We had no idea how our Discovery Summit Americas week was going to go. Would people come to an all-online event? Would people participate? Would people interact with one another?
We are very happy to know the answers to those questions: Yes! Yes! Yes!
We held our flagship event completely online the week of Oct. 12 for more than 4,600 VIPs, JMP customers, and the statistically curious.
Like so many other aspects of life these days, the event was different, it was challenging at times, and there were definitely a few curveballs. But based on attendee comments and Steering Committee feedback, it was a hit!
“In some ways, the virtual Meet the Developers was better than in person; easier to manage how/when to get face-to-face time. More efficient,” said Steering Committee member Sarah Gilyard of Micron.
“Agreed,” said Gwen Hallberg of Alkermes, who is just joining the Committee. “It was easy and helpful to share screens so that developers could look directly at users’ screens to understand the issues more clearly, easily.”
The format worked
After months of research and consideration, the format chosen was …
- A weeklong Monday-Friday approach, with Monday being less formal with “unsessions” – attendee-driven workshops – on specific topics.
- A few hours together of core content each day, with optional events throughout.
- Papers and posters recorded and made available weeks before the conference, so attendees could watch what they wanted, when they wanted.
- All papers and plenaries presented during the conference were designed to incorporate and/or address audience questions in real time.
- Interactive sessions were included to allow peer-to-peer discussions and opportunities to ask developers questions.
What we’ve seen since March is that borders matter less and less in marketing efforts. And that was no different with the Americas version of Discovery Summit. We had attendees from more than 90 different countries. Not all attended in real-time, of course, due to time zone constraints. But we expect to see increased customer engagement and sales activity in many parts of the world as a result of the event.
Fun with data
Not all the data collected at Discovery is serious business. Discovery events usually include a lot of fun, and this year was no different. A virtual fun run, a bike ride and various quarantine-related polls provided data that now lives on public.jmp.com, ready to be explored and analyzed.
Content to remain available
“This kind of content is too valuable to limit to the conference itself,” said Jeff Perkinson, Senior Manager of Global Customer Care for the JMP division. Therefore, JMP puts papers, posters and plenary sessions (for which we have permission) in a dedicated section of the JMP Community. This year, more than 50 breakout sessions are there, along with three of the four keynotes, including a Fireside Chat with Shankar Vedantam of Hidden Brain.