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BVR’s Virtual Pivot Offers ‘More Value’ and May Yield More Profit

According to new virtual conference benchmarks from Nucleus Analytics, the average daily view time for a live virtual conference is 2 hours, 10 minutes and 56 seconds. In scheduling their upcoming Virtual Divorce Conference Sept. 9-11, Business Valuation Resources has adhered to that, scheduling days of 2 hours five minutes, two hours 10 minutes and 3 hours 20 minutes.
To add even more value to their event and keep within a reasonable daily view time, BVR has added bonus sessions both before and after the main event. So there was a 50-minute conference preview on Aug. 27, and then three 100-minute, follow-up programs will take place Sept. 17, 24 and 30.
It’s a great idea. There are no ground rules to virtual events. As has often been said, we are all wading in uncharted waters. These sessions allow BVR to showcase even more good speakers and then also does something many experts recommend—keep the engagement and community atmosphere going.
“We feel that people are getting a lot more value [this year],” Jared Waters, training director for BVR, told me last week. “We can do a lot of things to add value to an event. So we figure a price point—[they are charging about half of what they charged last year]—and then throw a lot of value on it. It really is a great deal for our attendees.
“We have also shortened everything down as far as length,” he added. “There will be three lighter days [than last year].”
That added value includes:
A strong speaker and content lineup with a constant nod to COVID-19. Virtual does often allow for easier high-quality speaker gets—in this case matrimonial lawyers and financial experts. Most of the content will have a crisis influence to it. “Maintain your competitive edge with a wealth of sessions focusing on the issues most impacted by COVID-19, taught by top experts in the profession.”
Extra credits. An opportunity to earn up to 16.5 CPE/CLE credits. “This year no one’s really taking on a lot of new initiatives,” Waters said. “It’s not about personal growth. It’s ‘What do I need to know to survive?’ All COVID-19 related.”
A known and respected partner. They’ve partnered with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).
Money off a future in-person event registration. Attendees will receive a $200 credit on their registration to the next in person AAML/BVR event. Why not? It’s a generous incentive that can be price-adjusted later.
Those bonus sessions. The Aug. 27 preview was free, which makes sense as it is still a time when they are trying to get registrants. The three follow-up sessions in the weeks after the main three days are all quite substantial.
An attractive sponsors page. The Divorce Marketing Group has a marketing guide available for download. Soberlink includes a link to a video presentation.
Another good point that Waters made is that because virtual events can work with live or recorded sessions, why not ask the speakers how they are at their best. So it will be about half and half for the divorce conference. (I would also advise that, if possible for recorded sessions, have the speaker/s available for a live Q&A after.)
BVR has used the platform BigMarker for their virtual events. “We’ve been using it for about a year,” Waters said. “It works for mobile phones and computers. There’s no software to download. You can drop a video in there, or use slides and screen share.”
Waters is optimistic for the success of the conference. “We won’t have to pay a Las Vegas casino,” he said about the event’s previous locale. “There are no travel expenses. We think our profit may be higher. We’re shooting for 100-plus paid. There was about 320 paid the year before.”
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‘Be Visible as an Ally’; Blogs Can Achieve Many Goals, Especially Now

Those are two June headlines from a new blog on the American Dental Association site called New Dentist Now. The days of blogs simply conveying an opinion or delivering information have passed. Blogs still do that but they can be so much more. Especially in these difficult times, blogs can give your organization a place to air more diverse voices, offer resources to your community and establish ties with new communities.

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“Here are five ways you can become a better ally and ensure your office is welcoming for LGBTQ+ community,” writes Dr. Alex Barrera, who practices general dentistry in Houston. “Be visible as an ally… Little things such as decorating your office for pride month (June), making a post on social media, or advertising in an LGBTQ+ magazine will show your support as an LGBTQ+ affirming dental professional.”

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In supporting the black community as dentists, Dr. Yvette Weir, a Canadian general dentist based in the U.S., offered tips. “Dentists can be intentional during this time by setting aside an extended huddle or lunch and share for an in-depth discussion. If the office is not diverse, or if the dentist is not comfortable, he/she, could consider bringing in a speaker/facilitator to guide the process.”

Here are a few ideas for more successful ways to use a blog:
Be of the moment. I like BVR’s post from April titled, How BVR Is Helping to Keep You Connected During Coronavirus. “Here are some ways BVR is supporting the valuation community during this unpredictable, uncertain time.” There’s nothing wrong with letting people know you’re doing good stuff. The Million Dollar Round Table has run posts titled, “Virtually working smarter, not harder” (guilty!) and “Beyond a bathrobe and slippers: Survival skills for working from home.” “Could you benefit from creating rules, using folders and getting your electronic communication under control once and for all?” they ask. Yes, yes and yes.
Promote your offerings (and videos). For a post titled Author Introduction to The Child Medication Fact Book, Carlat Publishing uses a five-minute video with the three authors to promote the book. They are all personable and easy to listen to— Elizabeth Tien, in particular, shines—and it delivers information while not feeling too salesy. “…this book offers guidance, clinical pearls, and bottom-line assessments of more than 70 of the most common medications you use and are asked about in your practice.”
Highlight great photos. Education Week has many excellent blogs, among them a photo blog called Full Frame. In this post from 2019, titled, What It Felt Like to Be at the Los Angeles Teacher Strike: A Reporter’s Perspective, “Education Week reporter Catherine Gewertz and photographer Morgan Lieberman set out on a rainy day to cover the Los Angeles teacher strikes.” The photos are striking. Previous posts include Photos of the Year, A Class of One at a Rural Wyoming School, Tackling Football and the Flute, and In a Grieving Texas Town, a Class Reunion Becomes Something More.
Align with your other COVID-19 resources. We’ve seen the increased engagement that COVID-19 microsites have brought publishers. Adding blog posts to those can only add more eyeballs. Sigma Xi has a blog called Keyed In. A recent post was headlined, How Scientists and Engineers Who Aren’t on the Front Lines of the Coronavirus Outbreak Can Help. “Below are opportunities that people from all backgrounds in the STEM community can use to help fight COVID-19 and support students who have been displaced from campuses.”
Reach out to a younger audience. North Coast Media posted a fun blog post about a city donut tour titled, Donut Tasting and Panel? Donut Mind If I Do! “Engage! Cleveland serves as a hub for young professionals in Cleveland to connect and share their stories through organized events such as the donut tasting and panel. The purpose of Young Professionals Week is to allow the city’s young and working adults to explore what Cleveland has to offer and network with community leaders.” Another post was written by an intern and titled, “How to Intern Like a Boss.”
Attract sponsorships. TransUnion has sponsored blogposts for insideARM; one was titled How to Encourage Consumers to Handle Their Debts During Tax Season. The content is informative and presented in an easy-to-digest manner. At the end of the post, you get a tasteful sales pitch: “While you can’t abandon trying to collect from those people, you can focus more of your efforts on the people more likely to pay. That’s where TransUnion’s Account Prioritization comes in.”