Jessica specializes in virtual events aimed at building diversity and inclusion within the workplace. As a supporting producer for Essence Learning, Jessica runs the intricacies of Zoom - from break-out rooms, chat moderation, and boosting attendee engagement through Q&A, polls, and games.

What do you typically help events with?

I am a production host for virtual events which means that I supervise the technical parts of Zoom sessions.

In the background, I ensure that the right screens are being shared, breakout rooms and polls are set up properly, and whiteboards are prepped. I admit attendees from waiting rooms, interact with them through chat and Q&A functions, and assist them with any technical difficulties that they're experiencing.

Often, I will briefly introduce myself and the house rules for the Zoom session. Then I will walk them through the Zoom features that we will be using such as annotations, hand raising, and private vs. public chatting.

My goal is always to make sure that attendees are comfortable with Zoom and comfortable interacting with me when they’re unsure.

What's a recent event you've worked on?

A panel hosted by Essence Learning about young professional perspectives on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We had millennial and generation z panelists from diverse background talk about everything from how the murder of George Floyd impacted their workplace relationships to what inclusive practices young people expect from businesses today.

I was responsible for managing the chat and questions in the Q&A, releasing poll questions, and providing relevant links and documentation for the audience. It was great to hear from young professionals like myself about such an important topic as diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Read Jessica's perspective piece on The Essence of Black Women Leaders.

What are a favorite event you've worked on?

I mostly work on trainings and workshops that aim to help companies and individuals with inclusion strategies. Most recently, I enjoyed being the producer for a "Train the Trainer" workshop offered by Essence Learning which teaches participants how to facilitate learning workshops. I've also produced for courses on respect and personal bias which teach components of building a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Share one tip for a successful event.

In my experience, attendee engagement is key! Whether it's a webinar with a well run Q&A function or a workshop that uses annotations and whiteboards for participation, getting the audience involved in the experience goes a long way in putting on successful virtual events.

Anything else we should know?

I've learned so much about how to connect with people virtually through this job! Although nothing can replace in-person events, seeing people connect, learn, and build relationships through the screen has been extremely encouraging. It's all about creating and seeking meaningful online experiences rather than trying to recreate what we would do in-person.

Contact Jessica

You can find more about Jessica on LinkedIn.