Happily Network

Specialist Spotlight: Felecia Fierro

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Felecia Fierro

Pronouns: she/her

Location: Tracy, California

Happily Role/s: Production Assistant and Backstage Manager


Freelancer Felecia Fierro Blog Image

Images via Instagram @feleciafierro

Hey there! Have you met Felecia?

She is a performance-driven, tech-savy, passionate events professional with over 14 years experience. From trade shows to executive retreats and weddings to galas, both digital and live - Felecia can produce it all!

Felecia, what would you say is your superpower?

I would have to say how to build a network and knowing when to use it.

Do you have a side hustle?

I'm a creative, so of course! Outside of owning a creative events company, I also dabble in photography.

Why do you love working in virtual events?

I love that despite us being in a pandemic, virtual events has enabled people to continue to come together - which we all crave! And as a bonus virtual events allow people from all over the world to meet in one place from the comfort of their own homes.

How long have you been part of the Happily network?

I have been with Happily for about 4.5 years. I have extended the types of events, managing onsite for a festival and adding speaker prep and management to my skill set as well as producing many virtual events over the last year.

Can you tell us about a Happily virtual event that you're proud to have worked on?

As cheesy as it may sound, I'd have to say all of them! It is truly an honor to be trusted to help a company grow its brand and be able to deliver a high-quality experience for attendees. I will say the wedding I produced for a Happily client does hold close to my heart as I was able to build a personal relationship with the couple and still keep in touch with them today. We do tend to have the best clients!

Freelancer Felecia Fierro Blog Image

Image: Screenshot of Felecia as a Happily Backstage Manager with Stacey Abrams and Gary Stewart for the 2021 Startup Grind Global Conference.

How would you describe your home working space?

My home office style I would describe as clean and chic. Lots of clean lines with pops of color and overly organized! I'm a planner so it no surprise there! Working on a Happily event the day starts with lots of coffee as I run through the run of show and double-check the flow of the show. Then it's snack prep and go time! I always end with a giant thank you to my supporting team because without them I can not produce a great event!

You pivoted from working on real world events to working on virtual ones. How was that transition?

I had already started to include a virtual component to events I was producing. However, COVID was a major push to go all digital. Producing a digital program is much like producing an in-person event. However, there is an element of surprise as to when speakers will show up and the quality of internet connections, lighting, and sound that you just have to be ready for. Plan for the unexpected and always have 3 backup plans on the ready and if all else fails be ready with a video to run!

What makes you happy?

Without a shadow of a doubt my daughter! She is a sassy 16-year-old with a giant smile and proves to be my motivation day in and day out. And also coffee!! :)

Who else needs a coffee?

Listen to Felecia in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Felecia from Tue 27th, April.

Felecia Freelancer GIF

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

May 7, 2021

How to be a Streaming Engineer for Happily Virtual Events

We've got 5 things you need to know about being a streaming engineer, featuring one of our own Happily specialists.


Here is a quick breakdown:

Event Role: Streaming Engineer

Team Happily Responsibility: Manage streaming keys and integrations, inset all assets and brand wrappers into the broadcast stream

Happily Studio: Technical

Happily Team: Broadcast


Discover the basics as well some pro tips about being a streaming engineer from Luke, a Happily specialist

1. Are there varying types of streaming engineer roles?

Depending on the event and the requirements, streaming engineers could be in charge of the main broadcast, or simply a breakout room.

2. Being detail-oriented is a must-have skill

As you are responsible for building and giving life to an event, so many of the tiny little details are in your hands, and it could mean make or break to the success of the event. From the correct Zoom settings, the video quality, audio sync with the livestream, and the exact timing of all the motion graphics, videos, presenters ect. into the broadcast. Every little detail needs to be checked, and then checked again.

3. Pro tip: Have (very) fast internet

We recommend an ethernet connection (not wifi) to maintain a steady bitrate throughout the livestream. A 'bitrate' is the quality of the video and/or audio being uploaded to the chosen platform, and it is so important. Your internet speed will determine what bitrate options you have. Platforms such as Ookla Speed Test will tell you what your current internet speed is.

4. Pro tip: Have a desktop computer

Streaming through OBS is resource-intensive, and can be really hard work for a computer, or laptop. If your computer crashes, that would be disastrous for the live event. So, having a reliable desktop computer than can easier handle a complicated livestream with multiple programs running is e-ssen-tial.

