Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On the Cutting Edge - An APRA Conference Recap

While we may be a relatively new chapter, we at APRA MidSouth like to think we are “on the cutting edge.” I know in my work life as a Prospect Researcher I hope we can utilize new, exciting and up-to-date technologies and services.
With that thought in mind, at our August meeting, the APRA MidSouth board was discussing our fall member event.  We knew that we wanted Cheryl Kugler, WKU’s Director of Prospect Research, to speak about the sessions and her impressions of ”Prospect Development 2013” the 26th Annual APRA International Conference held in Baltimore, MD in August.  But the big question was, “With the busy fall season that we all seem to have, how can we make it convenient for all members to attend?”
Following much discussion, we finally hit on an innovative idea: how about a video conference?
In our new Augenstein Alumni Center, WKU has recently installed some impressive video and conferencing technologies to help board members who cannot travel to a meeting still be able to attend and participate.  So, why not use this wonderful new technology for the APRA MidSouth Fall Event?
Why not, indeed.
Cheryl would talk and answer questions in WKU’s board room where the equipment is housed.  Questions would come from an off-site host, namely Geoff Little, APRA MidSouth Past President.
Geoff got all things in order from his Vanderbilt University office (including a smart new webcam) and we were ready for a trial run.
With any new venture, it’s good to have a run through, which we were glad we did.  While most of us have attended a webinar, actually running it or being a host brings a whole new perspective to things.  My hat is off to those who do these kinds of webinars and conferences regularly!  It takes a lot of coordination, effort and all things working together “just so.”
And that brings us to our actual “APRA MidSouth Fall Event.”  We held the video conference on Thursday, September 11, 2013.  While not all things were perfect, it was a wonderful way to accomplish our goal: to hear a report from Cheryl about the outstanding 2013 APRA International Conference.
So, if you would like to view the recording of the event, just click on the following link (which will work for both PCs and Macs):
Just a couple of notes on things you will notice/observe about the Video Conference:
1.   Geoff Little is APRA MidSouth Past President (Senior Research Specialist, Research and Prospect Development at Vanderbilt University) and host of the video conference.
2.   The frame marked “Tamela Smith” is the broadcast from WKU where the recording was made. The ladies who appear in the frame (l-r) are: Theresa Clark (APRA MidSouth Vice President and Senior Research Analyst at WKU) who was monitoring questions and comments, and Cheryl Kugler (WKU Prospect Research Director who attended the APRA International Conference).
3.   The frames to the right of the video screens show attendees and questions.
4.   This was a new venture for WKU and APRA MidSouth, so we had a few technical glitches, which include low volume on Cheryl’s end at the beginning of the video conference.  Volume issues were resolved as the conference progressed.  So you need to turn up your speakers in the beginning.  Yes, Geoff will be a bit loud, but in order to hear Cheryl until the technical difficulties are resolved, this is how you can hear every detail.
Thanks for joining us on our adventure to be an APRA chapter that tries new ways to reach its members and provide them avenues to stay on top of the most current information.  And we’re happy to use state of the art, cutting edge tools and technology if we can!
And in case you wondered….yes, we had a whole lot of fun!
Theresa Clark, Senior Research Analyst, Western Kentucky University
Vice President, APRA MidSouth


  1. Fantastic, Mitch and APRA MidSouth - congratulations on stepping out into the frontier!

    Karen Isble
    President, APRA International

  2. I'm so glad you guys jumped into it with such enthusiasm and didn't hold off until you had it just perfect. You have courage! Connecting people across such a large expanse is a big challenge. I like the way you guys think. :-D