This is the week I was supposed to be joining MarkLogic colleagues, customers, and partners in Chicago for MarkLogic World 2020.
Back in mid-March, when concerns about the novel coronavirus were growing, we made the decision to cancel the in-person event – which turned out to be a good move, given what’s happened since then with the global pandemic. But, MarkLogic World has always been a highlight of the year for us and for the hundreds of attendees who join us to share their experiences – we needed an alternative. We needed to go “virtual” – like so many other companies have been doing.
That said, just trying to move an entire conference as-is from the physical world to the online world wasn’t going to work. Beyond the logistical issues of finding the right platform to support a virtual event (“how” we would deliver the experience), we decided this was a great opportunity to re-think the content itself (“what” we would deliver).
What’s relevant – now
So, we’re in the middle of a pandemic – what impact does that have on our customers, and what will they want to hear from us? I started off by talking to our Customer Success Management team and learning how some of our customers were responding to the crisis.
Following even more conversations with colleagues around the world, we came to realize that not only was our existing theme of “Integrate to Innovate” still relevant – but that actually this situation highlighted the importance of data during a crisis. More than ever, organizations need the insights they can only get from integrated data – and with so many people working from home, the importance of data security has become even more prominent.
One example of the pivot many organizations are realizing they need to make is with their HR data – and some global enterprises have learned how unifying people data with a MarkLogic Data Hub improves agility and accelerates innovation. My colleague Ed Downs has written about this recently in his posts “How to Overcome HR Data Silos for Faster People Insights” and “How Better HR Data Integration Speeds the Flow of Innovation.”
Additionally, the crisis has not stopped businesses from their move to the cloud. More and more people are attending demos of our Data Hub Service. And, our customers continue to stand up more instances of the MarkLogic Data Hub in the cloud – both for existing and new use cases.
Our new online experience
Given all this, we knew that we needed to deliver a different MarkLogic World experience to address our current environment.
Whereas typically we’d have two to four days of MarkLogic World packed with keynotes, product sessions, training, partner and customer use case presentations, and industry breakouts, it’s not realistic to expect people to spend that much time glued to their screens. So, we’ve developed a new approach designed to fit the current situation:
- Keynotes. We’ve shrunk the length of our keynote presentations to fit into a 90-minute webinar. The live premiere keynote webinar will feature topical information on MarkLogic-enabled COVID-19 responses. You’ll hear customer interviews, product updates, and a futures-oriented conversation with our founder. The live premiere keynote will be held at different times on July 15th and 16th, to ensure you have a convenient time to attend whether you’re in the US or Europe.
- Breakout sessions. We’ll be delivering our usual product, customer, and partner breakout sessions in an on-demand format, so you can watch them at a time most convenient to you. And, we’ll be holding live, industry-specific sessions with speakers during the week following the keynote webinar. These industry breakouts will let you ask follow-up questions and engage in discussions with peers in your industry.
- Training. My colleagues in the MarkLogic University team have continued to expand their online offerings of both instructor-led and self-paced courses – all available FREE to you.
A “silver lining” to all this, of course, is that now that we’ve gone digital, more people can attend MarkLogic World than in previous years – since there’s no need to book travel.
I’m not going into too much more detail right now, because I don’t want to spoil the surprise of some of the announcements we’ll be making during the keynote! Check out our MarkLogic World 2020 page for more information, and to register for the event.