The Women In Product Conference is an annual event established to further Women In Product’s mission to equip women to thrive in product management careers at all levels. Attendees learn new skills from women product leaders, network and meet other women in the field, and connect with top tech companies to find jobs.
In 2020, the Women In Product Conference had one urgent goal—to give their community the same value, opportunities, and connection of prior conferences and host a truly interactive conference, despite the challenges of Covid-19.
“Like every other conference producer, I went into full-panic mode in 2020,” says Arianna Black, Conference Producer at Women In Product. “I realized my industry had completely crumbled, and I needed to learn a lot very quickly to keep our community together.”
The Women In Product team made the decision to transition their conference to an entirely virtual event, and they began searching for an event platform that would support the community, engagement, and inspiration of prior events.
Sponsor needs were a key consideration during their search, because sponsorships are one of the primary ways Women In Product financially supports their programs, community, and events.
While many event sponsors prioritize lead generation, the companies who sponsor the Women In Product Conference focus on finding top talent in the product management space and hiring for gender equality. Instead of leads, they determine sponsorship success by how many qualified candidates they add to their pipeline and, ultimately, how many interviews they conduct.
These unique sponsor goals guided the Women In Product team as they looked for an event platform.
Key event platform feature requirements:
The Women In Product team needed their new event platform to:
- Allow one-on-one meetings inside sponsor booths so that sponsors could meet with attendees to conduct job interviews.
- Enable sponsors to present live content in their virtual booth about their company, careers, and job opportunities.
- Give attendees the ability to hold video meetings one-on-one or in groups to chat and build relationships and community.
- Provide a polished, beautiful, and interactive virtual stage for keynotes that would impress attendees.
- Give attendees the ability to join the live event stream within breakout sessions to ask speakers questions.
- Enable attendees to interact and comfortably engage in a style they prefer—whether over video or chat.
“Virtual engagement at scale can be really overwhelming,” says Black “It’s typically a bunch of thumbs ups in a chat feed or a thousand people dropping their LinkedIn links at once in chat, and we needed it to be more meaningful engagement than chat alone offers, because these women deserve more.”
The Women In Product team chose Hopin for their virtual conference to offer attendees a rich virtual experience with different ways to interact with speakers, sponsors, and fellow attendees, as well as meet their sponsors’ needs.
Renowned companies—like Google and Paypal—joined the event as sponsors and hosted their own booths in the Expo area on the Hopin platform.
Hopin Expo booths at Women in Product Conference
How the Women In Product team increased sponsorships and sponsor success:
- Sponsor prospectus: They created a sponsor prospectus that explained the opportunity for sponsors—like total number of attendees, attendee engagement, attendee work experience, total number of resumes received at prior conferences, and more.
- Sponsorship tiers: By creating multiple sponsorship levels—Title, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze—Women In Product gave sponsors numerous options at varying price points and with different benefits to participate in the event. For their upcoming 2021 event, which they’re hosting virtually on Hopin, Women In Product will add virtual-specific benefits—including pinned chat posts, extra booth moderator permissions, and more.
- Sponsorship training program and sponsor team: Women In Product created a dedicated team to educate sponsors on using Hopin and creating engaging booth content. They hosted rehearsals and booth dry runs with sponsors inside Hopin and taught sponsors best practices—like the importance of always having someone available in chat to talk to booth visitors, how to create engaging booth content, and how to take advantage of the additional opportunities that virtual Hopin booths gives them.
- Sponsor booth promotion: During keynotes and breakout sessions, the Women In Product team used pinned chat messages, credit reel slides, and verbal on-stage recognition to promote sponsor booths and invited attendees to jump into booths to learn more. They also promoted sponsor booths in their own mobile app, offering additional sponsor company information before and after the event, and drove event-week engagement through push notifications.
The sponsorship prospectus clearly explains the value for sponsors!
Black explains that hosting the event virtually provided new benefits to sponsors. “Any sponsor could pop into a one-on-one interview room in their booth, which isn’t possible in a physical space, because there aren’t enough rooms.”
Black also says it’s important to encourage sponsors to invest time in creating engaging booth content. “The companies that put energy into thoughtful in-booth programming and posted highlights from their in-booth programming in their own social channels and on our app chat walls got really, really good attendance.”
“Our sponsor NPS from this event was the highest one that we’ve ever had,” says Black.
The Women In Product Conference 2020 was a huge success, according to Black, with 3,275 women attending, 1,504 attendees visiting sponsor expo booths, and 6,848 individual in-booth interactions. “We had attendees say, ‘I can’t get out of the booths, because the programming is so good. I’m learning so much here,’” Black says.
Attendees also commented on the great interactivity of the event with the opportunity to join speakers in Q&A sessions and network with peers. The event facilitated 3,929 peer-to-peer networking meetings and 17,024 chat messages.
Visit the Women In Product Conference 2021 website to find out how to join the conference or get involved.
- “It was great to connect with the community and candidates in a virtual setting.” -2020 Conference Sponsor
- “Sourcing through the resume database was great.” -2020 Conference Sponsor
Sponsors were extremely happy. Our sponsor NPS from this event was the highest we ever had.
|Total registrations||Attendee NPS||Expo booth visitors|
|Expo booth interactions||Resumes submitted||Chat messages|
Originally published Sep 01, 2022, updated Nov 03, 2023