It’s been a little different this time around. No lanyards, no coffee carts, no mingling between sessions. Like many events, Nearmap NAVIG8 shifted from an in-person conference to a digital experience this year, and that’s not the only change you may have noticed.
For starters, we set our sights on involving as many customers as possible and putting them centre stage. Plans for a physical event in multiple cities were well underway when the name Covid-19 started hitting headlines. Switching to a virtual event presented some challenges, but importantly allowed us to broaden the scope and combine viewpoints and voices from around the world.
Though Nearmap NAVIG8 went live on 6 August, it’s certainly not over. It’s all available online and we’re linking you to some of the best bits right here from this blog.
‘Best’ is highly subjective, of course, but it’s hard to beat the impressive, inspiring and sometimes intriguing ways others use Nearmap, such as powering property underwriting with CoreLogic, using machine learning to determine changes in tree canopy as City of Ryde has, or integrating imagery into systems for public safety as used by the Boston Office of Emergency Management.
Demonstrations and visualisations are throughout. Find out how to spot construction across your area of interest at a glance from your browser. Be inspired by stunning simulations, such as using real-time data with up-to-date 3D mesh to see your city and network from a new perspective.
You’ll notice we’ve used a broadcast studio - that’s also a bit different. Beautiful, clear imagery is close to our hearts, so a studio approach makes sense. With this we could achieve the highest quality sound and visuals, and keep things lively on screen (a nice break from your Zoom meetings and video calls, we think).
While most workplaces were closed, restrictions in Sydney (where we are headquartered) were relaxed enough to allow limited numbers in a studio. Guests attended in-person or connected remotely from the US or UK, hooking into what the sound engineers affectionately called ‘mission control’.
The interviews and conversations are both enjoyable and insightful, aided by the genuine warmth of our colleagues Angela Catalan, as event host, and expert interviewer Joanna Ross. It all adds up to an event that is far more personal in nature.
A conference audience may be captivated by a venue, an exclusive activity, on-stage or big screen presentations. With lights down, they’ll be hushed, with phones on mute and notifications paused. Digital events rely on none of that, so each moment needs to hold its own.
At any moment an urgent email or message can bring an interruption, and that’s one reason why you’ll find most breakout sessions at Nearmap NAVIG8 are about 30-45 mins and comprise segments of just 10-15 mins. This means you can watch a whole session, or pick and choose the interviews and presentations of interest. All up, there’s about 4 hours in total.
Unlike TV, we know there’s typically one viewer for each desktop or mobile and recognise these things can feel quite ‘solo’, in addition to the isolation many are already experiencing. We wanted to ensure a sense of community and participation, for example by using Twitter for a real-time Q&A session as our keynote went ‘to air’.
For a limited time, we also gave customers attending Nearmap NAVIG8 an exclusive trial of our latest product Nearmap AI. For a personal touch we took a few moments to introduce the Nearmappers behind the technology who’ve made it all possible.
Ongoing, there’s also a scientific program at Nearmap to discover how image quality is perceived. You’ll enjoy the surprising nature of the session Image Quality in the Detail, and feel free to join a series of easy online experiments (your invitation awaits!).
In some ways Nearmap NAVIG8 2020 has been an experiment too, not just the digital translation of a physical event, but the creation of a more intimate experience and the opportunity to reflect on the world around us with our global audience.
It’s hard to sum it up better than our CEO Dr Rob Newman, who brings a truly personal quality to the keynote address (highly recommended). In a year of extraordinary challenges, he shares a film we hope conveys the hope and optimising we feel working together with you.