Successfully reported this slideshow.

Secrets to a Successful Eloqua Experience


Published on

Eloqua Experience is annually one of the hottest tickets when it comes to marketing conferences. But with thousands of attendees and a dizzying schedule of events, seminars, parties and more, it can be challenging to take best advantage of the event and ensure you head home with the new skills, best practices and contacts you need to be more successful managing your marketing programs moving forward.

In addition to setting the agenda and session schedule, it’s a good idea to put a little strategy into how you’ll maximize the overall Eloqua Experience trip. Plan ahead to make this year’s Eloqua Experience visit more productive and successful. The following pages offer some specific best practices and recommendations.

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

Secrets to a Successful Eloqua Experience

  1. 1. Secrets To A Successful Eloqua Experience Eloqua Experience is annually one of the hottest tickets when it comes to marketing conferences. But with thousands of attendees and a dizzying schedule of events, seminars, parties and more, it can be challenging to take best advantage of the event and ensure you head home with the new skills, best practices and contacts you need to be more successful managing your marketing programs moving forward. Why Attending Events In Person Is Still So Important 2 In addition to setting the agenda and session schedule, it’s a good idea to put a little strategy into how you’ll maximize the overall Eloqua Experience trip. Plan ahead to make this year’s Eloqua Experience visit more productive and successful. The following pages offer some specific best practices and recommendations. Matt Heinz President @heinzmarketing Brian Hansford Director, Client Services @remarkmarketing Must Attend Sessions 3 Things You Can Learn At Your Next Conference 4 How To Take Notes At A Conference 5 The Dos And Don’ts Of Conference Hashtags 6 Marketing Automation for Vertical Industries: Q&A With Marilyn Cox 7 How To Make The Most Of The Parties And Networking Events 9 San Francisco— One Of The Best Cities To Host Events. Here’s Where To Eat and Drink 10 Getting The Most Out Of An Awesome Conference (Once You’re Back At The Office) 12
  2. 2. Why Attending Events In Person Is Still So Important There are many reasons why Eloqua Experience is a good use of time, but in general I’m a big fan of regularly finding events that get me out of my office, away from my usual environment, and somewhere I can accelerate my business, my own learning, and my value to our clients all at the same time. I love the growing trend of online-only conferences, as well as the ever-present availability of webinars to help me learn. But nothing will replace the value of being there live. Five reasons for this. Meet New People And Deepen Existing Relationships Social networks are great, I use my LinkedIn and my entire online system for meeting new people and maintaining relationships. But nothing can replace doing it with a handshake, a smile, and seeing the whites of their eyes. Whether you do it in the lobby of the conference hotel, on the trade show floor, at the evening parties or even while playing golf, these are the relationships that go deeper, that develop long-term preference and business value for you over time. It’s differentiating, in your favor, in a way that online networking can never be. Get That “Out Of The Office” Perspective Away from the regular tugs at your time, the same four walls you stare at, you can have a different perspective. You’ll naturally think about things differently. You’ll have an entirely new set of stimuli (visual, auditory, written) to spark creativity and innovation. You can get this even by attending an event in your home town. No matter how you do it, getting outside of your regular environment is worth it more often. Why do you think teams go “offsite” for executive meetings and brainstorms? Same reason. Focus On New Opportunities (With Your Complete Attention) If you’re going to an event or conference in person, do yourself a favor and give it your full attention. Don’t travel across the country only to stay in your hotel room and on “regularly scheduled” conference calls you could have just done from your office. A couple of these are fine, but otherwise let yourself be immersed in the event itself with your full attention. This can mean sitting through keynotes and panels, focusing time on the trade show floor, scheduling blocks of time with important partners or customers or new faces, etc. You won’t have these opportunities anywhere or anytime else. Take advantage of them now. Talk To The Vendors Yes, they want to sell you something. And some will either be too aggressive or ignore you. But every vendor on the show floor knows something that you don’t. It’s your job to learn from them. Ask them questions about their slice of the industry, what they’re seeing from their customers, what they see moving forward. Try to find the product managers in the booth who spend most of their time listening to customers and translating those needs into new