April

April 2015 - Virtual Events – a Matter of Reality

Winter, spring, summer and fall – at Veidan the word “season” has a different meaning and a different times. Most of Veidan’s conferences are live services, conferencing and communication services provided in real time; audio conferences, web-based conferences and of course video conferences. But at the top of these different services lies our managed virtual events which pick up during the “IR season” and always bring with them a certain amount of excitement and general alertness. (IR – Investor Relations)
 
The managed virtual events that we host for our customers are full-on replacements for physical conferences. It begins with inter-organizational conferences, continues to events for the press or other interested parties and of course through Investor Relations calls. These conference call events are hosted by publicly-traded companies on a quarterly basis for the public and especially for stockholders and analysts, to discuss the company’s financial results. They take place immediately after the results were reported to the stock exchange.
 
So yes, this is a virtual event, meaning that all the participants meet in a virtual conference room. This includes the moderator, the speakers, the participants and of course the Veidan representatives that “greeted” them and collected their information when they entered the conference. Beyond that, all the other tasks required to have the event are completely tangible and those are the things that add to the feeling of alertness in the air.
 
So what exactly happens here during an event (or simultaneous events)?
 
The preparation and planning phase includes setting a time and date for the events, allotting a unique phone number that will be published to the participants, technical preparations of putting up the virtual room with its features and initial planning of the call progression. About fifteen minutes before the call, we move into high gear.
The conference moderator enters a soundproof broadcasting room, does final operation tests, starts the recording, starts the webcast, goes over the script again and gives final instructions to the conference speakers.
 
 
A few minutes before the conference starts, the participants start to “enter” the conference room. According the customer’s instructions, we will write down the participants’ details and place them on hold until the beginning of the event. The process of greeting the participants, taking their details and transferring them to the conference takes a few minutes, depending on the number of participants dialing in. The number of expected participants also affects the number of service representatives that will greet them. In the case of particularly large conference calls, people from other departments have also been trained and they lend a hand and take part in the process for a few minutes.
 
Interestingly enough, even in the virtual world, culture is culture. Participants in English calls tend to call in earlier before the call starts, while the participants in Hebrew calls call in about a minute or two before the call starts, and sometimes even after it started already :)
 
When all the participants have entered, or the conference start time has arrived, you can hear a knock on the glass of the broadcast room, the traditional sign to the control desk – time to start!
 
The conference begins with an opening statement from Veidan’s moderator, and from there, the floor moves to the customer’s speakers. All the participants are of course muted. The customer and speakers who are in their offices, can see the participants of the call through a web application.
 
When they are done with their prepared remarks (depending on the type of event and the customer’s request) the question and answer session begins. At this stage the moderator presents the questioner, unmutes him and the questioner can ask and be answered by the speakers. When he is done, we move on to the next questioner in line, and so on.
 
If necessary, the moderator can ask a survey question or a set up a vote for the participants. The participants vote using their telephone keypad and the results are immediately received by the customer.  At the end of the conference the moderator ends the call and the participants and speakers disconnect and leave the room.
 
On our side, we move on to editing the recording, transcription, translation if needed and sending the participant list to the customer. Participants who were invited or members of the general public who did not participate in the live event, can listen to a recording by dialing a specific number or by listening to the recording which was uploaded to the IR Archive on Veidan’s website or the customer’s website.
 
Another virtual-real event is over.
 
To watch a “live” event as an example – click here.
 
See you in the next quarter and the next post,
Nir