Event Highlights

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.

No borders

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.



  • Freeze frame with Alexa Baltazar, JMP marketing analyst, as she watches the opening presentation with SAS co-founder John Sall.
  • Welcome to our virtual Discovery Summit lobby.
  • Steering committee member Fuding Lin of the University of Oregon greets people during a social hour.
  • An attendee watches Caroline Criado Perez, author of Invisible Women, give a keynote talk about the gender data gap.
  • So many people, so many tiles! The new virtual format means plenty of room for everyone in breakout sessions that typically bring “standing room only” crowds.
  • Pets are welcome too.
  • Senior Data Report Anna Flagg of The Marshall Project shares one of her most impactful projects on immigration.
  • Attendees take periodic screen breaks, this time with a yoga session led by JMP Global Social Media Manager Arati Mejdal.
  • Meet-the-developers sessions are a unique opportunity to meet with the people behind our favorite features.
  • Cameron Willden of W. L. Gore and the event steering committee enjoys a bike ride simultaneously with other attendees around the world.
  • Something new for Discovery – the participant-driven unsession.
  • JMP Associate Systems Engineer Maanasa Thyagarajan presents in front of a conference-themed virtual background.
  • Jeff Perkinson, head of JMP Customer Care, co-hosts the event with our unofficial mascot JMPy the squirrel.
  • Fun run – for some people these two words complement each other!
  • JMP Systems Engineer Alisa Hunt-Lowery joins the Predictive Modeling Unsession from her home office.
  • Statisticians from The Dow Chemical Company on missing random effects in machine learning.
  • Let’s talk tables with Kelci Miclaus, Senior Manager Advanced Analytics R&D for JMP Life Sciences.
  • Jason Wiggins, JMP Senior Systems Engineer, catches air in an exercise video break.
  • Attendees post tons of questions in the chat – more than Julian Parris, Manager of JMP Strategic Initiatives and Analytics, could possibly pose to the data journalism panelists.
  • JMP chief architect John Sall talks about pain relief as a central motivating force for development.
  • Aurora Tiffany-Davis from the JMP Live development team takes notes on the plenary session with John Sall.
  • Ruth Hummel, JMP Senior Academic Ambassador, notes her new normal – cozy cat and gym shorts for the win!
  • We couldn’t be together in person, but here’s a compilation of the group having some virtual photo booth fun.


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Papers and e-posters

Review papers, e-posters and videos in the JMP User Community: community.jmp.com/summit