They say that all good things must come to an end. Today we’re announcing that after six wonderful years, Jam is closing down.
To this day, we have thoroughly enjoyed everything we’ve done together. Our events were fun, different, and a pleasure to organise and run. You brought them to life and we couldn't be more grateful for all the great moments we enjoyed in your company.
In this announcement, we’d like to share the rationale behind this decision.
2020 has had a disastrous impact on society and the economy as a whole. From a business standpoint, companies operating in the events industry have been hit particularly hard.
Our revenues crashed, and we lost a considerable amount of money in deposits paid to venues – including Hawker House, who we were saddened to hear, are also in the process of closing down.
We successfully ran several online events throughout the year, but it quickly became clear to us that it was going to be impossible to recreate the experiences we'd created in the past, online.
But we didn't throw in the towel. At the end of the year, we attempted a pivot, and launched – Jam Club – an online community for our most committed members.
Our vision was to build a thriving space for growth-minded product leaders, offering intimate virtual workshops every month.
Pivoting from an in-person events company to an online community has proven significantly harder than we’d originally hoped, and the losses we accumulated in 2020 have proven too significant for us to overcome. And so now we’d rather stop here, celebrate the journey, and say a proper goodbye.
We’ll keep Jam Club open for the next six months. We won’t be moderating it or running any workshops, but you'll be able to access all workshop recordings, discussions, and member profiles. We hope you’ll be able to use it to reconnect with friends made at past events.
To claim your free invite just drop us a note at email@example.com.
You can also find all past talk videos on our YouTube channel.
A huge thank you to our amazing team of staff and volunteers; Marta, Sunil, Jessie, Maria, Francesca, Stephen, Joan, Monica, Ecem, Steve, David, Michael, Mahtab, Eva, Gizem, Antoine, Jeff and all those that helped run our events every year. We’re deeply grateful for the friendship, shared memories, and support you’ve shown us over the years. We couldn’t have achieved everything we did without you.
Thank you to Doug and Chris at Intelligent People. You supported us from day one, and have always been a pleasure to work with.
Thank you to all our speakers and workshop instructors for all the brilliant content you’ve delivered over the years.
And thank you, for the good times we created together.
Seb & Mathilde
Over 240 product leaders joined JAM Online, the 5-day product event we held last week. From the morning talks on inclusive design, to the evening Wheel of Schmooze, there was a lot going on...
Throughout the conference day attendees moved from venue to venue on the virtual map. Sparkle, the platform on which we ran JAM Online, was designed to let attendees immerse themselves in the event. And immersed they were, early morning to late evening!
During the talks the auditorium was full and reverberated with real applause after each inspiring speaker—indeed, there were audio effects included! Big thanks to our host, Ed Cooke, CEO of Memrise, for though-provoking questions, humour, and a skilful handling of AV logistics.
Throughout the day the chat widow teemed with sharp questions from the audience—and that's just the group chat! There were countless 1:1 exchanges between attendees, who could reach out to each other personally.
Workshops took place across three days and the instructors impressed us with all the different ways to make them interactive—Miro boards, polls, breakout rooms, role play activities, and more. Just look at this Miro board after 22 people have worked on it. 😲
The talks were the flagship part of the event, but it definitely wasn't everything that took place! During the breaks our guests joined creative networking games with Sunil, meditation sessions with Nora, and chatted with the Pendo team.
At the end of the day, we opened new venues for the party. Because, who said you can't party online? There was origami, a virtual dance floor, and the Wheel Of Schmooze (if you weren't there, you'll never know what you missed! 😝).
Big thanks to our host, Ed, all the speakers, instructors, moderators and, of course, you—the irreplaceable audience. We couldn't have done it it without your enthusiasm and hunger for personal growth!
What was your favourite moment, quote, or activity at JAM Online?
Check out this ⚡️ Twitter summary of highlights ⚡️ and share yours!
If you love what Todd Olson talks about his session, we have 50 copies of his new book to give away to JAM attendees.
Speak to the Pendo team to request your free copy.
Does Matt need an introduction? A seasoned JAM speaker, and the host of Remote PM, he has taught (and entertained!) us many times in the past. We're thrilled to have him again, at JAM Online, as a workshop instructor!
I would probably discourage my archenemy from coming to my workshop, as I would prefer that they be LESS organized and efficient if their ultimate task is to destroy me.
