whova platform was exceptionally easy. The organizers simply sent personal links to each sponsor, and they could add videos, pdfs, descriptions, staff information, logos, and more, onto the digital booths. They could also schedule a specific time to livestream in their booths, which attendees could RSVP to or join on the spot.
Attendees had the ability to jump between booths in the virtual hall and directly message booth staff in the chat, sign up for deals and promotions, like the booth, or visit the company website. It was amazing exposure for each brand; sponsors could track how many people visited their booth throughout the conference to see how well they were doing.
The organizers featured rotating sponsor banners on in the web portal, and let sponsors showcase banners in individual sessions
The organizers also featured sponsor banners during the event and created different tiered levels of exposure on the mobile app home page, agenda, profile, and web portal home pages. Sponsors could choose to sponsor individual sessions and showcase their banners before the livestreamed or recorded videos started for increased visibility.
- Setting up pre-recorded sessions in a digital presentation
The organizers utilized Whova’s Artifact Center, commonly used to host poster presentations, art galleries, and business pitches, as a designated digital space for all pre-recorded sessions. They then included only livestreamed sessions on the virtual agenda, making it easy for attendees to find what they were looking for.
Attendees could browse all pre-recorded sessions, read brief descriptions, and enter the sessions they were interested in to view the presentations and access pdf handouts or photos.
Pre-recorded videos were listed separately from live streamed sessions
- Collecting instant feedback with live polls
Whova’s live polls were a convenient way to gather attendees’ opinions in real-time. The organizers could customize the settings for yes/no responses, free responses, multiple-choice, and more.
They could control other settings to keep responses anonymous, schedule a time for them to open, or attach them to specific sessions. Speakers could also set up the polls themselves and use them to further engage their audience during live sessions. Whova automatically created convenient data summaries of all poll responses that the organizers would export as Excel spreadsheets.
The polls were completely customizable, and the organizers could schedule times for them to open
- Inspiring connection through the Community Board and Photo Contest
The Community Board, an online networking forum, encouraged attendees to connect and communicate throughout the event. They talked about industry news or hobbies on the discussion topics and introduced themselves through fun Icebreaker questions. They could easily search for fellow librarians in the attendee tab and send a 1:1 message to connect further.
The organizers also invited attendees to compete in the apps Photo Contest, post their best Alaskan library images, and vote for their favorites. The Alaska Library Association featured the top 15 pictures in the Library-of-the-Month calendar. Using Whova’s in-app announcements, they conveniently announced the contest winners at the end of the conference.
We leveraged the tools that Whova provided such as the forums, photo contest, and messaging to increase participation throughout the event. Additionally, Whova’s technical and customer support was fabulous, answering all our questions promptly and accepting feedback and constructive criticism with a growth mindset.Deborah Rinio