Well, that was a slam dunk!
While Startup Slam may have looked a bit different this year, it still delivered the interactive sessions and real-world storytelling that sets it apart. We took the event online, and welcomed speakers and attendees from across the continent. We also debuted our fresh new look.
When we started organizing Startup Slam 2020 in the spring, we quickly realized that the event was unlikely to happen in person, as it has in previous years. At the same time, we started working with our 2020 and 2021 Partner Sponsor, Gearbox, to make our website and brand more reflective of what the event has become over the last 7 years. These were both big learning opportunities! Our work with Gearbox and Artio Design Co. helped us zero in on what was important about Startup Slam, which in turn helped us to narrow down what needed to come online.
Transitioning an IRL event into the online space is tough endeavour – how do create a similar experience as the in-person event which focuses on providing education, networking, and a bit of fun online? Because of the generous support of our sponsors we were able to secure a virtual event platform, Hopin, that let us replicate many of the opportunities the in-person event provided: sponsor booths, a main stage for the keynote address, and session rooms for our 16 speakers. As a bonus, Hopin allowed us to record every session and we’ll be making the videos available on our website and to our LinkedIn group. The flip side of our move to virtual is that we experienced many of the online pratfalls that have come to define 2020, namely connection issues, wifi problems, and trying to speak while you’re muted.
Overall the first virtual Startup Slam was a big success – many attendees took advantage of the opportunity to speak to experts in product, finance, development, and design, and made valuable connections. Attendees were also able to easily drop in and out of the event, participating in the sessions that were most meaningful for them, which made Startup Slam more accessible.
We’re so appreciative of the attendees who took time to leave us feedback – this kind of participation really helps us deliver such great events. One of the strongest themes in the feedback was the desire to have more opportunities to connect with the community throughout the year. Join the LinkedIn group and follow our Twitter and Instagram to stay in the loop.
We’re truly grateful to every speaker, expert, attendee, and sponsor who stuck with us this year and who provided feedback about the change. This event wouldn’t happen without all of you!
Want to get involved? Reach out to the Dyspatch team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in sponsoring, volunteering, or participating in future ‘Slams.