product features. They’ll often have the best insights into what’s now and what’s next. Use The Casual Moments To Your Advantage Set up quick coffee meetings with people you’ve just met, or haven’t seen in awhile. If you need to catch up on email, do so in the hotel lobby or in an otherwise public place so you’re move likely to run into something you want to talk to. Invite new people to lunch or dinner or drinks to get to know them better, and learn from them. If you do eat alone, do so at a location close to the conference and eat at the bar. You’ll likely be sitting next to someone else from the conference you can talk to and learn from. Take a long, early-morning walk and take a notepad or digital recorder to record new ideas, priorities for the day, etc. There are countless ways to squeeze more value out of the more casual moments when you travel. 2
  3. 3. Must-Attend Sessions at Eloqua Experience 2013 These are the sessions at Eloqua Experience 2013 that I MUST ATTEND. I have followed or known several of these people for quite some time and I am really excited to see what they will share at EE13. Most of what I focus on and my interests lie in strategy, process, analytics, content, and data health. So here it goes, Brian’s Must Attend Sessions for Eloqua Experience 2013. Targeting: The Power of a Data Washing Machine in Lead Creation Amandah Magnarelli, Director, Database Marketing, Forrester Research, Inc. 9:45–10:45 Friday October 25 Engagement: Spin A Story That Stands Above The Noise Forrester has been a long-time Eloqua user and Amandah’s presentation on the Data Washing Machine fits perfectly with my focus on data hygiene. Ardath Albee, CEO, Marketing Interactions, Inc. 11:00–12:00 Thursday October 24 Analytics: Optimizing The Demand Waterfall With Predictive Scoring, Analytics, And Eloqua Magic I have followed Ardath for several years and I greatly respect and admire her ideas. She’s in an elite class in understanding how to develop and deliver content to engage with a B2B markets. Wade Tibke, Director, Demand Gen and Operations, Tableau Software 11:00–12:00 Friday October 25 Analytics: Don’t Just Score Leads— Predict Your Next Customer Brian Kardon, CMO, Lattice Engines, Jascha Kaykas-Wolf, CMO, Mindjet, Abner Germanow, Director of Worldwide Marketing, Juniper Networks 1:30–2:30 Thursday October 24 I have followed Brian Kardon since he was the CMO of Eloqua and I respect his strategic vision and how he looks at Revenue Marketing. I know Mindjet is a leading user of Eloqua and I’m very interested to hear the story, along with Juniper Networks, how they use analytics to predict the next customer. Marketing Technology: Eloqua In The Fast Lane— Tools To Enhance Your Automation Efficiency Ryan Schwartz, Director, Marketing Systems and Operations, DocuSign 3:30–4:30 Thursday October 24 In my book, Ryan Schwartz is the World’s Top Eloquan. Period. He knows the system better than anyone I know and he has driven a phenomenal revenue marketing operation at DocuSign. Not only that, Ryan is just a darned nice guy and he loves to listen and share ideas on using Eloqua. I’m especially excited for Ryan’s session because he’s presenting new tools he and his team have developed that the entire Eloqua Community will be able to use. Wade is another amazing Eloquan and he runs the marketing ops for Tableau. Tableau is a fantastic company with very strong marketing efforts. I’m very interested to see Wade’s presentation on how Tableau grew and tracked SQLs year over year. Engagement: Customer Marketing: B2B’s Best-Kept Growth Secret Megan Heuer, SiriusDecisions 2:30–3:30 Friday October 25 Megan is another person I have followed for a long time and have yet to see speak in person. B2B marketers are notorious at forgetting about the customer once the sale is closed. Customer engagement is a huge opportunity for B2B marketers to grow loyalty and revenue. I’m sure she will have some interesting ideas. I’m also looking forward to Wednesday before the event to get some updated Eloqua information and training. Here are the Wednesday sessions I’m interested in: Advanced Salesforce.Com Integration Demonstrations Nathan Lichte, Oracle | Eloqua Wednesday 8:30–10:00 Improved Custom Subscription Management Tracy Traeger, Oracle | Eloqua Wednesday 10:15–11:45 Best Practices: Introducing Eloqua To Your Sales Team Alison Thomas, Oracle | Eloqua Wednesday 1:00–2:30 3
