To plan for success, prepare to pivot

Adobe and Workfront logos

The arrival of COVID-19 threatened to derail the flagship events of many enterprises. Innovative companies realized early on that moving their conferences to a virtual venue would enable them to deliver the same kinds of insight, product demonstrations, and activities that drive in-person attendance. But it wouldn’t be easy.

Content that was relevant at the beginning of the year would need to be adjusted to match the new landscape. Engagement opportunities would need to be revamped to become digitally interactive experiences. Production schedules would need to move up to allow time for filming, editing, and microsite development. It would take seamless collaboration between operations, marketing, sales, creative, and IT, who were all now working in disparate locations, on different schedules, and oftentimes in separate tools.

As we enter fall and have learned more about the pandemic, it’s becoming clearer that in-person events are on pause for the rest of 2020. And planning for next year is full of unknowns. That can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be paralyzing.

What’s important is that your enterprise is agile, creative, and fast enough to remain resilient in the face of disruption. Transitioning from project management tools to an enterprise work management solution will enable your organization to anticipate change and adapt on the fly to whatever comes your way.

Quickly shifting major events in a time of major disruption.

Adobe Summit 2020 becomes Adobe Summit Live.

Adobe realized in late February that there was no way they could safely host 23,000 attendees in one place this year. But because Adobe Summit is its best opportunity to announce big technology releases, demonstrate new tools and features, and share its vision and product roadmaps, canceling was not an option they wanted to entertain.

With the conference set to start on March 31, Adobe had less than a month to transform its in-person event to a virtual one. Plan B was a specially-built soundstage with room for a live audience. But as the virus’ impact came into focus, it was clear that bringing presenters, attendees, and production crews together carried too much risk.

In the end, the keynote sessions were recorded in the personal living rooms of the CEO, the EVP, the marketing VP, and even special guest Tom Brady. And all 100 breakout sessions were delivered in an on-demand webinar format. The conference launched on time and as scheduled to attendees from around the world.

Without an enterprise work management platform, the ability to pivot not just once, but twice, would have been impossible in such a short amount of time. Or as Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen put it in his keynote address, “You can’t deliver cutting-edge customer experiences with an antiquated infrastructure.”

Workfront Leap 2020 goes virtual.

Workfront’s 2020 Leap events were set to take place in June, slated to be held in the U.S. and the U.K. the following month. Like it had to others, COVID-19 forced us to choose whether to cancel our annual flagship event or to take it online. Taking a cue from the success of Adobe and others, we turned Leap into a virtual event practically overnight.

Creating meaningful connections with our customers through digital screens meant ensuring collaboration and organizational alignment on a massive scale. Using our own enterprise work management solution, our marketing teams reorganized resources, budgets, and content creation, which would now include interactive demonstrations, live Q&As, polls, discussion forums, and giveaways—the same activities that attendees expect from an in-person conference experience.

Connecting workflows to make work flow faster.

Outpacing the competition at Under Armour.

Enterprise work management doesn’t just help businesses react to change. It also helps them proactively and iteratively plan to compete in an ever-changing landscape. For marketing, that means having the agility to keep pace with changing markets and get amazing and personalized customer experiences to market quickly.

Under Armour uses an integrated Workfront with Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) solution to speed the creation and delivery of their targeted marketing campaigns—an essential ability in the fast-paced and highly competitive world of athletic apparel.

The day after Adobe Summit Live launched, we invited attendees to join Workfront Live—a virtual event that included a breakout session with Under Armour. In the session, product analyst Ben Snyder demonstrated how using work management and content management together, creatives, content managers, and marketers can each use their preferred applications and tools, and still collaborate in one seamless workflow. Workfront connects asset production, complex approval processes, and campaign execution from end to end, reducing friction and increasing efficiency—enabling Under Armour to pivot their campaigns and content in a matter of days and connect with specific audiences faster than ever.

Together, Workfront enterprise work management and Adobe Experience Manager enhance collaboration, coordination, and automation of content across the enterprise, from concept to launch.

Perfect your pivot to future-proof your business.

Pivoting from holding an in-person event to a virtual one isn’t easy. But enterprise work management enables seamless collaboration across people, teams, departments, coordinating work across people and processes, and automating repetitive tasks to free marketers and creatives to focus on more important work. And it keeps remote and distanced workers aligned to the same strategy and focused on meeting the right goals.

Most importantly, it will help your enterprise respond to disruption in real time, no matter how that disruption manifests. According to our 2020 Global Marketing Report, 31 percent of marketers say they consider the ability to quickly respond to changing market forces and unexpected disruption as one of three skills that are the most essential in their work. Companies that can master this ability will be more resilient, and lead in their industries as the economy recovers.

Discover the best techniques and technologies for planning and delivering outstanding virtual events, including ours, in this ebook published by Adobe. And watch the video here to learn how Workfront’s work management platform and AEM and Adobe Creative Cloud come together to  power enterprise marketing.

Read the full eguide, “Make Virtual Events Your Main Event And Get Better Results“ from Adobe to learn more about how enterprise work management has helped marketing teams shift to virtual events on the fly.