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Welcome to our Redbacktalk Blog

Sara Gonzales, 1st June 2017

From the car to the conference – encouraging change and implementing virtual collaboration

This week I was fortunate enough to interview Huw Thomas from Blue Seed Consulting as part of our Business Skills Series. The topic was “The Change Intelligent Leader” (you can watch it here) and to be honest, I was very sceptical. My first thought? “More tips on change management, are we still having the same conversations?” 45 minutes later, and I was proven wrong. As we shift into a more uncertain world, the impacts of technology, the age of the entrepreneur and digitisation are all impacting the way we manage change. It made me realise, as an organisation, we are part of this – surely Redback customers are impacted by this every day? So, when it comes to implementing virtual collaboration technologies such as Tele, Web and Video Conferencing, where do we begin? And more importantly, how do we convince other key stakeholders to embrace the change and jump on the bandwagon? Here’s some tips on getting from the car to the conference: First, understand the benefits Let’s be honest, even the most flexible of organisations struggle with change. However, progressive and aware decision makers continually look for ways to improve the morale, performance and productivity of their workforce. The online conferencing platform provides a simple answer to the question of how to reduce our reliance on business travel – it uses less resources, costs much less, is more convenient and enables businesses to understand the important relationship between communication, productivity and profit. Gain buy in with hard facts Picture this: - Your organisation has a social responsibility policy - Your organisation uses car and air travel as a means to get to and from meetings - A return flight between Sydney to Singapore generates 6.2 tonnes of carbon emission I didn’t say it was going to be a pretty picture… As green travel programs become more prevalent, there is a wealth of information available to back-up your hunch that online platforms are a more sustainable alternative to air and car travel. Check out what your competitors are doing and don’t simply ‘greenwash’ – gather evidence to present to your senior management. Make a plan Creating a road map of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to find your way is critical. When implementing virtual collaboration technologies, it’s important to find champions that will not only support your decision, but help you get from A to B – because you can’t do it all on your own! As well as cost benefits, your road map should include possible benefits to employees, reviews of productivity, recruitment and retention, timelines and clear measurable outcomes. Understand the costs The internal reaction of going online is most often, ‘how much will it cost?” Be prepared for any push-back by creating a clear cost analysis which clearly identifies hard and soft cost savings to the business. As well as the actual dollar figure, make sure you take productivity and employee engagement into account. This will also help to gain a better understanding of the ROI which can include the introduction of tracking and reporting tools. Check the company travel policy What does it say about eliminating unnecessary emissions from air and road travel? Does it say anything? If it doesn’t, it may be time for a review. Resist resistance In many organisations the expectations of corporate travel can be at odds with a drive to reduce the carbon footprint. This can be alleviated by a holistic approach and strategy for change which incorporates awareness training and highlights the drivers for and benefits of making the shift online. Communicate Once virtual collaboration policies begin to be implemented, communicating the program and the desired results to relative stakeholders are critical to ongoing success. And if there's one thing I discovered this week, it's that we are all capable of change and making great things happen! Until next time, Sara

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Sara Gonzales, 25th May 2017

Digital Events – Uncovering the Jargon

Hybrid, VoIP, Engagement Scores, Webcast... If you’ve ever hosted your own Digital Event you’ve no doubt heard some of this all before. Loads of jargon that means absolutely nothing and in the end, just confuses you even more! Here at Redback, we get it. That’s why we’ve put together a handy cheat sheet that explains what everything means in its simplest format. Download our two-page guide to uncover the jargon and kick start your digital event journey. Click here to uncover the jargon! Until next time, Sara

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The Redback Team
The Redback Team , 18th May 2017

“Can you hear me now? How does my hair look?” Learnings from Presenting an Online Talk Show

