Virtual summits are on the rise, especially this year. Due to the outbreak of the global pandemic, more and more event organizers had to make a quick decision: do we cancel or go online? The ones that decided to embrace the virtual summit model are now very happy that they did.
If you are thinking about organizing huge virtual events – you are not alone. And this is a great place to find out how to do it seamlessly with ClickMeeting.
Read on to see how one of ClickMeeting’s customers turned a medium-scale local event into a successful virtual summit with over 1400 attendees from 51 countries.
Not too shabby, right?
ProductCamp – a conference for product managers, product owners, product designers, researchers, growth hackers, and all professionals who discover, conceive, manage, and make digital products better. Organized in Gdynia since 2014, in 2020, moved fully online, embracing the virtual summit model.
Their reason for using the ClickMeeting platform
Moving a local conference online to expand its reach.
Organizing a safe and engaging space for attendees and speakers amid pandemic.
Partnering with the most reliable tech partner to deliver a fully web-based online summit, accessible via desktop and mobile.
Gathering remotely over 1400 attendees from 51 countries during an online summit.
Engaging with the attendees and moderating discussion via the built-in chat.
Hosting networking sessions as a way to bring people closer together and encouraging them to speak.
Integrating live studio broadcast with the use of reliable tech.
Accessing remotely conference sessions based on individual tickets-tokens with no need to install any additional software.
Connecting attendees and conference partners via dedicated branded partner rooms.
Let’s explore it in more detail, shall we?
We talked to Maciek Saganowski, the person behind the ProductCamp conference. He shared some really useful backstage facts on how and why they moved their local conference online despite challenges with the global health crisis.
From local to global – attract more attendees and the best speakers
Safety first, as they say. The coronavirus outbreak posed a serious threat to the health of the participants, speakers, and the organizing crew. The ProductCamp team managed to find a way to turn the tables around and use the fact that no one was keen to travel to their advantage. Running an online event doubled the number of attendees and attracted great speakers.
As Maciek said:
Our primary goal was to successfully move our event online and, by doing so, deliver great experience to our attendees. We also wanted to expand our database. I’m glad to say we were able to achieve all our goals, and the online event turned out to be a big success, with over 1400 attendees joining in from 51 countries. This is a 2x jump from 2019 when we hosted events for about 600-700 attendees from 21 countries.
Maciek admits that turning ProductCamp into a virtual event was a good move:
Running our event online on ClickMeeting made our conference much more accessible to attendees from different countries.
Build true connections through virtual solutions
The goal was to deliver a great experience to all the attendees. During a traditional offline, event everyone seems so close and reachable. Grabbing a cup of coffee with someone you just met is not difficult. Speakers are right there, ready to chat during networking sessions. If something is off – people provide real-time, fast feedback.
According to Maciej:
The organization, planning, and risk mitigation take even greater importance when running an online event.
So, how do you create a true feeling of connectedness during a virtual summit? Maciej shared some strategies used by ProductCamp that helped to shape it:
We created a virtual lobby that would let participants into different stages (rooms) as well as provide them with a minute-by-minute agenda. After building this virtual lobby, we connected different rooms with corresponding webinar rooms in ClickMeeting. We used ClickMeeting for running all presentation stages, host branded partner rooms, and World Cafe networking discussion groups. We also run a special Slack channel for the participants.
And people liked it – attendees, speakers, and partners alike. The feedback was very positive, according to ProductCamp organizers.
Live streaming accessible all over the world
Online conferences are more than just presenting live webinars. People expect the same level of professionalism as if they were at an offline event – gaining the knowledge but also being fully immersed in the conference spirit.
ProductCamp organizers know their audience and are prepared to go the extra mile to catch up to the expectations. Just read what Maciek says about efforts to make their virtual summit look and feel extra special with live broadcasting:
Our vision was to lift the ballgame in the online conference industry, so we’ve created a live studio in Gdynia with a great view of the Port of Gdynia. Setting up the studio with all modern TV equipment was quite something. The big challenge was streaming. We were mixing all video and audio feeds in ATEM mini and OBS software. Then feeding that for distribution via the ClickMeeting streaming feature. It worked flawlessly, which was such a relief.
Full tech support to build a flawless online event
Online events rely on technology from start to finish. It’s not only the day of the event that needs support with live streaming or moderating discussions. It’s also how we handle registrations, access to different stages based on the ticket type, and how the attendees can access all sessions.
As ProductCamp organizers say – this part was easier with ClickMeeting:
We were looking for a platform that is totally browser-based. We didn’t want our attendees to download and install anything on their computers. Many of them were accessing the conference via company equipment. With ClickMeeting, they could use a browser or mobile phone easily. ClickMeeting tech team generated over 2000 access tokens of different types, allowing different levels of ticket holders to access or not access a particular stage. Then we redistributed these access tokens via our emailing platform to the attendees.
Would ProductCamp recommend ClickMeeting webinar software, and why?
It is the last question we asked Maciej. Here’s what he had to say:
Absolutely I would recommend ClickMeeting! The most important reason I’d recommend them apart from the obvious benefits of platform reliability/stability is the fact that these people care! I rarely get to work with a partner who goes far and beyond what was agreed upon and personally cares about your success.
We honestly could not get better support and advice on how to run our event online. ClickMeeting helped a lot! They have been in the online events domain for many years, and their tech is super stable and trustworthy.
He also added that this experience was so successful that the ProductCamp team will surely organize more online events in the future:
We have a couple of ideas on how to experiment with the format, so definitely next year our attendees will see some novelties.
We can’t wait to help ProductCamp with more virtual summits in the future and see how they will surprise their attendees then!