Hursley Summit: Driving Success Virtually

The annual IBM Hursley Summit is aimed at technical architects and those looking to build cloud automation skills in order to lead their organization’s digital transformation.

North America attendees typically fly to the UK to experience the IBM Hursley Lab themselves. The property is an 18th century mansion that was later used as a military hospital before IBM bought it in 1958. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 event went virtual, so we sought to bring the spirit and experience of Hursley and its location to our audience in their homes.

GPJ created an exclusive content-driven experience with English TV presenter, writer, and actor Charley Boorman. An IBM Host leads attendees through the IBM Hursley story, with Charley, and his Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle, at the forefront. A combination of pre-recorded video and live Q&A during the event gave attendees direct access to Boorman, and solidified the ‘live’ feel of the entire virtual event.

The success of the program relied on the rich and authentic storytelling of the town’s history, the innovative work done at the IBM Hursley lab and IBM’s partnership with Harley-Davidson in the development of the LiveWire technology. This was achieved in both Boorman’s celebrity and topicality, as he frequently rides his own LiveWire. 

With a very short runway, the virtual pivot required flexibility and collaboration between our North America and UK offices, expertise in talent acquisition and production, and ultimately a bit of luck for a beautiful shoot day in the English countryside.

Our clients were thrilled. Here are just a few of their comments:
“Tears and goosebumps at the same time! It is beautiful and so well done. Thank you so much!”
“Wow…just WOW! Amazing job team!! Wish I could take you all to the “Pub” and buy you some rounds of “Tea” (code for beer I’ve realized now). Looking forward to exploring what’s next with this very talented team. Thanks for all the hard work.”

With flexibility, collaboration and innovation, great results follow, as was certainly the case here.