5. Pro tip: Know the ROS like the back of your hand

The ROS (run of show) is basically your step-by-step, second-by-second manual of the livestream, and is your everything. In broad terms, your job is to follow the ROS to the T, and bring it to life. So, knowing, studying, clarifying and asking questions about the ROS of the event is crucial as a streaming engineer.

If you’re ready to join team Happily, create an account and become a Happily specialist.

May 6, 2021

Specialist Spotlight: Alex Wiltse

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Alex Wiltse

Pronouns: he/him

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Happily Role/s: Showcaller, Streaming Engineer and Happily Hour Host


Alex Wiltse for Freelancer Friyay Images via Instagram @jayco_tv

Hey there! Do you know Alex?

With over 10 years of experience at the intersection of major media, live-streaming, and technology, Alex prides himself on his versatile skill set. He describes as someone who is able to adapt to almost any need within the rapidly increasing industry of virtual event production.

So, Alex, what is your superpower?

I like to think, and have been told, my greatest skill is improvisation and adaptability. It may sound silly but it happens a lot with tech! Feeling like I just pulled a Doc Brown and seeing three computers come together and work in tandem, with wires hanging from my ceiling and threading over my room because that's just how to get the best quality... well, it appeals the 7 year old in me who always wanted to be a mad scientist.

Do you have a side hustle?

I'm actually a talent manager! I have an agency partner in LA who has some really cool TV clients while I focus on finding social media creators that have the potential to make it in the traditional acting world (with some training, of course), and I help them curate their content to grow in a direction that'll help them make that transition. I also occasionally am a casting producer for various gameshows when they need me, like Match Game, Game of Talents, and The Hustler!

Why do you love working in virtual events?

For me, it's the vision of where this can lead. In my mind, genuinely 90% of live TV could be produced remotely. It would make the industry so much more accessible for aspiring talent and crew, and it would make it so much more do-able for people who don't want to "move to Hollywood for the dream!" sort of thing. With my setup now (thanks to Happily) and the stuff I've played around with alongside Chris and JC, it's something I want to champion to the industry: Why even use a studio for more than the main talent if anything? It's cheaper, MUCH more environmentally friendly, and allows for far more eager minds to be a part of the team.

What inspired you to join Team Happily?

I was brought over by a friend of mine, Brielle. She's a Happily stream engineer pretty often, too. I used to stream on Twitch as a hobby (But secretly hoping I'd be Twitch famous, of course) and she was like 'Hey! The DNC needs livestream people'. and I'm just not the kinda guy to ask questions, and just said 'okay I'm down'. Best decision ever.

Can you tell us about a Happily virtual event that you're proud to have worked on?

I think it would be the Startup Grind summit. Working three days back-to-back at roughly 14 hours each... that brought me back to being on-set... but from the comfort of my own desk. I loved every minute of it. And what a cool event to be a part of!

How would you describe your home working style?

I'm someone with pretty severe diagnosed ADHD, so I have a pretty strict routine with myself so I don't get distracted and can stay on track. Every morning I wake up and steam 4 eggs, make a piece of toast, and air-fry 6 strips of bacon. Then I go down the street to my local coffee shop and get a Lucky Charms latte. Only the healthiest. On Happily event days, since I live in a Tiktok Content House that I manage, I make sure to announce to the house that it's an "on-air" day and everyone has to be quiet between X-Y hours. Then I get set up on my PC's and get ready for the show.

Freelancer Alex Wiltse Home Space Set Up Image: Alex's monster set-up!

You pivoted from working on real world events to working on virtual ones. How was that transition?

The transition kind of came by force with COVID. I was an events manager for a tech startup until Feb of 2020, then, well, we all know what happened next. Fortunately, my love of streaming and tech made it very easy to transition, since I was already using the tools that we would end up needing.

For advice... hmm... I would say try to be tech-forward. I know that sounds a bit generic, but what I mean by that is to really be aware of technology and learn as much of it as you can. This space is going to stay here and only continue to grow with time. And tech can be very hard for some folks to understand, but honestly, you can learn just about any of it on YouTube. If there's something you want to learn or don't know, take the 15 minutes to watch a video on YouTube that explains it. I promise it'll come in handy.

What makes you happy?

I am happiest when I'm outside adventuring or entertaining people via performing arts. Living in Arizona, one of my hobbies is exploring abandoned gold mines. (Don't try this at home) and there's something about the Indiana Jones feeling that brings me a special joy. As for acting and entertaining, it comes in all forms. If I have anyone laughing, I'm doing what I'm meant to be doing! Daily for me is my mom. She's had such a life of trials and tribulations that her strength inspires me every day to keep going and anything I can do to make her proud brings me daily joy.

