OCMT 2016: A More Interactive & Engaging Online Conference Experience

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Often one of the things that I hear music therapists say is that their favorite part of attending music therapy conferences is having the ability to (re)connect and network with other music therapist colleagues. The ability to network on an international level, and to learn from music therapy professionals from around the world without having to leave home, have been some of the great features of the Online Conference for Music Therapy. This coming year’s conference will be no different.

The theme for the upcoming conference is, “Expanding Horizons in Music Therapy,” and with our new platform, the OCMT Planning Committee intends to do just that. After exploring a variety of platforms, we have decided to work with WizIQ, which provides a variety of improvements that have been asked for by past conference attendees. Below are some of the new features that you’ll be seeing in 2016.

For Attendees:

  1. Our new platform provides a larger screen for presenter’s slides, which means that the information being presented gets front and center attention.
  2. Video or audio recordings that a presenter uses AND the chat that occurs during the live presentation will all be recorded as part of the presentation. This means that attendees watching the recordings at a later time will get to see the presentations in the same way as those who attended live.

For Presenters:

  1. Regarding video and audio, our new WizIQ platform allows for YouTube and audio recordings to be easily incorporated into your presentation. (We just ask that you share these files with us ahead of time so that we can have them loaded and ready for your presentation. As well, it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary permissions to be able to use the desired video or audio files.)
  2. This new platform also accepts a greater variety of files, such as PDFs, Word Docs, etc., so your presentations should appear formatted just as you intended.
  3. Presenters will have access to a variety of features on their end which can make the presentation more interactive. For example, presenters can highlight specific points on their slides, take a poll, and create whiteboards for taking note of ideas or questions raised over the course of the presentation.
  4. Break-out rooms. With WizIQ, we will be able to set up a break-out room so that conference moderators and presenters will have time to troubleshoot any technical issues before it’s time for the presenter to go live. This should set everybody’s mind at ease.

Some Caveats for Presenters and Attendees:

  1. While this platform has more features that we think will make this year’s conference even better, we do recommend that presentations have no more than 3 people present at a time. This is because having more people present at the same time can lead to an increased risk of technical difficulties, due to differences in bandwidth. (Please note that we will make every effort to support presenters, but there are limits to the platform in terms of how many people can be seen at a time. Therefore, presenters who are part of a panel should strategize as to who can be seen when.)
  2. To view presentations, make sure that Flash Player and Java are updated on your computer.
  3. If you still have issues viewing or hearing presentations, it is recommended that you try a different browser, as the browser you use can affect your ability to hear or see content. Typically, Firefox Mozilla and Safari work well.

On behalf of this year’s OCMT Executive Board and Planning Committee, we do hope that you’ll join us this coming year in “Expanding Horizons in Music Therapy!” Check out our keynote speakers for this year, and please consider submitting a proposal to present. Call for papers is open until September 15.

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