Behind The Scenes – Product Impact 2020

Do you want to know what it takes to organize a conference like Product Impact 2020? We take a Behind The Scenes look at Product Impact 2020. In this article we explore:

BTS Product Impact 2020

If you don’t know what Product Impact 2020 is read this.

TLDR: Product Impact 2020 is a 1-day conference for Product People designed to level up your Product game.

Want to know what happens behind the scenes organizing Product Impact 2020? Click To Tweet

The Idea behind Product Impact 2020

A little background

Helping organize and host events was something we did in a previous life and really enjoyed it. In 2018 we hosted a couple of (free) small meetups and it brought back the memories. Yes, it is a lot of work. However, when your audience shares feedback especially from someone who you’ve never previously met and they tell you that they really enjoyed the conference and want more, that really motivates us.

In the back of our minds, We have wanted to create a conference for a number of years. Hosting those events only reignited our passion and made us want to take the next step and host a one-day conference.

The purpose

Product Impact 2020 is a 1-day conference for Product People designed to level up your Product game. Click To Tweet

However, this for us at least was a big topic to think about. When we started conceiving the idea of Product Impact 2020. The first item that came to my mind is what value can we provide that attracts Product People to attend.

The theme

Product Impact 2020 - Learn by Doing. Click To Tweet

During the last two years or so We have spoken to a number of Product People and tried to understand what problems they face. One of the common themes we found was that when they started working in Product, in a number of organizations they do receive the mentoring or guidance they needed to excel in their careers and feel confident in their Product skills.

Speaking with Product leaders who are at a director level and above also echoed similar sentiments where they have hired Product People and unfortunately due to internal business constraints they are unable to provide the training and mentorship needed.

This was only made worse by the fact that being in Product can mean different things. Depending on the size of the company, the industry, and your leadership bias. The role can be different.

Another common theme that we uncovered was the desire to develop:

  • A Product Mindset
  • Product skills, and
  • Have a set of Product tools at your disposal

Which got us thinking. Understanding theory is a good foundation to have, however, the *best* learning comes from Learn(ing) by doing, hence this became the theme. At Product Impact 2020, you’ll learn new skills but also be given the opportunity to practice those new skills and discuss how they can be applied to improve your Product careers.

Research

Marie Prokopets and Hiten Shah have written a piece called Why you shouldn’t ignore your competitors, which if you have not yet read this article we highly recommend you do.

After understanding who the four types of competitors around the space Product Impact 2020 is in we knew we needed to create something really special. There are several different options already out there and we wrote about it in an article called 10 Product Conferences & Workshops for 2020 (this is not a complete list). If you are interested in a more comprehensive list Tim Herbig wrote The Full Guide to Product Management Conferences in 2020.

As you can see those lists are impressive. Next, we started to think about what we liked when we attended conferences in the past. This is a brief list of what we came up with:

  1. Practical hands-on activities
  2. Ability to relate the theory into practice and in particular how I can apply what I learned in my professional life immediately
  3. Listening to professionals talk about their experiences

When and where

Midtown, NYC and online on April 01, 2020.

We know you likely have a question; why April 01? Is this an April fool’s joke. No, when talking about potential dates with the speakers it was a good date logistically and also gives us the opportunity to make some April fool’s jokes at Product Impact 2020. 😉

Product Impact 2020

Photo by Jonathan Riley on Unsplash

The initial name for Product Impact 2020 was something else and you can read about the name change here.

What are our goals?

This was a simple question to answer.

Create a conference where participants can learn by doing. Click To Tweet

Well actually it was not that simple, I spoke to a lot of Product People and asked them what various questions about conference they have or would consider attending.

The lessons learned and insights were very valuable. Two key takeaways that have stuck with me are:

  1. There usually is a huge buzz leading up to and day of, however, the energy seems to disappear the next day
  2. You learn so much, however, during the day there generally isn’t enough time to absorb all the information and how to use what we just learned in our daily professional work lives.

We hope to address the above takeaways with what we are trying to accomplish with The Product Angle and Product Impact 2020.

Resources needed for Product Impact 2020?

Ok wow, it seems like a loaded question, but seriously it is a lot of work and resources to make Product Impact 2020 a success. After we made the decision to green-light the conference the following things come to mind:

Budget and financials

The number one thing we could say right now is to open a spreadsheet (Excel, Google sheets, or your choice) and start writing down all the different elements, and associated costs (because they can quickly get out of hand).

Speakers

After all, the speakers are one of the main reasons (if not the reason) to attend. We thought about what are some of the hot topics Product People face in their Product lives and started searching through our network for amazing and talented speakers. We are very proud to say that Product Impact 2020 has an all-star speaker line up.

The Product Angle

Reaching out to the speakers was an interesting period for us. Partly because we are new in the Product conference space. Can you imagine getting a cold email from us that read something like;


[Subject] Potential interest in a Paid speaker opportunity. [Or reply to their newsletter and keep the subject line as is]

Hi [Name],

Love what you are doing – big fan. Reaching out to you as I have a few speaker opportunities in NYC next year around April/ May /June (dates yet to be finalized) [Date is now finalized and is April 01, 2020].

It’s a one-day conference where attendees “learn by doing” not just sitting there and listening to a speaker.

I love what you are doing on the [topic] side and would love to chat more with you about potentially running a [X] min session.

