Today at 2pm – How to Be Awesome at Adobe Connect & 5 Reasons Why Adobe Connect is Awesome

Before moving to GovLoop full-time a year ago, I did a lot of training for the Graduate School.

As a remote employee (I live in Durham while GS headquarters are in DC), I relied heavily on technology to stay connected with people and to lower the cost of travel for both my organization and the city or agency who wanted training. One of the key tools at my disposal was Adobe Connect. The Graduate School engaged in a rigorous review of potential web-based platforms and settled on Connect for a variety of reasons.

I share this with you because GovLoop is hosting a free webinar next Tuesday, November 30, at 2p ET in which Bobby Caudill of Adobe is going to do a quick ‘show-and-tell’ with Adobe Connect.

While Adobe is one of GovLoop’s 2010 Partners and we are actively working together to demonstrate the value of their products, I would have written a similar post 18 months ago! 😉

Here are the 5 reasons why I thought Adobe Connect was awesome (before being awesome was cool):

1. Robust Resources: If you could pick up a classroom or conference table and put it in a virtual setting, Adobe Connect is what you’d get. You’ve got a prominent web-based space to run through a slide deck or share your screen, a nice chat box to communicate with other participants and all the other features of typical web conferencing. BUT the difference in my mind is Connect’s break out rooms. If you need to split up the large group into smaller teams, you can create rooms where they can go for a minute, come up with a solution and come back to present their results. That’s powerful – especially for geographically disbursed employees.

2. More Multimedia: A lot us have used the video capabilities of Skype or similar web-based videoconferencing. The beauty of Connect is that you get all of those features I mentioned under point one AND you get live video. I also like Connect’s ability to make it look like Hollywood Squares (see photo on the right for a visual) on the screen as multiple people appear by video. You’re not in the same room, but it’s pretty darn close. Plus, you can easily share videos, podcasts, photos and a host of other rich media with meeting participants.

3. Easy to Use: I’ve used Connect as both a facilitator and a participant and it’s a really simple interface from both perspectives. As a facilitator, all of the navigation tools are well-placed and the icons are especially intuitive. While many organizations probably have dedicated support to assist with presentations, I was able to host one-man shows — sharing videos, creating and running polls on the spot and using the full breadth of the available tools and functionality. As a participant, it’s easy to enter the Connect room and get started as well.

4. No Downloads. How often do you actually have to download software to make it work? Connect is a true, cloud-based solution…and it has been for years. With Connect, you just show up at a link and everything you need is there. No downloads, nothing stored on your machine…just an online gathering space. To me, this seems to create cost savings for an agency as there is no need to roll out Connect to a bunch of machines across the organization or provide support or ongoing upgrades to the software. Sure, there is a Flash Player that needs to be downloaded, but you probably have that on your machine anyway for other web-based viewing.

5. Secure and Compliant. Admittedly, I don’t know all the details here, but as a facilitator I had the ability to control access, approving or denying participant entry. Also, with the ability to see content both visually and audibly, I imagine that it meets 508 requirements.

So that’s my five…if I have encouraged you to learn more, then be sure to RSVP for the webinar next Tuesday.


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