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ALL ARTICLES
Case Studies
Black Girl Smiles' First Virtual Conference from a Small Team Celebrates Big Success
By Gabbi Tiangco July 27, 2021 5 min read
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Black Girls Smile (BGS) has been recognized as one of the leading organizations focusing on black female mental wellness. The organization was founded with a mission to provide young black women with the education, resources, and support to lead mentally healthy lives.

For their inaugural virtual conference, BGS chose the theme 'Black Girls Are Magic' for their event. The conference featured experts, advocates, and amplifiers that speak to and elevate the mental health and wellbeing of black women and girls!

Prior to this event, BGS was using other virtual platforms with complicated interfaces. Their attendees had trouble accessing the event which resulted in an immediate drop off in attendance. They mentioned facing challenges such as having too many buttons to click, intrinsic links that were malfunctioning, features that were just too overwhelming, and integrations that were conking out. For their first virtual conference, it was important for BGS to ensure that the platform they used would provide a seamless event experience.

Black Girls Smile

CHALLENGE

Finding an intuitive virtual platform for both their team and their attendees.

They were looking for an event platform that would allow them to: 

  • ✅ Allow their vast network to continue the conversation post-event
  • ✅ Distribute key information seamlessly
  • ✅ Provide an easily shareable registration link
  • ✅ Customize content for their different audiences
  • ✅ Plan the event simply and efficiently

These are 4 highlights from Black Girls Smiles' Event Experience with Cadence:

1. Disseminate Pivotal Information, Quickly and Easily

With a large conference, there are so many moving pieces that change constantly. As an event organizer, being able to communicate such changes with your attendees in real-time is essential for the success of your event. For a virtual conference, reminders are extremely helpful for attendees who may be distracted with the balancing act that is work from home.

BGS found the Notifications feature to be extremely helpful for both themselves as hosts and also for the attendees. It helped ensure that they weren't forgetting something and that they had all of the up to date information with the right directions. On the admin side, they were able to schedule these in advance, making for a very simple and easy planning process.

Notifications went out, and they were really straight to the point while also being friendly. I feel like they really added to the experience, because people always knew what was coming up next, had all the up-to-date information, and weren't forgetting anything which was extremely helpful for the success of the event.
Paige Woods

Paige Woods

Program Manager, Black Girls Smile

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2. Housing the Recorded Sessions Under One Roof

Experiencing fatigue from staring at your screen for too long? Don't worry, we've all been there! With virtual events, not all content will be digested by your audience during the live streamqq, so it's important to give them the option to watch the recordings. This way, they can always go back to the videos and watch them at their own time.

BGS experienced a particularly high rate of attendees viewing the recorded videos, upping their overall engagement as an organization and growing their community and reach even further.

3. Taking Advantage of Customizable Options

At Cadence, we've said numerous times that a 'one-size fits all' approach is never the way to go. This is why we actively work towards providing as much room for personalization and customization on the platform as much as possible.

BGS took advantage of this through their registration page, custom colors, extensive speaker profiles, email communications and schedule items to create an event that stayed true to their brand. They also had two different tracks for their conference, one Parent Track and one Youth Track. This opened the door to customize content to be specific to each track.

The ability to use our photos, add different descriptions to change the language of emails, overall customization, and ease of use were phenomenal.
Lauren Carson

Lauren Carson

Executive Director, Black Girls Smile

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4. Having a Partner for Their First Virtual Event

We know first hand that the transition from in-person to virtual isn't easy! But, with a little help from our friends, those mountains become easier to climb. Like many non-profits, BGS consists of a small but mighty team that had been wanting to put on a virtual conference for quite some time.

For the scale of the event they wanted to plan, it was important to find a partner and platform that would make planning the event easy. In Cadence, they were able to find both! Planning a big event with a small team isn't impossible with the right tools that make even the most complicated events, simple.

As a non-profit, this was such an amazing experience. Working with your team and the platform made it really easy for our side to navigate and make this big conference happen. I don't know if we would have been able to achieve this level of success and this level of a conference without using Cadence.
Lauren Carson

Lauren Carson

Executive Director, Black Girls Smile

RESULTS

  • ✅ 88% Attendee Rate
  • ✅ Speakers from the conference have returned to lead summer programming initiatives
  • ✅ Doubled their registration goal

What attendees said: 

  • “This conference was so refreshing and inspiring! I took SO MUCH VALUE from it. I am still reflecting on all of the gems that were dropped and reviewing my many pages of notes! Thank you so much for putting this on and opening it up to all ages. I'm 27 and was unsure if I was 'too old' for this conference but I'm so grateful I came because it was so insightful and left me feeling so joyful and encouraged. Thank you so much, ladies!!!!”
  • “I enjoyed everything and I would definitely recommend to my friends and other black women who would really enjoy it as well.”
  • “The entire conference was empowering. The intentionality created room for different voices/experiences.”

Learn more about the impactful work of Black Girls Smile and the ways you can get involved here.

Interested to see how Cadence could work for your upcoming events? Schedule a free personalized demo. We'll recommend the best solution based on your goals—even it's not Cadence.

Gabbi Tiangco
Gabbi Tiangco
Marketing Strategist
Gabbi is a Marketing Strategist at Cadence. She loves purposeful branding, can survive on cheese alone and has traveled to over 140 cities around 5 continents. Her dream event is a boat-in concert (think drive in movie but with boats) and she'll never get tired of listening to Seth Rogen’s laugh.
Gabbi is a Marketing Strategist at Cadence. She loves purposeful branding, can survive on cheese alone and has traveled to over 140 cities around 5 continents. Her dream event is a boat-in concert (think drive in movie but with boats) and she'll never get tired of listening to Seth Rogen’s laugh.