To watch, go here: https://cmepalooza.com/live/
For the agenda, go here: https://cmepalooza.com/spring-2020/
Where do I watch CMEpalooza Spring?
You watch it on the LIVE page.
Will people be able to hear me on the broadcast?
No. You are not on the broadcast. You are only watching a video feed of the broadcast. You can play “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow at full volume and no one will hear you except your neighbors, who might call the police, who might interrupt you while watching CMEpalooza. So, don’t play “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow at full volume while watching CMEpalooza.
Can I watch CMEpalooza at home?
Can I watch CMEpalooza at the office?
No! Stay home!
Can I watch CMEpalooza in a conference room with 150 other people?
No! Stay home!
Can I watch CMEpalooza while at a coffee shop?
That depends. Do you own your own coffee shop and will you be watching by yourself? If no, then…No! Stay home!
Can I watch CMEpalooza at home with my kids?
I don’t know. Let’s ask them.
Yeah, maybe not.
Do I have to pre-register or register?
Do I have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza? I love paying registration fees.
No. You don’t have to pay anything to watch CMEpalooza.
Do I have to take a survey afterward?
Well, you don’t have to, but it would be nice if you did. It’s only seven questions and shouldn’t take you more than 60 seconds. If it takes you more than 60 seconds, Scott will come to your house, stand outside your bedroom window (at least 50 feet away, to be safe and all), and recreate the John Cusack boombox scene from Say Anything.
Can I get a certificate for watching CMEpalooza?
Actually, yes. Well, kind of. We’re not accredited or certified or anything like that, and we have no way of verifying whether you actually watched any of these sessions or not. But if you want a certificate of completion that you can use to self-report participation in CMEpalooza Spring 2020, here you go. I’ll also post it on the LIVE page tomorrow. Who knows, maybe these certificates will be worth something 2,000 years from now.
How do I ask questions of the presenters?
Good question. There are two ways you can ask questions:
We try to get to as many questions as we can throughout each presentation.
Do I have to watch all the sessions?
YES! No. Watch what interests you.
Will the sound quality for each presenter be crystal clear with consistent volume and no glitches?
No. Will it be pretty good for most presenters? Yes. There will be some who sound better than others. There may be a few glitches and hiccups. That’s just how it goes with a free conference where presenters volunteer their time and use their own equipment. Some people aren’t comfortable doing a presentation while wearing headphones and a mic, so we don’t force them to use it. We do the best that we can with what we have available to us.
Will I be offended by anything during CMEpalooza?
Are you offended by Sam Spade-esque, gumshoe detective, film noir satire that includes words like “dame” and “yokel”? If yes, then I suggest avoiding the Jake Powers session at 3 p.m. ET. It’s OK, really, you don’t have to watch it. Go grab a coffee and snack and come back for the 4 p.m. session. We’ll still be here.
What if I’m busy during the day of the live broadcast?
All the sessions will be archived on the website, probably within 15 minutes of the conclusion of each session. How are we able to do it so fast? We have a co-worker who is a real crackerjack on the interwebs. Here she is hard at work, writing our latest blog post.
In so many, many ways, it’s been a month like no other. We’ve had to change pretty much every routine in our lives in a manner that would have seemed unfathomable even weeks ago. I find myself zigzagging around the neighborhood like I’m coming off a 2-week bender as I try to avoid getting too close to anyone. I voluntarily took on an art project this weekend to make a mask out of an old t-shirt. Yes, me, the guy who jokes he was the first person to get a “G” in high school art class because I am about as crafty as, err, someone who is not at all crafty. My DIY mask looks like crap, but it works (sort of).
Yet with all the chaos in our lives, CMEpalooza is perhaps the lone “normal” thing left for some of us. It’s nothing more than dumb luck that we were already a virtual meeting and we already had faculty who could participate from just about anywhere before our world came crashing down. Our faculty had all committed to our Spring agenda before the worst of the Covid-19 crisis hit, and they’ve fortunately all stayed with us (thanks to all of them). It’s almost been business as usual across the board.
I know it’s been a bit of a personal salvation to be able to turn to the blog and lean on our panelists, sponsors, and other friends when things get a bit too heavy, to be able to turn to CMEpalooza to help breathe and calm myself down a bit. We hope that we’ve brought a smile and sense of calm to your lives, at least a little, in this past month and that our Spring broadcast from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET this Wednesday, April 15, will help you feel a little bit normal again too.
We’ll have some more specifics coming up in the next 2 days to help you navigate through things, but here are a few tips to help you settle in to join us on Wednesday:
oopsie i did it again
scott’s favorite post
coming up next week
thank god it’s online
9 AM ET – How Should the CE Industry Respond to a Novel Healthcare Crisis?
health crises of our lifetime
how can we respond?
10 AM ET – We Can Do It! Getting Change-Ready Ahead of the ACCME’s Updates to the Standards for Commercial Support
can we can do it!? (yes we can)
people get ready
11 AM ET – Shiny Outcomes People
tiny little homes
and they all look just the same
sound like your outcomes?
Noon ET – The Intersection Between Information, Knowledge, and Practice
sometimes to adapt
slow and steady wins the race
good for us old folks
1 PM ET – Rebuilding It Better? Stronger? Faster? Moving Innovation Forward in CE Redesign
rebuild CE like
the six million dollar man
just hire lee majors
2 PM ET – Grant Request Rock!
how do grant requests function?
these guys will tell you
3 PM ET – Jake Powers, CME Detective, Episode 2: Certification at Elevation – The Mile High Mysteries
and a slug of cheap whiskey
jake powers is back
4 PM ET – Common/Not-So-Common Case Conundrums in CME
would be so very humdrum
when does the fun come?
three precious metals
but if you want a haiku
it’s gold or silver
haiku can be hard
when you don’t know how to say
they can’t stay away
back for a third time
but a group of seaside fans
the best name for a
medical themed escape room?
a Medscape room duh
Don’t forget that we’ll be hosting a special, live CMEpalooza Company Spotlight broadcast this morning from 11-11:30 a.m. ET. Joining me will be three of the wise men from Educational Measures to talk about the challenges of the live, virtual conference.
To view this free broadcast, just go to our LIVE tab – we’ll start the broadcast right at the top of the hour. No need to register or fill out anything beforehand. Just drop in and listen. We’ll even take questions as we go along.
And hey, if your organization likes this concept and wants to work with us to develop a broadcast of your own, just shoot me an email. We’re happy to keep this going beyond our CMEpalooza Spring broadcast next week.
As we head into week 4 of our national hibernation, I’m noticing a few new trends. Yes, my social media feeds are still primarily dealing with the day-to-day of current Covid-19 pandemic, but I am also slowly seeing the emergence people who are wondering what’s going to happen when we finally get a handle on things.
Will we revert back to our old ways, packing sidewalks, restaurants, and arenas like nothing ever happened? (I doubt it, at least not right away). Will wearing masks in public become a regular occurrence? (doubt that too). Will we react more quickly the next time we’re threatened with a health pandemic? (I assume so).
And then there are those of us in the CME industry trying to crystal ball our future. Look, I know that there are a lot of us who rely heavily on face-to-face meetings for a significant chunk of our revenue. We’re all perhaps crossing our fingers that in the summer, fall, and foreseeable future we’ll be able to hold all of these live events that have been planned for months and months, and that people will once again be willing to travel thousands of miles to attend them.
I suspect that that is a bit overly optimistic.
For years, there has been a general reluctance to offer much in the way of live, online, accredited education for healthcare providers. As the theory goes, our learners already spend a considerable number of hours at live, in-person meetings/conferences, so there is no way they would be interested in a live, online conference. Plus, how do you replace the value of face-to-face interactions?
I’m not sure I have the answer to that second issue (though I have some ideas), but I think the last few weeks have shown us that that first theory may not necessarily be true. Admittedly, these are unusual circumstances, and there are quite a few healthcare providers who work off the front lines of emergency care who have more time on their hands than usual right now. I mean, I have been able to schedule calls with some rather prominent clinicians on the same day as I reach out to them. When was the last time that happened?
In the last 2 weeks, I’ve watched parts of several live, online events geared at least in part of the healthcare community. The meeting organizers are consistently overwhelmed with participation, which has typically numbered in the thousands. I suspect some of the attendees have simply been those in the general public who are interested in high-level education, but you have to also believe that a number of providers are also watching, as often evidenced by the types of questions being fielded from the audience.