People discover that spending less time on deliverables can actually make those deliverables more valuable.
The piano, for sure.
At #JAMOnline2020 Matt will take you through all the dos and don'ts of remotely managing your time and team. You'll need these lessons in the coming months and years. Book now!
Product^3, Lead PM from Product board at a product conference. Meet Martin Matuš!
Realizing you can never get everything done while building products is hard. Moreover, making sure your product teams are working on the right thing is even harder! Learn which 3 prioritisation lessons we at Productboard learned the hard way.
Preparing for the quarterly product planning workshops.
I had to take a pass on my childhood dream of becoming the next Indiana Jones, but I’m still a history geek!
Martin's talk at #JAMOnline2020 will teach us how to make resilient prioritization decisions. 🎟 Join him on October 15th!
Meet Jennifer, who brings together medtech and design at Epsy, a digital health platform empowering people living with epilepsy.
Joining the team at Epsy! Working on a product for people with epilepsy and their doctors, we’re aiming to shorten the path towards optimal treatment.
I speak to our users. Every person’s experience with epilepsy is different and each story is inspiring: from the teenager who has just been diagnosed and working through her treatment plan, to the man who has had epilepsy for many years and now runs meet-ups to support others in his community.
Seeing how Epsy can make a difference to our users makes it easy for me to jump out of bed every morning.
As my first job, I spent a day in the life of a face painter, when my aunt asked me to paint kids’ faces at my young cousin’s birthday. I handed the mirror to a little boy who had asked to be Spiderman, ready for him to admire his new face... but he burst into tears instead. And that’s why the gig only lasted one day - I prefer to bring joy to people instead of tears!
Get inspired by Jennifer's talk at #JAMOnline2020!
João is an expert in platform businesses and is pragmatic about the role of a product manager. He found 5 minutes to chat to us among his weekend dad-duties.
Product people jumping into roles in pre-product-market fit platform (a.k.a. marketplace) products. Even if you're an experienced product person, if you're relatively new to this model and want to hit the ground running this workshop is for you.
As a Product Manager, I ensure we use technology in the most time-/cost-efficient way to build a product that provides value to those buying/using it while (let's face it) making money out of it for the company building it.
Over time, I cemented the discovery that I'm more drawn to doing it in B2B products — where the Product Manager needs to balance the needs and motivations of two often distinct groups of people: those who'll use the product, and those who'll decide whether to buy your product for them to use.
There are two traits I remember having since I can recall: curious and generous.
The earliest job I wanted to be when I'd grow up was maths teacher. I didn't end up there, but teaching remained a passion I've always snuck in somehow into my non-teaching roles. Internal training, coaching, lunch and learns, talking at meet-ups/conferences, etc. — I need those to assess and expand my own learning (curious) and to give back by sharing what I've learned (generous).
João will exercise his teaching passion at #JAMOnline2020, giving a workshop on platform businesses. Join him!
The topic of AI is and will be all the rage, and Google is at the forefront of the research in the field. We're lucky to welcome Jess to tell us more about it at JAM Online.
I'm not sure about surprise, but we get a lot of relief when we talk about human-centered AI. Relief from the UXers or HCI folks or just anyone who cares a lot about people and their experiences. Relieved that this is an approach people are taking and relief that they have colleagues advocating for people alongside them.
I think two things. First, I am completely addicted to figuring things out. I always have been. The feeling of doing the hard work to understand how something - a piece of tech, a system of rules, a social interaction, whatever - works and getting to that moment of ah-ha is the best.
Second, I feel a strong obligation to do something with the advantages I've had in life.
I am fortunate enough to have all the conditions to be able to make a positive difference so I better deliver.
For some reason I think being a writer on a comedy show would be amazing. Writing jokes with really funny people all day? Sounds pretty great to me.
Join Jess at #JAMOnline2020, we're not sure there will be jokes, but we can promise a thought-provoking session.
With twenty years of experience in developing products we know Matt Walton is a pro at his job. Let's learn a little bit more about him as a person, and about his talk at #JAMOnline2020.
Learning when to change: FutureLearn's journey from basement startup to EdTech scale up.
Daniel Pink. I love his book Drive on what motivates people (purpose, autonomy and mastery).
I'd like to stop having Zoom meetings and find more asynchronous ways to achieve the same result. I'd like to start ending each day by writing down what I've done and reflecting on it.
