Dec 18, 2020

Building a Virtual Community at SEE 2020

Lindsey Schiller

Head of Growth


High-energy, interactive, energizing are some of the phrases used to describe CrowdRiff’s annual SEE (which stands for Seek, Explore, Experience) event. When the event shifted to virtual in November 2020, the facilitators knew they did not want another standard video conference experience. The team went above and beyond to create an interactive event replete with gift bags, creative programming (a virtual walking mediation) and personal touches.
40 speakers | 18 breakout sessions | 300 attendees | 9/10 avg. attendee rating of the Filo experience
“My expectations were exceeded by 100%. The platform was SO easy to navigate & CrowdRiff created an interactive conference that was fun & educational.”
-Sarah Foster, Oneida County Tourism (SEE 2020 attendee)

About CrowdRiff

CrowdRiff is a visual marketing software that over 800 Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) and travel marketers rely on to tell their stories and promote their brands. The annual SEE event brings this community together to learn and connect. SEE 2020 was a one-day virtual event which emphasized community, adaptation, and planning for 2021.

How They Did It

‘Not another Zoom meeting’

2020 was a challenging year for the travel industry. “We know that our customers have been through a lot this year, so we wanted to treat them to something special, something that didn’t feel like just another Zoom meeting,” says Rob Guenette, Director of Product Marketing at CrowdRiff.

To treat their attendees, the team set up a customized branded experience that looked and felt different. Attendees entered through a Networking Lobby and moved throughout the day by  moving flexibly through different virtual keynotes, educational breakouts, and networking spaces. They broke up the day with a midday virtual walking meditation.

“We also wanted to re-create as much of the in-person experience as possible,” says Rob. “Normally you would walk into a conference hall and get the croissant and coffee, so we decided to send gift bags with breakfast treats ahead of time.” The bags had pancake mix and maple syrup (genuinely Canadian, just like Toronto-based CrowdRiff).

‘Dead Simple’

Like every large event, a core concern is a simple user experience. During SEE, 300 attendees needed to log in, enter, determine where to go, and move between sessions, with very little facilitation or support.

By structuring the event with a simple agenda in the left navigation, the team made it extremely easy for attendees to see where to go. The team created a Space for each time slot of the event, and each Space offered the content at that time -- whether a single a keynote, or multiple webinars. With pancakes and coffee prepped, attendees simply clicked the starting yellow circle and could join the morning Networking Lobby. From there, they could easily navigate between sessions, or move seamlessly between sessions at each time.

“Filo made it possible for attendees to focus on the content and not have to worry about the technology.”
- Julia Manoukian, Senior Content Marketing Manager, CrowdRiff

The Result

SEE was anything but your average virtual event. With creativity and planning, CrowdRiff brought the community of destination marketers together in an energizing, community-building day.

“SEE 2020 was a huge success for us. Being able to come together as a community of travel marketers was so important, and Filo made it such a seamless, intuitive and engaging experience.”
-Rob Guenette, Director of Product Marketing, CrowdRiff