Philly Startup Leaders turned their annual conference virtual, on their own website.
Philly Startup Leaders (PSL) is on a mission to help founders achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Philly Startup Leaders partnered with sequel to power Entrepreneur Expo, the organization’s annual showcase of startups and tech companies in the Philadelphia region.
PSL, originally founded as an all-volunteer grassroots effort, has grown into a community of thousands of entrepreneurs. It serves as an integral resource in the startup ecosystem in and around Philadelphia.
With the mission to help current and future founders succeed in Philadelphia and beyond, events like the annual Entrepreneur Expo have always been at the heart of the organization. Through creating space for entrepreneurs and industry experts to learn from and celebrate one another, PSD has been serving a community of over 12,000 innovators.
When Beth Lawrence, PSL’s Director of Programs & Events, began to think about an all-virtual offering of their annual event – sequel was the clear partner.
“It was the first time we were throwing this virtually, and we wanted to bring the same energy as an in-person event”, Lawrence commented."
PPhilly Startup Leaders had long been challenged by virtual platforms with “overly-complicated builds” that would ultimately only serve to drive traffic away from their website.
By leveraging sequel's embeddable component and hosting their conference directly on their website, the PSL team was able to take advantage of all of the traffic on their site and draw the visitors’ attention to other pieces of content and calls to action.
“We loved that it was able to be integrated right into our SquareSpace website, so that traffic all goes to the same place. We’ve never been able to do that before”.
It takes less than an hour to get familiar with the technology, and sequel was there to help every step of the way. Asked about her experience working with sequel, Lawrence responded,
“the entire team were wonderful to work with from start to finish. We greatly appreciate all of the time they took helping set up our event."
The event organizers were intent on making the most out of what sequel's Virtual Stage and Networking Hub modules offer. The day kicked off early with meditation and a panel discussion about mindfulness and entrepreneurship, followed by a fireside chat with PSL’s new Executive Director, Isabelle Kent, and Board President, Rudy J. Ellis.
PSL’s brand partners made great use of sequel's Networking Hub by repurposing it as an exhibition hall to give organizations face time with prospective customers. Philadelphia-area founders received an opportunity to pitch in front of a panel of investors. Local experts shared their knowledge in TED-talk-style sessions focused on storytelling & marketing, fundraising, go-to-market and sales strategies.
Speaking of sequel's support for live audience engagement, Lawrence reported “incredible feedback from participants.”
"Engagement was higher as the day went on, which is something that I have never seen in other virtual events. I think the sequel technology is brilliant and can be used in so many ways,” said Lawrence.
The 2021 Entrepreneur Expo was surely a success, and there’s much more to come from Philly Startup Leaders!