Case Study: How Aderant Took Its Annual Momentum Conference Virtual
COVID-19 forces a loved and business-critical user conference to pivot, unexpectedly
In the information-heavy legal industry, it can be a challenge for vendors to capture the attention of time-strapped law firms. But Aderant, an Atlanta based legal practice management software company, has overcome this challenge to work with firms of all sizes, all over the world.
The company’s core value proposition is a desire to make lawyers’ lives easier — since 1978, Aderant has lived up to this promise by developing a prescriptive approach to business management. With decades of experience in the legal industry, Aderant also maintains an education-focused consulting firm to analyze and improve upon processes.
A core part of Aderant’s growth and customer engagement strategy is its bi-annual Momentum Conference, which attracts 600 clients from around the world. This event provides an opportunity for Aderant to showcase its new products and check- in with its network.
In 2020, Aderant encountered an unexpected curveball. Due to COVID-19, the company’s annual loved event was no longer an option. The Aderant team, however, was committed to keeping the momentum going, so they decided to take the event online. The team had 45 days to adapt from its original plan of a face to face experience in Dallas.
“Our biggest challenge was how we can turn a successful face to face experience into something digital, without losing the community-focused camaraderie and educational value that our clients are not only expecting — but look forward to,” says Antonio Garcia-Frias, senior manager of brand execution at Aderant (who has been with the company for 22 years).
“Going digital was a big, big risk because we were not familiar with hosting events online. We had thought about it in the past but did not want to take the jump due to a fear of hurting the Momentum brand. COVID-19 pushed us.”
Transform a real-life event experience into a digital environment
After Aderant decided to host its Momentum Conference online, the first step was to identify the right platform. An extensive online search led Garcia-Frias and his team back to Attendify, which the company had been using for its in-person event since 2017.
“The app has been key to our Momentum experience, and prior to taking our conference online, we had been looking for ways to integrate Attendify into our user education strategy more deeply. It’s more than just an event management platform — it is a user-friendly hub for learning content.”
Attendify’s virtual events platform provided an opportunity for Garcia-Frias to begin executing on this vision.
Aderant relied on the following features from Attendify to bring its Momentum Conference to a digital setting:
- Registration. Attendify’s user-friendly authentication process made it easy for people to sign up in advance and log in to the conference on event day.
- Virtual sessions. Aderant integrated Zoom with the Attendify platform to host and record video sessions that attendees continued to access months after the event.
- Interactive elements. Activity streams encourage engagement, polls facilitate real-time feedback, and real-time push notifications help keep everyone on the same page.
The branded experience with the Attendify app made it easy for Aderant to incorporate links back to company social profiles, blog content, and other materials.
“We used the activity stream and polls to boost energy for our virtual sessions,” says Garcia-Frias. “We had little games, asked people to share their home office set-ups, and posted a lot of images. This visual experience helped keep engagement alive, especially when we knew our audience was likely to have competing priorities.”
Reach and engage more people from all over the world
At the beginning, Aderant wasn’t quite sure what to expect — whether people would even sign up, for instance. But the team found the risk of moving the event online to be worth the reward. In fact, there was no risk at all. The virtual event attracted 1,200 sign-ups with 85% of attendees also downloading the Attendify app for a true, multi-screen experience. The in-person event, in contrast, usually attracts 600 people.
Aderant has noticed that event engagement from Momentum is still continuing.
“We appreciate that Attendify allows us to keep our content alive for the year following each event,” says Garcia-Frias. “I have alerts set-up on my phone — after all, this Momentum app has been my baby during my tenure at the company. I would go to bed and all of a sudden, I’d see someone from Australia or another part of the world engage with posts that we shared maybe a few weeks ago. We love keeping this passion alive throughout the year.”
It’s the empathy and integrity behind Attendify’s product that helps make the Momentum conference successful regardless of whether the event takes place in person or online.