By Ross Douglas, Founder & CEO of Autonomy
The lockdown in March caught us in full-stride selling the 5th edition of Autonomy Paris. Our options were to postpone or go digital, our response was to spend two weeks reading up about pandemics and speaking to key clients. (“The Hammer and the Dance” by Tomas Pueyo informed much of my thinking). Until a vaccine is widely adopted, we will be playing cat and mouse with the virus: locking down to save lives and then opening back up again to save jobs. In my conversations with our various clients I noted that for all of them safety was a priority; and often intertwined with key brand messages. Not surprisingly these companies wanted to act responsibly about attending physical events.
Safety has been one theme, another is progress, with the pandemic – like a prism – refracting the arc of progress steeply upwards. Our new normal is a world where our digital and physical lives sit much closer together, changing how we do business. Ultimately, the decision to go 100% digital was not a difficult one to take. Not only would we be able to help our clients communicate safely and at a fraction of the cost, we would be pioneering new ways of doing business. Unlike many of our competitors, we had one very strong digital asset at our disposal: 11,000 loyal readers of our content, published weekly through the Urban Mobility Weekly newsletter. We are sad at the loss of our physical event, but have become ever more excited at the possibility of digital. If you’re interested in being part of Autonomy Digital, then carry on reading.
The benefits of participating in Autonomy Digital
Why would one participate in Autonomy Digital? For the same reason one attends physical trade shows: to get good leads. Our online event offers a sophisticated way of identifying customers and then ensuring the connection is made. We all miss real live events, but as a tool for interaction, networking and data gathering, an online event is powerful. Also, geography is no longer a barrier, and this too has interesting and far-reaching repercussions, as digital drives globalisation in unexpected ways. A digital event not only saves on travel costs, but event costs too. You can expect to pay only 30% of what you would to attend a physical trade show.
There are two main factors that determine the success of a digital event: quality of participants and quality of the digital hosting environment. We worked with the French company Swapcard in building a customized platform, and the feedback has thus far been very positive. If you are interested in learning more, book a platform demo with our sales team.
The data and analytics is smart and easy to grasp; and you can see all delegates who showed interest in you, as well as leads that might be a fit. Ultimately, the risk of losing a potential partner or client due to the chaos of a live event is reduced to zero. Indeed we work behind the scenes to make sure the right people connect with each other. If you’re concerned about technical stuff, our team supports you through the process and you’ll learn some handy tools for other digital events.
Helping you go digital
We are launching a new series The Business of Mobility: collaborate with us and we will help you craft an article that positions you online. You can also look out for our upcoming series of short e-books on how to transition to digital. We have increased our offering of digital services, which are available year-round. These services include ‘The Urban Mobility Challenge’, an hour-long virtual workshop where corporations connect with startups. We also have a smart system that takes the hassle out of producing a white paper.
What you can expect to see at Autonomy Digital
The Industry Talks is the main part of the conference program and includes the top players in urban mobility. The exhibition program offers digital booths, demonstrations, and virtual business meetings. The emphasis is on delivering clients fruitful discussions with the right people.
We are very grateful to have secured Headline Partners for the event: Choose Paris Region, Hogan Lovells, and Uber so far. Our Institutional partners include big names like ICLEI, UCI, and AMIF. For the second year running, Polis Network will be heading up the program “Get Our Cities Moving” – aimed at city and public authorities. See all of our partners here.
Please Join us on November 4 – 5, to partake in our network and stay at the cutting edge of urban mobility.