One of the many huge ramifications from pandemic lockdowns has been the advent of large physical conferences converted to virtual conferences. This has been especially true for enterprise software events. Box CEO Aaron Levie says that their annual conference last week held entirely virtual saw higher engagement with customers and much lower costs than last years San Francisco event held at Moscone Center.
CEOs around the country and the world are debating whether they should abandon expensive physical conferences altogether once the pandemic restrictions are lifted.
Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, discussed this new reality, asking the question, how does this look in the future when you can actually have physical conferences? Do you still rely on a virtual first environment or do you have a bit of a hybrid conference?:
Box Virtual Conference Last Week Was A Huge Success
We did just have our virtual conference last week. We saw somewhere between four and five times the scale of registrations that we would normally see in one of our physical conferences. We saw higher engagement in a lot of areas than normally we would see. Overall, great levels of attendance and engagement on our keynotes and product updates. Certainly, as you can imagine, a much lower cost and much easier way to get this content out to our customers.
There are a lot of benefits to a virtual conference. We’re able to hit demographics of our customer base who previously wouldn’t have been able to fly out to San Francisco and come to Moscone for a two or three-day conference. There are real benefits of the scale of impact of customers we can interact with and engage with. There is a difference in terms of being able to have conversations one-on-one with customers. So it’s a different experience from that standpoint. But we were able to make do with the environment of having to move to virtual.
Now we’re really asking the question, how does this look in the future when you can actually have physical conferences? Maybe it’s next year or maybe it’s the year after. Do you still rely on a virtual first environment? Do you have a bit of a hybrid conference? These are some open questions that the industry’s going to have to ask. But overall, we were very happy with the success of the event.