The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Leadership Conference partnered with Whova to bring over 11,300 high school, middle school, and college students together remotely to prepare them for the business world. The annual Leadership Conference is a critical opportunity to host board elections, and using Whova’s virtual exhibitor booths, the organizers seamlessly featured candidate and newly elected officer speeches and biographies.
Interview with the Organizers
About the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference
The FBLA National Leadership Conference was organized by the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda chapter (FBLA-PBL), the collegiate division dedicated to inspiring the next generation of business leaders. The FBLA-PBL is one of the largest student organizations in the United States, with over 253,300 members since 1940. Critical funding comes from the U.S. Department of State, the National Business Education Association, the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, and more. Using Whova’s virtual platform, it was easy for members to connect with business education leaders over virtual meet-ups and chats on the Community Board.
- Help exhibitors connect with virtual attendees
The conference usually features candidates for their annual election at in-person booths to help attendees make informed votes on new chapter leaders. After switching to a virtual platform, they needed an online way to feature candidates with the same value as the in-person booths.
- Share event information
The organizers wanted to encourage interest in the virtual event through engaging agenda web pages on the official FBLA website. They needed help creating these new web pages with limited time and resources.
- Engage attention during speaker sessions
With over 11,000 attendees joining remotely, the speakers were worried about facilitating quality engagement during live sessions. The organizers wanted to help by providing virtual tools to easily ask questions or encourage attendees to post their own.
- Connect with fellow students
The organizer’s previous virtual events hosted on YouTube had no networking opportunities. This year, the organizers wanted to encourage interactions by providing a virtual platform where attendees could participate in discussions and exchange valuable contact information.
- Showcase campaign candidates and sponsors through Whova’s Exhibitor Booths
The organizers utilized Whova’s virtual exhibitor booths to feature newly elected officers and candidates for the 2021 national officers election. They invited the candidates and officers to upload their biography and campaign details to the booths, which they could edit at any point before the event started.
The candidates and officers uploaded pre-recorded campaign speeches, brief written biographies, and PDFs of flyers and resumes. Attendees could connect in real-time with the candidates by asking questions in the sidebar chat. The exhibitors also invited sponsors to upload information to the virtual booths, including live streams, videos, prizes, and staff information. When attendees liked, chatted, or entered a booth, Whova automatically recorded them as leads.
Some exhibitors weren’t going to participate but decided to once they saw how easy the virtual booths were!Gayle Robinson
- Integrate event information easily to their own website
The organizers utilized Whova’s pre-made agenda templates to showcase critical event information. Whova auto-fills the web pages with speaker and session information from the online agenda without needing additional input from the organizers. Once the organizers customized the web pages to fit their design and branding colors, they simply copied a line of code and pasted it into their event website.
All the integration options that we had, particularly the agenda, we were able to put on our website. We didn’t have to go back and forth with updates; it was all automatic, that was really nice!Lauren McMahon
The organizers easily embedded Whova’s pre-made agenda webpage to their event website
- Engage remote attendees through live Q&A and polls
Whova’s live Q&A was a great way to facilitate conversations during speaker sessions and encourage active participation. Attendees posted questions during live-streamed sessions for speakers to answer in real-time. The most liked questions were automatically moved to the top of the list, while moderators could manually move other relevant questions to a higher priority when necessary.
Attendees could locate session Q&A’s in the app’s Resources section
The live polls were another great way the speakers and organizers could spark discussions. During sessions, speakers utilized the polls to ask about past experiences or preferences on what they wanted to hear more about during the session. The organizers sent in-app push notifications through the poll feature to ask about attendee event satisfaction.
- Network through Whova discussion forums and video meetups
Whova’s Community Board, an online forum designed to encourage networking, invited attendees to participate in discussions and get to know each other better through virtual meet-ups. Attendees had many other opportunities to connect by joining Whova’s social groups, posting self-introductions with pre-made icebreakers, or exchanging contact information with fellow attendees. In the attendee tab, they could also search for attendees using their name or organization titles to send a 1:1 in-app message.
Attendees could add discussion topics or post a new social group to the Community Board
Business cards exchanged