What is ExtendedSession?
ExtendedSession is a new kind of company. We support all that an organization might require to organize, market, and present online conferences to their business network and to others who might benefit from these conversations.
What exactly do you mean by “online conference”?
We help organizations that already host and present in-person conferences to get more out of their conference-making investment. We also help organizations not yet ready to offer their own in-person events to secure some the biggest benefits that result when they engage their networks.
As we’ve done so, we’ve come to think of the term “conference” very broadly. We help organizations put together day-long online events; speaker series that take place over a period of weeks or months; author readings and discussions; white-paper releases; professional learning training—programming that presents a series of online conversations that engage and enrich an audience, and programming that brings people together over a common idea, practice, or ambition in a way that’s both elegant and efficient.
We ensure that each online gathering takes place easily and predictably, that the individuals coming together get as much from the exchange as they can, and that participants recognize that they’re benefiting precisely because of their connection to an organization that shares their goals, their values, and their ambitions.
What services does ExtendedSession provide?
Whatever the format, we provide as much of the skills and resources an organization might need to deliver a great series of online conversations. Most often, these skills and resources fall into three broad categories:
Communications: We put together the materials and communications templates needed to organize and prepare conference speakers; to announce an online conference to an existing user network, or to new users; and to present each conference session to these constituents. We organize the emailing and social media announcements, keep track of the people who register and who haven’t yet registered for a session, and communicate with these folks in a cadence that makes sense for the presenting organization.
One great thing about an online conference is that there’s always something new to share: the announcement about the conference itself; an invitation to each conversation in advance of a conference session; a last-minute alert the day of a new session; and notification of the availability of the video archive of each session as soon as it’s posted.
We take care of it all—we manage the mailing lists, compose and track individual post-session surveys, organize social media advertising design and posting, and compile the metrics and reporting that allow organizations to track the impact of the effort.
Platform services: We provide the digital platform that makes hosting an online conference easy and elegant—no matter what the detail. This platform delivers the one thing often missing when organizations adopt video conferencing software: an engaging experience that looks and feels like the organization itself.
The ExtendedSession Online Conference Platform enables organizations to present themselves and conference speakers in a way that encourages attendee engagement. The platform makes it easy to register for a conference and to provide input to the shape of each conference session. Users can vote on topics to be discussed at each session, share resources, and join working discussion groups established by the host organization or by other conference attendees. Behind the scenes, the platform automates all the communications shared with conference attendees. Once they’re registered, it sends them updates, invitations, and alerts automatically—messages they can receive via email, mobile phone, or both.
The ExtendedSession Online Conference Platform works with all video conferencing software services. Whenever we can, we recommend Zoom, which works well for really big groups. We handle the licensing for this software, as well as for Proof, which verifies and broadcasts ongoing user registration. These, and other plug-ins, are all integrated right in the platform, providing the context that makes the online conversation meaningful and memorable.
Project management: We also provide exactly as much project management as required. We can, for example, provide our platform and communications services and leave the day-to-day implementation to others.
In our experience, however, most organizations are happy to outsource as much of the effort as they can. And our team ensures that this process will be happy and efficient. We can work to prepare and orient conference speakers, develop an agenda, prepare the platform, and communicate with participants—and do as much or all of this as works best.
What does ExtendedSession not provide?
It’s important to clarify: we are not a video-conferencing software company. We help companies get a better return and greater impact out of the video-conferencing software solutions available to them.
Our own Online Conference Platform is deliberately built to integrate third-party solutions—including video conferencing software like GoToMeeting, WebEx, or Zoom. We prefer Zoom, but we can incorporate the video-conferencing software solution you prefer.
How does ExtendedSession determine pricing?
The exact pricing for an ExtendedSession online conference depends on the number of sessions presented, and the timeline in which these sessions are offered.
Typically, we charge an annual license fee for the ExtendedSession Online Conference Platform, which covers the white-labeling of the platform, the use of the platform throughout the term of the online conference, the hosting of each conference session, and the display of each session archive for a full year from the conference launch. (Whenever we can, we discount this annual platform fee for non-profit organizations.)
We also charge variable services and management fees, the sum of which are determined by the services provided and their duration.
Organizations pursuing an online conference, or an appropriate extension of their existing in-person conference may wish to defer these costs by working with us to establish participant or attendee fees–revenues in which we’re happy to share if the business model makes sense for all involved.
How does an organization get started?
It typically takes just a few conversations to determine if ExtendedSession feels right.
After an initial phone call, for example, we can quickly outline the beginnings of a statement of work and timeline. One or two conversations after that are usually all that’s required to get work started.
We recommend at least a month’s lead time between an exploratory conversation and the launch of an online conference. That launch typically is the beginning of a marketing and communications effort that introduces an online event at least another month or so out.
Of course, it all depends on the details.
Want to find out more? Please visit our Contact Us page.