CEE All Stars

We all know the impact of coronavirus on the events and conference industry. We don’t need another article telling us the sky is falling and the industry is doomed.

We have been knocked down that is true but we are not out. More importantly, there are ways that we can fight back.

We will look at how CEE All-Stars turned their in-person conference from being canceled to an online success that had attendees around the world.

CEE Allstars

The CEE All-Stars conference is an invite-only event bringing together the best startups and investors from the CEE, the Baltics, the Nordics, and CIS regions. It is three days of straight to the point 1 on 1 detailed investment conversations that takes place in July each year. 

Born from the need for easier access to the region’s investors and accelerating the speed of fundraising Up to 50 startups from the CEE, the Baltics, the Nordics & the CIS regions are handpicked to meet the region’s investors and to pitch in 1 on 1 video session, discussing business needs and funding.

To meet the startups are 50 of the regions’ to meet those companies in their specialized investment verticals. 

This year the conference was due to be canceled as a result of the coronavirus. Which could have been disastrous for the startups in attendance. Potentially missing out on funding, new customers, and the opportunity to push their business forward. 

Unsure of how to move forward the organizers approached ImpromptMe to understand if and more importantly how they could leverage a virtual or hybrid conference.

The Challenge

How did it all unfold and how did we make it happen?

With the event organisers deciding that cancellation was not an option it pointed them towards online. The first step was to determine how do you adapt a proven conference concept to the online world?

We put a lot of effort into reimagining the concept, the resources needed, and the partners. We also took into account the feedback the conference had received in previous years to leverage new opportunities.

Part of that was bringing partners on board who had not previously been involved. The opportunity to be online provided the possibility of making partners far more international and bridge the gap between partners looking to establish themselves in multiple countries without the high cost and logistics associated with traditional conferences.

The most difficult phase was outreach, there was a challenge to convince attendees of the value in an online conference when they were so used to traditional face to face.

By focusing on the value of networking and communication through the ImpromptMe platform and our unique features specifically designed towards creating connections be that in person or virtual we were able to convince attendees of the value in attending.

The success of this was demonstrated when all tickets were sold in a couple of days. To further underline the success we achieve confirmation from 20 venture capital funds to send multiple attendees even in a time when they were tightening their belts.

A second challenge to overcome was demonstrating this was not a watered-down version of the conference because it was online and not in person. We created an agenda that was new and tailored to the online offering. It was important that attendees knew this was something new and not simply a face to face conference that had been put online.

By focusing this new agenda towards our key messaging of networking, new relationships and the ability to form relationships that were impossible in previous years we were able to demonstrate that this was something of value to attendees.

An additional benefit that was realised by attendees that due to the functionality of ImpromptMe to book one to one sessions it enabled a much greater level of interaction without the rush and overwhelming aspects of a traditional conference.

Looking at the conference in hindsight it was a success so what were the results?

Going Virtual

As a result of going virtual not only did CEE All-Stars go-ahead but it was their biggest year yet

We were aware that the format of having online meetings differ considerably from offline experiences. So the challenge was to recreate the human touch and personal connections of an in-person event.

We mitigated this challenge through some simple adjustments:

Pushing everyone to keep their webcams on during the meetups.
Enabling functionality to address questions during the morning and wrap-up call live streams.
Creating a constantly open and live tech-support hotline.

Last, and probably the most important was the duration of the meetups, which we extended to 30 minutes. This gave the chance for everyone to deepen the connection and ask more questions during the interaction.

So how did all this convert? What did the above mean in numbers?

40 Startups
20 Investors
219 One to One networking meetings created
10,605 minutes of conversation
4 companies receiving investment

What did others have to say

“All meetings were good, they created some potential for the future…”
Yaroslav  CEO, NinjaLender

“Thanks for the great conference this week! … “
Oleg Shuster, Flashpoint VC

“The two meetings I had were very good and productive. The 30 mins limit proved to be exactly fine.”
Matej Turek, CEO of Trisbee

“Thanks for the invite! Had fun there…Meetings were good and still, some are happening outside the event 😊…”
Mihkel Rembel – Microsoft for startups Estonia

“Thank you for the amazing event again, it was a pleasure to attend.”
Yavuzhan Yilancioglu – Revo Capital İstanbul

ImpromptMe

ImpromptMe is continuing to work with event organisers big and small to not just survive this current period but to thrive.

By leading the way in virtual and hybrid conferences we can create fully immersive experiences for your attendees leaving them excited for the next event.

Open your doors to the world with ImpromptMe

By Andrea Knopova, Co-Founder

CEO/Co-Founder of ImpromptMe, We believe that a high-quality experience should be provided to each and every event organizer and passed on to the attendees.