BeaconLive delivered the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training's (IACET) hybrid conference. BeaconLive customized a solution for virtual participation of this in-person show. This case study explains how BeaconLive and IACET worked together to deliver a seamless and professional hybrid (in-person and virtual) experience for all attendees.
The International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training’s mission is to improve the quality of continuing education and training worldwide through accreditation. Their vision is to advance the global workforce.
The International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) developed the original Continuing Education Unit (CEU) and today ensures that providers of continuing education and training can prove they provide high-quality instruction by following the ANSI/IACET 2018-1 Standard for Continuing Education and Training through a rigorous accreditation process.
The ANSI/IACET Standard for Continuing Education and Training is a universal model for learning process excellence. It defines a proven model for developing effective and valuable continuing education and training (CE/T) programs by measuring a CE/T provider's training program from procedure to process to result.
Because the ANSI/IACET Standard focuses on how continuing education and training programs are developed, not what they cover, it provides a certifiable framework of researched and proven best practices that can be applied across disciplines and industries.
The ANSI/IACET Standard measures all aspects of a CE/T provider’s program development across ten nationally recognized categories. This has allowed for the ANSI/IACET Standard to be recognized as the official standard for CE/T in the world.
In 2020, IACET (International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training) produced its first annual conference. Because of the pandemic, this conference was completely online. They found success for a first time conference, but knew they wanted to add an in-person aspect going forward. They knew that they couldn’t completely ditch the virtual component to the conference, as many people may still prefer it or have travel restrictions. IACET CEO Casandra Blassingame and Vice President of Technology Randy Bowman idealized a hybrid conference, where they could create an in-person feel to the show but still reach audience members virtually.
IACET knew they didn’t have the in-house resources to deliver a hybrid conference, but most importantly, the resources to deliver it well. IACET stands for quality and education and wouldn’t do it unless they knew they could do it well. They needed a partner in order to reach the dream of what they wanted this conference to look and feel like. CEO Casandra has always been a big proponent of hybrid conferences, even before the pandemic. Because of budgeting and travel time, she knew that people who wanted to couldn’t always come. She knew that normalizing hybrid gatherings was critical for their organization and industry.
IACET mainly needed two things:
1. Software platform that could capture in-person events and host them virtually in a custom branded, seamless and professional way
2. Human resources for on-site webcasting and tech-ops
“As a small nonprofit organization, we are lean when it comes to personnel. So when my CEO said she really wanted to do a hybrid conference, I was a little overwhelmed. The blending of both an in-person conference and a virtual conference was going to require more resources than we have on staff. We needed someone to partner with to help provide extra resources and knowledge that it would take to deliver a superb hybrid conference to our key constituents. That’s when I found BeaconLive and they were a perfect fit for what we needed to do.”
- Randy Bowman, VP Technology and Organizational Effectiveness, IACET
BeaconLive partnered with IACET to deliver their 2nd annual Continuing Education and Training Conference. While IACET focused on securing their keynote speakers and curating meaningful content for their attendees, BeaconLive focused on building out a white-labeled hybrid event platform preparing on-site webcasting technology and human resources.
While about half of the conference attendees gathered on the virtual platform, the other half gathered in-person at a physical location.
BeaconLive built out a customized, branded event website for virtual attendees. All event sessions were streamed in real-time and allowed for virtual attendees to chat with each other as well as participate in Q&A with the speakers.
Some speakers streamed in virtually.
While others presented in-person.
BeaconLive created individual booths for sponsors & exhibitors of the show and designed event webrooms that were aligned with IACET's brand.
With a hybrid conference model, sponsors and exhibitors had access to attendees both in-person and virtually.
BeaconLive had an on-site webcasting crew to live stream events onto the virtual platform. BL set up two different cameras to get multiple views and angles that the camera crew could transition between for a more engaging live streamed viewing experience.
IACET really enjoyed the white-glove, concierge style service that BeaconLive offers its clients, both from the on-site tech crew to the virtual event producers, moderators and customer support staff.
“Everybody from Amanda (Event Producer), to Steve (on-site Videographer), to Donny (Account Manager), every time I interacted with somebody from BeaconLive, I felt like they were there to give their best and make it work the way we wanted it to.”
- Casandra Blassingame, CEO, IACET
IACET also really appreciated the quality of the video and how the in-person events were delivered virtually. They felt as though the transitions between different camera angles made it feel like you were really there and helped to keep the virtual attendees engaged.
"They delivered TED talk quality videos.” - Casandra Blassingame, CEO, IACET
IACET placed high importance on making sure that virtual attendees were really included in the show’s events and wanted to create an experience that was beyond the feel of just another webinar. BeaconLive created a “virtual lobby” for the breaks in between event sessions. The virtual lobby allowed for virtual attendees to network with each other, and also allowed in-person attendees to come over and interact with them. This added value to all event attendees, both in-person and online.
“BeaconLive was a perfect partner for us. They helped us pull off a high quality conference that our virtual attendees just raved about. They really felt engaged with the end person experience.
Every person I worked with at BeaconLive was a top tier professional and I felt like I was being given concierge type service from the way they supported us by customizing our portal to fit our branding and messaging strategy and creating the virtual exhibit hall. They had staff who came on-site with cameras and video switchers and streaming hardware.
They were excellent and excellent to work with every step of the way. I felt like I was being given white-glove service while working with BeaconLive. They know how to get things done, and most importantly, how to get things done well.” - Randy Bowman, VP Technology and Organizational Effectiveness, IACET
IACET hosted about 70 people for their in-person conference and had just about the same amount of people online.
On their anonymous feedback survey, the scores for the virtual event platform were given a 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.
Some feedback they received from their end-users:
“I love the live virtual option. I would not have been able to attend otherwise as we are still under mandatory travel restrictions."
“The livestream service and chat functionality worked well the entire event, which isn't always the case! Most speakers did a great job incorporating the virtual audience into their sessions, which was appreciated as a remote attendee.”
“I don't see any issue attending remotely. The platform used was great. I didn't encounter any technical issue (or I just have good network connection here in Dubai?). :) But overall, it was an amazing 2-day conference. Congratulations to the IACET Team!!!"
Feedback that BeaconLive received from the IACET team:
The quality of the product was amazing. The staff was professional. The planning process was seamless. They really took a lot of stress and anxiety out of the production, of having to prepare for something like this. I highly recommend BeaconLive for your virtual platform.” - Casandra Blassingame, CEO, IACET
“I would recommend BeaconLive to anybody looking to pull off a high quality hybrid conference. The staff is amazing. When they say they give you white-glove treatment, they’re not lying. I really felt like I was getting concierge type service the entire time I was working with them. I really felt like I didn’t just have a vendor, I had a friend, I had a partner who wanted to see me succeed and wanted to succeed along with me. You don’t get that a lot in this world, but you get it with BeaconLive." - Randy Bowman, VP Technology and Organizational Effectiveness, IACET
"I really felt like I didn’t just have a vendor, I had a friend, I had a partner who wanted to see me succeed and wanted to succeed along with me. You don’t get that a lot in this world, but you get it with BeaconLive."
VP Technology and Organizational Effectiveness, IACET