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Executing on global events can feel like a whirlwind of logistics. Scheduling speakers, gathering registrations, and customizing your venues –in multiple time zones– requires an always-on responsiveness and alacrity.
We recently hosted our event series Limitless, an intimate and interactive “anti-conference” for our customers, to gather and discuss the most pressing issues facing the marketing and advertising industry. Attendees listened to keynote speakers like Scott Brinker and Inma Martinez, shared their best practices in implementations of our product, and discussed pressing matters of debate like on whom the brunt of responsibility falls in ensuring ad verification and viewability (my personal favorite panel).
We hosted three separate instances of Limitless in New York, London and Sydney in a span of four months, and received tons of positive feedback. Here’s what we learned.
When it comes to takeaways for your attendees, an adage of the moment applies: content is king.
People expect to come away from industry events smarter– especially around topical issues. For Limitless, we focused on the most pressing issues facing the marketing and advertising industry. The delivery of our content included keynotes by industry thought leaders, panels of customers and partners who are experts in their subject matter, and roundtable breakout discussions for attendees.
These formats helped attendees walk away armed with the latest and most pertinent knowledge for our industry. And, crucially, interactivity set the tone that events like ours actually help move our industry forward, by postulating and debating the key challenges it faces.
Gathering the right kind of registrants is an exercise in segmentation. Most marketers have an extensive database of prospects, but events are most effective for people who already have a certain level of interest in your offering. Start with the most qualified prospects or engaged customers, to really foster the kind of champions who will become your best evangelists.
Another lesson we learned is that reminders are your friend. By the time you have to start promoting your event, your agenda and speaker list may not be finalized. We used this to our advantage, sending out update emails on who or what was added. This created a sense of excitement and anticipation for our registrants, which resulted in a 70% attendance rate on average– with no ticket purchased.
Events are an incredible opportunity to transform your brand DNA into an experience – and leave a lasting impression. From swag to music, every detail that goes into your event sets the tone. You don’t want to have an empty event– fill the space with food, drink, music, lights, and something fun like a board for Polaroids and dreams. Then ask yourself of each detail: is this on brand?
Events are crucial, and they’re a chance to show your best qualities as a marketer: people skills, creativity, ability to execute, and responsiveness. They often have a habit of drawing in much –if not most– of your marketing team. But with the lasting impression they leave on customers and prospects, they’re worth it.
As a final note, I wanted to say that these events would not have been nearly as successful without the quality and intelligence of our attendees. So from Datorama to everyone who attended Limitless: Thank you. We can’t wait to show you what’s in store.
In our next post on executing global events, we’ll share the KPIs you can use to report on their success. Stay tuned.
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