Perspectives 2020: An event reimagined

Skillsoft wouldn't settle for just simply a broadcast version of what they had planned to do in person

Perspectives 2020: An event reimagined

These are extraordinary times, but it’s at these very moments that people want to know they can rely on the ordinary.

Indeed, there is tremendous comfort in knowing that things can and will carry on, albeit in a reimagined way.

Consequently, Skillsoft have this year decided to hold their annual conference, Perspectives, in a way that works best for the challenges they face in their current reality.

Skillsoft realised early on that they needed to pivot quickly, and that if they wanted to do something different, they had to make a big change.

Moreover, Skillsoft didn’t want to settle for just simply a broadcast version of what they had planned to do in person. They wanted to create something new that encourages people to participate live.

Skillsoft had to stop and really think about what they wanted to achieve. Even though it was tempting to “hit the ground running,” it was even more important to build in a moment of pause and set a rock-solid strategy to serve as their north star.

Skillsoft invested upfront time in strategy development so they could confidently sprint to execution
In partnership with Skillsoft’s agency C Space, they held a two-day design thinking workshop where they leveraged insights from bespoke customer communities to determine what would constitute a best-in-class live digital experience in 2020.

Skillsoft also looked at case studies from other live digital events and went outside the traditional B2B environment to focus on experiences from Peloton, Apple, and even television’s The Bachelor to inspire them.

As a team, Skillsoft outlined the amazing aspects of in-person events that they did not want to lose but understood they would need to modify. Things like:

  • Connections: Could they still provide an opportunity for people to connect with the company and with each other?
  • Traveling: Could they encourage people to take time away from their everyday work in a virtual environment?
  • Engagement: Could they offer an opportunity for people to experience and learn new things, together?
  • Content: Could they develop programming that you can’t already find online or watch on your own time?

And perhaps most important: how could Skillsoft get people to tune-in?

Skillsoft thought about the potential that a digital experience could open up for them
Transforming a remediation into an opportunity, they considered how the new approach could lead to positive new outcomes, including:

  • Offering an experience that is open to all: Pushing them to democratise learning and craft an event that would be free and have greater reach.
  • A truly global event without borders: Reaching all time zones within 24 hours.
  • Evolutionary programming: Taking advantage of the new delivery method to feature up-to-the-minute content that doesn’t need to be locked in nine weeks out.
  • Extensible and shareable content: Building a more elastic program, not limited to one day or place.
  • A new opportunity to generate interest and excitement: Leveraging the value of this global virtual event in innovative ways beyond what they could do with a traditional event.

Ultimately, Skillsoft wanted to offer people a way to grow together by enjoying a day dedicated to learning.

Skillsoft focused on developing a value proposition for different groups of attendees
They focused their plan, not just for learning and talent professionals, but also learners, executives and university students. What do each of these different groups get out of a live digital experience? And, how could they deliver something compelling for each of them?

Skillsoft needed to build in reasons to attend live
Why would someone watch something live instead of on their own time? Each content stream is designed to be one-of-a-kind; must-watch live and interactive – making this an event not just for individual learning and talent professionals, but for learners and whole lines of business to watch and participate in together.

Skillsoft created the plan in real-time
This meant sketching out a 24-hour agenda and designing the experience together – building on the principles they had developed previously.

Their two-day workshop covered strategy, goals, deadlines and delivery. It helped build a framework and a structure for the complete ground-up rebuild of the event, including social media tactics, broadcast strategies, promotional concepts and post-event feedback and evaluation to hit critical success metrics for their participants and themselves.

The result is a completely reimagined follow-the-sun digital experience on May 13th, beginning first thing in the morning in Sydney, Australia and ending the day in San Francisco, CA.

It will comprise 24 hours of live content, including head-to-head debates on current topics, interactive keynotes from learning pioneers, engaging workshops, and exclusive content for learners that you cannot find anywhere else.

To register for Perspectives 2020, click here.

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