OpenWater Helps Associations Migrate To Virtual Conferences, Symposiums And Annual Meetings

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Jeff Howard is Director of Marketing at OpenWater. Jeff’s background is in early stage startups and performance marketing. OpenWater Event Cloud is a virtual conference platform built for associations to hold virtual conferences, symposiums, and annual meetings.

Below is our recent interview with Jeff Howard, Director of Marketing at OpenWater:

Q: Jeff, can you tell us something more about the company?

A: After years of building custom web development projects for associations and nonprofits in the Washington, DC area, our company (then called nonprofitCMS), created a custom system for a trade association. We built a system to collect thousands of applications and perform online review with hundreds of reviewers. Little did we know at the time but this online entry/review system would become the backbone of our future. In 2020 we launched our Virtual Conference product based on the needs of an association conference with 1000s of concurrent sessions that needed to go virtual. The response to our product within our client base has been overwhelming.

Q: Can you give us more insights into your technology solutions?

A: Our Event Cloud platform acts as the home for associations that host a virtual conference. Our virtual conference software serves as the home for both attendees and administrators. We enable attendees to connect over one to one video conferencing and session based chat rooms. Associations that are academic in nature appreciate our platform for its abilities to host poster halls, and exhibit halls for sponsors. We also have a sister platform called OpenWater’s Application & Review Cloud which helps manage abstract collection and all application aspects of a conference.

Q: Who is your ideal candidate and why?

A: Associations and universities with academic symposiums and research conferences. We’re uniquely positioned to offer associations the blend of software and services that come with a virtual conference. We are an ongoing technology partner for applications and review management on the lead up to a conference. Then our Event Cloud is the home for your virtual conference content even if you’re offering year around on demand access.

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Q: What can we expect from OpenWater in the next 12 months?

A: The rapid adoption of virtual conferences and hybrid conferences has provided rapid product feedback straight from our users. We’ve been able to statistically validate new features to our platform, and observe that the best opportunities lie within strengthening niche networking through chat and onclick one on one video conferencing. We’re also learning that attendees find frustrations with virtual reality interfaces and prefer a straightforward web page design similar to how we browse websites everyday.