What We Learned from Timpanogos Storytelling & Virtual Offerings – Part 2 of 9

This is the second of nine parts on Rachel Hedman’s impressions of the Virtual Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. Although this happened in September 2020, Timpanogos as well as their Encore Offering in December 2020/January 2021. You can follow Timpanogos here.

9-Parts:

  • Part 1 – Pre-Recorded vs. Live – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – Inside the Program TODAY
  • Part 3 – ASL & its Presence/Absence
  • Part 4 – Emcees & “Making it Personal”
  • Part 5 – Use of the Screen by Story Artists
  • Part 6 – Art of Binge-Watching
  • Part 7 – Favorites from Featured Tellers
  • Part 8 – Featured vs. Guest Tellers
  • Part 9 – Use of Encore Offering

We love and honor the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival.

Please note that I learn from any experience including this festival in Utah that is cherished worldwide. Any and all of these posts within this series are impressions that are shared with respect despite some differences in opinion.

Timpanogos chose another path. They chose Bizzabo rather than Zoom.

This meant a platform that people could visit over and over again–during a certain period of time–and became their online program instead of the in-hand 25+page color program. Oh, I missed that glorious in-hand program. Often, these programs shared programming and opportunities beyond the Timpanogos Festival that I could announce through the Utah Storytelling Events Email List. I would pour over the ads inside about the funders, the glorious businesses that made sure we could even have this festival.

With Bizzabo, I had to change from flipping the pages of the program to clicking on the headers/subheaders in the Bizzabo platform.

Big question – Does Bizzabo track the clicks of those headers/subheaders? If so, did people from Timpanogos analyze those numbers?

I noticed something different about how it was laid out in September 2020 and then how it looked for December 2020/January 2021. The funders became more noticeable in the later one.

Every single one of the 118 sessions had a picture scene with the funder logos all over it. When you clicked play, those images were gone and the 15-second intro piece played. This intro piece played upbeat music (the same each time) and showed scenes from past festivals when things were “normal.” I enjoyed this in the beginning…but it got a little much after, well, 118 times. I can still sing/hum it now.

Anyway, the original September look had a header for Funders, but probably many people missed it. Timpanogos rectified this for the Encore in December/January. Smart move.

If I wanted to study this online platform/program for later use, my only choice was to print a ton of pages (30+) by printing from each header one-by-one. And I did.

That was a lot of ink. As a fellow producer of storytelling events, studying how others present events is in my best interest and worth the paper and ink. I am impressed overall with Timpanogos so I critique a little more on what Timpanogos does than the average storytelling event. Yet, I learn from every experience.

And another reason for printing everything? I had no other way to have a checklist to keep track of what I watched and what I didn’t watch. There probably was an easy way to checkmark within the Bizzabo program. I noticed that you could rate each session up to five stars. If I was consistent in rating, as I was prone not to rate at all, then I could have discovered a better way of keeping track.

The following categories were part of this online program: Home/Read This First; Festival Schedule at a Glance (though did not coincide with the 118 sessions or clickable within that listing); Donate; Marketplace (simply a link to the Timpanogos Website and hard to search by specific tellers or type of item); Sponsors; Frequently Asked Questions; and Agenda (listing of 118 sessions to scroll forever through).

In the future, I would recommend a downloadable program besides what this Bizzabo platform offered.

Something not as long but with the listing of–gulp–118 sessions and a quick list of the funder names. That could have been a 5-page document. One page could have been for funders. Three pages–maybe–could have fit a listing of the 118 sessions (about 40 on a page – small enough font). One page could have been future opportunities. Yes, much more condensed than the original in-hand program, but it would have covered the most important elements. This document could have even been black and white or perhaps mostly black and white so it would not be a problem for the people at home to print, if wished.

The “Festival Schedule at a Glance” was misleading. Concerts were grouped together yet the sessions themselves were individual sessions. Nothing was clickable within the “Festival Schedule at a Glance” to assist in that way. Instead of 118 sessions, we could have had about 40. I will go into this in Part 6 and a tinge in Part 7 and 8. We’re not there yet.

Coming next, in Part 3, we will talk about what Timpanogos used to do with offering ASL and what happened this time.

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See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities. See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here. Feel free to explore our All Things Story virtual workshop series.

4 thoughts on “What We Learned from Timpanogos Storytelling & Virtual Offerings – Part 2 of 9

  1. Gary Jon Olix says:

    who told the story about the sky turning to peaches and strawberries? I heard it at 2020 festival. I just saw a sunset that reminded me of that story. Thanks

    Like

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