Blue Sky eLearn helped AEE shift their largest annual conference to a fully virtual event experience.
Association of Energy Engineers

The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving its members and other industry professionals working to improve energy efficiency to save energy, reduce GHGs, make buildings perform better, and help reach global Net-Zero goals.

Challenge

AEE experienced what many organizations did in 2020. Due to unforeseen circumstances with the Coronavirus pandemic, they had to pivot their annual events from online to virtual. But due to AEE's size and geographic reach, the switch to online meetings was on a larger scale than most. With over 18,000 members in more than 100 countries, AEE transitioned three major in-person events to virtual platforms, while adding hybrid elements to the mix.

Knowing this was new territory, and that technology could be a challenge for some, AEE sought a well-established partner to step in and help produce their largest annual event, the AEE World Conference and Expo. This yearly flagship event attracts attendees from all over the world, including all 50 states. 

Even though AEE was shifting entirely to virtual events, they didn’t want to sacrifice too much of the valuable content and networking opportunities that an in-person event would provide. They had the ambition to provide attendees what they were accustomed to, but in a virtual format: a memorable, impactful experience that would add value to attendees' professional lives and careers. 

The 2020 conference would include 300 speakers and 14 conference tracks. Therefore AEE needed a partner that could deliver everything they needed to run a virtual conference to engage attendees and bridge the gap between virtual and in-person.

Solution

With nearly 20 years of experience in eLearning and virtual events, Blue Sky eLearn was selected to support the 2020 AEE World Conference. Blue Sky gladly accepted the challenge to migrate such a meaningful learning and networking event to a virtual experience.

AEE needed a central, cloud-based hub for attendees and exhibitors with flexible user configuration, intuitive design, and certificate issuance. Path LMS™ provided an ideal solution to host all of AEE's eLearning content and conference tracks, making it easy to issue CE credits and certificates and keep track of attendance.

Blue Sky’s Learning Strategy & Development team helped customize their LMS design to achieve brand continuity and a seamless user experience. The Path LMS interface helped AEE easily organize and publish their conference tracks, communicate event schedules, and enable sponsor exposure via an expo hall, poster hall, and virtual booths.

Additionally, Blue Sky provided production and technical support for live streaming and pre-recorded virtual events. Being AEE's first virtual event, it was critical to ensure that each program component ran smoothly and without technical hiccups.

After AEE World, Blue Sky helped with two more events in 2021—one of which included hybrid elements. The virtual events team went on-site and worked with AEE's AV vendor to stream content for virtual attendees. The two teams came together to coordinate all of the live streaming and recording logistics, taking the burden off of the AEE events team.

All of the events had exceptional feedback, with over 99% of survey respondents saying they would consider attending the next virtual event. One attendee even said,  "Being in a more comfortable setting, I was able to concentrate more on the information being given, take notes, and do research." 

AEE is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2022 and plans to work with Blue Sky to provide members with the same exceptional hybrid experiences at their upcoming annual events.

What AEE Had to Say

“Blue Sky eLearn provided everything we needed to transition our largest annual conference into a virtual experience and our future conferences to hybrid events. Path LMS, along with the accompanying design support from Blue Sky, made it easy for us to create an ‘all-in-one platform’ experience for our attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors.

For the hybrid events, the Blue Sky virtual events team joined us on-site and worked seamlessly with our existing AV vendor, making us feel incredibly confident in the production value and delivery of our pre-recorded and live content.

Each interaction we had with Blue Sky was just easy. They were always willing to collaborate with us and answer all of our questions. We had fantastic feedback from our attendees and look forward to working with Blue Sky eLearn on our next conference."


— Lauren Lake, Director of Events

Goals

  • Provide virtual and hybrid event experiences for annual world conferences and smaller regional events
  • Host content on an easy-to-manage platform with flexible user configuration and customizable design

Solution

  • AEE used Path LMS as a central hub for all virtual event content
  • The platform offered an easy way for attendees to find and view conference tracks and earn certificates for participation
  • Blue Sky eLearn’s virtual events team helped produce all of the live streaming and pre-recorded events for the virtual and hybrid conferences

Results

  • At AEE World Conference 2020, over 1,000 attendees used Path LMS
  • At AEE World Conference 2021, there were 524 virtual attendees from 43 states and 39 countries
  • All events had excellent feedback, with a near-perfect satisfaction rate
  • User support calls to the AEE team were drastically reduced

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