Mad*Pow’s Journey in Adapting to a New World

Taking HXD Virtual, Supporting Our Employees and Helping Clients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mad*Pow, like every business and organization at the moment, has had to adapt to changes caused by the COVID-19 crisis. We’ve had to re-think how we run our annual conference, how we support clients, and how our employees can do their work and stay safe. It’s been a challenge but I’m proud of how the Mad*Pow team has responded.

Our first big challenge came in April when we needed to adapt our Health Experience Design (HXD) conference, an annual two-day event that brings people from the world of health, design, technology, and health care together to collaborate on improving the health system. We considered postponing or cancelling the conference, but heard from past attendees that they were still eager to connect. So, the Mad*Pow team quickly moved to create a virtual conference, setting up the technical infrastructure to present dozens of keynotes, presentations, and panels online.

I’m incredibly proud of the virtual event, its successful and smooth execution, and the positive response we received. With only a very short lead time, we were able to create a virtual event that was as informative and engaging as past in-person events. Our audience was clearly hungry for the inspiration and collaboration that HXD brings each year, because our virtual conference drew more participants than ever before. In the past, HXD has drawn 400 attendees, but this year’s virtual conference drew 575 unique visitors. It was really inspiring to see so many people still motivated to improve health and the health system through the sharing of ideas and collaborating across the ecosystem.

One of the most important principals of our business is to volunteer our time and resources to causes that are important to us and the world in general. In the last month, Mad*Pow has pursued opportunities to volunteer in support of projects that help combat the current crisis. Michael Dempsey, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) at Massachusetts General Hospital and a keynote speaker at this year’s HXD, invited Mad*Pow to join CIMIT to help design and launch the Collaborating to Address Shortages of Medical Supplies (CASMS) website, which will enable individuals and organizations to submit PPE designs, volunteer to test and validate designs, or access validated designs for production, all in an effort to solve the worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). We are proud to be involved with this vital initiative and hope to support future CIMIT projects as well.

In our day-to-day business, we’re focused on helping our clients get through the crisis. Many of our clients have to put project roadmaps on hold to focus on shorter-term crisis-oriented projects. Mad*Pow’s design team has done a great job of helping our clients adjust to the changing economic landscape, re-assess priorities, and shift plans to meet current urgent needs – supporting them where it matters most.

Finally, Mad*Pow has worked hard to transition all our employees to remote work, making sure they all have the technology and tools needed to do their job from home. We’ve provided materials like microphones and cameras, and in some cases even helped team members get Wi-Fi set up at home. We’ve also continued to focus on making Mad*Pow a great place to work, holding virtual cocktail hours and setting up a virtual lunch room so our team can continue to connect with each other, even as they are isolated at home.

Contributed by
Amy Heymans
Job Title
Founder and Chief Experience Officer