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Summary

“With the Virtual Tax Conference, we saved over $1 million with the same recommend rate as our in-person conference… We took a potentially disheartening situation–the cancellation of our annual tax conference–and totally turned it around, providing both valuable content and the gift of time to attendees.”
— Ted Graham, Director of Learning and Knowledge, PwC

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Summary

In years past, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Canadian region held an annual tax conference that required a large budget and days of travel for attendees. Due to budget constraints, the firm created the first PwC Virtual Tax Conference and delivered it via the ON24 platform. With high-quality content and ample networking among peers and clients, the online conference delivered the same benefits as the in-person event. More than 550 PwC tax professionals and 40 PwC clients attended the virtual tax conference, which achieved an 80% recommendation rate and cost savings of more than $1 million.

Situation

Turning an Annual Meeting into an Online Conference

For 10 years the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Canadian tax practice held an annual tax conference for as many as 650 executives; it required a large budget and days of travel for those attending. Due to cost cutting, the firm needed a way to move the conference to an online format while delivering the same high-quality content and networking opportunities.

Solution

The PwC Virtual Tax Conference

ON24 was recommended to the tax group by other PwC groups already working with the company. PwC evaluated options and then decided to host their first-ever Virtual Tax Conference as a way to unite and educate teams while delivering a first-class online conference via the ON24 platform.

The Virtual Tax Conference targeted tax professionals in PwC’s Canada region and featured a keynote from the head of the firm’s tax practice. In addition, educational sessions providing new insights for tax professionals were offered. These were 45-minute presentations followed by 15-minute sessions in the “networking lounge,” where virtual attendees could interact with presenters after their talks. Select clients were also invited to attend, giving them the opportunity to interact with PwC’s tax professionals from across Canada. The online conference also featured a flagship learning session for participating clients.

Results

Lower Costs, Higher Interaction

By moving to an online conference format, PwC saved money and provided its tax professionals and their clients with greater convenience while reducing cost and eliminating travel time and expenses. Because the tax conference was virtual, it attracted higher participation from senior partners and subject matter experts. It also provided better access to them than could be provided at a physical conference. In addition, PwC found that employees were more engaged, far more willing to ask a question via text than by raising a hand in a live classroom or conference room.

Here is a summary of the event metrics:

  • 550 PwC attendees from across Canada
  • 40 client attendees
  • An average of two booth visits per person
  • 97% cost savings, over $1 million
  • 80% recommendation rate among attendees, equal to that of the previous in-person conference

PwC created an industry-leading educational and networking event, achieving significant cost savings while also delivering an event highly recommended by participants. Senior PwC partners commented that the online conference enabled them to more effectively balance conflicting demands by not having to travel to a physical event venue.