So what does that all mean for the future? Well, it could, could mean that we’ll need to start looking at hybrid solutions for live events. There are likely going to be lots of people who are leery of airline travel, especially international travel, which is going to put a damper on attendance for some of our larger conferences. So as live attendance takes a hit, how do you supplement things with an online solution?
Join us from 11-11:30 a.m. this Wednesday, April 8 for a special CMEpalooza Company Spotlight broadcast where I’ll be joined by the bright minds from Educational Measures. We’ll take a look at what the future holds for live, online conferences and steps that we may all need to take to adapt at least in the short term to best meet the educational needs of our learners. Since this may be a big part of all of our futures, it’s something we all need to learn more about.
Typically, when we have a random drawing to select the winners of our special sponsor events, it’s a BIG production. We hire entertainers (Right Said Fred was the headliner last fall), provide a lavish spread of food and drink, and generally party for hours and hours. The cops have shut our party down at 4 a.m. twice in the last few years, but hey, we don’t really care. It’s the event our tireless team of crack interns looks forward to most each season.
So it was, alas, somewhat anticlimactic this week when the prize drawing was confined to my home office. I couldn’t even muster the energy to blast I’m Too Sexy on my speakers, but you can do so if you really want to.
Nonetheless, we have several happy winners, each of whom won $100 Amazon gift cards. Here they are:
If you are at all curious about the correct answers to each question, you can find them by clicking here.
For anyone who has been following CMEpalooza since our early days , you’ll know that every year, we try out new things. Occasionally, these succeed, but more often, they fail to garner any traction and simply get buried beneath the tombstone of “Derek’s Dumb Ideas” (my failed ideas, of course, were brilliant but simply before their time).
One of these ideas was something we called CMEpalooza Company Spotlight. The premise was simple – we would work with an organization tied to CME and plan a 30-minute broadcast that spoke to a fundamental issue of interest to the CME community while also highlighting what that organization was doing to address that issue. We even gave away two free opportunities to jump start interest, which I think we both thought were pretty interesting and added value both to the featured organization as well as our audience.
Alas, no one was willing to actually, you know, pay for the Spotlight and so these simply went away.
That’s right folks, we’re bringing back CMEpalooza Company Spotlight for a special event next Wednesday, April 8 from 11-11:30 a.m ET. I’ll be joined by some of the fine folks at Educational Measures to talk about the challenges of transitioning from live, in-person conferences to live, online events. I think we have all already seen some of the struggles our community is having as we are being forced to adapt to unfamiliar technology, so we’ll be focusing on how to proactively avoid some of the common pitfalls of live, online education so that we can maximize the effectiveness of our education.
We’ll be broadcasting this special event on our LIVE page. There is no registration required and attendance is, of course, free for everyone. We hope to have some time to answer questions from the audience as well (feel free to submit any burning questions in the comments section below in advance of the broadcast if you want to).
Ehhhhh…the updates aren’t really that important, but I figured that if I said they were important and used an exclamation mark, more people would click and read. No, no, I am not a marketing professional…I just play one on the Internet.
That’s about all I have for an opener. You’re busy. I’m busy. Let’s get right to the updates.
We have updated the agenda with information about our opening breakfast session sponsored by AcademicCME: How Should the CE Industry Respond to a Novel Healthcare Crisis? COVID-19 is obviously something that is having a major impact on all of our lives, both personally and professionally. Our hope is that this session can help make some sense of how the CME community can respond.
Speaking of the coronavirus, a local business near my home has a Window of Hope where they display pictures from neighborhood kids about their hopes for the future. I think 3-year-old Jack might be on to something here. Seems like as good a plan as any.
Scott wants me to remind everyone that the CMonopolE (née CMEopoly) sponsor event thingy ends tomorrow, so get your entry in ASAP. You can read all the important stuff here…and by important I mean that you can win a $100 Amazon gift card.
Update #3 is still a secret and I can’t actually tell you what it is (once again: marketing genius!), but we have something cooking for next week that we hope you will find helpful. I don’t want to say too much until we have all of the details finalized, but let’s just say that an old CMEpalooza brainchild may be making an unexpected return. More details to come! (<– building suspense! I am available for marketing consultations.)
What to do to keep sane, week 2.
