There is no doubt that the crisis the world went through has been incredibly challenging. Indeed, for many, it continues to be difficult. However, there is one silver lining, from chaos can arise genuinely extraordinary developments. After all, that is how the Universe formed.
This case study is about one of those remarkable innovations and how MootUp enabled its creation.
Impartner is a leading global provider of channel management platform and the fastest-growing pure-play Partner Relationship Management (PRM) provider, helping companies worldwide manage their partner relationships and accelerate revenue and profitability through indirect sales channels. The company's flagship PRM solution is the industry's most award-winning PRM technology.
Impartner works with some of the most prominent industry players such as Juniper, Xerox, Ingersoll Rand, Zendesk, Ingersoll Rand, Adobe and SAP. They have 10 million partners and counting.
PRM forms the backbone of enterprises that do not sell directly to the end customer rather they go through intermediary vendors called partners. This is done by consolidating and organizing information, improving communication upstream and downstream, and providing tools for the company and the partners. Needless to say, human interaction and connection are essential. Unfortunately, the pandemic adversely affected this process- turning to 2D meeting platforms like Zoom provided a solution that could only work so long since these meetings aren’t really personal anymore.
Here is how Kerry Desbeg Impartner CMO described it: "Sure, we're all adjusting to meeting in 3 by 3 squares – we've made it work – but what we're missing, are those moments of serendipity and impromptu human connection that drive the most valuable outcomes of live events. Who you sit next to in a presentation, who you see in a hallway, who you meet in a cocktail party – those are the catalyst moments that allow you to bring back leads and business relationships from live events that add the most value. The available platforms were not adequate to create a 'real life' feel, and those business opportunities that arise from in-person meetings were lost.”
There had to be another way. The natural next step was to look at what other options were available. Most of the options reviewed though were more of the same - 2D and 2.5D platforms. Naturally most of them fell short and lacked the ability to implement Impartner's grand vision. That was until the Impartner team discovered a new type of virtual events platform that delivered experiences in 3D. Enter MootUp.
The vision - PXCC
Impartner was clear that what they wanted was far more than a one-off virtual event. Their vision was about bringing people together, community building, sharing expertise, and bringing the fun and value of in-person events back.
What did this translate to? An interactive virtual world. They wanted a fully functional conference center that would include auditoriums (notice plural, not singular), meeting rooms, breakout rooms, lounges, and even social gathering areas. Impartner did not want to share this space only with employees or clients. Rather, they wanted it to be open to Impartner's clients to host their partner meetings in this space, all Impartner's Channels Chief Advisory Board members, and other members of the broader channel community.
How did MootUp make the above happen?
What a vision, right? To make a vision come true you need two parts, the visionary and the team to bring it to life. At MootUp we are immensely proud to have been part of this project. It's been a pleasure to work with Impartner and we're so excited to be able to bring this vision to life, especially because as a result, they were able not only to reach more people but also to make an impact on the wider community.
Here are some highlights of what is possible with MootUp:
There are multiple ways to create virtual spaces and virtual worlds in MootUp. You can make events uniquely yours using pre-made templates that can be quickly configured with the help of the inbuilt authoring tool, to any wants for branding, layout, and decoration.
You can bring your own 3D models and start from scratch or for more complex requirements MootUp is ready to build them for you. For Impartner, the MootUp technical team headed by CEO Danny Stefanic spent many hours focused on getting the look and feel right making sure all clients' requirements were implemented. The result was a unique experience specially tailored to Impartner.
This is made possible due to the superior technical capabilities, experience and know-how that MootUp has. Many team members have been vital contributors and pioneers in the world of XR technology, and that expertise is harnessed to create these spectacular virtual spaces. In fact MootUp surpassed the brief that was given by including exciting new features. Here are a few of them:
A 3D virtual photo booth where people could take shots of the avatar, they could then post and share it to social media. It was a huge hit with the attendees!
AI chatbots that were hosts and hostesses making sure all attendees were clear on where to go and how to use the platform to best effect.
There were private meeting rooms that people could step into to have chats with new colleagues or contacts.
But what about those moments of ‘serendipity and impromptu human connection that drive the most valuable outcomes of live events’ as the CMO put it? Networking and engagement have always been on MootUp's priority list.. not only to create spaces that make genuine engagement possible but also to allow attendees to explore, engage and express themselves. This is something we call 'lean forward' participation rather than 'lean back' attendance. If you would like to read more about this, you can do so here. Here are some of the features that facilitate that engagement.
One of MootUp's unique features is the ability to have real-time conversations. Most platforms will have chats available. But that loses the excitement of chatting with a new contact, and typing away furiously is not conducive to networking. This feature lends itself to organic networking, for example approaching someone in the hallway, introducing yourself and proceeding to special ‘audio zones’ ; these are spaces designed for private conversations. There is also the ability to share your screen as well as change to a video call, while in these zones. This feature is a real draw with participants on our platform. ‘It feels like I’m having a conversation with you across the table’ is something we hear quite often.