At first, it can be daunting. You’re sitting behind a panel desk with your co-host in a closed off room with nothing more than two white robot looking cameras staring at you. The background is green, the lights are bright and before you know it ‘3,2,1 Action!’ My first thought – ‘What? Renan’s counting down and I haven’t even checked my lippy?!’ We’ve come a long way since the traditional present to a PPT with a small webcam webinar; and while we’re now engaging our online audiences more than ever, presenting online in a studio with high definition video equipment can be quite intimidating. For the past two years, I have been co-hosting an Online TV Show titled Six Degrees of Association. A 22 minute, fortnightly webcast that’s dedicated to the Association Sector. I’ve had so much fun, have worked with some incredibly talented people, and have definitely learnt a thing or two about presenting online. As Season 2 of #6DA comes to an end, I thought I would share my learnings and tips – here you go: Keep it casual and relaxed It’s human nature to prepare and rehearse over and over until you go live. However, when presenting online it’s important to relax and keep it casual. Why? In a physical environment, you have an audience providing you with feedback every step of the way. This gives you a sixth sense as to what people are feeling and as a result, you might slow down, move onto the next section or ask people a question to get them thinking (or off their phones). Switch to the online world and this doesn’t exist. Your job is to break through the technology barrier and engage people in conversation. Too much rehearsing can result in a scripted presentation and will only disengage your online audience. My advice? Know your stuff, have some guidelines, but think of it as more of a discussion as opposed to a presentation. It will calm the nerves and resonate much more with your attendees. Pretend it’s LIVE! Each episode we filmed over the two seasons was pre-recorded and then streamed live. The reason? We had presenters in various locations and the concept of the show would not have worked unless we were all on the same panel at the same time. So, here we are, pre-recorded episodes and the ability to edit anything we want. But guess what? We only took one take of each episode every single time. Sure, I stumbled across a few words here and there and yes, we went off script every now and then, but that’s what made the show work. It made us human, and our online audience could relate to that! As a presenter, it’s like a switch is flicked when you know something is going to be live. If you’re ever recording an online presentation, try and pretend it’s streaming live. Just give it your best shot, and if you stumble, make a simple make a joke out of it and move on. This also means there will be less editing in the post-production phase… Passion is key There’s no doubt that passionate presenters can make all the difference. In Season 2 of #6DA we decided to interview a range of CEOs who were really making a difference in the sector. With so many to choose from, how did we select the top six? It all came down to how passionate they were. We had no idea how they would come across on camera, in fact many of them had never presented online before. For us, it was about asking them questions that increased excitement or bringing up topics that created a bit of controversy. You can use all the interactive tools the platform has to offer and rehearse until the very last second, but if you are not passionate about what you are saying then there’s no point in going to all the effort to create online content. Final thoughts… Along with all of this, one of my biggest learnings was to trust the experts around you. Like I said, technology can be very intimidating and as a presenter, my first thought was always to query what was happening and make sure that everything was running perfectly – this is despite the fact that I work with these guys daily! Simply focus on what you do best, and everything else will fall into place! Enjoy the journey, Sara

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Sara Gonzales, 3rd May 2017

Digital Events and Education – How can you make it work?

