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Client  ScyllaDB
Event  Scylla Summit 2021
Who  1,000+ Scylla Database users and customers from across the globe
Where  Virtual Platform – Hopin
Date  12 – 14 January 2021

Challenge

Scylla Summit has historically always been a live event, but with the ongoing pandemic that wasn’t going to be possible this year. It was however important for ScyllaDB to still be able to bring their community of current and prospect users together, and thus the event moved online for the first time! Not only did the virtual event need to showcase the invaluable content from global speakers (internal and external) during its two days of stage sessions, but also offer a training day with multiple concurrent tracks for attendees, as it would at its usual live edition.  

Objectives

ScyllaDB sought our partnership to help curate their online event that would be a shorter version of the usual in-person affair and free for all to attend! 

It was paramount that the summit was of course content-driven, but also that it was hosted in a simple and easy-to-navigate virtual venue where prospect and current users could not only digest the incredible content, but interact with one another, with Scylla staff and with the speakers themselves.  

With a wide network of global speakers contributing to the summit, building and maintaining excitement before, during and after the event would be key as well.  

The event

Scylla Summit featured more than 30 main stage sessions across the first two event days, from Scylla’s internal team of engineers including keynotes from Dor Laor (CEO & Co-Founder) and Avi Kivity (CTO) as well as Scylla users and industry experts including Jepsen, Expedia Group and Ticketmaster.  

Expertly live hosted by Scylla’s VP of Marketing, Bob Dever, Scylla Summit afforded a carefully curated schedule of daily keynotes and 10-15minute lightening talks on the platforms Main Stage. Running concurrently to the stage content, a series of demo lounges and the infamous speaker lounge gave attendees the opportunity to learn more about Scylla’s products and continue the conversations with speakers off the stage too!  

Bringing that much needed fun to the virtual event, attendees also enjoyed a whole host of creative competitions (think Meme Machine) with incredible prizes throughout the days!  

The third and final day of the event saw attendees take part in the free Training day with parallel tracks for app developers and database administrators. These sessions were led in real-time by Scylla experts and afforded continual opportunity for participant Q&A throughout. 

What we did differently from a normal live event?

We set-up a series of training calls and demo sites within Hopin for the ‘Lounge’ hosts and Trainers to ensure they felt familiar and confident with the virtual site and its functionalities in advance of the live event itself. The virtual world of events is still very new not only to attendees, but to speakers and some of our clients too, so investing time and resources into equipping them with the necessary skills to navigate the platform during the planning process is paramount.  

Whereas most live events see speakers presenting live on stage, since Scylla Summit would host a vast array of speakers (30 to be exact!) from locations all over the globe, from the outset the decision was made to pre-record the speaker sessions. Not only did this mean there wouldn’t be the issue of connectivity or no-shows on the day, but also that speakers could be available for audience engagement throughout the event, and that the sessions could go up on the on-demand site as soon they had been aired! 

What we did that was the same?

The visual aesthetic of virtual events is still as important, if not more so than live events…just less in the furniture or food and more in the graphics. After all, the attendees’ full attention is on the screen in the virtual world! With this in mind, our in-house design team ensured that all the visual assets were designed and executed to the highest level as they are in live event presentations, but also that they brought added life, motion and a real sense of excitement and connection to the screen. A particular highlight was the Scylla Summit 2021 animation that featured throughout the event…if you think getting virtual attendees to dance isn’t possible (and admit to it), think again…! 

At a normal live event, attendees would have the opportunity to ask the speakers questions (sometimes) during, but more often after their sessions for example in the refreshment area. At this virtual event we made sure attendees had an equal, if not greater opportunity to engage in this way. With the speaker sessions being pre-recorded, this meant that whilst attendees were watching the sessions, the speakers were able to respond to their questions in the chat in real-time. In addition, when their session was over, speakers headed to the speaker lounge where they appeared on audio and video with fellow speakers and audience members too, to continue the conversations.  

Some key stats

  • 1,268 Total Turnout 
  • 2827 Total Chat Messages 
  • 28 Main Stage Sessions 
  • 30 On-Demand Sessions 
  • 1 Live Host 
  • 3 Demo Lounges 
  • 1 Speaker Lounge 
  • 3 Days 
  • 1 On-Demand Site