Interview with Liam Martin: Running Remote 2020

Working Remotely

If you are serious about managing remote teams, this event is for you. The third consecutive Running Remote conference is carefully curated to teach you next-level, actionable strategies and tactics you can utilize the very next day to manage and grow your distributed team.

This year's speaker lineup includes such industry leaders as Wade Foster, CEO of Zapier, Andy Tryba, CEO of Crossover & Sococo, and Sara Sutton, Founder of FlexJobs & Remote.co.

Running Remote 2019 had 26 speakers, 20 sponsors, 80 partners and 418 attendees from 46 countries. 57% of attendees were CEOs/Founders/VP’s coming primarily from SaaS, consulting, web & app development, and e-commerce.

This year taking place in Austin, Tx on April 20-21, 2020, we chat with Liam Martin (Co-Founder of Running Remote, Time Doctor, and Staff.com) about the success of the conference in 2019 what guests can look forward to this year.

How many people are involved in the conference? How has it been organizing a conference remotely?
Running Remote is organized by a small team of just three people working full-time, so it can be overwhelming sometimes. However Running Remote is a spin-off project from Time Doctor, the time-tracking software company that I'm also managing. Time Doctor has a team of about 90 people and is always there to offer some help. Both teams have always been fully remote, which means that we have firsthand knowledge of all the perks and challenges this movement carries with it.

Compared to where remote work was situated last year during the conference, what are some takeaways people can get this year with where remote work currently is?
First, remote work is a quickly growing trend that’s rapidly changing from being just a perk for select employees to something a company must have in order to retain top talent. The State of Remote Work 2019 found that “42% of remote workers plan to work remotely more frequently than they currently do in the next 5 years, and that more than half of on-site workers want to start working remotely.” So companies simply can’t overlook remote work any longer.
Second, the market for remote work services is developing very quickly, offering so many solutions that it’s hard to test them all. At Running Remote, we try to familiarize our attendees with the top players in this market – presented as speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors – and to also ask our speakers to share the best practices for using these tools. Remote communication simply doesn’t happen without the right corporate culture.
Finally, big enterprise is starting to embrace this trend and is going to change the remote industry dramatically by creating thousands of new remote jobs. We’ll be covering this aspect at Running Remote 2020 as well, for instance, by inviting Stacy Elliott (Senior Director of Executive Communications at Microsoft) to tell us about how remote work is being introduced at this corporation.

What made Running Remote 2019 so successful?
Running Remote 2019 was successful for many reasons. The number one reason was definitely the people who took part. We had an amazing lineup of remote work industry leaders who shared their success stories and the best practices they used to build their companies. The speaker list included Amir Salihefendic (founder and CEO of Doist), Marcie Murray (Director of Support at Shopify), and Nick Francis (co-founder and CEO of Help Scout), among others.

Our great sponsors, partners, and exhibitors were also instrumental to our success. Among these were coworking spaces (Dojo Bali, Tribe Theory, Hubud, and Livit), online tools for remote work (Twist, Time Doctor, Meetter, Remo, and MURAL), e-Residency (a program from the Republic of Estonia), hiring platforms (FlexJobs and We Work Remotely), and many more.

Finally, we had 413 attendees from 46 countries, the majority of which were CEOs and founders of remote-first businesses as well as people thinking about starting their own remote teams. During the two large networking sessions, all of our speakers, partners, and attendees were able to make useful connections and establish strategic partnerships. Face-to-face communication is still important – even in the remote work landscape.

On top of that, our auditorium facing the Indian Ocean and our networking sessions held right on the beach definitely gave Running Remote 2019 a special vibe.

Why did you choose Austin, TX as this year’s location?
Austin has a well-known tech community and a developed remote work culture. These give this city the right atmosphere and ensure the right audience for our event. Austin has been listed in the top 15 best cities for freelancers by Neighborhoods.com and has the second-highest share of remote workers in the US. It also has a large co-working network where our attendees can work before and after the event if they decide to stay longer.

What can people look forward to at this year’s conference?
Our speaker lineup is definitely something to look forward to! It already includes Wade Foster (co-founder and CEO of Zapier), Lori McLeese (Global Head of HR at Automatic), Andy Tryba (CEO of Crossover), and Sara Sutton (founder and CEO of FlexJobs). To see more inspiring names, you can check out the full list on our website.

We also have great sponsors supporting the event such as Payoneer, HubSpot, Standuply, Wurkr, Remo, FlexJobs, Safety Wings, Mistro, Qubit Labs, Metter, Virtual Work Insider, and Slido.
Since we’ve changed the location from relaxed Bali to the growing tech hub in Austin, Texas, this will definitely give the event a different, more businesslike feeling. It’ll probably change the demographics of the event more towards people from North America and Europe rather than Australia and Southeast Asia, which made up a large share of the participants at our previous event.
In 2020, for the first time, we’ll be live streaming all of our talks in real-time. We’ll also introduce online networking to provide our remote attendees with the full value of the event even if they aren’t physically in Austin.


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