Right this moment is an enormous day for occasions at Microsoft. The Shopper Expertise Affiliation (CTA) introduced that Microsoft would be the expertise companion for CES 2021, the group’s first-ever, all-digital occasion, taking place Jan. 11-14.
It’s an excessive honor for Microsoft to be chosen as CTA’s expertise companion for CES, the world’s most influential expertise occasion. It received’t shock you to listen to we’re bringing Microsoft Cloud options, together with Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Groups and Microsoft Energy Platform, along with companion options to create the expertise platform for the all-digital occasion that can deliver collectively your complete world tech group and be the CES 2021 expertise.
We’re thrilled to have the ability to work aspect by aspect with the workforce from CTA. What I’m much more enthusiastic about personally, although, is the chance this may give us to share all that we’ve discovered about digital occasions over the previous many months as world circumstances have necessitated that we rethink all the pieces we thought we knew about the way to host a serious occasion.
My workforce is aware of the way to placed on a stay occasion. So, it was devastating once we realized earlier this yr in March that the occasions we had deliberate for 2020 couldn’t go on – at the least not as we had deliberate them. We’d already put numerous work and preparation into preparing for occasions like Microsoft Build, which in a typical yr sees folks journey from everywhere in the world to Seattle for a number of days of expertly produced keynote and breakout classes. We had already began down the trail to make occasions like that occur, and that path was now going nowhere.
This was going to be exhausting, however this workforce was positively up for the problem. We lamented the occasions that wouldn’t be, however then instantly shifted our focus to reinventing these occasions anew. Each particular person gave it their all, rolled up their sleeves, and discovered all the pieces they might. In a couple of brief months, our workforce went by means of what might be years of transformation and progress.
Since then, we’ve produced a dozen main Microsoft occasions, together with all six of our flagship world conferences. On the identical time, Microsoft has been collaborating with clients just like the NBA, the NFL and iHeartMedia to assist them deliver a brand new degree of connection to a world that has, for therefore many months, felt disconnected.
Via all of it, we’ve been studying a ton! We’ve experimented and piloted concepts and new approaches to creating compelling and extremely interactive experiences, and we’ve made important strides in defining the weather of a profitable digital occasion.
Crucial studying – you can’t translate a stay occasion right into a digital format. It’s essential to remake the occasion totally. For those who can basically embrace that notion, you might be on the difficult, but thrilling, path to digital transformation.
Our previous stay occasions have been theatrical, with dynamic audio system on stage commanding a rapt viewers. However the all-digital format requires one thing extra cinematic. We now tailor our content material to that format, and we now have reworked from a stay present manufacturing workforce, to a 24/7 tv manufacturing community, full with stay anchors from around the globe. This new course required collaboration, exhausting work and numerous humility.
However the studying has not solely been concerning the making of the exhibits themselves. We’ve additionally been shocked by the super affect by way of world attain and inclusivity.
In 2019, 6,200 folks joined us in Seattle for Construct; this yr, our digital occasion had 197,000 attendees.
Eventually yr’s Construct convention, 80 % of attendees have been from the USA. This yr, 68 % of attendees have been from exterior of the USA.
And right here’s my favourite: In 2019, 28 builders from the African continent have been capable of be a part of us for Construct. This yr, we had 6,044 builders from throughout Africa be a part of us. Outstanding.
Simply two weeks in the past, we had 266,000 IT professionals be a part of us from around the globe for Microsoft Ignite.
Once we look again on the final six months, the alternatives these occasions have supplied for elevated studying, inclusivity, connectedness and accessibility for all our clients, companions, lovers and workers around the globe are inspiring. There may be an immense urge for food for these broad-reaching, digital-only occasions, and an immense potential for them to positively affect buyer, companion and even worker relationships. And now, we can’t wait to use all of our learnings to the creation of the CES 2021 expertise.
With the ability to be part of the first-ever, all-digital CES can be a tremendous journey, and we’ll positively study much more as we proceed on our path to grasp this new canvas of communication.