Amazon Web Services taps into its audience personality for a digital event

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit is an annual free online mass activation event designed to bring together the cloud computing community. The goal was to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS products and services.

However, when the pandemic hit in 2019, AWS had to be done in a digital format. In an effort to educate and empower its AWS customers, AWS decided to work with Mills, which wowed the judges, and won the Gold Award for Best Virtual Event (B2B) at INTERACTIVE-MARKETING‘s Marketing Events Awards 2021. In addition, they also won the silver award for best B2B brand experience.


When Amazon Web Services (AWS) was planning the AWS Summit Online ASEAN 2021, the fundamental challenge of hosting this event was the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. However, from Mills’ perspective, the challenge of designing a virtual event was even greater than the pandemic.

According to Mills, the fundamental challenge of this event was the phobia people at home faced due to working from home and lockdown restrictions. With that in play, consumers were now tired of browsing a computer screen, especially one that had a day-long duration.


To address these challenges, AWS and Mills identified three steps that would help alleviate the situation.

The first was to create a character. “We understand that a brand is like a mirror. It is described as a reflection of how you think you should appear to your audience, ”the agency said.

So when the agency designed the experience for AWS, it began by profiling AWS’s audience, which included tech enthusiasts, developers, marketers, and start-up entrepreneurs.

The next step was to define the character. This was done using two sets of data such as contextual and market. For the contextual dataset, Mills conducted a semantic search using the Google Keyword Planner. By studying how the AWS audience uses keywords to research AWS solutions and adding the variables to rank intent, the agency was able to understand the perception or even the expectations and needs of potential attendees.

While on the market front, Mills benchmarked the Developer Survey on a question and answer website for professional and enthusiastic programmers called Stack Overflow. With the Stack Overflow annual survey dataset, Mills was able to gain insight into over 60,000 developers sharing how they learned and improved, and the tools these people were using.

When the character was defined, Mills took the next step of visualizing the journey.

AWS includes over 200 products and services, including computing, storage, networking, databases, analytics application services, deployment, management, machine learning, tools mobiles, developers and tools for the Internet of Things.

According to the agency, AWS customers come from different industry sectors with different needs and goals when they attend the AWS Summit.

The last step was to plan a feedback loop. The know-how and insight that Amazon customers could gain by attending AWS Summit Online could replicate a tremendous amount of benefits, both economically and emotionally.

By understanding how all of these benefits and rewards were transferred from one to another, the designers at Mills were immediately able to capture the most important essence of the AWS Summit value proposition, namely ‘Building Tomorrow, Today’ hui ”.


To ensure active participation in the event, the designers at Mills came up with a variety of interactive content to entertain the AWS audience, such as a 20-minute quick chat session, where during and between breakout sessions, the moderator could initiate a pop quiz to answer burning questions. In addition, its design strategy was to ensure that the content was developed according to the interest of the public.


Overall, the event turned out to be a success, with over 38,000 unique registrations and over 20 unique sponsors. The customer satisfaction score also yielded positive results, reaching the highest of any ASEAN high.

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