Last night, the CDC issued a strong suggestion that events with 50 or more people should be cancelled for the next eight weeks or become virtual. We fully support the suggestion and think it is in the best interest of everyone to follow that advice. With that, we are announcing that we are moving FreightWaves LIVE ATL on May 5th and 6th to a fully virtual event.
We know how important FreightWaves LIVE events are to the freight community. Startups and large enterprises alike depend on FreightWaves LIVE to showcase their technology, network with industry buyers, and meet up with potential investors. It has quickly become the event where leading technology companies and innovative startups announce new product offerings, giving it a launch party feel. More than 2000 C-level decision makers involved in transportation, logistics, and supply chain were projected to attend FreightWaves LIVE ATL.
Over the past few weeks, we have been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and making contingency plans to go 100% virtual. We have consulted with experts on virtual events and vendors in the space to understand what an incredibly awesome virtual event would look like.
We discovered that FreightWaves LIVE is the type of event that thrives in a virtual setting, primarily because we center the content around live demos, keynotes, fireside chats, and even town halls. We plan on keeping these formats, but will do them virtually, including for speakers and demo companies. Town halls will be converted to live chat.
Panel talks and expo hall-centered trade shows are actually the hardest to pull off virtually, which are not nor will ever be features of a FreightWaves LIVE event.
We also learned that the technology infrastructure we invested in for FreightWaves TV is more than sufficient to create a world-class virtual event. Plus, with FreightWaves TV’s audience of 35,000 daily viewers, we can offer massive distribution for thought leadership and technology demonstration and rollout.
The part that is most difficult to execute virtually is the networking and engagement part of a live experience. We understand that and while it won’t be exactly the same, we think we can make it very effective for our demo companies, sponsors and audience alike. We are developing a platform, using in-house developers and off-the-shelf technology offerings, to provide engagement with the community.
The in-person experience is being planned for our FreightWaves LIVE Fort Worth event in October.
Over the next few weeks, we plan to have more information about what we are calling FreightWaves LIVE @ HOME. We plan to keep much of the same schedule that we had originally planned, with slight modifications and more content.
Meanwhile, the FreightWaves team will be reaching out to sponsors, demo companies and registered attendees to discuss the various participation opportunities and options available to them.
We appreciate your support of FreightWaves and want to do right by the logistics community of Always Responders. We are in this together!