Winning Our Own Race: Reflections on Digital WorldBike

Tony E. Kula (CEO) / April 2020 / Digital Event

Top Gear

My endorphins are still flowing after Digital WorldBike!

On March 31st, meetyoo premiered our first self-made digital conference, free for all. Digital WorldBike showcased the full range and potential for meetyoo technology, and represents what I’ve been working towards since starting our company. Today, I want to share what I’ve learned along the way, and what this means for the future of meetyoo.

It hasn’t all been a smooth ride. As the date inched closer, the numbers of global COVID-19 cases began to rise. Weeks before the event, the virus brought the world to an economic standstill. Could we afford to put on a free event?

When social distancing was enacted, we thought about hitting the breaks: this would be a big hill to climb! But the truth is, we didn’t need a marketing shift; we needed a mindset shift.

From Partners To Co-Creators

Digital WorldBike is meetyoo’s first conference created in-house. It’s hopefully the first of many, but we have plenty to learn. In the middle of this peculiar economy, we saw DWB for what it was: an investment. This time, meetyoo was more than technology: it was about learning to build a thriving digital community.

Throughout our journey, we would collaborate with top-tier athletes, tech companies, brands, and policymakers. Cycling legend Jens Voigt acted as our ambassador. We brought together speakers and partners from all over the world. These relationships were invaluable, and all united by the same passion: to make the future of cycling a smoother ride. 

Instead of seeing our partners as speakers and companies, we treated them as co-creators. They became part of the process. Our team used insights at every turn, from brainstorming topics to structuring the agenda. 

Our collaboration allowed us to create three engaging tracks, serving a diverse audience. By making our speakers and partners co-creators, we deepened our bond, and improved the overall quality without question.

Making Gains

Even if only 100 people attended Digital WorldBike, we would have been grateful for the relationships we built, and all we learned. Yet in the end, by empowering our co-creators the event ended up reaching a global audience! So how did we achieve this?

The outstanding meetyoo team prepared materials for our co-creators to share on social media with their own audiences. Relevant, consistent promotion inched us closer to our 10,000 attendee goal.

In the end on the day itself, we were thrilled to open the doors to 7,200 attendees! Our team created a global platform for visitors to communicate with speakers, exhibitors, and each other. People from every continent connected over their love of cycling. And boy, were they talking! 

Whether a speaker was live or pre-recorded, each section had a Q&A chat box. The speaker could respond to each attendee and not miss any questions. Well, unless you have too many questions – a good problem to have! On average, our speakers received 50-250 questions each! Imagine how long the line would have been at a real event!

Booths also had the Q&A chat box, which gave them plenty of action. Each booth had at least 400 visitors, and some received over 1,000! The seamless ability to talk resulted in hundreds of exchanges between visitors and exhibitors.

People even took advantage of the lounge area, which allowed them to connect with other attendees. A primary focus for our next event will be to enhance our chat box to make the experience more interactive, and deeper connections possible!

The average person engaged on the platform for about 2.6 hours. That’s longer than your average Hollywood movie! Some people will have enjoyed the connection, others found the cycling knowledge useful. Whatever their reason, our attendees stuck around.

We didn’t just track numbers; we listened intently to customer feedback. Viewers especially enjoyed the freedom to replay speeches, and the variety of talks and exhibitions. The best part? Attendees enjoyed everything from the comfort of their homes. (I’ll pretend they watched it from laptops strapped to the top of exercise bikes!)

This mountain of positive reviews has truly warmed my heart. There is no feeling quite like working tirelessly on a passion project and receiving such sincere responses. 

Our first success with Digital WorldBike reveals what we did right, but also what to improve in the future. And the future isn’t that far away.

The Next Race

From the feedback we received, I’m proud to say Digital WorldBike was a worthy investment. 

In this race, our biggest competitor was ourselves. We wanted to see how far we could push our limits, and create a home to bring a community together. We were here to make progress, not money. 

Now that we have the strength to run our own event, we see a larger mountain on the horizon. Our next event will be in August, where Digital WorldBike will evolve into a two-day event!

Our primary focus is improving the exhibitor experience by expanding our expo center and inviting more brands to participate. meetyoo technology has become valuable to independent exhibitors, who would have had to invest more time, money, and energy into a physical trade show.

Digital WorldBike confirmed our belief that a virtual trade show could be a true alternative to physical events. With meetyoo conferences, newer brands have a lower barrier to entry and can sit next to big-time players. Likewise, more established brands get a more frequent and diverse volume of customer interaction than before.

With more exhibitors, the scheduling will be mapped out differently. We will structure more time between speakers, so visitors can interact with exhibits for longer. Expect to see plenty more interactive functions added to the booth experience in August.

The meetyoo team has proven we can win this race. Digital WorldBike demonstrated meetyoo’s potential at a time where the future demands more interactive, remote technology to bring communities together.

Whenever I finish a cycling race, I set my sights on a more ambitious journey for next time. This is no different. The first Digital WorldBike might be over, but we’re just stretching between races. Expect bigger and better things very soon.

I am endlessly thankful to my incredible team and all our co-creators who made this first event a winner! This blogpost is for you. If you attended Digital WorldBike, I’d love to hear how you found it. And if you’re interested in collaborating, do reach out!