Ready to host more engaging and creative conferences? Take a look at this list of 12 imaginative events from Atlassian to learn how!
Atlassian, founded in 2002 by college friends Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, is an Australian software company. What started as a small, two man enterprise has since blossomed into a large organization that employs over 3,000 people, has offices in 7 different countries, and serves over 125,000 happy customers.
In fact, there's a good chance you're one of them! The brand creates well-loved products like Trello, a project management tool; Jira, a customer support software; and Confluence, a document collaboration app. But that's not all. They also host amazing conferences.
Let's take a look at 12 of their most imaginative events and see what we can learn. Whether you're hoping to boost your B2B event marketing game, nail your event branding, or something else, Atlassian is here to show you the way.
12 Imaginative Events from Atlassian
Atlassian Summit takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada annually and is the company's biggest event of the year. The 2019 conference featured three full days of product training, certification opportunities, keynote speeches from top industry professionals, and plenty of chances to network with folks from all over the globe.
But the event isn't just about leveling up attendees' careers. The conference always ends with a big party. Last year's special musical guest was the B-52s. Event-goers had the chance to wind the clock back to the '80s and dance to yesteryear's hits like "Love Shack".
Key Takeaway: For most companies, a giant conference like Atlassian Summit — especially one that ends with a stellar party chock full of food, drinks, and entertainment — wouldn't be possible without event sponsors. This kind of financial backing allows brands to go all out and treat their event attendees to one of a kind experiences. Do your best to secure event sponsors for your next expo and reap the many benefits.
Source: Software Plant
Atlassian has been hosting the event series, Team Tour, for a few years now. In 2019, they've created an IT edition and will be visiting multiple cities around the world including New York, London, and Tokyo. Each stop will feature expert speakers from the field of IT discussing how IT teams can "work more quickly, proactively, and iteratively." It's a great event series for those in information technology.
Key Takeaway: Unless you work at or own a very small, local business, your customers are probably scattered all over the country — maybe even the world. And while a single event in a major city like San Francisco or Paris will allow you to connect with some of your audience, not every person who loves your brand will be able to attend. By hosting an event series like Atlassian's Team Tour: Future of IT, you'll give your customers more chances to interact with you.
3. Trello Day
In 2018, Atlassian hosted the first ever event completely dedicated to its popular software, Trello. The conference was aptly named Trello Days and took place in sunny Barcelona, Spain. Attendees were treated to an entire day of Trello tricks, workflows, and new software updates. There was also plenty of time to network with fellow Trello users and exclusive swag was handed out to a few lucky individuals.
Key Takeaway: While many major events focus on an entire industry like "cloud computing" or a specific practice such as "experiential marketing," your event topic doesn't need to be quite as broad. In fact, you can do exactly what Trello Day did and focus 100% of your attention on the products your company offers and the folks who use them.
Are you a CIO or senior IT executive? Then this CIO Lunch event is right up your alley. Atlassian hosted the first gathering on May 8th in New York but a second will be held in Silicon Valley on June 20th. Attendees to this invite-only lunch will have the opportunity to network with each other, discuss both the challenges and breakthroughs they're experiencing, and learn from industry leaders. Haven't received your invite yet? Visit the event's website for details on how to request one.
Key Takeaway: Invite-only events can be very powerful. The folks who get an invitation will be flattered and will likely think more highly of your company. It also gives your organization the chance to curate your audience and then craft specific content that applies to them.
Developer Day is a conference within a conference. Every year at Atlassian Summit (mentioned earlier), developers get together for a one-day event prior to the main gathering. The content at Developer Day is completely dedicated to (you guessed it!) developers and teaches them how to better use Atlassian products when working on their projects. Attendees also have a chance to network with each other and Atlassian leaders.
Key Takeaway: Why not follow Atlassian's lead and provide your attendees with a special training event before your main conference? It's the perfect opportunity to deliver more value to event-goers. It will also give your company the chance to learn more about its target audience and may even help you sell more products.
ShipIt is a very cool internal event that Atlassian has been hosting for years. It's basically a giant hackathon. Every three months Atlassian staff are given 24 hours to team up with their colleagues and work on whatever project they want. Projects are then presented at the end of the 24-hour window and a winner is crowned. It's become incredibly popular with Atlassian employees and many find it to be their favorite aspect of working for the company.
Key Takeaway: When most of us think of events, we think of giant gatherings that bring in loads of people from a myriad of different locations and backgrounds. But small, internal events can be just as beneficial for your company. Whether you host a fun training day for your staff or a completely off-the-wall competition like Atlassian, your employees will love the change of pace. And amazing company culture makes for a much better business.
7. Atlas Camp
Atlas Camp is the world's largest gathering of Atlassian app developers. The event empowers them to enhance their skills, discover the future of product roadmaps, and grow their businesses. The 2018 gathering took place in Barcelona, Spain and featured a wealth of networking opportunities for attendees.
