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About This Episode
Just try to imagine organizing 300+ events all over the world–every single year.
(You’re dying a little bit, right?)
And they’re loving it.
And they want you to be able to improve your ability to offer and organize events, too, whether that’s an intimate 10-person dinner or a flagship event with 2,000 people.
“Events are a core part of our community offering,” Andy said.
Andy’s the Vice President of GTM Operations, and Dan’s the Director of Global Sales Development. They’re on fire with how they turned events, which was a big deal before they arrived, into an absolute machine.
That’s 12 different types of events.
With over 300 events per year.
Ranging from 10 to 2,000 people.
So, how do they do it?
8 Simple Steps to Events Greatness
Great events don’t just happen. They’re a product of a beautifully synchronized dance performed by all parts of your organization.
1. Build an amazing site to capture registrations
Andy and Dan use two vendors.
- Splash for live events
- BrightTALK for webinars
“You can build beautiful pages in a couple of minutes, and it integrates directly into our entire system,” Andy explained.
2. Get your people to promote events in your community
Whether your community means 400 or 40,000, referrals are the main reasons that people say they attended an event.
“We see the community as this huge referral engine, both into our community and to events,” Andy said.
Word of mouth–or its digital equivalent–is still king when it comes to sharing information.
3. Work the newsletter angle
It can be hard to keep your entire community informed about opportunities without a newsletter.
But don’t just promote events without adding value, too.
4. Offer community assets
Here are the classic methods you might already know:
- Social media posts
- Digital marketing
- Blog posts
And here are some less often used ideas that Andy shared:
- HR career hub–to facilitate community on their website
- Call to action–on the website, most social sites, verbal invitations, etc.
- Employees dedicated to social promotions–to explore community channels
5. Leverage LinkedIn
“We engage people really early in the community, and then we start to get them involved in our events,” Andy said.
That includes their LinkedIn pages, especially the company’s LinkedIn, which has an insane amount of followers.
Their first three updates are a video with the CEO, a link to a blog post, and an invitation to a webinar. Their banner image even promotes an event.
6. Keep close tabs on your data
“Now we’ve got the place where they can register,” Andy said. “We’ve got how we promote it. Then we get in and we basically collect.”
All that data gets sent to Salesforce, whether from webinars or attended events.
But it’s not just a data dump. “We start to assign those things,” Andy said. Depending on the point of data, it goes to the right team.
Customers to account managers.
Prospects to sales development.
“Classifying the attendees and then assigning them to the correct role in the correct region for follow up is just immensely valuable,” Dan added.
“If you’re building a strategy, that’s a key element that you need to focus on cause it makes the follow-up piece relatively easy,” Dan said.
7. Enhance your data wisely
They use a series of questions to figure out where the data should end up.
Did the registration ask for a demo? Is the registration related to a prospect already being developed? Stuff like that.
“We’re triaging that list of those 200 to 2,000 people so that we’re being intelligent about it,” Andy said. Anything less just wastes time.
8. Synchronize your teams
“The final thing we do before we get Dan’s team involved is we notify,” Andy said.
Usually using Slack, sometimes on a specific event channel but often just alerting them that it’s their turn to prioritize outreach and engagement.
“With all the really cool stuff Andy’s doing with enriching the data,” Dan said, “it’s easy to gloss over how important or how hard that is. They’ve done an amazing job.”
Team synchronization is extremely important at scale. When you grow SDR from a team of two to a team of 16, things can get super complicated without the right prep.
Pre-Event and Post-Event Engagement
A few notes from Dan about when and how to engage.
“During the event, it’s kind of tough,” Dan said. “People are busy. But trying to organize things around the event, that’s a really nice way to get their time and headspace rather than trying to squeeze it into an actual conference,” he explained.
Text someone and ask if they’re coming to an event.
Suggest you get a coffee before the event starts.
Send them a personalized message about something you think will interest them about the event.
“If you want to make this successful, you need strong field leadership. You need strong ops. You need strong sales development,” said Dan. “That trio is what makes events work really well for us.”
Engagement is pretty simple on the post side, Dan said.
“Don’t tell anyone I said this, but I love it when people actually don’t come to our events,” he said.
Then outreach can call and tell them what they missed out on. “It’s often the best phone call we ever make,” he said.
If you missed an event, and someone called to give you the Cliff Notes version of it, you’d be delighted. You’d probably actually take that call.
For people who attended or didn’t, there’s always a good follow up after an event.
“I always view events as a reason to reach out, another contact point,” Dan said.
Events can be really successful community engagement opportunities. “That trio–field ops, the data, an SDR following up. That’s where the magic happens,” Dan said.
To contact Andy or Dan, check out their LinkedIn pages.
This post is based on a podcast interview with Andy Mowat and Dan Murphy from Culture Amp. To hear this episode and many more like it, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.
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