Matt will speak at JAM Online and will join us for a fireside chat at the JAM Salon on October 17. Have you booked your spot yet?
Here is someone who is an expert in producing immersive learning experiences. In other words, a perfect workshop instructor for JAM Online! Meet Howard Gray.
I got suspended from school 4 times and refused to attend university graduation. Now I'm an educator.
Producing immersive learning experiences focused on skills for work & life. I create content, facilitate workshops, get inspired by amazing collaborators, and make the tea.
Movie producer. I've always been fascinated by the blend of art & science in creating compelling worlds that draw people in. I believe that companies driven the future of learning will look more and more like movie studios, so perhaps I'm a little closer to my childhood dream job than I thought...
For #JAMOnline2020 Howard has designed and will deliver an interactive workshop on... designing and delivering interactive workshops! 😁
Europas Hottest Social Innovation 2020. That's the product that Tam's team is working on. Their mission? Destigmatise the death industry.
It is easier than you might think to foster a culture of genuine empathy for your customer. In my talk I'll share 3 tactics from Farewill that you can use with your team to better understand your customers, together.
I am driven and motivated by solving important problems that will have lasting impact on people's lives. The best solutions always come from true collaboration with a great team, so working with a committed and empathetic team constantly fills me with energy.
I had a coaching session recently with Carl, our Development Coach at Farewill, and we went quite deep into analysing and unpacking why I'd clung on to a particular feature failure. I love that intersection of coaching and psychology, but I find you have to be willing to explore uncomfortable feelings to get to the really eye-opening insights.
At #JAMOnline2020 Tam will talk about...death. And, how no one wants to talk about it. 👉 Curious to join us?
An indie maker who merges resilience with neuroscience? That's Anne-Laure. Curious to learn more? Read on!
In today's world, many people have lost control of the way they spend their time. They are glued to their phone, endlessly scrolling, without taking the time to think.
People who design product have a responsibility to create experiences that are not so harmful.
How can they go about designing mindful products?
I come from a very, very big family. As a result of growing up in the middle of dozens of kids running around, I have become good at filtering the signal from the noise.
I curate a list of Netflix shows that will make you think, with great documentaries and movies about the mind and the future.
Anne-Laure will speak at JAMOnline2020 about building mindful products. Join her in October!
Apart from being a Product Lead at Uptime, Lea is also a seasoned JAM attendee. It's high time we learn more about her!
It’s drawn from my current role at Uptime. When the pandemic sent us all home, we were 6 weeks away from launching our learning app on iOS, which we did during the quarantine before pivoting our model a month later to better deliver on our mission. It was a new experience for most under those circumstances and I learned a great deal from it.
I would do musical theatre and go on stage every night in the West End, just getting the thrill of a live performance in front of an audience full of passion. The only tiny issue with that is that I can’t sing whatsoever.
Yesterday. I can’t remember what triggered it but it was contagious and went around the group for a while.
Join Lea's session at #JAMOnline2020 to see if it makes you laugh, sing, or...learn the art of successful pivots. 😉
Amy brings in hands-on product experience from launching a product during a pandemic.
I guess an appreciation for both the challenges and opportunities that remote research has. The global pandemic has led so many to adopt digital tools but behind the screen we are all still people and I want us to remember that.
I wanted to be a mechanic. I liked getting my hands dirty and loved the idea of being able to fix complex problems. If I’m honest, I’m a little sad I never did explore this career, I think I’d rock a pair of overalls!
Harvesting vegetables and feeding the chickens at my veggie plot every evening. I try to step away from my screen as much as I can and digging around in the mud to harvest something you’ve grown from seed never gets old.
Amy's workshop on doing remote product research (in a non-awkward way), only at JAMOnline2020! Join now!
Tom's is an expert in articulating design decisions, and his talks & workshops have always been a hit at JAM. We were curious to learn more about the source of his inspiration.
...some practical tools and approaches they can use in their jobs immediately. You'll be applying these ideas and techniques on-the-job the very next day.
I love hearing from people who have messaged me afterwards to say how much the workshop helped them to get their design approved, get a promotion, help with a difficult work relationship. When I hear stuff like that it validates that I'm helping real people.
I'm restoring a 1969 Triumph GT6 (it's a car)
Tom will give three workshops at #JAMOnline2020, providing you with a full toolkit for communicating design decisions in an impactful way.
