Partner Ecosystem

IBM Partner Ecosystem Rally 2021: Not Just Another Webinar

The Ask

In 2020, the IBM Partner Ecosystem program underwent major changes to better serve its Business Partners. Heading into 2021, IBM hosted a flagship digital event to rally those partners around the new program, announce additional tools and resources, and share stories from current partners who are seeing success within the program.  

Centerline worked with IBM content, digital, and event marketing teams to create a holistic digital event experience centered on themes of mastery, ingenuity, and creativity. 

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The Solution

Event Theme and Concepting

From the very first touchpoint, the overall event theme and visual brand presented an opportunity to energize and inspire IBM Partners about the continued potential for innovation within the Ecosystem and to drive the desired IBM business goals for 2021. 

We knew that at the time of the event, it would have been nearly a full year since anyone in the audience had been able to enjoy live music, museums, or other arts and culture experiences due to COVID-19. But we also knew that “just another webinar” was not going to cut it after months of non-stop Zooms.  

The answer: pARTnership. A concept that could be applied both to the content of the event as well as the overall look and feel.

Event Look & Feel
Based on the pARTnership concept and initial creative explorations, Centerline developed a visual language to be applied to assets at every touchpoint of the attendee experience.  

The look was grounded in a key visual of a modern, open art gallery and supplemented by textural elements inspired by artistic mediums like watercolors, oils, ink, and charcoal. 

The look and feel was applied across both static and video assets including the event portal, email invitations, video treatments for speaker sessions, interstitial animations, a custom logo lock-up, and custom musical motif.

Drive-to Content
Since this virtual event was open to IBM Partners only, Centerline collaborated with the IBM team to create targeted emails, lead space banners for gated IBM PartnerWorld pages, and a teaser video for outreach to prospective attendees.  

Event Opening Video
To kick off the event, and introduce the concept of Partnership, Centerline created a short video to establish the key themes of the event content.  

The video included a custom music track. Variations and samples from that track were used throughout the event in interstitial animations and intro/outro stingers between each speaker session, establishing an overall audio motif in addition to the visual style.

Speaker Sessions
Featured speakers for the event were spread across four continents. Due to varied COVID-19 protocols and restrictions across locations, Centerline needed to establish a shooting style that could be easily reproduced in multiple scenarios (in-studio or at speakers’ homes or offices). For some sessions, we also needed to record two speakers simultaneously in different locations for interview-style “fireside chats”. 

The key was consistency. Centerline produced, directed, and completed post-production (including a custom graphics package) on all speaker sessions and delivered the full run-of-show as a single video as well as independent sessions for on-demand playback after the “simu-live” event.

Event Closing Video
At the conclusion of the event, viewers were equipped with new insights, information, and inspiration.  So, now what? 

Centerline created a short closing video to wrap up the day that pointed attendees to a hands-on enablement workshop taking place the following week where they could learn more about the topics covered during the Rally.


registrations within the first 24 hours of invite distribution


of attendee registration target achieved


minutes was the average attendee watch time

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