One of our favorite ways to learn, connect and share with the Planisware Community is through our User Summits, in-person events that take place each year in the United States (May), Germany (June), Japan (June) and France (October/November).
This year, we were looking forward to doing our North American conference for the first time ever in Denver, Colorado (where one of our largest US office is located). But it was not meant to be. Prompted by the worldwide Covid pandemic, we decided instead to take the event online, and offer our community four weeks of live sessions showcasing the amazing work our customers and partners do with the help of Planisware solutions.
A common misconception about taking an in-person event online is that it is “just like the physical event, only through a screen (and minus the croissants…)”. But changing the format has a far greater impact than just how you experience it: for the POWER series, going digital also meant greater diversity and new insights.
1. “Hello, World!”
We were absolutely delighted with the strong uptick in registrations to the event: almost two times as many people signed up for the POWER series compared to our live event! But beyond the numbers, it is the diversity of people who signed up that made this event special: 72% of attendees were there for the first time, and the number of countries represented was up from 11 in 2019 to 23 for the POWER Series.
One of the comments that attendees to our events most often make is that whilst they expected to network and learn from people from companies with the same profile and use of Planisware as theirs, they were most surprised by how much they enjoyed talking to and learning from customers in completely different circumstances. So diversity for us is not just a buzzword: it's integral to making our User Summits an amazing event for our customers and partners.
2. New formats = new insights
Removing the physical restrictions of in-person events didn't just increase the diversity of attendees: it also increased the diversity in speakers. With no impediments caused by travel concerns, we were able to welcome more speakers from across the Atlantic, a change in perspective that was appreciated by participants: “Being myself US-focused mostly, it was interesting to hear the presenter's description of the ‘European Project Manager'. Very insightful.”
Another attendee wrote: “Seeing the use cases, I think the more varied the better to help see different ways to use the tool.” And another mentioned: “I think [Customer] is where we want to be in a few years - excellent example and helpful information!”
And for the first time in the North American event, several of our Orchestra customers took to the stage to share their experiences with PPM, including CMA CGM's 4 year journey of PPM evolution, and LEO Pharma's approach to change management.
3. New formats = new interactions
Finally, the online format created new ways for attendees to interact with each other and the speakers. The video-conference format allowed many guests to experience a more personal approach to the presentation and demos we showed.
“Nice overview and nice to see the presenters close up! (I usually sit in the back at the in person meetings.)”
It also opened up new ways to ask questions and engage in the discussion: attendees could use the chat at any time throughout the presentation, or engage in a proper discussion with the speakers at key points.
And the conversation doesn't end with the POWER series: the upcoming Planisware private community space will offer customers and partners a new private space to network.
It was a pleasure to host the 2020 POWER series, and we couldn't have been happier with the results. Far from offering only a pale copy of the original, the switch to a digital format brought increased diversity in the audience and the speakers, and with it, new insights and richer discussions. And that's exactly what we wish for our Planisware Community.
If you are a Planisware customer, watch a replay of any of the POWER series sessions on the Customer Portal