If this is something you are interested in, let’s chat. If not keep up the great work, love reading your content.

Have an awesome weekend.

Regards,
Pradip Khakhar
Cell [Redacted]


A very big Thank You to all the speakers who said yes

I received a response from everyone I reached out to and am very thankful and grateful they did. Learn more about the speaker line up. Seriously from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank Katelyn Bourgoin, Mubashar Iqbal (Mubs), Marcie Walker, Michelle Chu, Tremis Skeete, Erin Essex, Henry Bruce, Bianka McGovern.

A special Thank you

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that I have reached out to Hiten Shah several times and I am truly grateful to Hiten for sharing his wisdom and expertise with me.

Also a special shout out to James Kenny for regularly reading, reviewing and providing constructive feedback to improve the written content found on The Product Angle.

Venue

Living in NYC we do not see this as a big hurdle, there are *so many* spaces available. It becomes a case of finding the right venue at the right price.

Food and Snacks

This is something we feel is very important. When attending Product Impact 2020 we don’t want you to be looking for food during the breaks in potentially a neighborhood that you do not know that well. We would rather you chat with the other Product People attending. Therefore, if you attend Product Impact 2020 in person we will have food and snacks for you so you can focus on learning and chatting with your fellow Product People.

Video only

Also another important topic for me. We have expressed we enjoy meeting IRL, however, we understand that it may not be feasible to be in NYC on April 01, 2020, for everyone. Location or lack of availability should not be a barrier to being a participant at Product Impact 2020 and therefore we have created a video-only ticket.

Can't make it to Product Impact 2020 in person. A video-only ticket gives you access to video recordings of all the sessions and an electronic copy of handouts. Click To Tweet

In addition, we do not want Product Impact 2020 to be a big one time buzz leading up to April 01, 2020. We are looking to turn The Product Angle into a community that supports Product People to become a better Product Person and Negotiator all throughout the year.

become a better Product Person and Negotiator. Click To Tweet

Marketing and Sales

You may have seen that we have upped our inbound marketing game. As well as outreach and other outbound activities.

Pradip Cloud


Product Impact 2020


Everything else

There is a lot of work involved in organizing Product Impact 2020. We don’t want to bore you with all the details, however, if you are interested in learning more about Product Impact 2020, Product (in general), Negotiations (including team alignment), organizing conferences, or just want to chat grab some time on the calendar here.

Known risks

As you can imagine, organizing Product Impact 2020 was a huge step for us and when we officially made the announcement we knew the road ahead was going to be tough, however, we also believe that without taking a leap of faith you do not grow. Some of the known risks we are aware of and have accounted for are:

  1. Inability to sell tickets to cover the expenses.
  2. Participants who attend do not feel they are in an environment created to learn by doing.

Clearly these risks are at a high level, however, operationally the risks include:

  • Online ticket system fails and lose sales
  • Unable to find a location that makes it easy for participants to attend
  • Poor theme and positioning for Product Impact 2020
  • Incorrect assumptions in the budget/ financials
  • Speakers unable to arrive on April 01, 2020 due to [could be anything]
  • Incorrectly priced
  • Poor marketing and sales
  • Participants do not like the food
  • Natural disaster on day of
  • AV equipment failure
  • Poor signage and clear communications for participants
  • Missed schedules

Ok as you can see there is a lot of things that could go wrong. (Wait what 🤯)

Why Product Impact 2020 is different

Product Impact 2020 was created after chatting with a number of different Product People about their experiences and what they would like to see. If you:

  • You enjoy listening to professionals talk about their practical experiences and would like the opportunity to ask questions
  • When you learn something new you also want to know how to apply it immediately in your professional careers (and practice your new skills in a safe environment)
  • Access to no-fluff, no-nonsense actionable content

Therefore, we would really appreciate it if you are considering attending a product conference in 2020 you take a look at Product Impact 2020 and share Product Impact 2020 with your friends and co-workers.

Check out Product Impact 2020 over at https://theproductangle.com/impact Click To Tweet

Above all, Product Impact 2020 is designed to provide you tremendous value. If after reading the Product Impact 2020 page and you feel there is anything we can do better let’s jump on a Zoom call, grab some time here.

Product Impact 2020 Stats

Maybe we should have started with this.

We don’t know if these are considered good/ bad or if there is an industry-standard. We have created Product Impact 2020 with Product People in mind and what we thought was right for the participants and speakers in an attempt to differentiate Product Impact 2020.

In closing

Face to face, in-person meetings have been a way for people to interact, connect, and build relationships with fellow like-minded individuals. We *love* the idea of grabbing a coffee (tea or your choice of a non-alcoholic beverage) and chatting without an agenda. However, we know it’s nearly 2020, and who does that. It worked for us in the past and we know it can sound weird if someone sent you a DM asking if you’d like to grab a coffee.

We love face to face interaction and we hope to see you at Product Impact 2020 in-person in NYC on April 01, 2020. (if you cannot make it we get it, there is a video-only ticket).

We have put a lot of work into creating Product Impact 2020 to be very valuable to you. We hope you consider attending.

Finally, if you are interested in learning more about Product, Negotiations, organizing conferences, or just want to chat grab some time on the calendar here.

Actually Finally one last stat to leave you with.

The Product Angle

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