VCS Team Pivots to Provide Support for Online International Conference
Behind every successful online conference hosted at NC State, there is a team of accomplished DELTA Video Communications Services professionals (VCS) orchestrating the flow of information during the event. The more proficient and skilled they are, the less likely anyone is to notice them, but there would be no conference without them. IT Manager Shawn Colvin and his VCS team successfully facilitated and supported the 11th International Workshop on Microplasmas (IWM) which took place seamlessly in June.
“We have a long standing partnership with the College of Engineering and when asked last year to help facilitate this conference, I immediately saw it as an opportunity to foster collaboration amongst our learning community on and off campus. VCS has an extraordinary creative team of technical thinkers who all worked together to listen to the IWM team and come up with solutions to make their vision for the conference a reality,” Colvin explained.
The Department of Nuclear Engineering facilitated the workshop with Assistant Professor Katharina Stapelmann and University Program Specialist Sherry Bailey at the forefront of the planning process. Their work for the conference/workshop began in July of 2021 which included meetings and support requests by the client over the course of the year. The conference was initially planned to be a hybrid meeting with the client on campus in DELTA-supported classrooms (Lampe 331 and 327) as well as a Zoom component. VCS worked with the IWM team to facilitate the conference through a webinar format with multiple guest speakers and recorded poster presentations to be played back and shared via the webinar.
“When we decided to offer the IWM conference as a true hybrid event, I contacted Director of Distance Engineering Education Programs Linda Krute for guidance. She put me in contact with Shawn. Without hesitation, he assembled a team for proper execution. They were all more than willing to assist with planning and implementation of the hybrid sessions,” Bailey said.
However, approximately a month before the conference, the IWM leadership team decided to convert the conference to fully online due to limited local in-person conference registrations. VCS staff remained as technical support to facilitate the online conference behind the scenes as Zoom co-hosts in order to manage conference session recordings. They also performed substantial editing to ensure clean, professional videos which were uploaded to their customized YouTube channel that they created specifically for the conference. Additionally, the VCS team added title cards or slates to the beginning and ends of the videos.
Over the course of four days, there were more than 200 participants who attended from 12 countries (Canada, Columbia, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Portugal, Taiwan and the U.S.). The VCS team recorded and edited 36 presentation videos covering topics from plasma sources and equipment used for microplasma generation to applications (material processing, plasma medicine, plasma agriculture, environmental applications, industrial contributions, etc.).
“The DELTA team did an amazing job to help us facilitate the event. It was great as an organizer to only worry about the technical program, knowing that the DELTA team is there to help with the online conference and the session recordings,” added Stapelmann.