It’s time for a Virtual Summit

Written by Robin Knowles, CEO, Digital Leaders

These days we value our online content as much as our face to face events. Since as far back as 2016, we have been experimenting with virtual formats and we now have two that we think work well. In terms of audience, our growing subscriber community, now at 113,000, is far ourstripping the number of people attending face-to-face events: 25,000 in 2019.

In November 2019 we ran our first Virtual Summit, for an event called Insight Live made up of 50 speakers over a week. 

The Virtual Summit has a great user experience and speakers features. Users can take part in the event without leaving the comfort of their desk or home. Even better, unlike physical conferences where you can end up sitting through content you just don’t need, our Virtual Summit let’s you dip in and watch the specific talks on the topics that matter to you.

That first Virtual Summit attracted 1,800 attendees, who watched on average 7 talks each. The talks they chose were added to their calendar through automation and if they missed the talk they were sent a recording. The Digital Leaders team hosted each talk and we ran a Q&A with the audience and speakers after each presentation. 

We are using the Virtual Summit format again as part of Digital Leaders Week Online when there will be 100 talks during the week, running four parallel channels and with 8 webinar hosts. 

We are also running Virtual Summits for partners, with upcoming events in the Enterprise and Government sectors.

The team has also been working hard since January to accelerate our virtual capability and checking out the options for a Virtual Conference

We needed to develop a format that was right for Digital Leaders. Culturally, not many want to be in fully virtual spaces like “Second Life” or to wear a headset for a day. Technically, many of our member’s work computers will not allow them to download or support such technology.

I am pleased to say that our new Virtual Conference includes features for: real time interaction and delegate networking for an audience of 100-800; speeches from a virtual stage; chaired panel sessions; and space for sponsors and branding. Best of all it runs on a browser so does not require downloading. 

We will be running and announcing some Virtual Conference events shortly, when you can try it for the first time. 

We will certainly not be keeping this to ourselves and if you have a conference coming up that you need to move online, please do get in touch and we will certainly do our very best to help you. 

If you’d like to get in touch about running a virtual conference, click here.

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