Picture project management along two separate but parallel tracks. Track one was on the human logistics — the planning you would see for an in-person two-day event, vetting speakers, staging promotions, and driving excitement.

At the same time, we had to move FAST. So, track two was focused on the tech logistics which we ran like a bullet train. All turnaround times were checked and then compressed from days to hours. One part of the team worked on track one with a few days lead time, setting the framework. Another part of the team then sprinted from one task to the next to execute the plan.

We kept our teams fluid to keep bottlenecks out - one person may be assigned to different points on both tracks. If you want to pull something like this off and have it be amazing, you need to be creative and adaptive. Basically, this was the same message we conveyed to attendees who needed to learn themselves how to pivot with little warning!

Hortz: How did you bring in so many industry leaders and solutions providers so quickly?

Desmarais: We placed feelers around to a number of people we worked with previously where we knew they would be high energy, positive, and bring value. We wanted expertise and energy to sustain such a long day. We asked people from our carefully vetted list hoping for five live and 10 on demand. You know what happened? Twenty-six said yes!

Our speakers started talking it up in their own circles and networks, they were that excited. We had to cut it off after a point to ensure all would bring unique insight to the advisors and there was no duplication in content. We were able to sequence speakers for the live event for the best flow and provide an unbelievable depth and breadth of experience specifically for the industry in the on-demand content for the Summit.

Hortz: What were the key dynamics of making this event happen?

Desmarais: Like we said earlier, you have to remain fluid. We had changes in technology needs, marketing channel algorithms, and a constant need for redundancy in talent. Normally, you do that to speed up a delivery date. In this case, yes, it helped us stretch the workday, but the reality also was that team backup availability was critical in case anyone became ill themselves or needed time off to take care of someone. So, we ran separate teams at Broadridge and at Advisorist — and while each had a point person - we also had pivot options for development, webinar tech, and speaker management. 

Hortz: What were the major obstacles and how did you solve for them?

Desmarais: Time was not on our side. Five weeks to host a successful, meaningful, and well-attended event is a blip on the calendar. Key obstacles included: