the student-run Entrepreneurship Cell of IIT Madras has hosted the college’s annual Entrepreneurship Summit with no difficulty, and with great success. Every year, the Summit enables students with entrepreneurial inclinations to take a giant step towards becoming entrepreneurs themselves in a few years.
This year, however, the E-Cell leadership team encountered an unexpected curveball.
Because of the pandemic, it was no longer feasible to hold one of the biggest student-run entrepreneurial conferences in the country on-ground. So, fittingly - given that adapting to, and conquering the changing dynamics of the new virtual world was a central theme at the 2021 Summit - the team decided to pivot their event from traditional to virtual.
Even more impressive - the team decided to hold the Summit for an incredible 10 days. “We needed to take complete advantage of the fact that E-Summit had to be virtually set up”, said Vaidehi Mishra, Head Of Corporate Relations. “[So] we went all-in about organising this as a 10-day event rather than squeezing it into fewer days,” she added, pointing out that by doing so they could drive better learning opportunities, and business outcomes for their attendees and event partners.
With Zuddl’s suite of tools and features, the team was able to effortlessly realise this vision - and achieve some pretty fantastic results.
Here’s how they went about achieving this result.
To set the stage for their flagship event, the leadership team needed to create an immersive and interactive experience in a virtual space that could not only mimic, but also supersede the thrill of an offline, on-ground Summit.
"The platform allowed us to create a professional look and feel for students and corporates alike,” said Akshit Bagde, Students' Head. The team, using the 100+ design templates and skins available on Zuddl, created a completely branded virtual venue that thrilled attendees when they entered the event.
The team was also able to set up the venue as they wished over the ten days. They created stages, Rooms, and an Expo booth section to increase participation, as well as enabling Networking to help hundreds of attendees make valuable business connections - a crucial part of the event.
And they used the platform’s easy management options to run each day of the 10 day Summit smoothly. “We weren’t sure if it was possible to accommodate such a large audience on one platform – and a reliable one at that” Neha Rana, Head of Entrepreneurship Club at E-Cell IIT Madras wryly pointed out. "But Zuddl gave us the tools we needed and helped us tackle and manage the crowd effectively, whether it was speakers or the attendees.”
Driving value for sponsors and stakeholders was key, and here the IIT Madras student body relied on touch points within the event to make an impact.
As every area in the digital venue was customisable - banners, video, links to external sites - the E-Summit was able to offer great exposure to their event partners. “We had been worried about how to give special branding opportunities to sponsors. However, Zuddl allows for this in all areas of the digital venue, from logos in the networking rooms to branding in stalls and the lobby.” Akshit Bagde, Students' Head, commented.
Attendees need to feel seen and heard and supported at every step and stage of an event, and this was of primary importance to the leadership team. Using these Zuddl features, the team created a stress-free, seamless experience, as well as an engaging one, right from the minute an attendee entered the Summit:
With more than 1500 participants reaping insights from reputed speakers, the E-Summit 2021 showcases the fact that virtual events can deliver ROI cost effectively. Whether it is opportunities to network or collaborate, learn or tell stories, students from IIT Madras ensured their flagship virtual event could truly inspire.
The user experience that we created on the platform that Zuddl provided to the participants was one of a kind. And all of our stakeholders who interacted with the platform were quite satisfied and happy with it. Also, it was quite easy to use, so we were able to conduct the event for 10 days effectively.”
Indian Institute of Technology Madras is a public technical and research university located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The IIT Madras Entrepreneurship Summit is an annual event featuring panel discussions, e-shows, and networking opportunities that brings innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs together to explore modern challenges, and dynamic market opportunities that have the potential to disrupt the commercial landscape.