Ben Collins, a Google Developer Expert and educator focused on Google Sheets and Apps Script, is the founder of Collins Analytics LLC and The Collins School of Data, where he creates online courses and writes about working with data. In 2019, he heard about Hopin through a webinar and immediately saw the potential for an online event around the topic of Google Sheets.
His vision was to create an online experience that brought together thousands of Google Sheets users from diverse industries, to learn from industry experts, network with other professionals and be inspired by the magic of Google Sheets. He decided to run it as a free, two-day online conference
I wasn't interested in creating an in-person event because of the cost and complexity. But I still wanted to create an engaging and rich experience for attendees. Hopin was the perfect partner for my vision.
SheetsCon was held over two days in early March 2020. They had 11 expert speakers —one of whom was a project manager from the Google Sheets team and he announced a new feature for the first time at the event — as well as networking, roundtables and vendor booths.
To increase engagement and strengthen the SheetsCon brand, Ben and his team created swag bags to give away during the conference, consisting of t-shirts and stickers. To win one, attendees had to either visit at least five of the vendor booths or share something about SheetsCon on social media.
SheetsCon had over 6,700 registrations and over 3,800 attendees for the live event (57%). It resulted in about 3,500 new and high-quality leads for the organization's online training business and future SheetsCon event attendees. "It was a lot of work, but it was a really fun and energizing two days" said Collins.
I developed really good relationships with speakers, vendors and attendees and it established the SheetsCon brand and laid the foundations for future, bigger, events.