This week Alex from the BBC News gives us food for thought about motivation, the role of digital media, and his outlook on the future.
I had a tutor at university, and he once handed me a book and said it was, "a good book to think with", and that always struck me as a great introduction, and that's what I'd like the talk to be — something that's interesting, but that people can use as a tool for their own thinking.
I'm privileged enough that I have a lot of choice about work and at work; I'm very conscious of that in answering this question—my grandfather worked in a paint factory, and I think his answer would be very different to mine.
Product is a great career, and I've been very fortunate that I can look beyond providing for my family and think about contributing to society, working on problems I find interesting with smart people. When I first started, the problem I really wanted to work on was making digital media sustainable. I was a magazine journalist in the early 2000s and saw it falling apart. Every issue we did sold less than the last one, and yet frequently the only idea management would have would be "more display ads" on a very generic website. It was very obvious that wasn't a strategy.
What was really needed was a serious reinvention of the business and of media itself, and it needed to be fundamentally different to print.
When I moved into Product, I always took roles where I could work on digital transformation and growing real digital journalism businesses which is what I did at Dennis and The Telegraph. The more I did of that, the more I got interested in the fundamental questions for audiences and media, especially news:
What is News on a computer, and on a smartphone?
What do people need from it, what do they want from it?
What are they not getting?
There's no better place to look at that than the BBC. So I suppose overall, the motivation is a really big problem, and really having to think about people and society, and how it works, or doesn't work.
Everyone knows that apocryphal story about the Chinese communist revolutionary Zhou Enlai, and how in the '70s, when asked about the impact of the French Revolution, he supposedly said, "it's too soon to tell."
I think long term impact is really interesting to think about, because there's a lot of evidence humans are bad at it, and a lot of social incentives seem set up to force short term thinking.
A question I remember asking my old boss when I left the Telegraph was that our teams had probably done say, 4,000 JIRA stories over two and a half years, and wouldn't it be great if we could know which ones really mattered? They were all prioritised, but did we make the right calls? Another way of asking the same question: what's the most impactful thing I worked on?
I imagine the crystal ball's answer would be surprising. And related to the talk: does anything I've worked on — have impact — 10 years from now? 100? 1,000?
Join Alex at #JAMOnline2020 to think more deeply about the future of your product and to learn how your work can make a bigger impact.
At JAM Online 2020 Nimrod will teach us how to focus on impact. But, before the workshop he openly shared with us more about himself and his own self-development goals.
The mission of this workshop is to make your teams independently work towards the most impactful goals.
Teams that know how to measure their impact come up with better solutions than just the PM, and let the PM scale to handle more scope and have less communication overhead. They also end up having more impact and reaching more of their goals and are more satisfying to work in.
My staff likes my clarity in decision-making.
We always get to the heart of the matter and have a clear framework to evaluate tradeoffs, make sure everyone is heard, then make a very concrete specific bet and avoid watered down compromises.
I'd want to go entirely vegan. There are more options than ever and I'm almost there but still have a hard time dropping the occasional cheese or egg-based dessert.
For habits to drop I have a few. Probably the most challenging business-related one is that I am reading way too many interesting, but ultimately unimportant pieces of info every day, and so I have to actively unsubscribe from a few too many substack newsletters because if it lands in my inbox, I read it. In Facebook where there's so much to read everyday this was killer for productivity actually.
🔥 Join Nimrod's workshop, Focus on impact: growing your product, business and teammates, at #JAMOnline2020.
Teague's speciality is to put the spotlight on the traps that our minds set for us, and remove biases teams exhibit at work. Today we put a spotlight on him!
I would convince my archenemy to come to my talk by saying:
"I forgive you. And I have cookies."
The highlight of my work is when I get to watch someone I've mentored succeed in ways they never thought they could.
So many books have influenced my life, I'm not sure I can narrow it down to one, so I'm going to cheat and give you two authors whose bodies of work have had a profound impact on my life: Brené Brown and Thich Nhat Hanh.
Teague will speak at #JAMOnline2020. Join him and see if indeed he has those cookies...🍪🍪🍪
Lara's mission as a Head of Product Design at Bumble is to help people build healthy, safe and equal relationships. We wanted to know a little bit more about her and give you a sneak-peak of her talk...
