SWE is thrilled to announce our plan for WE20!
These past few months, we have been engineering solutions and practicing curiosity to deliver a WE20 experience we promise you will not forget. We are pleased to announce we will host a hybrid conference experience for WE20 with in-person programming from November 5-7, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and three weeks of virtual content from October 26, 2020 – November 13, 2020.
Registration will open in early July and SWE will limit the number of onsite attendees to ensure proper social distancing measures will be adhered to.
Key Elements of our WE20 Strategy:
- Health & Safety: Our priority is to ensure our in-person event adheres to all federal and state safety guidelines. We will be eliminating some events and experiences that we know we cannot safely host during this environment and replacing them with virtual experiences. Read more in our FAQs.
- Sessions: All registered attendees will have access to more than 200 sessions, including four keynotes, six mega sessions, over 100 professional development sessions, 50 Lightning Talk Sessions, and nearly 30 sponsored Information Sessions & Tech Talks.
- Career Fair: SWE will hold an in-person career fair the week of November 2nd and a virtual career fair the week of November 9th. Due to the unique circumstances this year and to ensure that everyone has access, we have eliminated member-only career fair hours.
- Special Events: To ensure the safety of our members and guests, SWE will only hold large special events if proper health measures can be adhered to. SWE will not host an in-person Celebrate SWE or Awards Banquet and will recognize all awardees virtually; read more in our FAQs.
- Registration: SWE has reduced the prices across the board for all attendees and all registered attendees will have access to all virtual content with the option of attending in person. Attendees will indicate if they plan to attend in-person during registration. To help get everyone access to the career fair – SWE membership is included in ALL non-member prices and the career fair will be open to all attendees at all time. Read more our WE20 registration page or in our FAQs below.
High-level Overview of the SWE WE20 Event:
Week 1 – October 26 – 30, 2020: Leadership Summit Week
- Attendees will have access to 10-15 pre-recorded digital video sessions of “SWE Leader Content” that can be viewed through the exclusive SWE YouTube channel for event attendees.
- SWE will showcase various Tech Talks and Information Sessions by WE20 sponsoring organizations that will include live chat sessions with organizational representatives.
- SWE will host a series of invitation-only virtual events during a pre-conference Leadership Summit for various SWE Leaders and Members (including Town Hall, Senate, and Committee Meetings).
- SWE will host a variety of member meetups.
Week 2 – November 2 – 7, 2020: Virtual & In-person Hybrid Events & In-person Career Fair
- All attendees can attend virtually the whole week or in-person from 11/5-11/7; a hybrid option (which has a virtual option for in-person events) will be available for virtual attendees from 11/5 – 11/7.
- All attendees will have access to 80 sessions of professional development content from this week. There will be 60 sessions onsite at the conference and 20 released on-demand early in the week on our virtual event platform. Some of the sessions during the conference will not be live-cast and will be recorded and released on-demand.
- SWE will release 25 Lightning Talks via the exclusive SWE YouTube channel for event attendees. SWE will also invite all Lightning Talk presenters to present in-person if they plan to attend.
- SWE will live-stream the in-person Keynotes, Mega Sessions, and the State of Women in Engineering session from New Orleans for all virtual attendees.
- SWE will host 5 yoga sessions via webcast, including 3 sessions webcast to in-person attendees at New Orleans.
- The in-person career fair from 11/5-11/6 will not have a virtual component.
- Attendees will have access to virtual and in-person networking sessions that are held at different times.
- Collegiate and professional competitions will take place in-person.
Week 3 – November 9 – 13, 2020: Virtual Conference & Virtual Career Fair
- SWE will host a two-day virtual career fair.
- Attendees will have access to 50 sessions of professional development content (25 pre-recorded and 25 live/webcast) via SWE’s virtual event platform.
- SWE will release 25 new Lightning Talks via the exclusive SWE YouTube channel for event attendees.
- SWE will host 5 yoga sessions via webcast.
- Attendees will have access to virtual networking sessions that are held at different times. Networking events will include virtual hospitality suites and member meetups.
Our priority is to ensure our in-person event adheres to all federal and state safety guidelines. We will be eliminating some events and experiences that we know we cannot safely host during this environment and replacing them with virtual experiences.
Receiving a recognition through the SWE Awards Program signifies a special and powerful moment in the lives of our members and partners. In order to keep our awardees and their guests safe, we will not be recognizing individuals via a seated dinner with over 1,000 attendees.
For FY20, we will pilot virtual methods to recognize awardees and our partnering sponsors. Recognition will include:
- Virtual recognition in the form of photo montages and pre-recorded acceptance remarks released at scheduled and sponsored times over the three-week WE20 experience.
- The SWE Marketing team to work with recipients to get photos and/or remarks in appropriate format.
- Awardees will receive physical awards via mail over the summer so they can be incorporated into photos.
- Each category will be its own video capsule; can be shared on All Together and social media
- Our partners and awardees will receive extended exposure for their award and sponsorship, since the content will live beyond one evening
- SWE will also recognize awardees and sponsors via a LED wall in New Orleans in addition to other recognition strategies that are being developed over the summer of 2020.
SWE has cut the prices across the board for all attendees and all registered attendees will have access to all virtual content with the option of attending in person. Attendees will indicate if they plan to attend in-person during registration.
SWE made the intentional choice to both discount registration and keep the price points the same for in-person and virtual attendees for several reasons. First, we reduced the cost because we recognize that both in-person and virtual attendees will not have the same experience as a full, typical SWE WE Annual Conference. Second, all attendees will have access to the same basic content and there are significant costs associated with providing content virtually, and often in-real time, as in-person events. This is also the first time that SWE will offer access to almost all content post-event for attendees and are offering two career fair options.
SWE also recognizes that the situation we find ourselves in is incredibly fluid. We recognize that someone who registers for the event in August may, in October, decide they only want to attend virtually. We wanted to keep the price discounted to help support people who want to shift from in-person to virtual (or vice-versa) easily.
In setting our base-price, SWE also acknowledges that we offer many discount codes and promotions for registrations and we had to set a price point that would strive to be affordable but also help us cover our costs. Finally, at SWE we realize that the environment we are in is out of our control and we may be in a position where only a virtual event is possible (and that this may happen very quickly and at the last minute); giving everyone the virtual registration price-point allows us to easily pivot all attendees to a virtual experience if needed.