Participants have the opportunity to choose their own personal 3D avatar and customize it to their liking. Many of our clients tell us that people turn up early for their meetings because they want to play around with this feature! And with over 1+ billion style combinations, that's no surprise! You can turn on your camera and share a live video of yourself as you would on a 2D platform if you wish.
Human gestures, from shaking hands to high fives, hugs, and even dancing, as well as thousands of other physical expressions, are part of the platform.
Giving presentations is easy because there is the possibility of sharing your screen, just as you would in any 2D platform. This is perfect for sharing slides, videos, or other information with attendees.
Accessibility. Another one of MootUp's top priorities has been accessibility. because we understand that ease of access is vital for our clients and their participants in both the enterprise and consumer sectors. MootUp is the first web-based platform - it doesn't require a download and can be accessed on any device.
However, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating of it. Impartner used their specially designed platform for the first time on the 17th of December 2020. To host a virtual summit; an exclusive event; attendance was by invitation only. The talk was titled ‘ Universe proof your channel’ The main speakers were Jay McBain, the principal analyst of global channels, partnerships, and ecosystems at Forrester, one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world. The second speaker was a powerful leader from the channel marketing sector; Maria Chien, Vice President, and Research director at Forrester.
Both of the above are considered thought leaders, influencers, and authorities within the channel marketing space. You can understand why invites to this event were so sought out!
The feedback was remarkable. Here’s what the two guest speakers had to say:
‘I think we’re in the first inning here of a long baseball game of meeting virtually. I was really pleased with this environment. I can imagine that my future of work has been radically altered. I would rather do as an avatar more than half of the travel that I will do in the future. And then when I travel, I will spend 80% of my time on the human side. I won’t go into the rooms, I’ll actually sit in the hallways and the hotel lobby and I’ll work on personal relationships.
But I think this is a complete change as we get into the baseball game here and this technology improves. I think this is radically different than anything I’ve seen this year.
The idea of a virtual event being back-to-back-to-back Zoom webinars doesn’t work and people are just done with it. On the flip side, an Apple event is an incredible experience but it’s not a personal one. You’re just listening to a pitch.
If I can combine that Apple level production value with the technology where I feel like I’m an avatar and I’m there and I’m walking down the hallways and looking at the walls and entering rooms., I’m excited for what’s ahead.’
I would say the difference is the personalization. I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time in some specific events — like the Women’s Leadership Council — the breakouts, the speakers, and then some round tables. It created that level of “you’re here, you’re in the moment, you’re authentic.” it’s very personal.
People were incredibly genuine and really real and raw, creating a sort of intimacy and personalization that we hadn’t seen. The avatar brings that more to the mainstream and when you align that to a technology company that’s doing it, it just reinforces where we’re going in the future. Not necessarily just the universe but the future.
Social media, be it LinkedIn or Twitter or other platforms were filled with images from the ‘photo booth’ MootUp created (if you would like to see them click here), and comments from people raving about the event.
It was clear that the event was a massive success. Here’s what CMO Kerry Desberg had to say:
"When we hosted our first digital event on this platform in December, we were unsure whether it would be a one-time stunt, or something we would repeat," said Desberg. "Very quickly, in anecdote after anecdote, we heard about the easy, organic, impromptu connections attendees were able to make. We recognized the power of this platform, and for 2021 this digital conference center is here to help bring the channel community and the power of "water cooler" moments back to life."
In attending events, participants simply choose their avatars and enter the environment. They can "IM" each other once they see someone they know and hop into audio zones to speak voice to voice in avatar form. Throughout the venue in meeting areas, as the like, presenters can come up on the screen with their faces like a regular online meeting and present slides.
This grand success gave Impartner the impetus to open space for broader use. From then, PXCC has gone from strength to strength. It has fast become one of the leading digital providers of channel thought leadership content.
The event attendees, many of whom are experts in their sector, were thoroughly impressed too. Just some of the comments that were trending on Twitter during and after the event:
‘Great virtual 3D by Impartner today!’
‘Loving the avatars….will be interesting doing something outside Zooms’
‘I’m currently attending the Impartner 3D summit. Learning a ton and am very excited for the future of partnerships!’
‘Loving the experience at Impartner’s 3D Virtual Summit. It’s my first time attending an avatar-driven environment. Excited to learn what impact the digital transformation will have on the channel’
‘Attending the Impartner 3D summit with Heather Margolis. Super cool experience and 100% covid free! Excellent content so far on the lessons learned in 2020 and how to apply them next year.’
As Kerry Dresberg said the platform was powerful at bringing about easy, organic, impromptu connections and she looked forward to harnessing its abilities to bring the channel community and those ‘water cooler moments’ back to life.
If you have a vision and want attendees to rave about your events we have the expertise to help you create it. Let's chat.