"What is good design?" but of course the answer is not satisfactory, who knows what good design really is?
Presenting my work to executive leadership! I used to be super afraid of having my work seen by superiors, but after years of practice I started to welcome it.
This is not that recent, but I recommend everyone who loves art should read The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt.
Lara will speak at #JAMOnline2020. We think her talk is a match for you. Make sure you don't miss it!
You've always loved JAM's parties.
When your head is buzzing with new ideas, you want to share, and brainstorm with like-minded people. The JAM party is a perfect place to connect with product leaders after a week of learning.
We’ve gathered wisdom from a collective of virtual party organisers and performers to co-create an experience impressive in scope and unique in contents!
This mystery party collective was born during lockdown and is already well-recognised for organising the realest parties on the internet.
You will meet new people in a non-awkward way, have conversations that help you grow. Moderators will help you break the ice and performers will set the virtual dance floor on fire.
Whether you want to get your groove on, or spark conversation, there’ll be zero downtime.
🤝 conversation stations to connect with new people
🎭 a myriad of life performances
🕺 virtual dance floor
👨🎤 digital costumes
🤠 serendipitous encounters
We'll be revealing more about the line-up closer to the time.
The party is open for all attendees of JAM Online 2020! We want you to be able to experience this unique event regardless of the budget.
Not on the party list yet? 👉 Join now!
Any confused millennials here? Meet Millennial Mary—Mary Agbesanwa—whose goal is to encourage millennials to tap into their potential.
We do need that at times, right? I know I do! Over to Mary.
With low startup costs, this is a great time to think about content creation as a way to diversify your income!
Positive attitude, intellectual curiosity and willingness to make mistakes.
Hopefully at least once every day.
Mary will be joining us at #JAMOnline2020. Will you?
Alex is behind product and growth at Mozilla and for the last 5 years has been implementing experimentation and data culture at the company.
Data-Informed but Privacy-Respecting. Perhaps the click-bait version is Data-informed, not creepy.
How challenging it can be to get solid product metrics while respecting user privacy too.
I A/B test nearly all product changes I make.
Meet Alex on October 15, during JAM Online 2020 and learn from him about product & privacy and...ask him more questions (only privacy-respecting ones! 😉)
Before we shine the spotlight on James at the screens of JAM Online, we wanted to learn a bit more about him and his personal reward function.
I'm excited to speak at JAM because it's been 4 years since I was on stage, and a lot has changed since then – primarily, my hair's a little shorter. But also, it was one of the most fun conferences to speak at, and the attendees were amazing – I can't wait to meet and chat with some of them again, in this new online format.
The knowledge that we all have a limited amount of time on this planet – there is no rewind or pause button – so I want to spend as much of my time creating and putting great things into the world.
My motivation comes from wanting to spend every day getting a tiny bit better at creating – you often don't make huge leaps in a day – you get better through prolonged practice and experience over many years. I don't want to waste a minute!
One habit to start: waking up at 7am or earlier every day. One to stop: going to sleep at midnight or later every day.
📣 Hear James' talk How we use Notion to work together – while apart at JAM Online 2020 this October!
JAM 2020 moves online –– for the most accessible, interactive, and relevant experience ever! Join more than 800 attendees for an entire week of networking and content that will help propel you towards success on your product journey.
But that's not all. For those who're craving real-life connections, we're excited to organise the JAM Salon. It's an exclusive experience, with fire-side chats, guided discussions, and capped attendance to allow product leaders to reconnect in a safe environment –– in-person. 🛋
We're staying true to our guiding principle of sharing stories from product people like you. JAM speakers are your peers, not experts. The stories they share are practical and relatable –– and the insights you'll gain incomparable to traditional conferences.
The way we run from the speakers we select to the experiences we create is based on your needs as a product leader. This year you've seen us test new ideas, and help product people learn and support each other in the face of uncertainty. And we're still going strong!
What do we have in store for the second half of 2020?
All designed to make sure you continue learning and progressing on your career path. Even more so in these dynamic times.
Our two annual conferences, in Barcelona and London, become one 5-day online product festival JAM Online 2020.
You can expect what you love us for—12 stellar speakers sharing biggest lessons from navigating a tough year, and 10 instructors to teach you career-building skills. You'll connect with 800+ product leaders during virtual speed networking sessions.
