The Asian Development Bank was established in 1966 and continues to be the largest multilateral finance institution in the world to date. Since its inception, ADB has been dedicated to eradicate extreme poverty in Asia and the Pacific with the ultimate goal of building a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient region. With a portfolio of $102.6 Billion, ADB bolsters development by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments.
Within its Technical Assistance work, ADB actively facilitates policy dialogues with multiple stakeholders and sectors, looking into every aspect of growth and leading knowledge sharing and capacity building opportunities.
Agriculture. Education. Gender inclusivity. These are just some of the numerous topics they’ve touched on. Ultimately, the spaces they build to start conversations about these issues aim to produce results and implement positive change to the lives of their stakeholders.
In the advent of COVID-19, which has been a massive turning point for our social realities, the bulk of ADB’s focus has pivoted towards ensuring economies can recover, cope, and remain resilient throughout the pandemic.
This overlap between ADB’s mission and Boldr’s purpose-driven approach paved a way towards an opportunity to work together.
Migrating ADB’s Flagship Event to a Virtual Platform
One of ADB’s annual flagship events is the Asia Pacific Youth Symposium (formerly known as the Asian Youth Forum). Since 2011, this event has engaged over 10,000 youth, empowering them to meaningfully contribute to community and social development. This year’s symposium focuses on how young people can remain economically resilient despite the disruptions brought about by COVID-19 to jobs and livelihoods.
As with all of its events, ADB migrated this year’s delivery of the youth symposium online. This was the first time for the ADB team to hold a youth-focused virtual event that was spread across four weeks featuring knowledge sessions, asynchronous learning sessions, and consultation spaces convening over 700 participants from across Asia and the Pacific.
The event’s coordination team, led by Senior Program Manager Joaquim Sanvictores was on the lookout for a virtual events management vendor that is agile, adaptable, youthful, and capable of delivering on the complex technical aspects of the event.
Boldr was the first among Joaquim’s options that saw the opportunity and grabbed it by strategically getting the first solutions proposal through the gate as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
At this point, you may be wondering, where does Boldr start fitting in such a landscape?
Designing Outsourced Support for Events Management, a First for Boldr
Boldr’s consulting engagement with ADB is predicated first and foremost on trust and shared values. Designing flexible outsourced services isn’t a new concept for the Boldr team, but events management definitely is.
But ADB’s commitment to empower individuals (in this case young people) to become agents of change resonates strongly with Boldr’s own mission to help people grow and connect. This fundamental alignment in values, coupled with the resources and talent Boldr possesses, ensured the collaboration was productive and the goals were met.
Within a day from the initial kick-off call with ADB, the Boldr team hit the ground running, scoping out all the available virtual event management platforms, navigating through ADB’s internal systems, ensuring all platforms are secure and follow safeguarding measures, running platform stress tests, creating the event’s visual elements and materials, sending invitations to over 1,600 individuals, all while simultaneously adapting to all the changes throughout the weeks leading up to the event.
As the project progressed, Boldr was able to shine and show what they do best: flexible and custom-built solutions. The team was able to accommodate ADB’s urgent needs, take on additional assignments to the initial scope of work, and ensure that a safe virtual space was built for the delegates and speakers.
Ensuring a Seamless Virtual Symposium Experience
By the time of the symposium’s launch, the Boldr team set up the complete virtual infrastructure for ADB’s first virtual youth event. With over 1,000 youth in virtual attendance from 51 countries across Asia and the Pacific, Boldr played a pivotal role in ensuring the virtual experience was as seamless and smooth as possible.
Boldr’s team of project managers and event coordinators who are pivotal to the seamless virtual delivery allowed the main coordination team to focus on strengthening the technical content of the agenda and nurturing the delegates’ journey throughout the event.
Through this engagement, ADB was able to outsource the critical albeit back-end components of the event to allow for greater focus to be given on creating a robust and meaningful knowledge sharing experience. This is the space Boldr carved out for itself in regional development. Boldr’s ability to make its homegrown talents and skills highly transferable across industries has opened doors for working with organizations such as the ADB.