re:compass #25: The Great Virtual Event Experiment 🔬

Navigator for events during 12–18 October 2020

Aiste Lehmann
Oct 9 · 7 min read
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Bit more than a half year has passed since the first shock wave of event cancellations rolled in due to coronavirus and the Great Virtual Event Experiment started.

It was a forced experiment. Technologies for virtual events existed for a while but people were simply not that much interested in them. However, coronavirus made the ‘offer one cannot refuse’: perish or try to digitize. And so event industry ventured online.

Half year is not enough time to evaluate long term impact or even assess future trends. But one thing is clear: people are having intense discussions weighing pros and cons of virtual events. Dan Taylor beautifully summarized those sentiments in his “Remote Events: Dope or Nope?” article. Recommend to read it, Dan’s writing is as beautiful as his photography.

There are some arguments that virtual events in their current form are “a threat to entrepreneurship” or compare them with “online sex” and “wanking” that cannot replace real social interactions. They focus more on the relationship/networking aspect of events and sideline the content/learning features, and are interesting enough to deep dive separately in upcoming weekly guides.

For today I want to highlight this particular question: How many of the past online events do you actually remember? You probably can mention 2–3 of them, mostly because something interesting happened to you. An unexpected random networking match, a good chat with speakers or participants, an inspiring discussion table. But how many of them will you remember one year from now?

The bluntness of the online experience is an open issue here. It is very difficult to create participation conditions that are memorable, while all virtual events blur into one fuzzy mess. This is an important issue to address for event organizers as after half year into the Great Virtual Event Experiment it will not get easier. If anything, it will become more and more difficult to convince attendees to purchase tickets to online events.

And in the mean time, let’s keep on exploring.

SaaStock EMEA

When: 2020 October 12–15
Access: €0 — €699
Format: online conference
Place: Dublin, Ireland

SaaStock is the most actionable online conference for B2B SaaS founders, executives, and investors in Europe, Middle East and Africa. This edition takes on difficult and very actual themes: digital transformation in coronavirus world, work from home and future of work, social impact and product development. All topics are centered around ‘physically isolated, yet digitally more connected’. Join in to learn about mastering markets, new ways of selling, pricing and positioning in 2020, and sustainable growth.

👐 the way women lead.

When: 2020 October 13
Access: €0 — €64.09
Format: online session
Place: Vienna, Austria

What does it take for the next generation of female leaders to ensure their full participation at all leadership levels? Join the discussion led by UniCredit Bank Austria and the female factor and learn from leaders from all walks of life more about how women lead and how to ensure that the next generation of female leaders thrives. Speakers Mahdis Gharaei (Co-Founder | the female factor), Delna Antia (Editor-in-Chief | dasBIBER), Tina Deutsch (Co-Founder & Managing Partner | Haufe Advisory) and Christine Hartlieb-Goetz (Head of Credit Operations | UniCredit Bank Austria) will share their own experience and learnings from their personal career.

🦉 WIRED Smarter 2020

When: 2020 October 13–15
Access: £36 — £210
Format: online conference
Place: London , UK

WIRED Smarter is transforming into a virtual event, and will premiere as a six-part conference broadcast series across October 13–15. Curated by WIRED’s award-winning editorial team, each of the six 90-minute episodes will feature innovators in business, technology, retail and sustainability. Join for the broadcast — all run in real time — and have the opportunity to submit questions for live speaker Q&As and network with fellow attendees.

🤝🏼 Tech Inclusion

When: 2020 October 13–15
Access: $0 — $99
Format: online conference
Place: San Francisco, USA

Tech Inclusion 2020 is a virtual experience and a global discussion about the changes happening in the tech industry and what actions are needed today. Join in to strategize about creating equity in the tech industry, evolution of Venture Capital and entrepreneurship ecosystems, and the impact of the stories we consume and share in the media. Event is dedicated to exploration of ways to build more ethical and accessible products and services, improve mental health and wellness, use tech to drive civic engagement, the present and the future of work, and what the industry can contribute to the fight to save lives.