But, that's not all. For those craving real-life connections, we designed The JAM Salon. This smaller, more intimate event will facilitate in-depth conversations in a safe environment.
The JAM Salon is of the few quality IRL product events to go ahead in London in 2020, but 🔴 we only have 100 spots!
We've been amazed by your engagement with the content at The Remote PM in May. The 140 product leaders who joined us were eager to learn and connect in creative ways, proving remote events can impress if designed intentionally.
The topics of remote work, leadership, and team management are now more relevant than ever. To respond to your burning need to explore them the JAM team is already working on round two of The Remote PM.
Keep your eyes on your inbox to be the first one to know!
We created three different ticket tiers for JAM Online, so you can pick how to best engage with the content. We also have a discount for those who jump on board early. 😉
Ready to continue growing your product skills?
168 product managers, 840 messages, 137 new connections. That’s more than we anticipated when we started planning The Remote Product Manager in mid-March. It’s true, JAM had already build a strong reputation in designing experiences for product people. But, those were all in-person.
Launching a remote experience meant throwing ourselves into the unknown.
Our goal was to create a candid virtual event to help product people connect with each other, and navigate their transition to remote –– despite the distance.
We knew simply moving our IRL events onto the screen wouldn’t cut it. Similarily, we didn't want a passive webinar. We wanted something else than a Zoom call.
We needed to reinvent ourselves.
Virtual events operate by different rules, but there was no manual in sight.
When we set out to plan The Remote PM, we had a number of questions — will anyone show up to our virtual experience? Will attendees engage with the content, and will they connect with each other? Curious to know what happened?
👉 Spoiler alert! This tweet summarises the general vibe. Read on to discover what we learned from running our first virtual event.
The online space is busy. We knew we’ll be competing for eyeballs and attention with free webinars and zoom calls on the one hand and home distractions on the other. Will an event with a narrowly-targeted audience attract enough people?
^The initial response to the idea seemed positive...
Turns out the appetite for online content is real. Not only we had 168 people register for the event, but a record high, 94%, attendance rate—higher than for our in-person events. We were able to bring together 10 experienced remote PMs to share their tools and practices. It was this carefully curated program tailored to the immediate challenges of newly remote teams that appealed to the audience and brought an interested crowd.
"Attending #TheRemotePM today to get me back in the product mindset after 2 weeks off - already value for money for the remote networking session alone - way better than nervous/awkward F2F networking!"
When a new browser tab is one click away, it’s a challenge to keep online attendees engaged. Is there a way to create a two-way exchange and a hands-on experience?
We decided to find out by trying a new event format. Result? The majority of people stayed active until the very end of a 4.5 hour event!
Our best guess is that we owe the success to three things: format, focus on participation, and the host.
Rather than having a series of presentations we mixed short talks with fireside chats, hands-on workshops, and networking breaks. We also moderated quick-paced chat exchanges, and short participatory sessions. Our host, Matt LeMay, guided the crowd through the experience with humour, distance, and resistance to software adversities.
Attendees told us they were fond of the honesty and conversational tone of the event.
^Not the only time Matt LeMay made us laugh!
At @makingjam #theremotepm @mattlemay reflects on how we can no longer compartmentalize. Not only because our children and pets photobomb our calls, but also because we no longer have the emotional capacity to do so.
It was not possible to have 168 people join an event on camera at the same time. We feared participants won’t stay engaged. To create more opportunities for building 1-1 connections, one of the sales-points of The Remote PM was a chat roulette.
In that session you're randomly matched with another participant and have five minutes to video-chat. Sounds simple, but such "speed-networking" could be awkward even for those experienced in remote work life. Truth be told, we were not sure people will participate in these sessions at all!
We were wrong! Our post event survey shows 67% of attendees took part in the speed-networking sessions and, not just that, many have found it the most valuable part of the event.
With our three tuned-in moderators the chat remained dynamic throughout the event— questions, jokes, and extra resources flowing from all corners. Altogether the product crowd exchanged 840 chat messages, did 6 polls, and made 137 connection requests.
As for the workshop participation, this capture of 50 people jointly editing a Miro board with Tim Herbig is a testimony to the limitlessness of online engagement!
The Remote PM was a test and our entry into the land of remote events. Did we pass?
In our post-event survey attendees gave us an average rating of 8.04/10!