Who else needs a coffee?

Listen to Alex in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Alex from Tue 20th, April.

IG Live Link to Freelancer Alex Wiltse GIF

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

April 23, 2021

Specialist Spotlight: Kat Cody

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Katarina Cody

Pronouns: she/her

Location: Los Angeles, USA

Happily Role/s: Broadcast Manager


Freelancer: Katarina Cody Hero Image

We'd love for you to meet Kat!

She has a powerhouse work-ethic backed by organization and a passion for music. She specializes in being able to keep projects on track, connecting the dots, and finding creative solutions. Kat prides herself on her ability to plan for the unexpected and integrate philanthropic thought into business.

So, Kat, what is your superpower?

Being able to prepare for situations with a solid plan and pivot when things change!

What do you like to do in your freetime?

I absolutely love camping, hiking, exploring, and traveling.

Why do you love working in virtual events?

I love being able to have less impact on the environment and climate change through virtual events. I also think virtual events allow for more collaboration from people who are across the country and around the world.

What inspired you to join Team Happily?

I heard about Happily from a friend who I worked on a few events with and decided to join the team because the events that Happily produce truly make an impact.

Can you tell us about a Happily virtual event that you're proud to have worked on?

I worked on 826 Valencia's Fundraiser and it was by for the most memorable one. It was my first event with Happily and I thought it was amazing to see people who were all great at their craft come together to help support a non-profit who is amazing at what they do.

You pivoted from working on real world events to working on virtual ones. How was that transition?

I transitioned to virtual events due to the pandemic and the need to continue to work and bring meaningful connections to people. While virtual and in-person events are very different, they also have a TON of similarities. I found the best way to transition was to dive in head first, do the research, trust my gut, and listen to experts around me. Just do it and make sure you have good internet.

What makes you happy?

Connecting people and giving back makes me happy! I always try to make sure I check in with the people I care about and help out those around me when I can.

Is it coffee o’clock, yet?

Watch Kat in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Kat from Tue 13th, April.

Coffee OClock IG Live with Kat Cody

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

April 16, 2021

How to be a Video Editor for Happily Virtual Events

We've got 5 things you need to know about being a video editor, featuring one of our own Happily specialists.


Here is a quick breakdown:

Event Role: Video Editor

Team Happily Responsibility: As part of the pre-production team, they edit video assets needed for the livestream. In post-production they may create a ‘sizzle reel’

Happily Studio: Creative

Happily Team: Graphics


Let’s talk about the role of a video editor! Hear more about why this role is so important for a Happily Producer, Kari Mulholland

Hiring a solid video editor is a make or break position for the success of your event.

Kari Mulholland, Producer, Happily

1. Why is a skilled video editor particularly important for the team?

They make aesthetic and creative decisions that will greatly impact the internal workflow, the final outward-facing product and the lasting entertainment value of the event.

2. Understanding team workflow is a must-have skill

As they are usually only in the early pre-production stages of an event, their actions will affect the rest of the production team. The Video Editor’s understanding of the creative and technical flow of the team after they are no longer actively needed, will ensure that the video files can be easily utilized and understood by various team members down the pipeline.

3. Pro tip: Always have the brand aesthetic in mind

You are editing a video to represent a client, or company, or brand - so you must stick closely to their established brand guidelines and graphic line. Although there is always room to add your own creativity and flair, it must be consistent with the client’s brand styling and overall aesthetic.

4. Pro tip: Be organized and label files clearly

Your edited video files will be handled by many other team members and roles. Having all your files and exports well organized and correctly named will ensure there is no confusion or headaches caused by them down the production pipeline.

5. Pro tip: Be a storyteller

Remember that video editing is not just cutting several shots together in random order. It's telling a story. No matter how ‘simple’ a video edit may seem, finding a way to bring emotion and entertainment through building a narrative is what makes an engaging experience.

If you’re ready to join team Happily, create an account and become a Happily specialist.

April 15, 2021

Specialist Spotlight: Tiffany Hammons

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.


The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Tiffany Hammons

Pronouns: she/her

Location: Los Angeles, USA

Happily Role/s: Backstage Manager and Breakout Backstage Manager


Specialist Spotlight: Tiffany Hammons

Hey! I'm Tiffany

I have more than 6 years managing Event Production from experiential events, pop-ups, and major conferences. I oversee the day-to-day logistics of everything; production from behind the laptop to the event site. I have also successfully launched a drive-in theater in August 2020 as the Production Director.