Key Takeaway: Atlas Camp had a unique event segment called "Meet Atlassians." In a nutshell, event-goers were able to schedule one on one time with Atlassian team members and pitch ideas to them. Not only did this allow Atlassian to learn what their customers wanted, but it also let attendees feel like they had a voice. How can your event incorporate this event strategy and hear directly from your audience?
Atlassian is known for having a wide variety of user groups — groups run by Atlassian users, for other Atlassian users. It's a very active community and over 40,000 people take part around the world every year. At Collaboration Day, a user event in Northern Virginia, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from Atlassian experts. They'll also have the chance to network with other users and eat snacks. And who doesn't love free snacks?
Key Takeaway: One of the best event marketing tactics out there is to build community. Atlassian has done such a great job of building a community around their products and empowering their users, that they now have volunteers hosting small, regional events for them. Incredible!
Atlassian Summit Europe is the European equivalent of the major Las Vegas conference we mentioned earlier. And like its American counterpart, the Barcelona area event (which was last held in 2018) provided attendees with plenty of amazing experiences. They held training courses led by Atlassian professionals, keynote addresses with numerous breakout sessions, and a giant post-conference party. There were also plenty of networking opportunities and a ShipIt Live competition too.
Key Takeaway: Atlassian Summit Europe is a fine example of a brand increasing its global reach and catering to its unique audience. Atlassian has customers spread out all over the world. With this in mind, they plan events in different cities, giving their target market plenty of chances to interact with them face to face. Does your company serve customers in multiple locations? Consider hosting different event types in different areas. It will likely help improve your event ROI.
10. Partner Day
Like Developer Day, which we mentioned earlier, Partner Day was a conference within a conference, happening just before the big Atlassian Summit in 2019. This pre-event brought together "Atlassian Solution Partners, Marketplace Vendors, Corporate Resellers, Training Partners, and Aggregators from all over the world" in order to talk about meeting customer needs, future proofing businesses, and more.
Key Takeaway: When brainstorming corporate event ideas, make sure to include multiple conference tracks for attendees. This will allow each event goer to customize their event experience and get the most out of your conference. At Partner Day, attendees could choose from one of four different tracks: Products and Solutions, Sales and Marketing, Thought Leadership, and Technical. Anything you can do to personalize the event experience is recommended.
"Engaging Communities With Public Boards" is the official name of this event. And like Collaboration Day mentioned above, it is a product user group gathering sponsored by Atlassian. Set for June 18th, 2019, attendees will gather to discuss organization inside Trello, meeting deadlines, planning for the future, and (most of all) communicating with customers. Can't make it to Texas to take part in this informational get-together? Don't worry, the entire evening will be live streamed on Twitch.
Key Takeaway: Not every person interested in your events will be able to come. Wannabe attendees may have conflicting schedules. Or they may not be able to afford the costs of attending (such as airfare and hotel room expenses). But thanks to modern technology, you can bring the wonder of your events directly to your audience no matter where they are. You just have to live stream your sessions, which is a great corporate event management strategy for any industry.
Team Tour: Enterprise Edition is another event series hosted by Atlassian. This roadshow will "Explore the future of enterprise teams, challenges that come with scaling, and ways you can optimize for speed and innovation." The series is set to visit Melbourne, Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, and other cities in 2019. If you want to learn from expert speakers, network with your peers, and better achieve your business goals, Team Tour: Enterprise Edition is for you. Also worth noting: this is just a half day event so you can fit it into your busy work schedule with ease.
Key Takeaway: Atlassian does a fantastic job of crafting event content around the needs and interests of its audience. You should do the same with your events. Who are your customers and what angers or excites them? Now brainstorm event topics that either help solve these challenges or explore these interests.
Wrapping Up: Main Takeaways from Atlassian
Atlassian events are amazing examples of what to aim for when planning a conference, summit, or expo. Their events are informative, fun, accessible and loved by all who attend. When planning your next gathering, remember to:
- Focus on your attendees — whether that means hosting an event series that allows them to choose which city to attend in, offering multiple event tracks, building a strong community, or choosing specific topics that pertain to them. The more you focus on your audience, the more your company benefits.
- Don't forget about your employees. While many events focus on customers and potential customers, internal events can be just as beneficial. Consider hosting a conference, training day, or hackathon for your team.
- Events can supercharge a business but the financials have to work. Offset your conference costs and improve event ROI by securing sponsorships. Or, if your prospects are the ones bootstrapped, share your event digitally via livestream.
And here's one last tip for you: no matter what kind of event you plan to host, invest in event software. This type of tool will make the entire process easier and allow you to focus on serving your attendees with the same effectiveness and imagination that Atlassian does.