On Oct. 28 of this year, we hosted our first-ever, completely virtual conference – accelerateEMS. After a full day of expert presentations and panels, networking conversations and visits to the exhibitor booths, we learned a few things along the way. Read on for our key takeaways from hosting over 300 attendees from the EMS industry.
1. Know your audience.
The most important part of a successful event is knowing your audience. Speaking to relevant topics and providing exclusive access to industry leaders are cornerstones for providing real value to attendees. Our goal at CalcuQuote is to not only offer advanced software for better, faster and easier supply chain processes, but to also educate and steer the industry toward the future. Our mission to “move EMS forward” is central to everything we do and was the driving force behind accelerateEMS. By staying focused on the best interests of EMS professionals, we were able to design a conference that offered practical takeaways and inspired new ideas.
2. Be willing to embrace online.
Having always operated in a virtual environment, our business has not been as affected by the many challenges brought by COVID-19. Even still, our experience with industry trade shows and conferences has always been in-person and on-site, so a virtual conference was new territory. We found capitalizing on the opportunity to move online brought convenience and the ability to reach new audiences. Without time or travel constraints, attendees were able to easily tune in to the most relevant sessions for their role and on average, spent about 216 minutes within the platform. Embracing virtual extends beyond conferences, however, and as emphasized throughout accelerateEMS, digital transformation is the future of EMS. We encourage you to introduce online processes to your business to stay ahead of the curve and be able to adapt faster to the next challenge.
3. People are eager to fill in the trade show gap.
While we had worked hard to put together a speaker lineup and exhibitor area specifically tailored to the needs of the EMS industry, we were still blown away by the response. With an over 65% turnout rate (about double the usual rate) and close to 500 registrants, it’s clear to us that EMS professionals are eager to learn what’s next for the industry and grow their network. With many trade shows being cancelled, rescheduled or moved online, people are searching for opportunities to bridge the gap and still have meaningful conference experiences.
4. Platform choice is key.
The very first choice we made for accelerateEMS was to host via hopin. The platform ticked every box on providing an easily accessible venue for sharing insights and making new connections – our main reasons for wanting to host the conference. Finding the right partner for your conference is critical to a successful event and the backbone for the day’s programming and activities.
Thank you to our supporters and partners for making #accelerateEMS2020 a success! You can view the presentations and panels from the day on our webinars page.