What is your superpower?

I am high energy and all smiles! In life, and at work, I am exceptionally good at spreading a positive vibe and keeping the energy up in the room!

Do you have a side hustle or hobby?

I am also a Group Fitness Instructor! I have experience teaching HIIT, Circuit Training, and leading youth dance fit classes.

Why do you love working in virtual events?

I enjoy how virtual events have the same capabilities to keep audiences engaged with main stage events that have breakout sessions various rooms for participants to join, and the ability to have direct interactions with participants through video and chat features. Virtual events allow companies to have these intimate interactions with their participants that they may not have had at all at an in-person event.

What inspired you to join Team Happily?

I heard about Happily through an internet search and signed up right away! I loved the idea of joinging a network of indusrty peers! We all share the same interest to create and produce rockstar events all year long!

Can you tell us about a Happily virtual event that you're proud to have worked on?

The Doordash event was most memorable for me. I had the opportunity to Manage one of the rooms available for participants to join during the event. The talent for the room was also a fitness intructor and we had such a great time woring together building the run of show (RoS) and creating engaging cues and talking points to execute during the event. I loved seeing it all come together once the event was live and the particpant response was really great!

What does a day working as a Happily freelancer look like for you?

I work in my living room and usually open the patio door so I can pretend I am outside! And typically once I open my laptop in the morning, it stays open for most of the day! When working on a Happily event I really don't have too much else going on, I even turn off anything else in my house that uses wifi, to be sure I am operating at the best speed for the event.

You pivoted from working on real world events to working on virtual ones. How was that transition?

2020 was a crazy year, and really forced people to make unexpected changes. I was one of those people, I had never thought I would be working in the virtual event space, but when the opportunity came about, I knew it was something I could succeed at. I had a lot of experience working Zoom and online platforms and was anxious to try something new! For anyone who is thinking about getting into virtual events, PLEASE go for it!! There is so much to learn and many new experinces to have that are just as fulfilling as in person events!

What makes you happy?

In my daily life, I find happiness in FOOD! Seriously, a hot bowl of Raman or crispy brussels sprouts truly bring me pure bliss!!

Who else needs a coffee?

Watch Tiffany in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Tiffany from Tue 6th, April.

Coffee OClock Link to Freelancer Tiffany Hammons

Are you looking for freelance event jobs? Create an account and become a Happily specialist.

April 9, 2021

How to be an Associate Producer for Happily Virtual Events

We've got 5 things you need to know about being an associate producer, featuring one of our own Happily specialists.


Here is a quick breakdown:

Event Role: Associate Producer

Team Happily Responsibility: Manage the run of show (ROS) for breakout sessions and breakout teams

Happily Studio: Production

Happily Team: Breakout


Discover the basics as well some pro tips about being an associate producer from Arthur, a Happily specialist

Understanding where we might encounter variables that don’t necessarily fit our plan and how to navigate them and communicating that; I think adaptability is one of the biggest things we need on a project like this.

Arthur Kozlovski, Associate Producer, Happily

1. Where does an associate producer fit in the team?

An Associate Producer is added to a broadcast team when the event has 5 (or more!) breakout rooms. They work closely with the overall Producer, leading the ROS of the Breakout Rooms and managing all staff involved with the Breakout Rooms.

2. Adaptability is a must-have skill

Be open to feedback, listen to your team and be flexible to how things are approached. In the video interview above, Arthur expands on this idea and explains why it is so important as an Associate Producer.

3. Pro tip: Accommodate each unique breakout experience

More often than not, no two breakout rooms are the same. Have a baseline set of requirements for all the Breakout Leads, but also customize directions based on the experience (eg. a panel discussion vs a cooking class).

4. Pro tip: Foster fluid communication

As the buffer between the Producer and the Breakout Leads, constantly check-in to make sure that everyone has the knowledge and direction that they need.

5. Pro tip: Be analytical of your own directions

Seek and fill any holes in the Breakout Leads’ understanding of the ROS, altering your own instructions to ensure they have all the guidance they need.

If you’re ready to join team Happily, create an account and become a Happily specialist.

April 8, 2021

How to be a Clock and Timekeeper for Happily Virtual Events

We've got 5 things you need to know about being a clock and timekeeper, featuring one of our own Happily specialists.


