CDO magazine and EDM Council’s Women Data Professional Forum Event - Case Study

Executive Summary

Chief Data Officer (CDO) magazine and Electronic Data Management (EDM) Council’s Women Data Professional Forum hosted the first ever Women Data Leaders’ Global Summit. The virtual one-day event brought over 90 female leading data experts to speak about innovation and leadership in over 30 sessions. Attendees tuned in from across the world, from the US to all the way in the Philippines. 

With the help of Whova’s all-in-one event management platform, the organizers provided ample networking opportunities for data professionals and made sure exhibitors gained valuable leads.

“Our goal was to bring the [data] community together to spotlight thought leaders and provide opportunities where individuals can share ideas and dialogue. Whova allowed us to do that.” Jackie Osborne

Global Communication and Partnership Leader at CDO Magazine and Organizer of Women Data Leaders' Global Summit

Interview with the Organizers

About Women Data Leaders’ Global Summit

Both CDO magazine and EDM Council’s Women Data Professional Forum are dedicated to supporting women in data. This year they worked together to hold the successful Women Data Leaders’ Global Summit. 

CDO magazine was founded in 2007 from an annual MIT symposium and now gives voices to leaders in strategic data management from North America, South America, India, Israel, and more. 

EDM council is a global association with over 10,000 professional data management members and 250+ member organizations from all over the world, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Charles Schwab, and State Farm. Their Women Data Professionals Forum was created to build a strong, empowering community for women in data.


Leads generated


Tickets sold through Whova


Session views


  • Smoothly running online sessions

The summit organizers hosted just over 100 speakers, an especially large amount for a one-day event. Because the majority of sessions were panels and multiple speakers would be working together, they wanted to ensure each speaker knew their part so the live event would run smoothly.

  • Managing a complicated agenda

The summit organizers were juggling a lot of speakers and topics. They needed an effective strategy that would help attendees navigate the 30+ sessions and find the content they were looking for.

  • Ensuring attendees have opportunities to network 

Many leading data professionals were at the summit and were ready to connect with other experts in their field. Because they would not be able to network like they would in person, it was critical the organizers provided an online forum for attendees to chat or share ideas virtually. 

  • Registering attendees online

With almost 2,000 attendees, they needed to easily gather contact and ticketing information through an integrated registration page that would also be easy to share and promote.


  • Practice livestreams with Whova’s rehearsals 

Whova’s rehearsal feature gave organizers the unique ability to practice live streaming sessions before the actual event, polishing any potential tech issues so their live event could run without a hitch.

Some panels had up to 9 speakers, so making sure everyone was on the same page was essential for this team. The organizers could schedule as many rehearsals as they wanted in a seven-day time period they selected ahead of time, so speakers would schedule a time to practice their live sessions through Whova’s platform. 

Practicing live sessions allowed panelists to figure out streaming details like mic configurations so they would not waste valuable presentation time at the actual event. 

Women Data Leaders' Global Summit - Rehearsals

The organizers planned rehearsal session for many speaker sessions

  • Organize session topics by tracks in Whova’s online agenda 

To effectively present the many topics in the agenda, the organizers created different colored tracks for each topic so they were easily identifiable. Track names appear for sessions they are assigned to in the agenda, which attendees can also filter to only show certain tracks in their agenda.

They were able to create multiple tracks about topics in data innovation or best business practices. Attendees could then easily find sessions under the track they were following or make sure they entered at least one session of each track. 

Assigning tracks also made coordinating speaker information easier. Once speakers chose the tracks they wanted to appear in, organizers assigned speakers to their sessions.

Women Data Leaders' Global Summit - Tracks

Attendees could find sessions under different colored tracks

  • Attract leads through online exhibitor booths 

Exhibitors left the event with a high return on investment by utilizing Whova’s online booths. Exhibitors could upload PDFs, videos, photos, and contact information to a digital booth for attendees to explore. Even better, the live stream and chat features helped them engage with attendees in real time. 

To further promote engagement with the booths, the organizers dedicated a 30-minute time period on the agenda for attendees to exclusively visit the virtual exhibitor booths. 

Besides providing valuable tools for exhibitors to connect with attendees during the event, the organizers opened the Whova app before the event started so attendees could visit the booths in advance. When attendees liked, commented, or messaged exhibitors their profiles were recorded as leads. 

In addition to helping attendees, the exhibitor center decreased a lot of the organizers’ work load. With Whova’s pre-written email, they could contact all or specific exhibitors and invite them to upload their own content to the platform.

“Providing exhibitors with a direct link where they could go in and populate their own information was efficient and self explanatory. It reduced a lot off our workload as the event organizers.” Jackie Osborne

Global Communication and Partnership Leader at CDO Magazine and Organizer of Women Data Leaders' Global Summit

  • Encourage networking through the Community Board 

Attendees used Whova’s Community Board, an event discussion forum designed to help attendees network, to post discussion topics about data driven ideas or job offerings, connect over scholarly articles, and suggest virtual dinner meetups. 

If attendees found someone they wanted to talk to, they could easily send them a 1-1 message. If they were looking for a specific attendee, they could even search for attendee names and company titles. 


Break the ice



“The Community Board really allows for people to get that human experience and interaction. We were really excited by what that ended up offering for our event.”

Jackie Osborne

Global Communication and Partnership Leader at CDO Magazine and Organizer of Women Data Leaders' Global Summit

  • Inspire photo sharing with Whova’s digital photo booth

Whova’s photo booth helped attendees connect with each other and share event memories in the virtual community. The attendees took advantage of the many photo frames available on the app to share fun and engaging selfies or photos about topics in their field. 

There were a variety of options for the organizers to customize the photo frames with their event’s branding. The organizers chose their own frames shapes and customized the colors and text. Attendees could take photos directly through the app and add a frame, or upload photos from their camera roll. 

Attendees could also share their branded photos to social media directly from the Whova app, helping promote the event without the organizers lifting a finger. 

Women Data Leaders' Global Summit - Frames

The organizers created customized frames for attendees to share on their photos

  • Register attendees through Whova’s platform 

With online registration integrated directly with the platform, it was easy to register the nearly 2,000 attendees. The organizers were able to create separate tickets for speakers, attendees and staff. They could see how many attendees and speakers would be at the event and create separate, customized registration forms for each ticket type.

Along with the registration questions, they also included a disclaimer to inform attendees of the event’s privacy regulations. The information attendees’ input on the registration form was automatically uploaded into Whova’s platform, making it easy for the organizers to email participants and prepare event logistics.

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