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Four Things Marketers Can Learn from Alfresco’s Virtual Conference

January 22nd, 2021 Michael Mayday

Alfresco Software’s annual conference was set for the end of April in 2020 but the height of the global lockdown had different plans. To keep its audiences safe, and make up for the lost conference, Alfresco decided to take “Alfresco Modernize 2020,” online as a virtual conference.

So, how did it manage its transition from in-person conference to virtual event and what were the results? First, it broke its planned in-person event into its constituent parts, cut out the extremities and focused its virtual event on what matters to its audience: the content. Then, it branded its event, targeted its global audience and pushed it live.

Read on to see how Alfresco organized its event, branded its experiences and drove engagement with attendees.

How Alfresco Organized Its Virtual Conference

Moving to a digital conference meant a few things. First, it meant Alfresco could be flexible in its virtual conference’s agenda. Since no one would be meeting in person — and no one would need to run from room to room — it could cut down on the conference’s overall time.

So, it did. In fact, Alfresco managed to fit all of its key content into a two-hour timeframe.

Each session within the conference lasted 20 to 25 minutes, focusing on the different aspects of digital modernization. But the last two sessions are where “Alfresco Modernize 2020” really shined.

The penultimate session was as simple as it was genius: a half-hour long demo of its two new solutions. Think about it: Alfresco shared its vision and positioning for an hour and a half and is now introducing two products — Federation Services and Enterprise Viewer — that’ll help attendees to realize the vision the Alfresco team shared.

Alfresco then ran a live Q&A directly after the demo, giving attendees interested in the new solutions the ability to ask about the products and allowing those hot leads to directly raise their hands to the sales team.

So, in a period of about two hours, Alfresco took an already engaged and interested audience, nurtured them and converted them into customers.

How Alfresco Branded Its Digital Experience

So, besides good virtual conference organization, what else did it do right? Well, take a look:

That is a completely branded webinar marketing experience — from the background and header image to the webinar console icons on the bottom row.

Not only is a completely branded webinar console a great webinar best practice, but it also enhances Alfresco’s branding by following its brand colors, generates excitement (check out the Poll tool in the upper right corner) and provides a professional sheen to both its conference and the touchpoints it provides within the conference.

How Alfresco Drove Engagement

Finally, there’s engagement.

Engagement is where virtual conferences outperform in-person conferences. Why? Because every interaction and click can be tracked and analyzed, allowing companies to separate the disinterested from the interested and conversion-ready leads.

So, the more engagement in an event, the more accurately you can assess your audience’s engagement with your message and interest in your brand.

We already outlined the great strategy behind Alfresco’s Q&A session, but the opportunities for engagement didn’t begin and end with the Q&A.

Let’s take another look at the poll in the image below.

This is a great callout that prepares conference attendees for an upcoming engagement opportunity. It hangs in the background and asks attendees to stay alert for an upcoming poll question. It’s both unobtrusive and directs the audience’s attention to where it matters most: the session itself.

eIn addition to the poll callout, Alfresco provides attendees with a range of downloadable resources relevant to the session they’re attending. Check it out:

This is great for two reasons: first, it helps to get Alfresco’s thought leadership material directly into the hands of people that matter: its attendees. Second, each downloaded resource is an opportunity to get a fuller picture of what an audience member knows about your organization, what they don’t know and how engaged they are with your brand.

Alfresco’s Conference: Anytime, Anywhere

Alfresco also made its virtual conference available on-demand, allowing any attendee to watch, interact and engage with its event on their terms. And, with true on-demand functionality, Alfresco can provide nearly the same experience on-demand as it would live.

By making its virtual conference available on-demand, Alfresco can continue to engage attendees and drive engagement where it counts.

Finally, the company scaled its virtual conference into a global campaign, allowing EMEA participants a few weeks later at the beginning of June. The ability to host on-demand content helped Alfresco to connect and encourage engagement in its key markets.


The event planning team developed numerous ways to make “Alfresco Modernize 2020” special and unique for participants, including a one-of-a-kind prelude video at the beginning of the event before participants were greeted by Alfresco’s founder, John Newton.

As a result of its efforts, Alfresco saw great results from its “Alfresco Modernize 2020” conference. Participants were treated to a high-quality digital experience across six sessions, on-point branding, and great opportunities to get to know the organization better. And so did Alfresco. In fact, according to the company, the virtual conference drove $1.7 million in revenue within days of the event.

Curious to learn how other companies drove virtual event success? Check Virtualized 2020 on demand and see for yourself: