This article is a personal summary from Tobias Enders, CEO of GMS, GPA in Germany.
As a global organization, it is essential for our business to stay in close contact with our customers and have a good exchange with our partners at events that regularly happen throughout the year. In the past, we have always held our GPA Summits parallel to major industry trade fairs such as ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) and InfoComm in the USA.
The summits were loaded with inspiring keynotes, numerous internal workshops, talking with customers as well as partners and above all, a lot of fun and social interaction. Trust was built up and collaboration in “daily business” became much easier over the years.
Then Corona came and everything was different.
The big fairs were cancelled, travelling became impossible.
Yet, our need for exchange still existed.
The right people in the Team
Fortunately, our regional GPA teams are not only very creative and agile but also proven technology and event experts. Soon afterward Richard Mulholland and his crew from Missing Link were on board as well.
Thanks also to the support of our fantastic partners Google, Bose, Maverick, and Biamp, our GPA Unite Summit took place on 10 June 2020 – completely virtual!
If you’re now thinking, “oh, another one of those webinars” you’d be completely wrong.
In alignment with our global approach, the event was executed via the “Follow-the-Sun” method in three different time zones. We started in the Asia Pacific region, followed by the EMEA session and our GPA teams in the Americas closed the day.
The program was of course dominated by the challenges of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic as well as with returning-to-work subjects and a lively mix of exciting keynotes, individual and interactive breakout sessions with customers, the virtual booths of our partners and a final panel discussion to summarize the results of the workshops.
It was exciting to be an active part of the GPA Unite Summit. Even in times of social distancing, events with high-quality content can be designed creatively and entertainingly. But the virtual beer at the end of our Unite Summit will probably not replace the personal exchange that makes our GPA so unique and successful in the long term.
For those who would like to see the contents of the GPA Unite Summit 2020 check out our on-demand page here.
Many thanks to all involved, especially Byron Tarry and Mike Stead for the successful organization!
Editorial notice: This article by Tobias Enders was translated from German to English.