For the last 6 years, we’ve provided event management and marketing support to the Industry Leadership Forum, a mining, resources, infrastructure and utilities conference series.
We kicked off event planning for our two 2020 events in late 2019 with major event sponsor, Worley. Things were looking great for the first event of the year in Perth in May. But come February, the world started to change. By mid-March, it was evident that we needed to pivot from our standard event format to ensure the safety of our delegates.
So, what did we do?
We transformed our one-day physical event for 200 onto a virtual series for 2,600.
Within a matter of weeks, we’d converted our physical program into a 5-week virtual series. Each Friday we held a 90-minute session to unpack the challenges relating to our event theme, The Evolving Future: Adapting Leadership and Developing Capability. Sessions included four 10-minute presentations and at least 30-minutes of Q&A on the topics of:
- Care – People & Environment
- People – Capability & Leadership
- Harnessing Future Technologies
- Assets – Sustain & Optimise
- Meaningful Collaboration & Engagement – The Reconciliation Journey
The barriers to entry are low for virtual events, delegates could access the event from anywhere, on any device, and the registrations poured in.
Our ever-amazing event Steering Committee, comprised of individuals from various industries who help shape our program (see the full program here), were able to extend event invitations without concern for travel restrictions, budgets or geographic boundaries. Typically our delegates are from Australia and New Zealand only. For our virtual series, we saw people dialling in from Brunei, Hong Kong, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the USA.
WHAT DID OUR DELEGATES THINK OF THE CHANGE?
The writing’s on the (chat) wall. Here’s some of the feedback delegates provided to us in the post-event survey and event comments:
“The structure of the webinar was fantastic!“
“Well done ILF! Excellent session. This really proves that it is possible to share and interact across the sectors without the geographical boundaries and additional carbon emissions!“
“All speakers were very, very interesting, I really enjoyed the webinar! Thank you.“
“Great virtual event, very informative. Looking forward to the next one!”
“Thanks for organizing – it’s my first time attending and I think that there’s great potential here.“
“Excellent forum for knowledge sharing, very interesting and relevant topics. I’m really impressed by how the MC and presenters conducted the session virtually, the engagement with the audience was excellent.“
“I liked the length of the presentations, virtual presentations can be challenging to watch however I found the shorter length was good to keep engaged.“
“Even though it was virtual, the whole session was very engaging.“
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
We’re taking the best of all event formats and going hybrid. In November, we’ll be holding a half-day event split into two sessions. Delegates can connect virtually, or attend local event ‘hubs’ across Australia where government restrictions allow. Some speakers will be presenting live from hubs, and others from their loungerooms or offices. Plus we’ll be working in additional networking for our online-only participants. It’s quite the technical challenge, but we love a challenge!
Unfortunately, events are strictly invitation only as the content presented is confidential. However, if you’re looking to host something similar, drop us a line for a chat!