Virtual Programming Committee: Webinars

The goal of MBA CSEA webinars is to educate members about current topics and issues through convenient, low cost virtual formats.Webinars are scheduled throughout the year for continuous, ongoing engagement. Webinars involve one or more speakers who share content with attendees live, either through screen sharing or verbal delivery, with Q&A incorporated during the session. Webinars are generally one-hour in length, and utilize speakers who are experts in their field and are not members of the Virtual Programming Committee.
Topics are determined by the Virtual Programming Committee based on current membership/market trends and needs, as well as data collected from MBA CSEA members and the Executive Director.
Vendor policy
MBA CSEA strives to maintain high quality, relevant, member-focused experiences at all events, working within resource and budget parameters and constraints. Our vendor policies help provide an equitable and meaningful experience for all participants, including schools, employers and vendors. View the Vendor Policies for details about the parameters for vendors to present a webinar or facilitate a virtual round table. Note: the vendor policy is housed within the Conference Policies, but they apply to any MBA CSEA event. 

Pre-Event Planning  

  1. The committee determines the topic for the webinar based on the organization’s strategic priorities, member feedback, current industry trends and Executive Director input. Webinars should ideally be confirmed at least four weeks before the event. Content is sourced through the following ways:
  • Expert presenters are selected based on their knowledge and experience of the topic. This can include MBA CSEA members or outside presenters. If funding is needed for speaker fees, submit a budget request to the Board Liaison and Executive Director in July/August when the budget requests are made. 
  • Conference programming that is highly rated could be repurposed. 
  • Conference programs can be recorded and played as a webinar if funds permit. This is particularly useful when conferences are held in person in regions where not everyone member has access (such as in APAC or Europe).
  • Breakout sessions that were submitted for consideration for one of the conferences but were turned down can be presented as a webinar.
A committee member is then selected to serve as the primary coordinator for the webinar to help manage the logistics as follows:
  1. Work directly with the Executive Director only to determine possible dates, based on other committee events and MBA CSEA events. Webinars are scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday to maximize attendance. The timing that works for most members based on time zones is 11 am EST, however webinars should be scheduled at times that are convenient to members in the APAC region as well. The length is one hour.
  2. Create a draft webinar title and description, and send it to the committee chair(s) for input. 
  3. Make contact with the speaker(s) to ask them to present. Inquire about date and time availability, using the dates initially discussed with the Executive Director. Send them the title and description to see if they have any feedback/tweaks. Make sure they are available for a tech check 15 minutes in advance of the session start time. Confirm that they are okay with the session being recorded. If they are not, let the Executive Director know ASAP so that information can be included in the communications with members.
  4. Once the speaker and date have been confirmed, enter all of the information into the session tracking sheet in Smartsheet and notify the Executive Director that it has been entered. The Executive Director might make final edits to the title and description at this time. The following details are needed:
    • Speaker name
    • Speaker phone number (n case of a day-of issues)
    • Speaker email
    • Speaker job title
    • Speaker organization
    • Session title
    • Session description
    • Speaker 100-word bio
    • Speaker headshot
    • Interactive components being used (polls, breakout rooms, etc.)
    • Poll questions, if used
  5. MBA CSEA staff will add the event to the web site and distribute the marketing materials to the membership. Reference the main page of the SOPs for details about how events are marketed. Once the event registration is live on the web site, the committee lead and other committee members should remember to register for the event so you will receive the login details in the confirmation email. 
  6. MBA CSEA staff will send a reminder with the login details to all registrants with the login details the day of, and just before the event. They will also send the login details, RSVP list, and any last minute reminders to the speaker(s) and facilitator(s) at that time. If the speaker is not a member of MBA CSEA and needs the login details in advance of the day-of reminder, the committee lead can provide it to them (it can be found in the confirmation email received when registering).
  7. Touch base with the speaker(s) in advance to discuss the MBA CSEA audience, session goals, and outline. Update the Executive Director about any interactive components that will be used such as breakout rooms or polls.
    • For panels, ideally a meeting could be set up with all panelists together to meet each other and walk through the questions that will be asked.
    • Make sure all MBA CSEA audiences are considered, depending on the topic.
    • If the session is promoted to employers,  topics and and discussion should not all be school-centric. Also, keep in mind specialty masters programs when referring to students or program types.
    • Encourage the presenters to use at least two interactive components during the session to help with virtual fatigue. 
  8. If a slide deck or other materials will be used during the session, send the final documents to the Executive Director no later than the day of the event.

