SQLBits & Microsoft:
SQLBits is the largest Microsoft Data Platform conference in Europe, hosting 200 speakers and 2500 attendees across 5 days. Having run for over a decade, the show is a firm fixture in the community’s calendar and couldn’t simply be cancelled due to the pandemic.
With hundreds of speakers and 12 different options for content depending on the user’s specialism each day, it wasn’t the simplest event to translate into an online format. SQLBits is usually held in the UK’s largest exhibition centre, so safe to say it was a daunting prospect.
Not only did the SQLBits team require a stable delivery method, they also had a complex set of requirements to ensure the audience could interact effectively with both each other and the sponsors and exhibitors at the show.
As a paid-for event, the pressure was on to ensure value for money for all participants.
The Podium Solution
With the large number of scheduled sessions and complexity of information being shared, the Podium team advised that the team take a tiered approach. We pre-recorded all 230 sessions of content, then trained the speakers to serve as their own live moderators. This struck the perfect balance by removing the challenge of technical glitches whilst enabling real time Q&A and interaction between the speakers and audience.
To elevate the event and take it beyond a straightforward conference, the Podium team developed an online ‘expo hall’ with individual booths, video chat and daily giveaways and gamification to drive engagement.
“Delivering via a virtual platform has enabled us to provide more speakers and hours of content in the industry than ever before”
- SQLBits delivered 359 hours of content over 5 days and across several continents, with engagement spanning 4000 unique visitors.
- By pre-recording the sessions, Podium were able remove the fear of technology failure for event speakers, so they could engage with their audience smoothly.
- As content was pre-edited, it could be available on-demand immediately after the session, ensuring ongoing post-event engagement and marketing opportunities.