ARNOLD, Mo. – It’s been an impactful year for many business continuity professionals, but the industry’s premiere event last week helped reignite those individuals with an appetite for knowledge.

“We were overwhelmed by the engagement of our attendees to network with one another,” said Disaster Recovery Journal President Bob Arnold.

DRJ Spring 2021: A New Era of Resiliency featured a whopping 104 sessions, 131 speakers, 40 exhibitors, and unlimited networking opportunities, March 29-April 1, 2021.

“With our second virtual event, we decided to add another 16 sessions to our usual lineup,” said Arnold. “I would like to express how proud I am of our staff to manage the extra sessions and continue to deliver the best event in our space.”

Arnold extended his gratefulness to all of the various speakers, panelists, sponsors, and exhibitors who worked hard to ensure the success of DRJ’s 64th conference.

“With so many sessions available, all-access pass holders continued to use the platform last weekend into this week,” said Lesley Vinyard, DRJ director of events. “They’ll have access to every session at the conference for six months.”

Attendees with an all-access registration will be able to rack up more than 100 continuing education credits.

The four-day virtual event featured:

  • 998 registered participants
  • 968 who logged in and attended various sessions
  • 7,664 public conversations
  • 11,002 visits to virtual trade show booths with 3,963 unique booth visitors

Here’s what a few attendees had to say about the conference:

“This format supports introverts or those whose companies don’t support travel. What a great opportunity this conference has been. Thank DRJ for all your hard work.”

“Absolutely beyond happy that I received approval to attend. Knowledge overload, (but) in a good way!

“So much value to the conference. Being able to watch recordings of sessions that overlapped, or I could not attend in person, is priceless!

“Overall, I have really enjoyed the conference and this format! Great information and discussions occurring in the chats!

“Best virtual conference of all the ones I’ve been on so far.”

Several sponsors hosted product demonstrations throughout the event, along with a new feature from DRJ. Sponsor Speed Networking allowed vendors to speak directly with several small groups of attendees in five-minute intervals. Vendors were able to chat with hundreds of attendees within the hour.

“That was a close to being on an exhibit floor as I’ve seen at any virtual event this year,” raved one vendor. “That was a brilliant idea.”

Many vendors were able to follow-up with attendees to schedule further meetings, hospitality events, and prize drawings in the virtual exhibit hall.

DRJ alone gave out more than 30 innovative, technology gifts during the four-day event. Prizes were awarded to attendees who gained the most points each day for attending sessions, interacting with other attendees, and visiting exhibitor booths. Other attendance prizes were raffled off for taking part in Sponsor Speed Networking and the grand prize at the end of the conference.

Attendees who fill out a conference evaluation by Thursday, April 8, 2021, are eligible to win two Bose Soundsport Headphones.

Vinyard is looking to confirm speakers for DRJ Fall 2021: Resiliency in Time of Rebuilding. She has issued a call for papers for the event. Potential speakers have until April 30, 2021, to submit an abstract.

“We are planning on returning to Phoenix in the fall for our first in-person event since the pandemic,” said Arnold.

DRJ Fall 2021 is scheduled to take place Sept. 19-22, 2021, at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. Plans are also being made to make this a hybrid event, offering virtual options for those who aren’t allowed to travel.

Please be assured the health and safety of all parties are first and foremost in our preparation an in-person DRJ Fall 2021. As such, many considerations and modifications are our priority. We are partnering with both the JW Marriott and the city of Phoenix to ensure the safety of all for a return to an in-person event. 

To attend DRJ Fall 2021, visit https://drj.com/fall2021/.

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