After shifting away from an in-person customer celebration at the Four Seasons in Baltimore due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Protech Associates’ Fusion 2020 Customer Conference surpassed all previous attendance numbers for the event.
As government officials around the world were limiting the number of people that could gather for a single event, Protech made the strategic decision to take its customer conference virtual before it would have been mandated to do so.
Protech CEO Brian Bruffey, said, “In these unprecedented times, we had to find a safe and effective way to continue the conversation with our customers as we have done for more than a decade with our in-person Fusion events. By hosting the first-ever virtual Fusion Customer Conference, we successfully maintained our commitment to listening to and learning from customers. We also shared best practices and product updates that will help their associations engage with members even more using our association management software platform.
To our delight, the virtual conference showcased not only the drive and determination of our internal teams to pull out all the stops to create a virtual event, but also the loyalty and dedication of our valued customers as they signed up en masse to attend.”
In just five weeks, Protech staff across the company — from their own homes — pulled together to create a two-day virtual event for nearly 500 people. The 26 sessions featured a keynote from Microsoft MVP Steve Mordue, free association management software (AMS) education, Certified Association Executive (CAE) credit-approved sessions and networking opportunities for Protech’s customers, partners, industry consultants and staff.
As Protech’s marketing and IT teams began researching technology to support the event, it quickly became apparent that a reliable, secure and flexible solution was imperative for the success of the event. After reviewing multiple virtual event solutions, Protech staff knew the clear choice for the foundation of the event was technology the company was already using—Microsoft Teams. Fusion 2020 leveraged four key technologies with a Single Sign On (SSO) to the event registration database:
- Microsoft Teams Collaboration Platform delivered multiple, concurrent sessions with options for a production queue, lobby waiting area, Q&A and live chats.
- Protech’s Attendee-only Website served as the event home base for access to all sessions, a new product showcase and sponsor highlights.
- Fusion 2020 Mobile App powered by Guidebook provided an added layer of engagement for attendees to connect, interact and share on a social feed.
- Protech Users Group (PUG) community, built on Higher Logic, helped share updates before the event and on-demand Fusion sessions afterwards.
Protech Marketing Director Liz Palm comments, “It is thrilling and still somewhat astounding to me that we were able to transition a highly anticipated in-person event to a wildly successful virtual conference, all while working remotely from our own homes. We are truly humbled by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received from our customers and could not be more thankful for their support and loyalty in these difficult times.
“It is also essential that we show our appreciation and gratitude to the Fusion 2020 sponsors, our industry partners, who kept pace with us while we quickly and strategically adjusted sponsorship components to ensure value and exposure for each organization, as well as Protech’s customers.”
Fusion 2020 sponsors presented CAE-approved sessions, shared thought leadership content and made themselves available to all attendees to discuss their leading association technology solutions. Thank you to all our Fusion 2020 sponsors!
- Platinum: ClickDimensions, Refactored and Guidebook
- Gold: OpenWater, BluePay by CardConnect, Circles123, Breezio and Higher Logic
- Silver: BlueSky eLearn and Web Courseworks.
For more details about how Protech transitioned to a virtual event, watch the on-demand webinar, “Lessons Learned: How We Took Our Event Virtual in 5 Weeks.”