Web-based training solutions provide an online environment that combines interactive virtual elements with collaborative and engaging learning. Workplaces can now be accessed from anywhere in the world, all with nothing more than a simple click. While the benefits of Digital Events are clear, many are reluctant to implement educational webinar programs because they simply don’t know where to start. Along with a wealth of industry jargon, there’s the technology, creation of digital content and organisational buy-in to think about. So where do you begin? This year, Redback Conferencing surveyed over 1,000 webinar attendees to create The Redback Report. The report provides insight into the Digital Event landscape and how those from various industries prefer to attend and digest online content. The results are in - and online audiences want engaging presenters, aligned content and consistency. Here’s an overview of some of the results and what they mean for you. Your Presenters Think back to the last webinar you attended, what made it engaging? Was it the PowerPoint or the Presenter that kept you online? While platform tools are a large part of audience engagement, having a good presenter is the key to ensuring your event is a success. This year, the overwhelming majority of respondents (88%) stated that being passionate and engaging is the most important skill for presenters to have. Providing free information and links came in second with 8% of the votes while being technically savvy, and knowing how to interact with the camera came in third with 2% of the votes each. Here are some tips for choosing your presenter: -Presenter Training is about more than just platform tools. It’s about engagement, passion and enthusiasm. While knowledge is important, your presenter must be able to break through technology and resonate with your online audience. -Consider using a facilitator/moderator to work alongside your presenter. They look after introductions, technical questions and Q&A Sessions allowing your presenter to focus on their content Your Content This year, 35% of respondents admitted to leaving an online event early. The biggest reason? The content is never usually consistent with what they signed up for. As with anything, it’s important to align your content with promotional material and key learning outcomes. Here are some other tips for keeping your audience online and engaged. Consistency: When you create promotional material for your webinars, always send it to your presenter to cross-check. With 41% of respondents stating misaligned content as a key reason for dropping off, it’s important to make sure that all messaging is consistent. From presenter to organiser to Marketing/Comms teams and back again - always ensure your learning outcomes are clearly defined and more importantly, delivered! Content: Digital Events offer an amazing communication platform – but have you ever thought about using them as a way to communicate other pieces of content? Upload White Papers to the Resource Library, utilise your Exit Pages to redirect attendees to upcoming events and start cross-promoting all you have to offer. It’s the perfect addition to a seamless Content Marketing Strategy. Format: Adding a human element to your webinars can help to alleviate the ‘technology barrier.’ Instead of having your presenter talk to slides, why not host a panel discussion or interview? A simple discussion and the introduction of a second voice can help to further engage your online audience. Consider having someone from your organisation conduct the interview for brand exposure and consistency. As employees, employers, leaders and learners, we must all think holistically about collaborative strategies that will increase the breadth of organisational learning. Digital Events can be a simple, cost effective and interactive tool to help us achieve our personal and organisational goals; all you need to do it take the first step. Click here to download The Redback Report and uncover the full results. Until next time, Sara   Sara Gonzalez is the Marketing Director and Digital Event Consultant at Redback Conferencing. She is on a mission to inform, educate and inspire Australian organisations on how to successfully create, promote and deliver Digital Event programs. For more information, contact her at sara.gonzalez@rdbk.com.au or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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The Redback Team
The Redback Team , 21st April 2017

The 2017 Redback Report is here – Discover the current Digital Event Landscape

When do people prefer to join Digital Events? What keeps online audiences engaged? Thanks to your amazing feedback, we've got the answers! The 2017 Redback Report is now available to download. We had an overwhelming amount of responses and from what we can see, we're all becoming very familiar with the online world. Click here to download the 2017 Redback Report Congratulations to the two winners of the $500 Digital Event Voucher: Breanne Roberts Danielle McCarthy Steve Griffiths We hope you enjoy the report - here's to many more successful Digital Events! Sara

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The Redback Team
The Redback Team , 7th April 2017

How successful are your Digital Events? Introducing Redback Event Consulting!

“How successful is my webinar program?” “Are we delivering the best online user experience possible?” We are becoming increasingly aware that there is more to Digital Events than simply choosing a topic and presenter, and then crossing our fingers and hoping that everyone will turn up. And while we all know the benefits of Digital Events and are beginning to understand how they work, most of us are still falling short of maximising our Return on Investment. This is where Digital Event Consulting comes into play. Redback is now offering half day face to face consulting sessions in order to help you align your Webinars and Webcasts to your organisational strategy. There’s three types of sessions that cater to everyone: -The Starter Session: Are you new to Digital Events? Do you want to make sure you get it right the first time? -Presenting Perfectly: Presenters can make or break your event. Set your online presenters up for success with a half day session on the platform and best practices -The Masterclass: Looking to refresh your program and put an effective plan in place? You know the platform, to get how it works – let’s create an entire Digital Content Strategy together! The half day face to face sessions based in Sydney and Melbourne are all about you - we research what you’re currently doing, understand your business objectives and then get your team together for four hours of strategy, brainstorming and interactivity. To maximise the results from the program, we generally ask that the Event Organisers, CEO, Marketing Team and a regular customer/member get involved. To find out more about how Digital Event Consulting can help you transform your Digital Events and maximise your Return on Investment, please click here. To find out more about Redback Conferencing and how you can run your own Digital Events, click here. Until next time, The Redback Team

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The Redback Team
The Redback Team , 24th March 2017

Q1 Redback Charity Spotlight – Congratulations Melanoma Patients Australia!