Here is a quick breakdown:

Event Role: Clock and Timekeeper

Team Happily Responsibility: Keep time and cue talent for breakouts based on the ROS (run of show)

Happily Studio: Technical

Happily Team: Breakout


Discover the basics as well some pro tips about timekeeping from Kevin, a Happily specialist

Overcommunicate. So if you have any questions, ask them early and ask a lot of questions - no one at Happily gets mad if you ask too many questions. It’s always better to be overprepared.

Kevin Rabinovich, Clock and Timekeeper, Happily

1. Clock or timekeeper? Is there a difference?

During a Happily broadcast this role is referred to as the clock, but in a breakout scenario it’s the timekeeper. Tasks vary slightly between these two settings, which Kevin explains in the interview above.

2. What tech is needed for this role?

You’ll need the Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and the My Stream Timer app. Both of these programs are free to download.

3. Pro tip: Ask lots of questions

Consider setting up a one-on-one with the producer or livestream engineer (eg. there may be a particular speaker they anticipate will go over time).

4. Pro tip: One size does not fit all

Fully customize and add slides for a Happily virtual and/or speaker based on notes from the producer, or any issues you anticipate. (eg. adding an additional slide to gently nudge a speaker into the next item).

5. Pro tip: Do your homework

Even before a team Happily rehearsal, go through the full ROS on your own. This will help you anticipate any problems, ensure your tech is good to go and ultimately that you come off as the professional that you are.

If you’re ready to join team Happily, create an account and become a Happily specialist.

March 31, 2021

Client Testimonial with Splash

Hear what Camille White-Stern of Splashthat.com has to say about working with our virtual events team at Happily.

Here is a quick video from Camille about her experience;

Camille White-Stern continues with some questions from our Founder and CEO, Sarah Shewey.

Sarah: Camille, can you introduce yourself, where you work, your role, and what kind of events you are organizing right now?

Camille: Sure! Hi, my name is Camille White-Stern, I am the Executive Coordinator at Splash which is an event marketing software company. My role is unique. I am sort of like the right hand to the CEO, so I work very closely with him and the rest of our executive team, and I also plan a ton of events. I plan events for our team - their internal events like our all-hands, cultural events, our annual offsite holiday events; and then I also get to work closely with our marketing team and produce events for our customers. I work with sales sometimes to produce events for prospects that we’re targeting. And a lot of the events that I’ve been planning recently are workshops, they’re webinars, and sometimes it’s just a party, just to party, kind of virtual events. So kind of all over the map. But the goal of these events is really just to create human connection, especially in this time. We are all working from home in quarantine, so it's been really interesting to navigate the virtual event landscape during this time.

SplashVE

Sarah: And can you tell us a little bit about… when do you use Happily to help you with your event?

Camille: So, I have learned that I just need to reach out to Happily as soon as I know what the next date is for my virtual event. I am reaching out to Happily and I am securing them as my tech support. The reason that I love working with Happily, and using them as tech support on my virtual events, is that it really just gives me one (or sometimes more than one) less thing to worry about. As an event planner we all know it can get crazy, and navigating virtual events is something new for me. So, to be able to have Happily on these events with me, and providing just invaluable tech support really takes a lot of the stress and anxiety out of planning and execution of events for me.

Sarah: Awesome! Can you tell us a little bit more about… what are the things like Joy does for you that is a really big help? Just describe a little bit more in detail what you’re delegating.

Camille: So, Joy is amazing. Joy is on the Happily team. Working with Joy, she basically works with me as a sort of like a technical event producer. So she’s, right off the bat, asking important questions and helping me figure out... ok, you know I’m obviously gonna tell her what the format of the event is going to be - but she will then walk through and make sure she has a clear understanding of the run of show for me.

If we have to figure out any cues for breakouts, or for launching poll questions in Zoom, (we use Zoom a lot at Splash for our virtual events but there’s a ton of other great tools out there). And Joy is... she knows so much more about Zoom and how to produce a successful event on Zoom, that it just takes a lot of time out of the planning process for me. If I have a question, I can just slack Joy and say “Hey Joy! Is it possible for us to open up 30 breakout rooms in a second breakout, but only 5 breakout rooms in the first breakout?”. So, whenever I have a technical question I can go to Joy or the Happily team.

And in terms of executing the event - once Joy has gotten this very clear rundown of the event not only for the content side but the technical side - then during the event, she is in constant communication with me. If things need to change on the fly, she’s just adapting and adjusting immediately, which, you know, happens a lot in events.

