Virtual Conference: Programs

Keynote and Plenary Speakers

  • Select keynote and plenary speakers (if used) for the event, keeping in mind the following (note: final approval is needed from the Executive Director and Board Liaison for each event):
    • Speakers - what speakers have experience presenting in a virtual environment and a high comfort level with technology that will allow them to fully engage participants?
    • Topic – what topics are most relevant to meeting the current needs of MBA CSEA members?
    • Budget – what pricing options are available that will fit within the adjusted budget for the event?
  • Once the speakers are confirmed, discuss the organization’s needs and desired topic with the speakers. Coordinate the contract and payment process with the speaker (if needed) and send to the Executive Director for review and approval. See the Conference Policies for when contracts are required, vs. MOU's. See the Conference Contacts document for items needed in a contract. Note that MOU's should include everything that is being provided for the speaker (including specific travel items, such as car service, meal reimbursement, etc.). 
  • Obtain the speaker’s bio and picture (for keynotes), job title and organization, and write the session description for marketing purposes.
  • If working with a panel, schedule a phone call with panelists in advance to discuss the specifics and questions that will be asked.
  • Make sure the speaker registers for the conference. Keynote speakers and others who receive a complimentary pass will be registered administratively by the Executive Director.

Breakout Session Speakers

  • Work with the Executive Director and Conference Chairs to determine the best number of concurrent sessions for the event, keeping in mind that virtual engagement is different than in-person, and the event may lend itself to a lower number of options.
  • Review current selections for breakout sessions, keeping in mind the following:
    • Topic – are the topics still relevant in the current environment, and do they meet the needs of our members right now? Are there gaps in the programing that are needed in order to meet the current needs of MBA CSEA members?
    • Speakers - are the speakers comfortable using technology as their primary tool? Will they be able to utilize creative opportunities for engagement, such as polls, whiteboards, Q&A, or gamification? What kind of experience do they have with virtual engagement?
  • Determine an “A” and a “B” list for breakout sessions, and send to the Conference Chair(s) and Executive Director for approval.
    • Reach out to those on the lists (“A” list first) to ask if they would like to present at the virtual event, or if they prefer to reserve a spot to present at next year’s in-person conference.
    • Reach out to the speakers that were not selected to move forward and let them know that a spot will be reserved for them for next year's in-person conference.
  • Once sessions are confirmed, determine if there are gaps in the programing that are needed in order to meet MBA CSEA’s strategic goals. Work with the Executive Director and Board Liaison to help ensure gaps are addressed.
    Target audiences are as follows:
    • Directors
    • Seasoned professionals (may or may not be directors)
    • Specialty masters 
    • Part-time MBAs/working professionals
    • Employers
    • Career coaches
    • Employer relations
    • Operations 
  • Session selection criteria still applies, as follows:
    • Preferably, no more than one breakout session will be presented by the same vendor. Exceptions can be made for a well-established vendor that is presenting about a topic that is a high value-add to present one additional session (no more than two max per vendor).
    • Preferably, no more than two sessions will be presented by the same school or employer, unless there is a large gap in programming and additional sessions are needed to fill that gap (additional speakers should be invited first).
    • Sessions should not focus on one particular product or service. Presenters can mention a product or service if it helps facilitate the topic of the session, but multiple products/services should be mentioned in an effort to not appear biased or provide a sales pitch. For similar reasons, a product or service should not be demo'd during the session. Doing so puts MBA CSEA in a difficult position when it comes to the product's competitors, and also may not be applicable to all participants if there is a cost involved to use the product. 
  • Make tweaks to session titles and descriptions as needed, in order to ensure relevancy and virtual engagement. Communicate with presenters regarding edits made.
  • Ensure speakers are registered for the event.
  • Develop the draft speaker schedule to ensure that presenters are not delivering two sessions at the same time, and that there are options for each target audience during each session (if possible, depending on final speaker lineup). The Executive Director will review the schedule before finalizing.

Spotlight Sessions

  • Coordinate facilitated sessions by functional area (directors, coaches, employer relations, etc.).
    • Areas can be determined by each conference committee depending on regional need. At a minimum, there should be at least one closed session for Career Center Leaders only, and at least one closed session for employers only.
    • Select facilitators and ensure they are comfortable using virtual engagement tools. Assist them with determining topics for the sessions in advance.
    • Work with the rest of the committee to determine scheduling for the sessions.
    • Develop short descriptions of each program for marketing purposes.