Conferences, webinars, and online personal conversations
Video conferencing has become much more popular since the COVID-19/Corona virus struck. This was a popular way to work, especially in international companies, but has quickly become “the way” to get together in our non-profit sector.
We, the management, have met online for years, mainly because of travel times and distances.
We have also used video conferencing technology for years to help patients and their families.
Our worldwide organization has members in many different countries and therefore in different time zones. We take this into account when planning video conferences.
We use video conferencing technology for:
- Conferences for members.
- Personal conversations.
We would like to have as much personal contact (real-life) with all involved because we have learned that this works better, especially when discussing personal and medical issues. Unfortunately, a survey we did showed that some of our members are not able to be physically present at our conferences and wish to take part from their own location. We will take this into account and will offer the possibility of attending our member conferences “online”.
We are unfortunately forced to organize our worldwide member conference for 2020 only online because of the COVID-19/Corona virus.
Starting in 1997 we have held all our member conferences live. We started in The Netherlands and later met in Canada and the USA. We intend to hold these conferences in other countries in the future. Our experience is that nothing works as well as personal contact.
Webinars are meant to share knowledge and experience. Doctors are not the only ones who can give webinars, but also others who wish to share their experiences (not commercial).
The webinar planning is on the homepage of our website.
Do you want to know more, or have questions? Contact us and use “webinar” as the subject of the email.
We use the following services for personal conversations:
- Facebook Messenger.
Do you want to have a personal conversation and/or have questions? You can contact us. Use “personal conversation” as the subject and tell us how you wish to hold the conversation.
We use the paid version of ZOOM because among other reasons:
- There are no time limits on meetings.
- We can manage meetings with multiple participants.
- We can use “Breakout” rooms to have private conversations, for example, to allow a medical advisor to meet with several participants to discuss one particular subject.
We have done an extensive research to choose an online conference tool, and ZOOM ended up at the head of the list. We used the following criteria and functionality:
- Privacy and security. Communication between participants is encrypted and is not accessible to others, even if a non-member manages to join the meeting. The recordings of the sessions are stored on our computers and not in the ‘cloud’. It is unlawful to store personal information outside of the European Economic Community.
- Participants must be able to meet privately, outside of the central meeting. As an example, consider a private discussion between a doctor and a patient.
- Participants must be able to “chat” with each other to share information.
- Participants must be able to participate with a computer, a table, a smartphone, and a simple telephone. It must be possible to participate by calling a local number to avoid high costs.
- Participation must be possible over the whole world.
- The tool should preferably be familiar to participants to make it easier for them to participate.
- The tool must also be used by large organizations because they have done research, especially into privacy legislation. The Dutch PGOSupport is an example of an organization that have looked into privacy legislation regarding these tools.
Below is a manual for those participants who do not have experience with or knowledge of the ZOOM conference software.
- Download & install software the ZOOM software. It is available for virtually all computers, smartphones, etc.
- You will receive an email from us allowing you to take part in the conference. Example
- Fill in your name and country of residence so other participants can see who you are and where you live. You can change this by clicking in the right top corner of the video block of yourself (three “.”s).
1. Be on time. Be present about 10 minutes before the start of the conference.
2. Make sure the camera and sound (microphone and speaker) work. You can test this ahead of time. We want to avoid having to wait for participants with technical problems.
3. Be sure your microphone is switched off. Be aware that all the sound around you can be heard by others (privacy).
4. Be aware that when your camera active is, other participants can see what is happening in your vicinity.
During your registration, we always request your permission to use both video and audio recordings (privacy legislation). If you have objections, please also report/say this at the beginning of the conference to avoid problems.