Before the event, she’ll send me a recap... We do a tech check - a rehearsal - to make sure everything is working, we test all the settings. She’ll send me a recap - very detailed, so that I can review it and confirm, or I have the opportunity to say “actually we’re gonna change this thing in the run of show.”

And then after the event, she always offers the opportunity for me to get my feedback: what went well, what could be better for next time, we can do a debrief if there’s any major issues that we really need to investigate. Even if I don’t ask, Joy is going to follow up and say “Hey, I realized why we had some difficulties with breakouts in the last event. It's because these people joined the Zoom, and they left the Zoom, so they didn't have an assignment to a room.” So just having that extra level of insight and support, and just the detail-oriented work that Joy does is… it’s just unmatched. I honestly don’t want to do virtual events without Happily!

SplashUplevel

Sarah: We love you! For our last question: what kind of events or what kind of customers, or maybe both, do you think should consider using Happily?

Camille: Seriously everyone. If it’s a meeting, you might not need tech support. But if you are planning a virtual event - even if it’s on the smaller side and you only have, you know, 15 to 20 people - it’s just really nice to have Happily’s support on a call, because like I said, you can focus on the content and engaging with the attendees, while Joy (or someone else from the Happily team) is focusing on making sure your event is still running smoothly. And like I said, if anything pops up, I can slack Joy on the side and ask her to look into something for me, or if she notices an issue she’ll reach out to me and bring it to my attention.

I really think no matter the size of your virtual event, no matter the size of your company or your team, you want to have tech support, and I think Happily just provides the best support out there.

And, I also can’t stress enough: running a virtual event is so different than an in-person event. In the past, I was able to execute events sometimes entirely on my own, with no support - but it would really be impossible for me to execute a virtual event on my own, without support. I can’t play host and - let’s say we have the waiting room enabled - I can’t admit attendees, and be present to welcome guests and make sure I’m checking them in on my Splash app, and things like that. So you know like I said, regardless of the size of the event, I really think you need to have one dedicated tech person - and Happily provides that. So why would I go anywhere else?

Sarah: Awesome! That would be it, unless there’s anything else that you feel like you wanted to mention?

Camille: I mean, you tell me what you want me to say and I’ll say it. I will literally sing your praises from the mountain tops!

Sarah: That’s it. I think that’s great. We love you. Thank you so much. Thank you so so much for using us. We just love helping you and your community honestly, and, like, Joy is in the video but she’s like, “Camille is so great!” So, truly, we love working with you. So thank you!

Camille: The feeling is mutual and hopefully this is a long long partnership.

Sarah: Yeah I know, looking forward to it. So thanks again, Camille.

Camille: You’re welcome.

July 5, 2020

How To Pivot Your Conference Into A Media Company: Learnit Case Study

Savvy independent conference producers with postponed in-person gatherings until 2021 are now modernizing their websites to offer on-demand content with the help of Happily’s network of virtual event specialists.

By offering on-demand video content, organizers can experiment with new revenue models including advertising, sponsored virtual events, and subscription video on demand. Read on to learn how Learnit, a global education conference based in the UK, quickly launched an MVP of their new custom web platform in less than a month with the help of Happily’s digital community strategists and web developers.

Before Happily On Wordpress

Learnit after

After Happily With custom code

Learnit After

Step One

Custom or out of the box?

The first step is to decide whether or not a custom web platform is right for you. If you are planning to regularly host a variety of content on multiple platforms, then a custom website may be the right fit.

Learnit, for example, wanted their users’ data to be seamlessly transferred between their on-demand content platform to an external platform called Jublia, which specializes in scheduled networking meetings. Happily and Jublia’s web developers worked together to leverage Jublia’s matchmaking and scheduling API with Learnit’s expanded profile data.

In the end, owning your data allows you to create a single sign-on experience that reduces the friction for your user to convert into an action that takes place on other websites.

Step Two

Assemble your team

After committing to the process of re-building your site, it’s now time to assemble a team who can help you strategize around the new business opportunities, design the new version of the site, and put it to code.

For Learnit, we decided to go with an executive-level backend web developer and project manager with a senior level front end designer. While hourly rates may be higher on the executive levels, the time saved in reduced errors can be invaluable for projects with a tight turn-around time.

In the future, we can always save money later by reducing down to a lower level developer once the site is launched. Spending a little more upfront for expertise in the architecture stage though, can truly by invaluable.

Learnit Step Three

Step Three

Build user personas and workflows

Now it’s time to begin to create user personas. This exercise greatly helps the entire team to built empathy for your users and get clarity on the experience design. It will also shine a light on assumptions about your user’s motivations and needs that should be tested before writing code.

