EventBuilder is proud that our little 17-person organization is an approved Microsoft supplier. We like to think we are big enough to work with anyone, but we’re small enough to keep it personal. And when it comes to managing webinar programs, we think Microsoft’s Supplier Code of Conduct is something webinar professionals should take seriously (regardless of whether or not you’re a supplier to Microsoft).
Protection of assets and intellectual property
The process of working with clients and their presenters means that you often have, in your possession, their intellectual property (e.g., slide decks, handouts, etc.). And as you work with those clients over time, often you may hear conversations among presenters that are confidential.
The nature of webinars is that you, along with your clients, interact with a lot of people, every one of which deserves the honor of your protection. This is more than just technically having multiple types of security technically. In today’s world, technical security is simply table stakes. As with protection of clients’ assets, protecting data involves people, and the team itself needs to be enculturated with the full gravitas that security and protection deserve.
Because of the global nature of virtual events, virtual event producers are often called upon to work outside of normal business hours. These team members, of course, have families and lives outside of the organization. There is a balance between “do whatever it takes to make money” and “honor the very lifeblood of a services organization –the people,” and professional webinar services vendors bear a responsibility of stewardship for more than just the bottom line.*(see footnote)
Often overlooked in the world of business communication is the opportunity and duty to empower every person on the planet. Every webinar does not have the same set of accessibility requirements, but in the event that such accommodation is appropriate, a webinar service provider’s response should be eagerness to assist.
Business practice and ethics
The essential value that clients buy from service providers is trust. And there is no human-powered organization on the planet that won’t one day face the opportunity to blur the line of integrity on any/all of the above and more. Uniquely, the webinar production industry may face issues of taxation, international privacy requirements, or a host of issues that are part of hosting real time, virtual events.
This goes way beyond executing tasks and operating technology — it is inherently an issue of people and time. Anyone can raise their hand and say “Look at us! We’re honest!”, but professionalism isn’t what happens when everything goes right and marketing people are on their game, it’s what happens when our clients learn through experience that you consistently do the right thing. Even when it’s hard.
The bottom line
At EventBuilder we’re proud of our status as an approved Microsoft supplier, but as we discussed it as a leadership team, we realized that there is more at stake than just our little piece of the webinar industry pie. History is full of industries that have experienced bad press because of the malfeasance of a few, and we simply thought to open a dialogue with the world.
Even if you are neither a Microsoft supplier nor EventBuilder client, we think it is worth considering how we work together to make our global community all that it deserves to be.
The EventBuilder Team
**For instance, Microsoft fully supports women-owned-businesses, and a related issue we think is worth mentioning is women in technology (in general). We will let others sound alarms or offer political comments, but we’re proud of the unique fact that 82% of our employees are women (and they know their stuff!).