We recently partnered with the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) , the United States’ signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders, and hosted a five-day expansive virtual summit that resulted in thousands of registrations and more than 1200+ leads.
The Challenge: Finding a Robust Event Management Solution to Host a Five-Day Virtual Summit Commemorating YALI’s 10th Anniversary
Established in 2010, YALI includes the Mandela Washington Fellowship, four Regional Leadership Centers in Africa, and a robust digital community (YALI Network) of more than 75,000 members.
Through experiential education, in-person and online leadership training, networking, and professional development, these programs aim to strengthen democratic institutions and good governance, spur economic growth and prosperity, and foster peace and security in Africa.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of YALI, the U.S. Department of State in partnership with the Wilson Center’s Africa Program hosted the five-day YALI 10 Summit.
To properly celebrate this important milestone, event organizers needed a virtual event platform that checked all of the following boxes:
- Accessible to users located around the world
- Ability to seamlessly live stream several sessions and speakers over the course of five days
- Multiple ways for attendees to network and engage with one another
- Ease of use for organizers and attendees
- Excellent customer support
- Scalable pricing
The Accelevents Solution: Creating A Robust Virtual Conference For YALI
Accelevents proved to meet all of the essential needs listed above for hosting the virtual summt. Organizers took full advantage of the platform’s features and began building the summit which included:
- Custom registration
- Event reminder emails
- 263 Exhibitors
- 117 Speakers
- 26 Main Stage sessions
- 21 Breakout sessions
- 14 1:1 Speed Networking sessions
- 13 Networking Lounges
YALI 10 Summit speakers ranged from government officials and university professors to YALI alumni and public figures. Some notable speakers include:
- Dana Banks, Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for Africa, The White House
- Belinda Jackson Farrier, Director for the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
- Dr. Mawien M Arik, YALI Alum; Medical Doctor and Founder, Akougook Initiative
- Dr. Zoe Marks, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University
- Congressman Michael McCaul, Representative, Texas’ 10th Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives
- Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, Representative, New York’s 5th Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives
- Serge Ibaka, Founder of Serge Ibaka Foundation, Forward for LA Clippers
The Accelevents platform allowed the Summit to tackle current significant issues and topics like climate change, ethics, COVID-19, servant leadership, and peacebuilding.
In Main Stage and Breakout sessions, attendees had the ability to watch the live discussions as well as post comments and questions in the real-time chat and Q&A which facilitated audience participation during such important conversations.
Standalone keynote discussions, such as sessions that addressed US-Africa relations and YALI’s vision for the next 10 years, took place using the Main Stage feature in the virtual summit.
Event organizers cited Breakout sessions as critical to the success of YALI 10 Summit. These concurrent sessions utilized the Accelevents Studio and made it easy for panelists to discuss topics such as innovation in Africa during COVID-19 and society’s role in combating climate change.
The week-long event had a full agenda with thought-provoking sessions that included:
- Accountability and Ethics: The Role of Civil Society in Holding Leaders Accountable
- Lessons Learned from Women Business Leaders
- Storytelling, Podcasting, and Blogging to Highlight Community Voices
- Why Servant Leadership Matters in Africa and How to Get There
- Youth, Conflict Management, and Peacebuilding in Africa
The Results: Incredible Event Stats!
By leveraging nearly all aspects of the Accelevents platform, YALI 10 Summit generated impressive results:
- 10,500+ registrants
- 4,600+ attendees
- 2,600+ connections formed through 1:1 Speed Networking sessions
- 1,400 leads collected through the Expo Hall
- 200+ meetings scheduled between attendees and exhibitors
“Thousands of participants from dozens of countries participated and largely shared the event was successful, particularly in inspiring them, building connections, and refreshing their motivation.”
Program Associate at Wilson Center Africa Program