In Learnit’s case, we spent two hours getting to understand the organization’s mission, objectives, and core revenue-generating products as well as mapping out the workflow for their two main user personas. This exercise helped us all to determine priorities for building the site and communicating the nuanced interactions that create a Learnit brand experience.

User personas and workflows are critical steps to the start of any new product feature and most definitely for the launch of a new website with your team!

Learnit Step Four

Step Four

Create a sitemap

With a greater understanding for the desired user workflow, we can then layout a visual representation of how the pages on the website will come interact with each other. Like user personas, the sitemap is an essential part of helping everyone on the team know exactly what they’re building.

Moving too fast can get you into trouble sometimes. With a deadline of 10 business days to launch a fully rebuilt website, we made a sitemap only once at the proposal / scoping phase of the project and didn’t get a chance to update it during the sprint.

Lesson learned: a sitemap is truly a living document and, no matter what the time pressures may be, the small time it takes to maintain clean documentation as you go can save hours in confusion.

Learnit Step Five

Step Five

Wireframe and code

Now, the fun part. Design and code! A wireframe is a document that shows where visual elements will go and code is a language by which you can tell the computer how you want it to function.

For the Learnit project timeline, we went straight to high fidelity wireframes presented through Invision so their team could give feedback on their own time. We worked through two different time zones (UK & LA/West Coast), so the ability to communicate asynchronously on designs this way was crucial.

Regular check-ins and good project management software are critical to rapidly iterating on websites during sprint.

Lastly

QA, QA, and release

With everything ready to go, it’s time to test and test again. And again if you need. Oftentimes we will spend more time in QA than we will in actually creating the website. Seeing your vision come to life can often visualize gaps in thinking from all members of the team.

For the Learnit project, we barely had enough time to test properly enough before their desired deadline of Friday morning so we delayed the re-launch announcement to Sunday.

The process often takes longer than you think, so make sure to pad the time and stay close to the updates to help steer the ship!

Interested in having Happily help you level up? Schedule A Call

July 5, 2020

Virtual Wine Tasting on Zoom with AppsFlyer

Every Tuesday at 10am PST on Instagram Live, our founder has coffee via @teamhappily with folks in our network about what they learned from a project they recently worked on.

Today, Cynthia shared about her experience working as a backstage manager of a virtual wine tasting experience in Zoom.

Pre-event prep;

  • AppsFlyer sent wine and a recipe card for guests to have the same experience
  • Happily worked with AppsFlyer IT, marketing, and speakers in tech rehearsals
  • Happily sent audio-video kits to improve the sound and video quality of AppsFlyer team

The program;

  • Opening remarks from executives
  • Wine tasting experience led by a sommelier
  • Hang out, unscripted time

Steal these ideas;

  • Mail a personalized bottle of wine to VIPs and then have the sommelier talk about the wine straight from the barrel room
  • Put a welcome slide up that shows an agenda and housekeeping notes
  • Let the dogs out when you’re ready to make your networking playful!

Some #ProTips on virtual event management;

  • Rehearse your cues in real time, don’t rush through those. Transitions might not be as fast or slow as you think they will be, and every second counts in cyberspace!
  • Can’t talk a speaker or client through a setting? Use the remote control feature to take over

May 5, 2020

How to Hire a Customer Service Associate Fast

This year, Reforge teamed up with Happily to source a customer service and online support specialist during the registration and preparation process for their upcoming Spring Growth workshop series.

However, when it became clear to both parties that the person they hired wasn’t quite the perfect fit for the role, they needed to find a suitable replacement quickly.

Hire customer service specialist

The Happily team sprang into action to help, giving them free Enterprise-level service.

We posted online to a system-filtered list of 811 specialists and had over 250 people respond almost immediately that they were available and interested in the role.

We narrowed down that pool of applicants and conducted a pre-screening and group interview with 12 people to identify a shortlist of talent who were the most qualified and up to the challenge of the role. We presented our shortlist to Reforge, and after conducting a final round of interviews, they ended up hiring not just 1, but 2 people from Happily. Within a matter of hours, Reforge had replaced their staff, confident that they were in the very best hands possible.

Rachael Soares

We spoke with Rachael Soares, one of the Happily specialists hired by Reforge, who shared:

The group interview process was interesting, I’ve never done one like that before. This is my first gig through Happily, and I’m really excited about it. The opportunity is great, and so far, I’m really enjoying my time with Reforge and grateful to Happily for facilitating that connection.”

