The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC), a U.S. Department of Commerce council, encourages collaboration over the future of fishing using Adobe Connect and custom extension apps from Refined Training. The council is responsible for overseeing the valuable waters around Alaska, where over half of all seafood caught in the United States is sourced.
Decisions made at this council can significantly impact livelihoods, so meetings can run over several days and involve hundreds of participants coming and going as needed.
As a result of Covid-19, NPFMC meetings transitioned to virtual delivery, but the requirements and responsibilities of those meetings didn’t change. Interactive discussions and attendee participation were both vital as well as ensuring that the meeting environment would be as inclusive as possible.
A key requirement for participation in these events is the ability to dial in on a telephone because internet connectivity is often unstable in many rural areas in the Pacific NorthWest and some participants need to join from fishing vessels while at sea. Other audio vendors impose significant surcharges for calls in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rica but the rPhone doesn’t charge a premium for these States.
“We had tried other audio suppliers but the stability of the rPhone audio that is deeply integrated with the Vantage Point Console was far superior in many ways and provides us with fine grained control over participant audio,” says Davis. “It also has a unique One-Way Glass feature that lets us talk to participants in a private audio channel to deliver technical support without disturbing other users, which has proven to be invaluable. Best of all, we saved money on our phone charges.”
NPFMC also utilized Hands-Up from Refined Training to make it easy for attendees to interact with the presentation/discussion, by raising a virtual hand or asking for technical support.
The “raise hand” action is also used in Council meetings. Clicking on the “raise hand” button during a session adds the participant to the ordered list of speakers and the event organizer uses a public countdown timer to make sure that everyone has exactly the same amount of time to present.
The challenge of managing hundreds of participants was handled by Refined Training’s Adobe Connect extension – Vantage Point. This allowed meeting hosts or to control camera and microphone devices, adjust volume, deliver private technical support, and administer professional compliance attendance and tracking capabilities.
“Our Council meetings are open to the public, so our platform needs to be as easy to use and accessible as possible,” says Davis. “Refined Data worked hand-in-hand with us to understand our meetings and adjust the conferencing platform and its extensions to fit our needs even better.”
For the complete story, including additional information on how Refined Training’s Vantage Point suite was utilized, please read NPFMC-Case-Study (will open in a new tab or window).