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iCohere Publishes Case Study for USAID’s SHOPS e-Conference Program

Case study details how to produce 100% online conferences on a global scale.

Walnut Creek, CA, October 21, 2011 --( iCohere, Inc., a leader in online communities and virtual conferences, has released a case study on the successful USAID SHOPS e-conference series, produced by Abt Associates using the iCohere® 9 Collaboration Platform.

In 2011, a USAID SHOPS 2-day technical conference called “Access to Finance” took place completely online, connecting over 360 professionals from 58 countries around the world through a single, easy-to-access website. This highly interactive global event featured a blend of rich technical presentations and lively chat sessions with expert panels. Participants, including health care entrepreneurs, business professionals, and government representatives, actively collaborated with one another, logging over 8,000 minutes in discussion boards in just 1 day.

The conference was the latest in a successful 5-year series of online conferences produced by Abt Associates and powered by iCohere’s online collaboration platform. Relying on a customized iCohere site, the SHOPS conferences have completely eliminated travel and facilities expenses, while also overcoming global challenges, such as variable Internet connectivity, different time zones, and language barriers.

According to the conference manager at Abt Associates, “The developing countries we work with don’t always have the best Internet connectivity, but we’ve made the process seamless through iCohere’s platform.” Presentation captioning, mobile web browser support, and other site adaptations have made the site highly accessible to people around the world. Ashleigh reports that participants and staff “have been impressed with how easy the iCohere platform is to navigate and use.”

iCohere’s platform also enables participants to specify a time zone in their profile so that all of the site’s content and detailed agendas will be listed in their local time. If a participant misses an event, recordings of all live sessions are archived in an online conference hall, which is accessible even after the actual conference had ended. However, much of the conference material (such as recorded presentations, documents, and discussion threads), is not time-sensitive and is available to participants at any time in any part of the world. The conference site can also be fully translated into a foreign language for multi-lingual accessibility.

Today, Abt Associates continues to evolve the USAID SHOPS online conference series, planning additional events during fall 2011 and beyond and striving to take it to a new level of outreach and effectiveness.

iCohere has made the case study available for free on its web site at:

About iCohere
iCohere is a customer-focused technology company that provides a proven, cloud-hosted platform with facilitation, media production, and support services for professional online collaboration projects and events. Our “all-in-one” integrated system is flexible enough for online conferences, collaborative eLearning courses, large-scale webinars, and online communities of practice. iCohere offers training and support through every step of the planning, configuration, and execution process, ensuring that clients fully understand and maximize their experience with iCohere’s feature-rich platform. Learn more by contacting iCohere at (202) 870-6146 or email

Contact Information
Lance A. Simon
Twitter @icohere

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