The survey also made clear what the audience is hungry for. More speed networking, hands-on workshops, conversational sessions, and…more pets!
You can be sure we'll deliver. We’re actually already cooking up something cool... ;-)
Want to get an invite the moment it’s ready? Join the JAM tribe!
Some joined the event with pets.
Others with very junior PMs.
I’ve been working remotely for nearly 15 years. First as a software developer and later building large remote teams at a hyper-growth startup. I’m very comfortable working with people from the other side of a camera. And yet, my finger hesitated for more than a moment before I clicked the big “Get started” button in the middle of the page.
The Remote PM, the first virtual conference from JAM, had just started for real and I was about to start the first of several speed networking sessions. If you’ve ever heard of speed dating, then you get the concept. You’re paired at random with another attendee for a 5-minute chat; no agenda, no bias towards selecting familiar faces. I took a deep breath and mashed down on the trackpad.
As the COVID crisis deepened in early March, Mathilde and Seb, the creators of JAM, had an excruciating call to make. They’d planned a full year’s worth of events, both large and small, all across Europe. Now it looked like most, if not all, of those events would have to be postponed or cancelled. As experienced product builders themselves however, they and their team started looking for workarounds and weighing the tradeoffs. Clearly, they’d have to postpone the in-person events. But that didn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t be able to do anything. For the first time, they started to seriously consider what a virtual event would look like.
The Remote PM is the first virtual conference that JAM has organized but they are no strangers to organizing in-person conferences. JAM London has been running for 6 years now, drawing upwards of 700 PMs, designers, and engineers. JAM Barcelona is in its second year and last year the JAM team ran their first Product Leaders Weekend–an intimate gathering of seasoned product leaders at a secret rural location in Wales. But, as so many of us have realized over the last two months, remote is different. While some of that experience would be applicable, much of it would be useless.
The decision to host a virtual event might have been a tough one but settling on the premise of the conference was an easy call. With so much of the world being thrown into working from home, many people and companies have struggled to translate their processes and rituals into remote-friendly alternatives. The Remote PM would be focused entirely on giving product folks tactical tips and tools they could use immediately to hopefully ease the pain of the transition and help their teams find a new rhythm working remotely. In addition to more traditional speaking slots, practical workshops (one of which was run live in Miro with 50+ attendees!) helped to give small groups space to explore their own specific challenges and several speed networking breaks reminded everyone that we’re all in this together.
With the exception of my first speed networking pairing (my partner didn’t realize he was actually in a call) the pairings were surprisingly fun. A five minute time limit means that you are forced to dive immediately into asking questions and telling your own story. The limit also means that you’re never afraid of getting trapped in any single conversation for too long. After four great conversations with four completely different people the session was finished and it was time to switch to the main stage content.
While we sat there waiting for the speakers to come up on the screen, I thought to myself that this is what early broadcast television must have been like; before 24 hour programming and endless ads. The screen came alive and Matt LeMay, a lanky, endearingly earnest man with a wild shock of dark curly hair, sat facing us from his basement office that doubles as a recording studio. Guitars lined one entire wall, a drum kit was barely visible behind him. I’d met Matt last autumn speaking at JAM London but in an instant I learned something new and more personal about him. This theme would be repeated with speaker after speaker. The Hopin platform made it feel as though you were on a direct video call with each speaker. The fact that you could clearly see their facial expressions and body language made the content more engaging. You could also see their houses in the background, which made the entire experience feel more personal. Given the attendees and speakers were scattered all over the planet, this intimacy and immediacy was surprising and delightful.
To be quite honest, even after 15 years of working remotely, I was skeptical that a virtual conference could be useful, much less enjoyable. I love the in-person experience and personality of conferences and live events. The idea that a virtual event could recreate even a small portion of that magic felt too far fetched to me. But I’ll go on record as converted after The Remote PM. The speakers and other attendees were top notch, the content was inspiring and helpful, the energy was palpable, and the technology–while not without it’s hiccups–mostly took a backseat and let all of us humans interact in a natural, personal, and authentic way.
During these unprecedented times, everyone is dealing with a lot of change and uncertainty. Now, more than ever, our goal is to provide makers with a place to connect, learn and grow together.
Our team has been closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 situation and the guidelines published by the relevant authorities. Our number one priority is ensuring the safety of everyone involved in our events. We will continue to monitor the situation and guidelines and will revisit our policy periodically.
