Using Webinars As a Membership Value Add
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation’s 3.1 million registered nurses.
The organization holds monthly membership recruitment webinars that are free to members, while non-members can pay a fee to attend. These webinars deliver important information of interest to nurses and additionally serve as a platform to earn continuing education (CE) contact hour credits.
By far, the ANA’s largest and most well-attended member education webinar is its annual National Nurses Week live broadcast held each May to commemorate the birthday of Florence Nightingale. When the new marketing director came to ANA in 2012, one of her first priorities was to improve the overall quality of this high-visibility event, which is used to recognize and celebrate nurses all across the U.S.
The Search for a Reliable Platform That Scales to the Thousands
ANA’s other webinar platform had a cap of 2,000 registrants and was prone to technical issues. In one webinar with 900 participants, the system crashed, ANA could not reestablish a connection, and the event had to be cancelled.
In 2013, ANA decided to greatly increase marketing to support the National Nurses Week member education webinar. Expecting a much larger audience, ANA felt they needed a platform that could:
- Reliably scale to the thousands of participants, with no technical issues or service disruptions
- Deliver a top-quality presentation, reflecting the organization’s professionalism and membership value
- Provide a superior, interactive experience for all attendees ANA also recognized an opportunity to use the webinar as a membership recruitment driver and focused on reaching out to a large number of non-member participants, which made it even more important to have an event that was a positive reflection on the organization.
ON24: The Answer for High-Volume, High-Quality Webinars
The marketing director had experience with ON24 from her last job and trusted the Webcast Elite platform to provide the user experience she needed for this important and highly visible member education webinar.
Compared to its prior webcasting platforms, ANA was impressed with:
- The all-in-one, simplified platform: ANA worked with ON24 to set up its registration pages, create and send confirmation emails and build and deliver webinar presentations, all from a single platform — replacing the need to log into different systems.
- The ability to stream live, broadcast-quality video: For the first time in 2014, the National Nurses Week webinar featured a live video broadcast. An onsite video production team streamed the presentations from a panel of industry key opinion leaders who fielded questions from the virtual audience throughout the event.
- The superior support offered by the Premium Event Management Package: With the purchase of this service package, ON24 event experts assisted ANA in its event setup (creating the registration, lobby and console pages), trained its speakers, monitored the live event and helped archive the event for on-demand viewing.
- The optional Audience Phone Bridge: ANA chose to offer a dial-in option as a backup alternative. A meager 1.2% of the National Nurses Week webinar attendees used the phone bridge, mostly audience members who were more comfortable dialing into a phone bridge than streaming from their computers.
Worry-Free Execution That Exceeded Expectations
Since implementing Webcast Elite, ANA’s annual National Nurses Week member education webinar is:
- ANA’s most successful tool for membership recruitment
- Drawing record numbers of registrants, attendees and on-demand viewers, due to the platform’s scalability and professional appeal
- 6,000 attendees in 4,500 locations spent an average of 55.4 minutes in the 60-minute webinar
- Reducing the webinar producer’s event creation time by up to 65% over prior platforms
- Increasing ANA’s social media outreach, with the 2014 webinar fueling more than 650 tweets and over 4,000 Facebook likes
Webcast Elite’s ease of use is also giving ANA the ability to communicate quickly:
- ANA often needs to communicate with nurses on the national level on health care issues and crises.
- In October 2014, ANA was able to create and broadcast in less than two weeks two crisis-related webinars viewed by thousands of nurses, timing that was just not feasible on prior platforms.