Since 1999, Lynn Edwards has been at the helm of Proper Planning, a full-service event planning company based in the Seattle area. As a worldwide producer of 100 events each year, Proper Planning serves a wide range of clients representing corporate, nonprofit, movement-based organizations.
3% Movement is a client for whom Edwards and her team have been producing events since its founding. Dedicated to promoting diversity in the advertising industry, the first 3% Conference in 2010 took place when three percent was the percentage of women in creative director roles. Two hundred people attended that first event in San Francisco. By 2019, the Chicago event drew 1,300 attendees and the percentage of director-level minorities and women had reached 29%.
Buoyed by this progress, conference planners were gearing up for the biggest 3% Conference yet when the pandemic turned the event industry upside down.
With so much of the planned content relevant to the historic moment, our client decided to produce the event in a very short window.
Founder of Proper Planning
Seizing opportunity in an uncertain environment
“Our industry has a reputation for being slow to evolve, but by mid-spring, everyone was talking about producing virtual events,” said Edwards. “The challenge was finding proven, reliable conference planning software to support them.”
Edwards had been working with Hubb for years and knew their virtual event software was both robust and ahead of the curve. “Hubb had provided us amazing support for content management even before we began using it for virtual event features,” said Edwards.
“Hubb had provided us amazing support for content management even before we began using it for virtual event features.”
Founder of Proper Planning
This would prove critical for the conference planners as spring turned into summer. “We knew the 3% Conference would have to be virtual,” said Edwards. “We were no longer tethered to a date by venue reservation and with so much of the planned content relevant to the historic moment, our client decided to produce the event in a very short window.”
Recognizing that a virtual event would create an enormous opportunity to grow the audience base, Edwards turned to Hubb for help producing a virtual 3% Conference that would seek to smash previous attendance records.
“There were a lot of software companies touting platforms that were untested and created by people without industry backgrounds. Hubb has planners on their development teams who understand how users want to use the platform,” said Edwards. “We wanted to use a proven tool, so Hubb was definitely a great solution for us.”
Creating an impactful, immersive virtual event for 15,000 people.
Attendance for the 2020 3% Conference was ten times the record-setting mark from the year before. 15,000 people participated in an event. They also attracted a slew of new sponsors like Adobe, who provided access to creative students for the first time.
Edwards and her team were able to virtualize everything from a networking lounge to vendor booths to presentations with breakout rooms and one-on-one sessions. “The Hubb platform helped us to easily create whatever kind of connection people were looking for,” said Edwards.
Since the event would be a first-time experience for many participants, it was critical for them to feel comfortable using the platform and be confident help was close at hand should problems arise. “Hubb’s experience was so important during the planning stage,” said Edwards. “They helped us put together a pre-conference day, so attendees could work through any technical issues and get a feel for the experience.”
To help ensure as many participants as possible would come to the platform before the event, planners hosted a virtual movie night and watch party. “Thousands of our attendees were able to access the platform and watch Becoming using a Netflix plugin,” said Edwards. “So we went into day one much more at ease about the potential volume of support requests.”
Hubb's experience was so important during the planning stage"
The recipe for reliable, repeatable results
With the event industry evolving rapidly, Edwards is better able to serve clients like 3% Movement with help from Hubb. “I’ve had experience with software vendors that simply don’t provide an adequate level of technical support,” said Edwards. “Hubb dedicates a core team to an event and really takes ownership for its success.”
Edwards is looking forward to partnering with Hubb to produce more 3% Movement virtual and hybrid events. “I really commend the whole team for being innovators who are helping our industry re-imagine how to deliver events and providing the vehicle for us to do so,” said Edwards.