Event Preview: Community Summit North America 2020

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Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored content provided in advance of Community Summit North America 2020. MSDW is also a media sponsor of the event.

Community Summit North America has been a part of the Microsoft Dynamics and Power Platform’s conference calendar for fifteen years. It has evolved and grown over time as Microsoft product naming and trends have changed. But the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has forced many event organizers, including Dynamic Communities (DC) to create a new virtual approach to this year’s conference experience.

Dynamic Communities has a new CEO, John Siefert, and the organization will continue to serve as the world’s largest platform connecting the Microsoft ecosystem of users, ISVs, partners, and Microsoft. Jenna Knoblauch, Vice President of Marketing for Dynamic Communities explained more about the decision to go virtual, and how Dynamic Communities will differentiate itself in various ways from other virtual events this fall.

The event was originally planned for Nashville, but as the global crisis continued, the move to an online-only model became inevitable. Knoblauch explained:

The decision did not come lightly as we monitored the state of health in Tennessee, surveyed our speakers, sponsors and community, and ensured we understood the business implications. We all felt very strongly that this was the right decision as the health and safety of our employees, vendors, partners, and community is our top priority.

In planning for this October, Dynamic Communities has redefined and reimagined expectations for online event experiences among enterprise software users and partners:

Many of our community members are adapting to a new normal. Working 12+ hour days, either from their kitchen table or makeshift office, tackling remote schooling for children, all while helping their organizations make critical decisions in surviving this COVID-19 reality. Now is hard. Now is different. Summit won’t be the same as meeting in person, and we won’t pretend like it is. Instead, we will promise to make it as effective, efficient, engaging and educational as we can.

Research by Event MB has shown that the three main value pillars of attending an event have shifted in the virtual world to: Meaningful connections, entertainment, and education. We have reimagined our content delivery and virtual event experiences to align with these new digital value benefits.

One of the signatures of Community Summit events has always been the breadth of educational content, and this year will once again offer a range of presentations across the Dynamics and Power Platform product line. One particular strength, Knoblauch noted, is the set of sessions that will feature user perspective.