GoDaddy Pro will kick off EXPAND 2021 – India on September 24, the second event of its kind this year. It is a one-day virtual conference that will feature sessions from industry leaders and experts in the field.
Nikhil Arora, the Vice President and Managing Director for GoDaddy India, will present the keynote address. In total, there will be nine sessions that will run between 15 and 45 minutes throughout the day. The goal is to provide guidance and resources for those starting and growing digital businesses.
GoDaddy Pro launched its first event, EXPAND 2021 – U.S., in late April. Over 5,000 people registered for the two-day virtual conference. However, tens of thousands more have viewed individual sessions since then. Each session is available for free viewing via the GoDaddy Pro YouTube channel, and new videos will be added for future events.
When Adam Warner, the Global Field Marketing Sr. Manager at GoDaddy, spoke of the event earlier this year, he described it as a project he had wanted to do since 2018. For him, it was a way of giving back to the community and helping the next generation along.
“I’m pleased with how our EXPAND conference series is growing and the feedback we’ve received from attendees so far,” he said. “The overarching goal of EXPAND is to showcase the solutions that our Pros are providing for their clients, and to do so in a way that both inspires and educates others to follow their passion for building the web and their own businesses.”
The first event did not go off without any bumps in the road. The team learned from it and will tweak things to improve the conference.
“One important lesson we learned from our first EXPAND event was to clearly define chat moderation roles and increase the amount of pre-written platform navigation directions and tips for our Guides to share with attendees in the general and session chats areas,” said Warner. “When our event started, we were walking over ourselves a bit. The chat conversations move so fast, we ended up duplicating a few replies, coming from multiple people.”
The EXPAND 2021 – India conference will be different than the inaugural event held earlier this year. Instead of focusing on a more general or U.S. audience, GoDaddy Pro is leaning into its regional teams and members.
“All the speakers are from India, as well as the Pros whose stories will be featured,” said Warner. “We have dedicated GoDaddy and GoDaddy Pro teams in India, and they’ve played a lead role in defining the best approach for the Indian audience. The biggest challenge with putting this event together so far has been the differences in time zones for our multiple teams. We’ve tried to accommodate everyone’s schedules as much as possible.”
The GoDaddy Pro team is already planning EXPAND 2022 events. Warner said those interested to be on the lookout over the next couple of months for more news.
“To date, our EXPAND conferences run parallel with our location-specific launches of the GoDaddy Pro brand,” he said. “As GoDaddy Pro continues to grow, and when the world gets back to in-person events globally, we would love to accommodate attendees in multiple physical locations.”
One glaring issue for the India event is the lack of gender diversity within its speaker group. Only one woman is leading a session. I asked Warner why there was such an imbalance.
“The number of women in the technology sector in India has been a matter of concern for small and large businesses alike,” said Warner. “GoDaddy is an inviting place to work and an industry leader for women in technology. We are actively working to create platforms and ecosystems to encourage more women to join the fray. We are delighted to have Kriti Aggarwal, Founder of Anaha Services, join us at this year’s EXPAND Event in India and are focused on all future EXPAND Conferences recognizing diverse groups of leaders in their sectors.”
The team is holding two Meetups each week. Yesterday was an all-female panel of GoDaddy and GoDaddy Pro team members in prep for their sponsorship of FemTechConf, held between September 24 and 25.