ChangeNOW is a startup created in 2017 by Santiago Lefebvre, Rose-May Lucotte and Kevin Tayebaly. They run a significant yearly event dedicated to finding innovative and concrete solutions to issues affecting the planet. It is a major global gathering bringing together communities, entrepreneurs, investors, and talent to accelerate change.
We have had a relationship with ChangeNOW since 2021, when we managed their virtual speakers at the virtual edition of the event, supporting and checking the 270+ remote speakers successfully to the stage. So for 2022, they invited us back to manage the process again.
The event itself is spread over three days, and this year, it was a hybrid with its heart held in the Grand Palais Ephémère, Paris.
Overall, the event attracted around 30,000 attendees, and there were 350 speakers – a combination of virtual and physical, of which around 10% appeared virtually.
The event had several stages across the venue, and sessions were divided into three distinct types.
– Panel discussions
– Fireside chats: where two people discuss important issues in a more informal setting.
Many virtual speakers were involved in one or more of these sessions.
Over the three days, we were in charge of onboarding all remote speakers who joined virtually from across the world.
We started with the aim of organising the virtual speakers, but we also ended up supporting physical speakers to an extent. To ensure it ran smoothly, we were involved in the pre-production, sending out and managing all emails and speaker checks with the 37 speakers. This was particularly around collecting the content, including video and PowerPoint files for talks. We utilised our custom Event Content Management System to organise and coordinate this from a central point.
We performed individual one-to-one remote speaker checks to test their setup, video quality, audio and network, and framing ahead of appearing virtually at the event.
The system used was VidyoConnect, and we worked closely with BlueMotion, an expert Paris-based streaming and technical partner, to ensure everything was seamless when each person went live.
Onsite, GoRemote had three Virtual Stage Managers to ensure things went smoothly. Our role on the day was to welcome speakers, get them checked in, prepared for the stage, undertake last-minute briefings, and keep the ChangeNOW events team updated.
The event went very smoothly, with all the remote speakers successfully taking to the stage and completing their sessions at the highest level. We kept the events team onsite fully updated on any changes within our integrated Speaker Portal, speaker status updates, and briefings feedback. We also ensured any technical issues were minimised, working alongside the BlueMotion team to resolve minor technical or logistical issues quickly and efficiently.
GoRemote’s presence was a key element to the success of the digital interventions, and allowed us to host world-class speakers remotely. This is the second year we have worked with GoRemote, and we highly recommend them for their professionalism, responsiveness and friendliness.
Rose-May Lucotte, ChangeNOW
Often at hybrid events, a few physical speakers must pivot to virtual on the day due to unforeseen circumstances. On the second day, there was a Eurostar malfunction which meant several speakers were required to be quickly transitioned to appear virtually. GoRemote responded rapidly to these new requirements ensuring that they were briefed and prepared in advance of their sessions.
What we learned
At ChangeNow, as with the Paris Peace Forum late last year, we again found that for hybrid events, it doesn’t matter if your speaker is remote or in-person – if they are high-calibre, audiences will flock to see their talk at the venue or on the virtual platform.
Ghislain and Emmanuel Bardout, who joined live from their boat moored in the Artic circle, about their project – diving in a polar environment. At the event, GoRemote had the pleasure of helping renowned primatologist Dr Jane Goodall DBE onto the stage for the last keynote of the conference. We also supported Adam McKay, famed director of Don’t Look Up, in his session.
Speakers like these would find it difficult to spend 2 or 3 days out of their busy schedule attending an international event, but they can make time for a brief virtual appearance.
For many of our clients, this is where we see virtual speaker management having a tangible impact on the quality and attendance of their events, offering opportunities to book more prominent names that could not attend a traditional physical event.
It was such a pleasure to work with GoRemote again this year. When organising a very big event such as ChangeNOW, it’s important to be able to fully trust the partners we work with, and this is the case with the GoRemote team. On top of their professionalism, they are a very fun team to work with!
Marie-Amélie Prieur, ChangeNOW