So like most of you, things have been a little bit cramped in the Kober household these last few days. Compounding the issue last week was that it was the scheduled Spring Break for my 9-year-old, so there was no pretending that any learning was going to happen. We made the best of the nice days by driving out into the hills of Pennsylvania to do some pretty serious hiking (it’s easy to social distance when you literally see 2 other people each hour).
On those not-so-nice days, while my son learned how to set up video chats with his friends while playing some game called Roblox, I decided to do some market research while keeping abreast of what’s happening with Covid-19.
I managed to check out three live broadcasts, each with a different focus, each using a different delivery mechanism. Here is what happened:
Broadcast 1: Platform unknown, but looked and interfaced like GoToWebinar. One presenter on video, one moderator without video, and slides. Video quality was decent, audio was clear. All was well until suddenly, about 45 minutes in, the presenter lost his connection. 30 seconds went by. Then 60. Still, nothing. The moderator had no choice but to end the webinar kind of abruptly. Takeaway for you: If you can, try to avoid single presenter sessions online. If you “lose” your speaker, you are lost.
Broadcast 2: Zoom broadcast through a proprietary link. This was more along the lines of a professional development activity, given by a colleague I’ve been friendly with for many years. What I did not realize is that all of the attendees would be on screen and would be expected to offer their input into the topics. The live broadcast started at 8 p.m. ET so I wasn’t as perfectly groomed as I usually am during the day (a shirt without stains is about what I consider “perfectly groomed”). Video and audio was OK. There were only three of us there so super casual conversation. The moderator suddenly lost her audio for about 90 seconds halfway through, but figured out how to get it back. I’d send you the link to this exciting broadcast, but well, I don’t want to. Takeaway for you: Let your audience know in advance if there is any chance they are going to end up on screen. It’s not a pleasant surprise.
Broadcast 3: Zoom broadcast through Facebook Live. This one had 4 speakers, all on video. No slides. One of the speakers had a ton of trouble with her connection. Her audio cut out frequently and she lost her feed for several chunks of time. The other speakers kept trying to bring her into the conversation, but it got a bit frustrating once everyone realized that her connection just wasn’t reliable. Takeaway for you: If you can, test your presenters’ AV setup in advance to try to minimize any issues midstream when you are live.
So basically, there were technical issues with all three of the broadcasts that I watched, which honestly was not totally unexpected. In the online setting, there is undoubtedly a loss of control. Things happen, and there often isn’t an easy solution.
Derek and I have learned over the years how to troubleshoot a lot of the issues that crop up during our live broadcasts, and yet there are always at least 1 or 2 sessions each time around where we can’t get a panelist’s video to work, or there is an echo we can’t isolate, or someone simply keeps dropping off the broadcast. Firewall issues? Poor Internet connection? Hardware compatibility? Someone doesn’t want to own up to having a bad hair day? You can’t always know.
After each CMEpalooza, we ask viewers to fill out a short survey to give us feedback into how we’re doing. Inevitably, we’ll get a handful of people who will say, “It was hard to pay attention to XYZ session because there was this buzzing noise” or “Can’t you do something to make people’s audio louder?” We are usually well aware of these issues – they are annoying to us too – but sometimes they are out of our control or beyond our level of production expertise. I suspect there may be even more grumbling for anyone who is charging for access to their broadcasts when the quality isn’t perfect, so if that’s you, you’d better be prepared with a stock answer to those who are going to whine.
(note from Derek: trust me, we are aware when there are audio/video issues. A little piece of me dies inside every time someone’s audio glitches. My laptop crashed during a session last year and I was mad about it for days.)
During our recent AV tests with various Spring panelists (which I must say have been completely bereft of any major problems), I’ve been asked a couple of times if I thought the added burden to overall Web bandwidth was going to affect the technical quality of our broadcasts. The answer is very simple.
I mean it. I don’t have a clue. Obviously, we hope it won’t, but if it does, there really isn’t anything we can do about it. Bill Gates stopped taking my calls many years ago.
Just like always, we’ll do the best we can to troubleshoot, and we’ve got enough experience that we’re always able to salvage something meaningful from our sessions even if there is a partial panelist meltdown. We’ll keep on striving, just like everyone else, for that perfect game. It’ll come eventually.
Oh, and one more thing: Don’t forget that you only have a few more days for your CMEopoly submission. Entries are due this Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET. You can get everything you need by clicking on this link.