benel Solutions developed the Association Evolve (#AssocEvolve) educational series to give back to the association community. The goal of the series is to create a pitch-free environment for association professionals to question, open up, and share information that is beneficial to the community.

Currently, each session fulfills the professional development requirements to earn or maintain credit toward the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential. Geared specifically toward association staff professionals, each session covers a specific topic relevant to the association community presented by an experienced industry partner.

benel Solutions hosted its fifth and final #AssocEvolve session for the year 2017 in December. Titled “Webcasts, Hybrids, Virtual Conferences, OH MY!” and presented by Meghan Gowen, Vice President, Client Development of CommPartners. She covered the various ways that organizations can leverage webcasts, livestream events, and virtual conferences to extend their reach, increase engagement, and drive loyalty.

The benefits of utilizing webcasts and other livestream events were discussed, but some of the challenges specific to hosting and attending virtual events were also addressed. The major benefit seemed to be a wider reach and increase in the potential attendees, as well as lower cost, but common difficulties faced include technological issues, unexpected events (fire drills, presentation not loading), and ensuring clear communication and interaction with your audience.

The one-hour educational sessions typically begin at noon and last about an hour. Attendance is worth one CAE credit and lunch is provided. The courses are free to attend for association staff and are located at the benel Solutions office space in Tyson’s Corner.
The next session is in the works, so make sure to look out for the official invite or check for the next update.