Webcast programme co-ordinators are a new breed of event managers - people who organise conferences, seminars and large-scale meetings - only they operate in cyberspace, and their delegates are all chiming in from the relative comfort of their own offices.
As economies are only slowly recovering from the financial crisis and companies are still holding back on travel expenditure, demand for webcast programme managers has sprung up around the world, as meetings and presentations are increasingly held over the internet.
Connie Au, manager for sales and marketing recruitment at Ambition, says webcast programme co-ordinators are specialists who are commonly employed by financial institutions and professional services firms using webcasts to conduct live conferences across a region or around the globe.
Content can vary, from small team-meetings to larger internal announcements or business updates, she says.
Pauline Tam, regional manager, business development and marketing for tax, at Deloitte Asia-Pacific, says webcast programme co-ordinators play a support role to business executives making speeches and presentations, and provide guidelines on the webcast format. The accounting firm recently expanded its webcast programme, which was launched in the United States in 2003 and in Asia in 2006.
"They also rehearse with speakers to make sure they are good to go live. They create the whole webcast, including the agenda, biographies, slides and promotional material available during the programme," Tam says. "It's a dynamic job. It's about meeting people, even though we don't see them face-to-face." According to Au, webcast programme co-ordinators also act as stage managers during live webcasts, providing on-the-spot assistance and support, where necessary.
Marketing background is key
Webcast programme co-ordinators are typically university degree holders and can earn from HK$20,000 to HK$30,000 a month.
They usually sit within a firm's marketing or business development section, and will have opportunities to rotate into other marketing roles in an organisation.
Most come from a marketing background, with at least three to five years' experience either in-house or at an agency.
A background in new media or the internet is preferable.
Naturally, a webcast programme co-ordinator needs to be internet-savvy, and aware of the latest trends and tools used in preparing webcasts.
They also need to be organised and have strong time management skills. Since webcast programme co-ordinators are expected to work independently, they must ensure that all preparations are complete before a webcast goes live. Sometimes, they will work on multiple webcast projects simultaneously.
They also need to be detail-oriented because they need to help draft, edit and proof-read all the materials that go into a webcast.