Our first measures include:
Moving JAM London to a virtual format
Reducing the total event capacity to 50 people for Product Leaders Weekend and 80 people for JAM Salon –– to ensure social distancing guidelines are met
In addition to various routine procedures (e.g. checking that caterers and other relevant contractors have a valid food hygiene and public liability insurance certificate), we will assemble a dedicated Health & Safety team who will:
Ensure that all hand washing facilities are available and kept well stocked.
Manage the check-in and lunch queue to ensure social distancing rules are observed.
Ensure that all waste is regularly taken out by venue staff.
Regularly clean all high-risk fixtures and fittings (e.g. food counters, door handles etc).
Generally see to it that we are doing everything required of us to provide the safest possible environment for everyone involved.
Additionally, we will:
Setup hand sanitiser stations.
Distribute tissues and masks to all participants.
Set up social distancing markers at all queue points (toilets, coffee, lunch, etc).
Each speaker will get a designated mic, and clickers will be disinfected in between each use.
Not allow participants who show symptoms or have been exposed to a person tested positive (full refund for sickness-related cancellations)
Nobody knows what the world will look like in a few months. What we know, however, is that we'll all be craving to reconnect. And when social distancing ends, we'll be there for you!
With that in mind, we're excited to announce our new date for the 2020 edition of the Product Leaders Weekend.
Monday September 28 - Thursday October 1
Here's the schedule:
Monday: arrive at the venue with fellow attendees. You can either get there by your own means, or get on the JAM coach from London or Cardiff.
Tuesday & Wednesday: talks, activities, campfires and dinners.
Thursday: goodbye breakfast and departure.
We understand that these are unprecedented times, and we'll do our best to find solutions. If you have previous commitments, we can offer the following options:
Swap your ticket to one of our other events
Credit for a future Product Leaders Weekend event
Transfer your ticket to a friend or colleague
Yes, and as a bonus, with the event taking place a little later in the year, you'll get to learn from 3 additional speakers and participate in some additional activities! More prep time means a better programme for you!
We've been busy over the last couple of weeks, and are pleased to announce our very first virtual event – The Remote Product Manager. A place to help you navigate the remote transition with fellow product leaders – fully online, with the same high-quality content, with an extra dose of interactivity.
To thank you for your patience and continuous support, we'd like to offer you a free ticket – just send us an email for more information (this offer is only valid for existing Product Leaders Weekend 2020 ticket holders).
Stay safe, take care, and see you in September! 😊
Like most product teams, you've probably gone remote overnight. We know it's not easy, but the show must got on, right?
After 3 weeks of hard work, we're pleased to announce our very first virtual event: The Remote Product Manager.
It's not a webinar. It's not a Zoom call. It's a new format that blends carefully-curated sessions, fireside chats and guided discussions with remote product leaders.
You will learn how to:
adapt your product practices in times of crisis
implement remote-first communication rituals
fine-tune your habits and leadership skills
facilitate ideation workshops remotely
And of course, non-awkward speed networking to help you connect with those who're in the same boat. You can talk about product, remote work, or just vent!
May 14th, 2020
Wherever you are
From suits to onesies!
Our plan for this year was to invest in growth. Last month, we announced four new events, lined up incredible speakers, and revamped our website. Q1 was going amazingly, until the pandemic hit. Like everyone else, we had to adapt quickly. As creators of real-life experiences for makers, we'd be lying if we said we didn't have a few low days.
We turned to our community for input, and we heard you loud and clear: JAM must go on.
Here's what we've been discussing behind the scenes, and how we see the future of JAM in these difficult times.
Ever since 2015, our mission has been to bring makers together in real life. We see incredible value in connecting people away from their screens. Now more than ever, we believe in this mission.
When social distancing ends and everyone is craving to reconnect, we'll be there for you. We'll welcome you with a big smile (and plenty of hugs) 🤗 at JAM Barcelona and JAM London.
The current crisis got us to roll up our sleeves and work on something we've had on our backlog for a while: Remote tickets! We designed this as a more affordable option to join our events from anywhere in the world. After several weeks of discussions and research, we're excited to open the bookings today!
Our plan for this year was to invest in growth. This plan hasn't changed – only the path means have. Booking your ticket today will help us continue organising the events we all love so much – we can't do it without you.