NWRPCA Conference AV
As the Distance Learning Coordinator for Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA), I was the lead for conference AV. It was my role to capture content at select conference sessions and workshops. Additionally, during my tenure at NWRPCA, I was also the de facto coordinator for all the AV at the conference. At conferences, I led a team of 1–2 other staff in setting up and transitioning AV equipment, supporting presenters in their use of technology. Below is the AV grid from one of the conferences, that let us know what equipment needed to be where when, including transitions of smaller breakout rooms into the larger, combined plenary room and back.
As part of the CEU process, I was also responsible for managing the barcode scanning process. During the conference, this included:
- Creating a system for collecting, charging, and redistributing scanners each day
- Supporting moderators when scanners were giving them trouble
- Getting the data off used scanners at the end of each day
But that was only half the process. From the conference, we had to take raw lists of barcode numbers from around 40–50 sessions and turn that into CEU certificates for individuals that attended multiple sessions. Due to the homegrown solutions used to create the CEU certificates and the needs of multiple stakeholders in the process, the CEU process required a complex interplay of staff and resources. I managed a variety of resources and vendors required to take the raw list of barcode numbers and turn those into CEU certificates, resulting in the Gantt chart you see here:
Additionally, I was responsible for setup, maintenance, and technical support of the conference’s Moodle course page. (An example of one such page is to the right.) As presenter’s slides and handouts came in, I ensured their content was on Moodle, and organized in a way that was usable for participants. I additionally supported participants in accessing the Moodle course before, during, and after the conference. And I later embedded the recorded sessions into the course after the conference was over.
Leaving My Mark
When I began at NWRPCA, we were capturing the majority of sessions via screen recordings in Camtasia and the built in microphone in the laptops. During my time there, I wrote and secured a grant to allow us to purchase additional microphones, Zoom H4n audio recorders, mixers, and a professional Canon camcorder. Through this purchase, we were able to increase the quality of our capture (as you can see with the example above). Additionally, this allowed the AV team to spend less time swapping gear (since we now had enough for each room), and more time working with presenters and fine tuning the experience and content capture.
Additionally, when I started, at NWRPCA, there was no documentation regarding the AV equipment. The knowledge of what we had, what it did, and where it was stored was all passed down from one IT Coordinator to the next. Thousands of dollars of AV equipment was shipped in cardboard boxes which were busted at the seams by the time they got back to our offices at home. As part of our grant, I also purchased Pelican cases for most of our gear. I then created AV documentation guides for each box that included packing instructions, contents, value (for insurance purposes), and physical dimensions (for shipping). This allowed for a far simpler and more streamlined shipping, set up, and take down process, and reduced the amount of equipment that was lost or damaged during our events.