During the Event

The Executive Director or Executive Assistant will log in as the meeting host and handle all technical/administrative aspects of the event including letting participants into the meeting, muting participants as needed, launching polls, and opening breakout rooms (if used). As a facilitator, you do not need to have any specific technical expertise. 

  1. Log in to the webinar 15 minutes in advance (along with the Executive Director/Executive Assistant and the speakers), using the login information that is sent to all participants upon registration. Make sure speakers are available and prepared to log in early as well.
  2. Ask the speaker(s) when they prefer to receive questions (throughout the presentation or at the end). It is recommended that they hold off until the end to make sure they can get through the full presentation and also manage the timing appropriately. Ask if they prefer to receive questions through audio, chat, or both.
  3. Ask the speaker(s) how they prefer to be introduced (i.e. read their bio from the web site, etc.).
  4. Handle Q&A, either during or at the end of the presentation.
  5. Introduce the speaker(s) at the beginning and make announcements (see sample script below),
  6. If necessary, remind the speaker(s) about the timeframe and give them a two-minute warning before the close of the webinar. This can be done using the chat feature so as not to interrupt the presentation.
  7. Close out the event at the end, thanking the speaker(s) and making any additional announcements (see sample script below).
  8. Tips for facilitators while speakers are presenting:
    1. During the presentation, be attentive.
    2. Mute your phone/audio.
    3. Keep track of the time; jump in near the end if needed.
    4. Monitor the chat to answer attendee questions if needed. The staff will respond to technical questions. 
    5. Communicate with MBA CSEA staff privately via chat with questions if needed.
  9. Facilitate a "LinkedIn Moment" during the session, where all attendees are given a few minutes to share a takeaway on LinkedIn using the hashtag: #CSEAProgram. This is most successful when done during a natural break in the middle of the session (if there is one). 

Sample Scripts

Introduction Script
(no more than 3 - 5 minutes)

Good morning! This is (        name_____ ) from  (insert organization.) I am a (member) of the MBA CSEA Virtual Programming Committee. Welcome to all of our webinar participants. If this is the first time you’ve joined our event, we are pleased you have decided to experience today’s session. If you are returning, we are pleased that you have joined us again. (If we expect to have guests or have invited attendees other than MBA CSEA members, include a welcome to them specifically by group. For example—MBA Admissions professionals, HR managers)

I have few technology pointers before we begin:
  • To avoid disruptions, we have muted all participants.
  • To ask a question or share something with all attendees, please use the chat box at the bottom of your screen.
  • On the top right side of your screen, you will see an option to select "Gallery view" or "Speaker view." The speaker view will allow you to see only the speakers on your screen. 
  • This meeting is being recorded, and it will be available in the Document Library after the event. This can be accessed through your login at: 
On to today’s session!
(Insert Webinar title)
Start with a brief intro/several sentences to introduce the topic;
Consider incorporating the following:
  • Why we decided to offer this topic;
  • Why it is of interest to our members;
  • Did members request this topic?
Next introduce the speakers and include some information about them.
(Speaker 1 Name)                                                                                           
(Add short bio/relevant information) 
(Speaker 2 Name) 
(Add short bio/relevant information)

At this point, we are ready to move on to today’s presentation…it is with pleasure that I turn it over to today's speakers.

Wrap-up Script
  1. Thank the speaker(s) again. If appropriate, share a few takeaways you gained from the session. 
  2. Announce any upcoming MBA CSEA events.
  3. Ask the Executive Director in advance if there are any other MBA CSEA-releated announcements that should be made at this time.