In June of 2021, Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. partnered with Whova to host Treat-Con, a global member meet-up event. Attendees joined online through the Whova mobile app and web portal to participate in a variety of educational workshops and keynote sessions and connect with other members and alumni.
I couldn’t be happier with our experience with Whova. We were provided with an Event Consultant from the onset to walk me through the platform, brainstorm how the features could be best used for our conference, and to help us implement them for our event.
After the conference, our most received question was, “Can we keep Whova?” This prompted us to sign up with Whova again for our next conference to be held in-person later this year. I can’t wait to see how well Whova enriches both our in-person and virtual member experience.Shelly Criswell
Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. is a historically Latina-based national sorority with multicultural membership in chapters and alumnae associations across the nation.
After the Sigma Lambda Gamma national convention was cut short in 2020, the organizers decided to combine the convention event with the national sorority’s annual retreat, and cleverly called it “Treat-Con” after the two event types.
Treat-Con hosted Sigma Lambda Gamma members, alumni, volunteers, and leadership from across the country to celebrate the national sorority’s 31st year of distinction. Attendees joined the virtual event to discuss business, elect leadership, and engage members with networking and development opportunities.
Carrying out important proceedings of the convention virtually, while still incorporating the fun and engaging aspects of the event was a breeze for the organizers, and they can’t wait for next year’s hybrid event.
- Creating an interactive experience at a virtual event
The Sigma Lambda Gamma national sorority prepared to host a diverse group of attendees, including students and alumni of the sorority from all across the country. The organization had never previously held a global member meetup of this size, and they wanted to make sure the event would provide an enriching and engaging experience for all attendees.
Inclusivity, community togetherness, social interaction, and personal development are all important values within the organization, so it was important for the conference organizers to provide a space for meaningful connections between members at the event.
- Organizing a virtual event with over fifty speakers
With plans to have over fifty speakers at TreatCon, the event organizers needed to find a seamless way of organizing the speaker list. Some of them were new to remote speaking and apprehensive about working with new technology, so the organizers aimed to ensure the process of coordinating with speakers would go smoothly. It was also important to provide the speakers with flexibility in setting up and hosting their own presentations.
- Scheduling three days of informative and interactive sessions
The TreatCon itinerary was packed with a variety of keynote, workshop, and networking sessions, all to be held virtually. This meant the organizer needed to find an efficient way to schedule and manage all of the sessions.
Rather than setting up a series of monotonous webinar segments, the organizer wanted to ensure that the sessions were lively and engaging throughout the conference.
- Offering exhibitors a valuable online experience
It was important to provide the TreatCon exhibitors with easy-to-use digital tools for exhibiting at a virtual event. To make the experience valuable to the exhibitors, the organizers needed to set up an effective system for them to make contact with attendees and generate leads during the event.
- Using Whova’s Leaderboard Contest to boost engagement
The organizers encouraged participants to take advantage of the opportunities for online interaction with the help of Whova’s Leaderboard Contest. The Leaderboard is designed to drive attendee engagement by awarding points to participants who post in the Community Board, ask questions in the session Q&A, give session feedback, and more.
The attendees hit the ground running with this fun contest, and it inspired tons of interaction between participants. By the end of the event, the Community Board was filled with an array of discussion topics. Attendees also created virtual meetups and social groups based on shared backgrounds and interests, like “people interested in travelling” or “Central Region Gammas.”
- Arranging a Speed Networking session
The TreatCon Speed Networking session was a great opportunity for members meet with other attendees. Whova’s Speed Networking feature randomly assigned participants to video call “tables,” shuffling every five minutes to connect attendees in different small groups. The Senior Director of Operations and principal conference organizer, Shelly Criswell, loved how easy it was to follow up with the members she met in the Speed Networking session by saving their Whova profile info.
The Speed Networking was a nice addition to the conference sessions, and turned out to be an effortless way for attendees to chat virtually and make connections with other members.
- Utilizing the Speaker Center and live polling
Using the Speaker Center in Whova’s virtual conference management system spared the organizers from the time consuming task of uploading speaker information. Instead, all of the speakers were able to upload their own profiles, with a photo, bio, and contact information.
The speakers also took the chance to create live poll questions for their sessions. The short couple of minutes it took to schedule polls through Whova paid off for the speakers, as this easy step helped boost interaction during the live sessions (over 2,500 poll results overall!)
- Online session manager and track manager tools
Whova’s Online Session Manager simplified scheduling the TreatCon agenda. The organizers easily created the agenda to include sessions with live stream links and recorded videos directly through the Whova platform.
They also used the track manager tool, which allows organizers to assign each session to a color-coded “track” in the agenda. TreatCon had tracks based on session type and attendee status, like the “President’s Track” and “Cultural Agility Training.” This made it clear for the attendees to find and filter sessions based on their interests.
The TreatCon Agenda had concurrent sessions organized by tracks for different topics and attendee groups
- Creating virtual exhibitor booths
The TreatCon exhibitors were provided with their own digital booths to showcase their products, connect with attendees and generate leads. Whova’s Exhibitor Center offers vendors their own digital booths, where they can list promotional offers, product details, and company information, photos, and videos
During the event, it was easy for the attendees to click into the virtual exhibitor hall to check out each company, chat with the booth staff, and directly click on deals and offers for their products.