Lombardi’s user conference goes online

In an amazing reflection of the economic times, Lombardi announced today that their user conference, Driven, will not be taking place in Austin as originally planned, but will be an online conference. From their email update:

For the last few weeks, we have been talking to customers all over the world about Driven – our annual user conference. The feedback has been consistent – people want to come but many companies are under travel restrictions.

So, we have decided to change the format for Driven this year. Instead of you having to come to Austin, we are going to bring Driven to you. Think of it as Driven without the travel. Actually, we are calling it Driven Online.

I assume that this means that the attendance numbers just weren’t shaping up as expected, and they had to make a tough decision to cancel the onsite conference.

It’s still the week of April 20-24th, but the content is severely restricted: a single one-hour webinar each day at 11am Eastern. It’s live, so that there will be a Q&A session at the end of each webinar, but this amount of content doesn’t even begin to come close to what would be at a real conference.

It will be interesting to see what other conferences end up cancelled this year; I can’t believe that this will be the only casualty.

6 thoughts on “Lombardi’s user conference goes online

  1. Sandy,

    To add a little color to this .. We surveyed our customers back in December and 75% told us attending would be a possibility. As we have gotten closer, we just started to get a ton of feedback that many companies are on travel restrictions – which turns out to mean no travel.

    So, we’ve changed the format to meet the need. We will definitely lose the personal interaction that makes Driven great. On the positive side, we have already heard from many of our Driven Online registrants that this approach will actually allow more people at their company to participate and get educated on BPM. So, that is one big positive for this format.

    In terms of the content, we will cover the same range of topics over the course of the Driven Online program. We are starting with the Lombardi updates and will then move on to customer and partner presentations in the following weeks. We are thinking frequent 1 hour sessions beats a marathon 72 hour session in front of your monitor.

    Jim Rudden
    VP Marketing
    Lombardi

  2. Travel, accommodation headaches, weather, carbon footprint, and costs all add up. If it’s done smartly, then virtual conferencing is really the only way forward, even webinars can be limited at times.

    Gartner has it’s “justification kit”, IQPC is doing 2-for-1 deals on some events, it’s almost like a supermarket sweep right now vying for attention and $$ but they all are suffering from the same, tired model.

    But then I am a little biased 😉

  3. Sandy,

    Metastorm has over 250+ registered and counting. So far our customers say the conference is a business imperative for learning how to drive more value from their EA, BPA, BPMS programs. ME2009 is being held in Baltimore with easy access by train and metro, our customers are making ME2009 the one event they attend this year.

    Our customers and partners are telling us that “in person interaction with peers and vendor executives is invaluable for certain mission-critical technologies. “ A day or two out of the office with minimal cost (we have 100s of customers a short train ride away) pays ten-fold with sidebar chats, informal demos, and just seeing what others are doing to exploit their BPMS software to gain operational improvements.

    Thanks,
    Greg

  4. Yes, needless to say, that’s invaluable to have actual face-to-face meeting with guys. Getting acquanted, self-motivated by new knowledge and passion, also making following communications smooth. Logically ideal!

    But for global market, Lombardi’s challgenge of online conf might be also good in Logistics point. How many days and how much does it cost for us abroad? Half a day with myself packed into small economy seat, then will it work?

    If anything to be improved, I would say, I would really wish it to be scheduled for 2 different time zone, like one for EST morning and another for UK morning. Or right away upload archived content at minimum. These all support us invisible market supporters away ;D

    This is my personal request to all including Lombardi and Metastorm, but must be closed to public comment.
    Thanks,
    Kamakura

  5. Greg, that’s great for people who are a “short train ride away”, but I’m not sure that covers the general user base for most vendors. The location of your conference in Baltimore certainly provides a high concentration of potential customers in the local catchbasin; Lombardi’s choice of their home town of Austin could have impacted some travel decisions but a vendor with global reach is always going to have a significant portion of their customer base that has to travel to attend the conference.

    I can certainly sympathize with kamakura’s comment (IP address indicates that he is in Japan) that virtual conference provide a much broader reach, although you miss the face-to-face interaction.

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