🤓 The GeekWire Summit

When: 2020 October 13–29
Access: $29 — $149 + fees
Format: online
Place: Seattle, USA

The ninth annual GeekWire Summit brings together the brightest minds to explore and shape the future of tech, business, science, health, policy and innovation. The Summit will take place in bite-sized chunks throughout October, with fireside chats and panel discussions featuring software pioneer Bill Gates, venture capitalist Emily Melton, Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern, COVID-19 data expert Dr. Vin Gupta, DreamBox Learning CEO Jessie Woolley-Wilson and many more. Virtual sessions will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PT) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and only registered attendees will be able to attend.

🕴 Dublin Tech Summit

When: 2020 October 14
Access: €40 — €75
Format: online conference
Place: Dublin , Ireland

Dublin Tech Summit Virtual will draw the most influential tech and business leaders from across the world. For one day, experts from over 70 countries will come together to share knowledge, debate the latest trends, and network, all from our live virtual event space. Are you interested in scaling your start-up? Do you want to future-proof your business? Learn more about diversity in tech? Make global change? Join this event and engage with the thinkers of tomorrow!

🌬️ TOA ON AIR with Joy Howard, CMO of Dashlane

When: 2020 October 14, 17:00 CEST
Access: free
Format: online session
Place: Berlin, Germany

TOA ON AIR is bringing another amazing session with an extraordinary guest: Joy Howard. Joy’s career journey is definitely not a conventional one found in tech: from spending 22.5 hours a day as a recording artist in her band “Seely”, to heading the marketing campaigns for Coca-Cola’s iced tea products in China, to becoming the VP of Global Marketing at Patagonia and CMO at Sonos & Lyft. Today, Joy is the CMO of Dashlane, a fintech company with 110m$ Series D raise in 2019. Listen to a true marketing rockstar tell her out-of-the-ordinary story and get some marketing tricks up your sleeve on the next TOA ON AIR session!

🔑 DigitalK

When: 2020 October 15–16
Access: €25 —
€119
Type: hybrid conference
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

DigitalK has become a hybrid event this year, making it an excellent opportunity for everyone from Balkans to attend this conference. From visionary keynotes to workshops bursting with practical advice, and plenty of networking opportunities, DigitalK brings together some of the brightest minds that will help you find out how to re-invent your company and make it competitive for a brand new world.

💦 SexTech, Sexual Health and Wellbeing — What’s Next?

When: 2020 October 15, 18:30 BST
Access: free
Type: online session
Place: London, UK

Presented by Women of Wearables and LELO, this session will discuss SexTech, Sexual Health and Wellbeing, and the rise of new products in this space. The sexual wellness market is an industry expected to grow to $122.96 billion by 2026, according to the market research company Stratistics, and we’re excited to witness this growth and watch what is yet to come. Join this free webinar to learn about a wide range of topics, including: What can we all do to break the stigma and drive conversations that normalize sexual wellness and pleasure? What it’s like to run a sexual wellness company and how do you reach your consumer and tailor your marketing strategy while facing ad bans? Sexual wellness in venture capital — is it still a taboo?

🏄 The Great Wave

When: 2020 October 16–19
Access: €125 — €1000 + VAT
Type: hybrid conference
Location: Lisbon, Portugal (+30 hubs around the globe)

Business romantics, misfits, and mavericks, humanists and animists, dreamers and changemakers, poets and rebels — the House of Beautiful Business is going global! Extraordinary times require extraordinary experiences: The Great Wave is the first-of-its-kind virtual and in-person business festival that will connect thousands of people all around the world to explore how we can work and live more beautifully. You can log in from your computer or smartphone, meet up with fellow participants online or safely in person in your part of the world, or take part in and follow the action at one of the more than 30 local hubs around the globe — from Berlin to Kigali to New York, from Bangalore to Hong Kong, from Sao Paulo to Vancouver.

re:compass is a weekly event navigator for entrepreneurs in the tech industry. Subscribe to receive the guide to your inbox every Friday or join re:compass calendar to have event recommendations right next to your schedule.

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