Case Study: Jack Henry Boosts Virtual Conference Attendance
As a leading provider of technology solutions and payment processing services, Jack Henry & Associates holds two annual educational conferences for the banking and credit union industries. With live events on hold for 2020, Jack Henry needed a way to host their conferences virtually. They enlisted Hamilton, a long-time partner for their in-person conferences, to assist in transforming their annual events.
Jack Henry’s conferences consist of multiple sessions including keynotes, breakouts, and multiple educational tracks, an extensive speaker faculty, a sponsor showcase with 100 exhibits, and multiple networking opportunities, meaning they needed a robust platform to digitally replicate the event.
After finding other solutions ill-equipped to handle the scale of their events, they turned to Hamilton’s EXTEND® platform to bring their virtual conference to life. Hamilton EXTEND offers clients a basic framework for virtual events with extensive customization available to tailor the experience to each event’s specific needs. For Jack Henry, the freedom afforded by EXTEND made the platform the best choice for bringing their conference online.
With limited time to convert the event to a virtual platform, Hamilton and Jack Henry began to build out the online event space in the Hamilton EXTEND platform. Hamilton created a working prototype so the Jack Henry team could see what they were planning to create for the conferences. From there, Jack Henry was able to customize each element of the virtual environment, with EXTEND’s foundational framework acting as guardrails to keep the process efficient and timely.
As the virtual event began to take shape, the flexibility of the EXTEND platform gave the team the opportunity to tailor the experience to match their established live event format. Within the platform, each user was assigned a user role — Prospect, Attendee, Exhibitor, Speaker, Employee, CEO, or Event Organizer. An individual's role decided what information was displayed when they logged into the event website. This gave Jack Henry the ability to target specific audiences with relevant content to keep them engaged before, during, and after the conference.
Attendees and sponsors were treated to a professional, branded virtual experience, providing them with valuable opportunities for education, interaction, and connection. The ability for key stakeholders to engage with one another reinforced Jack Henry’s position as a hub for thought leadership in the financial services industry.
Jack Henry’s virtual conference was a success with 3,500 attendees participating in the free event, representing the most participation in recent years. Hamilton’s EXTEND platform made the transition to a virtual event seamless for organizers and attendees, opening the door for new ways of interaction and engagement. One attendee even went so far as to say, “Your virtual conference platform is the best of any I have attended over the last six months.”
What set Jack Henry apart from other events was its implementation of the customization within the EXTEND platform. Event organizers created an easy-to-navigate website, allowing attendees and sponsors to sort through sessions, speakers, and exhibits in filtered lists.
Attendees could also engage with one another through the Attendee Chat feature and the Exhibit Rep Chat feature, supporting Jack Henry’s mission to facilitate interaction. And exhibitors could make materials like videos, PDFs, and other links available via the event site to allow attendees to learn more about their products after the event.
Ultimately, Hamilton’s EXTEND platform allowed Jack Henry to transform their traditional event structure for a virtual landscape to create an interactive and immersive experience for all of their stakeholders. What resulted was a new model for their annual conferences which allowed more engagement and exchange of ideas between more attendees than ever before.