The coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to adapt to the changing times, and things were no different for Style Dots, a company that sells customizable jewelry through their network of Boutique Partners. Style Dots hosts an annual conference to celebrate the success of team members, launch new products and provide valuable training. With large gatherings banned due to the pandemic, they had to get creative.
Because they could no longer hold their annual conference in-person, Style Dots needed a new way to hold their annual conference. Initial research showed that using a dedicated virtual conference service could be costly. Instead, we suggested using Zoom to host the sessions and a landing page on their website to direct traffic to the correct Zoom meeting room. Additionally, hosing the conference on-site allowed us to leverage the existing eCommerce framework and user accounts to handle event registration and to provide access to exclusive on-site sale events for attendees. In order for the 3-day virtual conference to be successful, we knew that the website should:
- Clearly and prominently display the event schedule and link each event to its corresponding Zoom session
- Allow users to save events to their personal calendars so they can be notified before a session begins
- Educate users who are technology-averse on how to use the event website and Zoom together
What We Did
We built a new landing page within the existing Style Dots website that would serve as a "portal" to the appropriate Zoom meeting for each session. This page was sub-branded for the conference to make it stand out from the rest of the website. To make it easy for any attendee to navigate through the virtual conference, we provided both a digital and printable version of the event schedule. We also allowed attendees to add events (or the full schedule) to their Google and iCal calendars in order to receive push notifications and a direct link to each session before the start time. We also set up a private conference sale space where attendees could purchase limited edition products and access exclusive sales.
Can't host in-person gatherings due to COVID-19
Host all conference events over Zoom
Getting users to the right place at the right time
Integrate Google and iCal for event notifications
The 2020 virtual conference surpassed expectations in many ways— most notably in registrations and participation. Because the virtual conference eliminated the time and expense of traveling to a convention center, attendance doubled that of prior years, and engagement by boutique partners was way up during conference and in the critical fall selling season that followed.
Hosting a virtual conference during COVID-19?
We'd love to help you strategize your digital conference experience. Contact us today to get the conversation started!