Redstone is proud to share that in 2021 we’re hitting the ground running and the #REDSQUAD is growing in strength. We’re ecstatic to congratulate Lindsay MacFarlane and Khadijah White in achieving their Digital Event Strategist (DES) certificates from PCMA’s Digital Experience Institute, and to congratulate Carly Silberstein in completing the Virtual Event & Meeting Management (VEMM) certificate from The Event Leadership Institute. We’re thrilled to celebrate that our team members are strengthening their digital event expertise and honing their skills through these designations, solidifying Redstone among the leaders within the virtual event space.
We “sat” down with Lindsay, Khadijah, and Carly to ask them a few questions about their experience with these programs. Take a read below!
Digital Event Strategist Certification
Q: How did you find completing the DES program while also working full-time?
Khadijah – It was an extremely complementary experience to have completed the certification while also learning on the job. It provided the opportunity to truly see the course learnings reflected in real life situations. During the time spent studying the course content I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of different virtual event processes that we were currently executing at Redstone. It also provided the opportunity to look deeper at what we as a team could do to improve and elevate our clients’ virtual event experience. I have found that with regards to education, learning theory is so important, but practice and real-life work situations provided some much-needed context and are truly synergetic.
Lindsay – I strongly believe that completing the DES course alongside working in the digital events field is very beneficial to your learning experience. Having applied knowledge while processing the course learnings enables you to think critically about what you are learning and apply context from real-life experiences. I had the pleasure of sharing my learnings with the Redstone team and look forward to using this knowledge when further collaborating with my team members to develop strategies to achieve our clients’ objectives.
Q: What are your key learnings or takeaways from the DES program?
Khadijah – A key learning for me was the realization that a virtual event goes far beyond recreating the same in-person event experience. While it is important for us to keep in mind what the event previously looked like in-person, many of our clients are coming to us to plan their first ever virtual event. The fresh start of taking an event virtual provides an opportunity to improve on the overall attendee and stakeholder experience. It is a chance for us to gain a deeper understanding of what aspects of the event experience are truly important to the success of the event and to examine and reinvent what the event objectives are in the virtual space.
Lindsay – One key takeaway that I believe summarizes all the learnings from this course is that it’s important to bring on an experienced digital event specialist as early on in the planning process as possible. The success of your digital event is reliant on taking a strategic approach to designing your event, from the structure of the program, to the selection of your virtual platform and everything in between. An experienced digital event specialist has tips and tricks to help design a program that will keep your audience fully engaged throughout the event.
Q: Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Khadijah – The silver lining of this pandemic has been the opportunity to learn about and be exposed to the world of virtual events. I am eager to begin executing hybrid events when the time presents!
Lindsay – I am incredibly proud to be a part of an industry that has exhibited such resilience and adaptability during this challenging time. These circumstances amplify the importance of continuing education opportunities, ongoing research and a general attitude of forward-thinking in the events industry. I am very grateful for PCMA giving me the opportunity to build my knowledge and skills, as well as providing me with the tools to be a better asset to my organization.
Virtual Event & Meeting Management
Q: Why did you decide to take the VEMM course?
Carly – I decided to take the Virtual Event & Meeting Management Certificate because it was delivered by two reputable industry organizations (The Event Leadership Institute and MPI). While the content was more geared to beginners, I felt that this course rounded out my learnings from the DES certification, which I received in 2016. I crave education and am always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve so I’m happy to have this designation under my belt.
Q: What are your key learnings or takeaways from the VEMM course?
Carly – Two things stood out for me in this course. First, the difference between human resource requirements for in-person vs virtual events. Believe it or not, it is much harder to staff a virtual event than an in-person event. The skills and knowledge required are different, the attention needed for running sessions and the technologies are different, and how you allocate your staff is very different.
The second thing I took away from this course is the many ways that virtual events allow for increased data collection and powerful analytics. Whether this be from attendees, sponsors, or exhibitors, virtual events have opened the door to capturing data that wasn’t possible in an in-person setting.
Q: Any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Carly – It’s truly been inspiring to see how our team at Redstone has continued to learn, grow, and advance their skills amidst a global pandemic. From taking certifications such as the DES or various others from The Event Leadership Institute, to sitting on countless virtual event platform demos, to learning, absorbing, and applying everything they have experienced to service our clients, has been remarkable. I’m so proud of our team and can’t wait to see what we do next!
The Redstone team congratulates Lindsay, Khadijah and Carly on these achievements, this is an amazing start to the new year!
Are you planning a virtual or hybrid event this year and need some digital event expertise? We’re here to help – check out Redstone’s digital and hybrid event services or email [email protected] to find out how!
Kaitlyn McGuirk, MPC
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