Of course, we always hope for a great experience right out of the gate, but solving unforeseen problems like this, and ensuring our client’s satisfaction and success, is one of the hallmarks of Happily’s own customer service experience. We are so proud to offer this level of access and service in a pinch!

February 17, 2020

Client Testimonial with River LA

Jason Foster, the Director of Strategic Partnerships for a non-profit organization called River LA, had a big art exhibit with two guest artists to showcase at a 5,000 person event.

The day before the event, he got the most important call of his life that his wife was in labor. He immediately looked to Happily for a solution to have someone jump in and take over the River LA Art Exhibit.

Within hours, he was able to use the Happily platform to identify the right event specialist for the gig, make the payment for the hire and have her jump on that same day to take over the execution.

We are proud to be able to provide a platform that is designed to help clients like Jason and River LA, who are looking for on-demand solutions for quick turnaround projects. We look forward to continuing our work with River LA in the future and be there for our clients for whatever life throws at them!

December 10, 2019

Sarah Shewey on the Real Women in Business with Cass McCrory Podcast

Running the show is not always glamourous and it sure isn't a quick fix to being successful.

Get the real low down on the "Real Women in Business" podcast's latest episode Founding & funding a company, nurturing connections and the force of grief with Founder & CEO, Sarah Shewey and learn more about what it really takes to found, fund, fail, succeed, and be a great teammate from Happily founder Sarah Shewey.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

October 28, 2019

Eric & Lauren's Big Day

Happily coordinated a beautiful wedding held on a family ranch near Ojai, CA for our dear friends Eric Jones of Jones Woodcraft and Lauren Johanson Jones of Chivas Skin Care.

The venue was completely built from the ground up, never used before, and in the middle of a canyon with the ceremony underneath a giant tree where Lauren would dream of love as a little girl.

Activations included:

  • Live band and dance floor
  • A baby goat as an usher
  • Mechanical bull
  • Video booth in a teepee
  • Farm-to-table fully locally catered meal
  • Chivas Skin Care gift sets for guests

Eric & Lauren's Big DayEricandLaurencaliforniaranchweddingweb-258 Eric & Lauren's Big Day Eric & Lauren's Big Day Eric & Lauren's Big Day EricandLaurencaliforniaranchweddingweb-431 Eric & Lauren's Big Day Eric & Lauren's Big Day Eric & Lauren's Big Day Eric & Lauren's Big Day Eric & Lauren's Big Day

December 31, 2016

Airbnb Open LA

Airbnb Open took over 4 entire city blocks of Los Angeles for an entire week to welcome 16,000 superhosts from around the world and debut Airbnb Experiences.

Activations included:

  • Live concert with Lady Gaga and Maroon 5.
  • Awards ceremony hosted by James Corden.
  • Talks with influencers like Ashton Kutcher and Gwyneth Paltrow.
  • Interactive installations with sponsors like Amex.
  • Workshops led by Airbnb employees.
  • 700 dinner parties at over 60 restaurants around LA.

Airbnb Open LA

Ryan Seacrest's Civic Entertainment Group executive produced and creative directed the festival. Just six weeks before launch, Civic tapped Happily in to take their plans cross the finish line with custom web app development and flawless ground operations.

Services provided:

  • Custom web application to manage the real-time assignment and tracking of 16,000 guests across 700 dinner parties.
  • Custom web application to manage the travel itinerary and schedule of events of thousands of Airbnb employees.
  • Oversee the Airbnb teams' command center and ensure.
  • Curation support and talent management to wrangle A-list speakers, ensuring they have a confident and enjoyable experience.
  • Write 100+ page handbook to train and manage the onsite concierge experience.
  • Setup and management of third party app to facilitate onsite check-in for awards ceremony.
  • Facilitate permitting and serve as tier 1 sponsor activation manager during the Lady Gaga concert.
  • Venue logistics to ensure plans for the experiential design, access, and guest security.

Airbnb Open LA

Airbnb Open won several awards, including Best Campaign of the Year.

Happily came out victorious in every area that it touched, bringing a polished and calm experience to the most hot-button touch points of the production.

  • Onsite signup for last-minute dinner party reservations were effortlessly handled in minutes with just a handful of staff due to the solid structure of our app build.
  • The employee event app was praised internally as "better than the third party app for guests".
  • Speakers had an amazing time, amplifying their backstage experience on social media.

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December 30, 2016