Massive congratulations to Melanoma Patients Australia for taking out first place and the $500 prize in the Q1 Redback Charity Spotlight! MPA is an independent, not for profit organisation dedicated to supporting and representing those affected by melanoma. “Because MPA receives no government funding and relies solely on donations, prizes such as these are very impactful. By way of example $100 can support a melanoma patient with counselling.  A melanoma diagnosis can leave patients feeling isolated and frightened and MPA provides critical support via professional counselling at no charge. We applaud Redback Conferencing for supporting MPA and making a difference to those with melanoma” - Hayley Andersen, CEO of Melanoma Patients Australia. See the full results below:   1st Melanoma Patients Australia                                             $500 | 407 votes 2nd Asylum Seeker Resource Centre                                     $350 | 316 votes 3rd Operation Smile                                                                 $150 | 238 votes 4th Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand             $100 | 201 votes Thanks to everyone who got involved and votes, your contribution is helping to change lives around Australia! The Q2 Redback Charity Spotlight starts today and we have four new wonderful charities taking part: Little Wings                                                                         Vote | Donate Girl Guide Victoria                                                              Vote | Donate Autoimmune Resource and Research Centre                  Vote | Donate Project Respect                                                                   Vote | Donate To find out more about this quarter’s charities, vote and see what the Redback Charity Program is all about, please go to: https://www.redbackconferencing.com.au/social-responsibility/ Until next time, Vesna  

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The Redback Team
The Redback Team , 21st March 2017

Help us Create The 2017 Redback Report – Your Chance to Win $500 Towards Your Next Digital Event

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of joining boring Digital Events that promise the world and end up being a complete waste of time. Webcams that freeze, registration processes that want to know my whole life story and presenters who prefer to talk about themselves rather than engage me. That’s why I invite you to take five minutes to help us create the best Redback Report ever! The report is now in its fourth year and provides insight into how we all interact and engage with Digital Events. Click here to participate in the report Why should you participate in the report? -There’s no current Australian research into the trends and current landscape – which days work best for certain industries? Do webcams even matter? What makes a great presenter? The data we collect will help us create a snapshot of the Digital Event space that will help everyone create awesome events. -You could win one of two $500 vouchers towards your next Digital Event. If your organisation is planning to run an educational webinar or stream a mid year announcement this could make you the most popular person in the office! The survey is open until Friday 31st March and we’ll be launching the report on Friday 21st April. Feel free to take a look at the 2016 Redback Report to see what it’s all about! Thanks for your help – here’s to creating amazing Digital Events! Until next time, Sara Gonzalez

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The Redback Team
The Redback Team , 20th March 2017

Redback Charity Spotlight – 3 Days to Go!

There’s only a few days left of our Q1 Redback Charity Spotlight! Each quarter, four charities are given the opportunity to raise awareness of their campaign within our community via our educational webinar series. Our community is then encouraged to vote for their favourite charity who will win $500 from the Spotlight’s overall quarterly prize pool of $1,100. This quarter, the four amazing charities taking part are: -Asylum Seeker Resource Centre      Vote| Donate Now -Melanoma Patients Australia      Vote| Donate Now -Operation Smile Australia      Vote| Donate Now -Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand      Vote| Donate Now To vote and find out more about the charities and our social responsibility program, please go to https://www.redbackconferencing.com.au/social-responsibility/ Until next time, Vesna

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The Redback Team
The Redback Team , 17th March 2017

FREE Webcast: Developing Your Careers Most Important Asset – You!

