All posts by Stacy Nawrocki

MER Conference™ Case Study: Rapid Pivot to Digital Event

What do you do when you are on track for over 300 people registering to attend, 10 sponsors setup to exhibit, nearly 100 speakers committed to present… and 6 weeks before the event you learn all of these people now can’t leave their homes?

For the MER Conference, the solution was to quickly pivot to a digital experience; one that could engage audiences remotely while placing them in front of experts and thought leaders. This case study outlines their transitional story, of shifting the conference, in just 6 weeks, to the new format. In the end, the team executed a seamless digital event experience and achieved an increase in year over year registrations by about 45%. Here’s how they did it.


Live Stream Conferences: Digital Events and Hybrid Event Models

Live Stream Conferences: Digital Events and Hybrid Event Models

Have you transitioned an in-person conference or event recently to an all-digital experience? Before COVID-19, many businesses focused on in-person opportunities to drive engagement. But once event cancellations started happening rapidly due to the need to social distance and related restrictions, businesses across virtually all industries were forced to take a very close look at how they could quickly pivot their efforts to digital.  

This blog outlines some key insights from the last few months of activity in creating digital events. It details how IBM Watson Media has been able to help many clients with these efforts to live stream conferences, including our own IBM Think Digital event, providing considerations for your own virtual conference. 



Salesforce Case Study: CIO Priorities

Salesforce was ranked by Fortune in 2019 as the number one best place to work among large companies1 and was recently named in Forbes’ 2020 World’s Most Admired Companies,2 so it’s no wonder they are growing at a rapid clip. But, as more employees join the Salesforce team of Trailblazers, the demands of communicating effectively across the organization, and making employees feel valued increase. Jo-ann Olsovsky, Executive Vice President and CIO at Salesforce, and her team are tasked with providing effective and reliable ways to connect people across the organization and make sure they continue to feel a part of the team regardless of where they are located around the world.

IBM and Salesforce have partnered together on live video streaming projects for many years, most notably to extend the reach of Dreamforce sessions to customers and interested parties that can’t make it to the event in San Francisco each year. In 2019, Salesforce decided to expand its video streaming work with IBM to include internal employee communications as well. Being able to continue to grow and scale communications and do it in a way that doesn’t impact other applications running on the corporate network is a significant priority. In this video story, Jo-ann talks about the importance of video, the impact on Salesforce employees and company culture…the “Salesforce Ohana3,” and where she sees video technology headed in the future.


High Quality Live Streaming Checklist of Essentials

High Quality Live Streaming Checklist of Essentials

Events have exploded beyond the stage with live streaming. From executive town halls, to press conferences and award ceremonies, most events today have two audiences: the one in the room, and the one behind their screens.

For organizers, the expanded reach is a dream come true, as are the insights from live stream analytics. However, live streaming also requires a new attention to detail: even the Super Bowl and Apple keynotes have fallen victim to seemingly minor mistakes, amplified by the real-time nature of streaming.

To make sure live streams go off without a hitch, organizers should follow this high quality live streaming checklist to ensure a secure connection, reliable equipment and to define a protocol in the event something needs troubleshooting. If you are looking more for assistance on which gear to get, though, check out our Video Studio Recommendations white paper.


Improve Live Streaming Video Audience Engagement

Improve Live Streaming Video Audience Engagement

Wondering how to improve live streaming video audience engagement? Facebook and Twitter, texts, email, Slack, real-life meetings – just some of the many distractions that can lure viewers away from streaming video presentations such as training sessions and corporate town hall meetings.

It’s hard enough ensuring that viewers pay attention when they’re sitting around a conference table or seated in an auditorium. But if they’re not even in the same room as the presenters, how can you attract their attention over the course of the video stream?

So how do you engage employees with corporate communications? Well it can help to take a page from video marketing, where dollars are directly on the line to prove ROI. Where engaging video content is not something that is just stumbled upon, but carefully orchestrated. So we’ve interviewed communicators and video experts, ranging from those in video marketing to video production, to give you pointers on successfully engaging your employees with live content until the very end. 



IBM Named a Challenger: 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Video Content Management

IBM named a Challenger: 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Video Content Management

In 2016, shortly after its acquisition of Ustream, IBM was placed in the Niche Players quadrant. Fast forward two years, and we see IBM now placed in the Challengers quadrant and close to crossing over into the Leaders quadrant. We’re excited by our new positioning in the Magic Quadrant and recognition by Gartner for both ability to execute and completeness of vision.

IBM believes the improvement in overall placement is due to the company’s strong leadership in applying artificial intelligence (AI) to video solutions (such as integrating IBM Watson for automated captioning and video enrichment), successful global partner momentum, and significant enterprise video product enhancements.

Download a copy of the full report.


Avoid These 13 Live Streaming Video Mistakes

Avoid These 13 Live Streaming Video Mistakes

The live stream video begins, and the carefully prepared speaker begins addressing an audience of thousands of viewers. The presentation is going smoothly until, just a few minutes into the opening keynote, the video freezes. Some viewers sound the alert in the chat window, others try checking their own connection. But many viewers have left: On average, one in five viewers will immediately stop watching a stream with poor video quality and never return.

Most of the time, common live streaming video mistakes—poor sound quality and a broken (or unattended) chat function, among others—are easily avoided with careful advance work. Organizations new to streaming video should heed this advice from Jeff Irwin, customer success manager for IBM Watson Media. In the process of helping customers implement and manage streaming video, Irwin has identified common mistakes that stand in the way of streaming events and their viewers. So follow these 13 tips to avoid any unlucky mishaps on your next broadcast.

Note that this list assumes that you are using a platform that is scalable, able to reach large audiences without crashing, and is mobile friendly, having adaptive bitrate delivery. If not, these would be priorities as well.

  1. Failing to account for variables
  2. Ignoring audio quality
  3. Not checking your audio
  4. Forgetting to confirm adequate bandwidth
  5. Discounting the importance of your location
  6. Having no lighting plan
  7. Failing to promote the event
  8. Being late
  9. Not running pre-show content
  10. Making a weak first impression
  11. Not engaging your audience
  12. Skipping the chat moderators
  13. No follow up, CTA or post event strategy


Q&A with Nick Barber, Sr. Analyst with Forrester Research on Video and AI

Q&A with Nick Barber, Sr. Analyst with Forrester Research on Video and AI

We asked a few questions recently to Nick Barber, senior analyst with Forrester Research on video and what’s changing with the advancements of artificial intelligence (AI).  Here’s what Nick had to say based on his research around enterprise video and related communications technology.

You can hear more from him on through this on-demand webinar: Transform the Employee Experience with AI Driven Video Communications.


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