Organizing educational and networking events for members of a group can be difficult when participants are not centrally located. Why? Members unable to attend in person can only call in by phone and listen to presentations, which, as we all know, is far less valuable than being in the same room with peers.
My company, Medwave Optique, has worked with companies and organizations across Quebec to solve problems – just like this one – through technology. Starting with this post I will share the story of an organization that Medwave Optique is a member of, L’Association québécoise des technologies (AQT), and how it is transforming how it operates through video technology.
In this first post (of three), I will introduce AQT and share the challenge they faced. Their story will sound familiar to many of you reading this, as your company may also be struggling to connect employees and clients over long distances. Next week I will discuss how AQT found the answer to their business challenge through technology, and in two weeks will conclude this series with a look forward to what is next.
Let’s get started.
AQT, or the Quebec Technology Association, has spent more than 20 years struggling to connect disparate members with their organization’s headquarters in Montreal. Before I go too far, let me be clear. The struggle for AQT was not to connect members by phone or email, but to truly connect with them and make them feel part of the organization and its events.
AQT’s objective is to help CEOs and management teams of Quebec-based, innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises in the information communications and technology industry grow their business. One of the ways that AQT achieves this goal is to hold 20 to 30 events a year for its more than 600 members.
Herein lies the challenge. The events are designed to showcase best practices. Some events are geared towards strategy and innovation, while others are focused on human resources, finance, sales, and marketing.
Currently, these seminars are held at AQT’s Montreal office, and the content consists of presentations from entrepreneurs or experts, followed by a question-and-answer session. The format works well for members based in or near Montreal, but companies from other parts of the province often aren’t able to attend in person and don’t enjoy or benefit from the same interactive experience.
This is what AQT wanted, and needed, to correct. This was their challenge.
As Marc Lapointe, AQT’s director of membership and strategic partnerships told me:
“We wanted to make members who couldn’t come to events in person feel part of the team. We wanted a solution that would allow remote attendees to participate in conversations and events as if they were in the same room.”
In the second part of this series I will reveal what happened after AQT realized they needed a better way to involve members located outside of the Greater Montreal region, and how video technology is transformed the organization.
Does AQT’s story sound familiar? Leave a comment below.