Join us next Tuesday, 21st March for our Business Skills Webcast with Neil von Heupt from the Australian Institute of Training and Development as we look at how to develop your careers most important asset – you! The 45 minute presentation will give you practical, immediate take-aways for improving your career including a model for evaluating and designing purposeful professional development. We’ll also uncover the steps to putting informal, social and formal learning to work as you design the professional development you need, for the career that you want. People don’t grow by accident - they grow by design - design yourself. The webcast will uncover: -6 key areas of continuing professional development -Designing a plan -Personal knowledge management -Personal learning networks Click here to register! Until next time, The Redback Conferencing Team

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The Redback Team
The Redback Team , 15th March 2017

Redback Charity Spotlight: Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand

The cause: Lung disease, such as asthma, pneumonia, COPD and lung cancer, kill more people every year than heart disease and stroke. It is estimated that over 7 million Australians suffer from chronic respiratory problems; they cause 14% of all deaths and over 250,000 hospitalisations each year. Unfortunately, it receives only 5.5% of government research funding. About TSANZ: The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) is the only health peak body representing a range of professions (medical specialists, scientists, researchers, academics, nurses, physiotherapists, students and others) across various disciplines within the respiratory/sleep medicine field in Australia and New Zealand. TSANZ promotes the: -highest quality and standards of patient care -development and application of knowledge about respiration and respiratory disease -collaboration between all national organisations whose objectives are to improve the well-being of individuals with lung disease and to promote better lung health for the community -professional needs of the membership -goal of a tobacco smoke free society How you can get involved: If you would like to find out more about how to support TSANZ, you can get in touch with them on +61 2 9222 6200 or make a donation. The TSANZ and Lung Foundation Australia (LFA) have recently joined forces in a new strategic research initiative called Lungs for Life: Improving Lives Today, Working for Tomorrow’s Cure. Research is one of the most effective ways to improve the prevention, detection, treatment and management of lung disease. Information about the initiative is available through the following link: http://www.thoracic.org.au/information-public/lungs-for-life Where does the money go: A key focus for TSANZ at the moment is raising funds for the research of lung diseases and causes through the Lungs for Life Initiative.  Funds raised assist in identifying crucial gaps in knowledge or treatment and conduct research that will benefit the millions of Australians of all ages, who have respiratory disease. There is an urgent need for more research on how to protect the lungs of very young children from damage. This means investigating the links between a vulnerable child’s genes and potential threats, such as allergens, pollutants, infections, vaccines, prenatal smoking, early nutrition and activity levels. How Redback is helping: First place winners of the Redback Charity Spotlight are awarded $500. To vote for TSANZ and find out more about the Redback Charity Spotlight, please go to: https://www.redbackconferencing.com.au/social-responsibility/ To find out more about TSANZ please go to: https://www.thoracic.org.au/ Until next time, Vesna  

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The Redback Team
The Redback Team , 13th March 2017

Redback Charity Spotlight: Melanoma Patients Australia

The cause: Each year, more than 13,000 Australians are diagnosed with melanoma and by the year 2020 melanoma is projected to become third most common cancer in Australia, replacing lung cancer, bowel cancer, breast and prostate cancer. About MPA: Melanoma Patients Australia is an independent, not for profit organisation committed to providing information, support and representation to more than 13,000 people affected by the cancer each year. How you can get involved: Each year MPA holds an annual fundraising event.  This year the Gala Dinner will be held on 9 June at Brisbane Convention & Entertainment Centre.  The Band of Blue return to entertain everyone in what is sure to be an “arresting night of fun”. If you would like to contribute to MPA please consider booking a ticket or a table, making a donation or donation a raffle or auction item. Ticket sales commence on 24 March. Where does the money go: All the funds raised will go towards providing information, support, representation and the development of important patient programs. How Redback is helping: First place winners of the Redback Charity Spotlight are awarded $500. To vote for MPA and find out more about the Redback Charity Spotlight, please go to: https://www.redbackconferencing.com.au/social-responsibility/ To find out more about MPA visit:  www.melanomapatients.org.au Until next time, Vesna

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