Lightspeed and Rich Talent Group (RTG) are passionate about building diverse leadership teams and fostering a more inclusive business world. We are too, so we were honored and excited when they came to us for help with their invite-only “Building Tomorrow’s Boardroom, Today” virtual panel and roundtable.
This event, the first in a series addressing how to empower all under-represented groups in the boardroom, focused on supporting leaders in the Black community. To maximize the attendee experience, we provided thoughtful planning and plenty of outreach. We also made sure the event website was compelling and panelists were well prepared. In addition, we solved a huge virtual event challenge: enabling genuine conversations and connections. How did we do it? Keep reading.
MAXIMIZING THE ATTENDEE EXPERIENCE
A top priority was communication and engagement with attendees. We wanted to ensure not only that they had the information they needed, but also that their experience was illuminating and seamless.
Prior to the event, we drafted a survey to better understand the attendees’ goals and expectations, to see how we could maximize their experience, and to give them an opportunity to share questions and challenges in advance. We also asked for recommendations around resources we could share with others to help each other learn and keep this topic top of mind.
To ensure attendees knew how to join and how the event would go as well as where the other attendees were coming from, we also created an informative attendee brief.
HIGHLIGHTING THE BEST OF THE BEST EXPERTISE
At the heart of the event were the amazing panelists. That’s why we made sure to build a clean, clear event website that highlighted their impressive backgrounds.
Thasunda Brown Duckett — CEO, Chase Consumer Banking, JPMorgan Chase; Board Member: Nike
Mellody Hobson — Co-CEO & President, Ariel Investments; Board Member: Starbucks, JPMorgan Chase
Stacy Brown-Philpot — CEO, Advisor, and Board Director, Board Member: HP Inc., Nordstrom, Black Girls Code, The Urban Institute
John W. Thompson — Venture Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Chairman of Microsoft; Board Member: Microsoft, Reviver, Illumio, Rubrik, Illumina
Tristan Walker — Founder & CEO, Walker & Company Brands, Board Member: Foot Locker, Shake Shack
ENABLING CONVERSATIONS & CONNECTIONS
The biggest challenge with virtual events has been enabling genuine conversations and connections. Here’s how we overcame it: Every attendee was placed in a curated roundtable group based on the survey information they provided, their industry sector, and their career goals (for example, if they are on a board, looking to join one, or seeking to make their company’s board more diverse). Moderators from Lightspeed and RTG were given talking points and attendee information so they could set the tone and keep the conversation moving.
One of the event’s main purposes was to set up connections that individuals could leverage in the future. With our careful planning, that’s exactly what happened! Many attendees supplied contact information or LinkedIn profiles so they could keep in touch.
It was an incredibly inspirational event with so much positive momentum to create change! We look forward to building on these results in the future—especially as the series dovetails with our own mission to promote diversity.
attendance rate with more than 160 high-profile executives from AirBnB, Google, HubSpot, Microsoft, Peloton, Salesforce, Zoom, and other organizations joining the conversation
of attendees rated the event above expectations
of attendees were very likely to recommend the event
“In my career, I have never [before] attended a panel with such esteemed Black leaders in executive roles within very large, matrixed, high-value corporations and having a focused discussion, with incredible vulnerability and humility, on the experience (wisdom) through a lens of being Black. [It] uniquely addressed the nuances and universal.”