Taking a Beloved In-person Conference Into the Virtual Space
DJI’s Airworks conference started as a small invite-only event in San Francisco. However, once Denise Hibbard, Senior Marketing Manager, Enterprise, joined the team, Airworks began to travel from city to city, gaining more attendees every year.
But for the fifth-annual AirWorks conference, DJI decided early in the pandemic to move their event online. The team wanted to take advantage of the benefits of going digital but still needed to ensure they could achieve their event goals virtually.
Hibbard’s main goals for Airworks 2020 were to drive attendee experience, promote community building, and create an effortless speaker and sponsor experience. When deciding on a platform, Hibbard was looking for great customer service, time savings, simplicity, and access to deep data analytics.
A Modern and Intuitive All-in-one Event Management Solution
Bizzabo’s straightforward pricing structure made it easy for DJI to feel confident in what it was getting. Hibbard shared how, in her experience with other platforms, “They wanted to charge you for each add-on, and then by the time you get done, the quote was complicated to read through and, quite frankly, much more expensive.”
DJI needed to choose a platform that was user-friendly — internally and externally. Hibbard appreciated the “sleek and modern design” of the Bizzabo platform, adding how shocked she was “at how archaic so many other event systems are.”
Hibbard also noted that she’s the only one on her team who had the time to be trained in the platform, so she needed a solution that her team and even the speakers or sponsors could hop into and figure out quickly.
DJI also wanted to ensure an equally seamless experience for their partners. Having been an exhibitor at other events before, Hibbard knew precisely what she would like to have seen and was determined to create a better solution for her speakers and sponsors.
Bizzabo’s Speakers and Partners Solutions played a significant role in creating that effortless experience. Bringing sponsors into the virtual space doesn’t mean sacrificing value or resources. By offering a centralized portal for speakers and sponsors to access, the platform allowed Hibbard to upload all of her documents to set her partners up for success, from virtual best practices to ideas on how to create high-quality recordings from home. The speakers and sponsors could then access the portal and view those documents and other communications from anywhere, at any time.
“Being able to connect our speakers and sponsors in one central hub was a big time saver, and they found [Bizzabo] to be very easy to use. Our speakers required significantly less back and forth via having documents housed in one place. The virtual setting also required significantly more info to be relayed to our sponsors, made much easier by Bizzabo’s platform.”
Senior Marketing Manager
In addition to the platform, the Bizzabo team also stood out to Hibbard by creating a customer-centric environment.
“My experience with the sales rep from Bizzabo was the most positive,” she said. “They were not at all pushing me to make any decisions. They were extremely transparent with me about what everything was. They were on my time as opposed to some of the other folks that were quite pushy.”
Ultimately, Hibbard’s experience with the Bizzabo platform and the team made it an easy choice.
“That was something that really impressed me about Bizzabo. Not only on the attendee side do I want it to look modern, intuitive, and easy to use, but on my end too.”
Senior Marketing Manager
A Seamless Data-rich Virtual Event Experience
DJI’s speakers and sponsor partners found Bizzabo’s solution to be very intuitive. Notably, they were able to make changes on their own within the platform, which ultimately led to significant time savings for the event’s 120 speakers.
Hibbard estimates that her team saved 10 hours on the sponsor side and more than 90 hours on the speaker side — resulting in more than 100 hours of time savings on this event alone. DJI attributes valuable time savings to Bizzabo’s end-to-end solution and user-friendly design.
“Having everything in the Bizzabo house is what makes my job so easy. When things connect to each other the way they do [at Bizzabo] — for example, the agenda populates the app, which connects to the website — it reduces administrative tasks, allowing me to focus on the event strategy.”
Senior Marketing Manager
One of DJI’s most significant goals for Airworks 2020 was to gather data they couldn’t pull from previous years of hosting the in-person event. Hibbard knew that shifting to virtual offered a much bigger opportunity to collect rich attendee data. Using Bizzabo’s reporting, the team could learn who purchased tickets, where they were purchasing from, and who showed up. They could also answer specific questions about their attendees.
“[Working with Bizzabo’s event analytics] was the first time we’ve ever had that information for this event,” she said. “To then go virtual and be able to really hone in on who is attending, at what time, who tuned in live or on-demand, that data was more robust than anything that we’ve had before.”
By having access to all of its event data, DJI could also pull event statistics and compare its event ROI and success to previous years and its goals. DJI surpassed its registration goal of 850 by almost 39% and saw that between live attendees and on-demand viewers, nearly 73% of registrants converted to virtual attendees.
With the help of Bizzabo’s data tools, Hibbard and her team demonstrated improvement in community engagement, which was a key goal for Airworks 2020. Community messages increased by 123% from the previous year, proving that DJI succeeded in fostering community among their attendees.