  4. 4. Things You Can Learn At Your Next Conference You’re there to close some business, meet partners, hear speakers and network with fellow attendees. But if you look between the lines, and pay closer attention to what’s going on around you, you can also absorb a ton of best (and worst) practices about running or participating in a successful conference. For example: Booth Practices And Tactics (The Good, Bad And Ugly) Which booths drew your attention and why? Which were you embarrassed for? Break down the booth appearance, attractiveness, giveaways, staff performance and etiquette. What ideas could you take away for your next event, and what tactics and/or behavior will you remind your team to never do again? Take notes and take pictures to remind yourself of what you’ve seen and want to emulate (or not) next time. Guerilla Tactics Rival online services will attend Eloqua Experience too. They’re just hanging out on the sidewalks, placing ads on taxi cabs and doing other creative things to get attendee attention on the fringes of the official event. There’s a fine line, of course, between being creative and getting attention, and crossing the line and being obnoxious at someone else’s conference. This applies as well to those who execute guerilla tactics at their booths, in the aisles, at the conference hotels, and so on. Panel And Presentation Best Practices Who gave the best presentations and why? Was it because of their content, their performance on stage, their visuals, their examples? Similarly, who was awful and why? Almost any event you attend will feature both ends of this spectrum. Follow an event’s Twitter hashtag and you’ll get a real-time sense for what other people think as well (and why). Event Management Best Practices The details behind executing a successful event are endless. But the best conference experiences pay attention to the little things. Signs telling you where to go, people in colorful t-shirts to answer your questions, constantly refilled water dispensers at the end of trade show aisles, etc. What are the little things you noticed at your last show? What little things gernated buzz from attendees (either live or via the chat boards on Twitter)? 4
  5. 5. How To Take Notes At A Conference Create A System In Advance No matter how many (or which) of the steps below you incorporate for your next conference, have a system or game plan in advance. Know what you’re going to do, what tools and/or software you need, so that when you get there you can focus on the content and use your predetermined system to capture it. Come Prepared With Your Own Tools That system you determine to use for yourself likely doesn’t include those cute, hotel or conference centerbranded notepads and pencils you’ll find on the table in front of you. Those are fine for emergencies, but likely aren’t your best note-taking tool. Use A Keyboard If Possible In meetings, I try to use paper and pen to take notes, as I don’t want those I’m meeting with to see me with my nose in my laptop constantly. But at a conference, it’s different. I prefer a keyboard to speed up data capture, plus begin my note indexing right away (based on where notes are captured and saved). I most often use Microsoft Word, but Evernote is a great tool as well for quick notetaking stored and accessible in the cloud at all times. Have Paper Or Tablet Handy For Sketching I do still have that notepad handy (see this post for how I process hand-written notes later), especially for sketching more visual notes—graphs, sales pipelines, and other things that are more difficult to type. Have Email And Your Social Media Dashboard Open And Ready For Immediate Action There will likely be ideas, web sites, referenced articles and books, etc. you may want to take action on or alert others to right away. You may also want to cut-and-paste some of your best notes into your social media channels (using the conference hashtag, for example). Have your email and preferred social media dashboard (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc.) open in the background (ideally in offline mode so as not to distract you with every inbound email from back at the office). Highlight To-Dos And Key Points In Your Note For Easy Access Later If you want a quick way to identify action items, followup notes for your team, and otherwise scan through notes (either on the plane home or as soon as you get back to the office), mark them with an empty box or star or something you’ll recognize. Be consistent with whatever you use for note-taking back at the office so it’s fast and easy to process. Name And Save Files By Topic, Speaker Or Session Designate a folder somewhere on your hard drive (ideally somewhere that syncs to the cloud too) to save a full file of your conference notes, and consider separate notes (i.e. separate Word documents) for each session, topic or speaker. That way you can name the notes in a way that’s faster and easier to find later. This works if you’re taking notes entirely in a cloud-based service like Evernote as well. Dedicate Time To Review And Process Notes Post-Show The sooner you do this, the better. Do it on the plane ride home, or while waiting for the flight, or at minimum schedule time for yourself as soon as you’re back in the office to process action items and immediate next steps. If you don’t do it quickly, you’ll get sucked back into office life and fire drills and you’ll never do it (and all those good ideas and takeaways are more likely to get lost forever). Publish or share your notes with your team (with due apologies for format). Unless you’ve been asked to prepare and publish a formal conference report for broad consumption (i.e. to an executive team or clients), simply make your notes available to your team as is. Unless you wrote them in an entirely different language, I bet they can figure out what your digital chicken scratch was attempting to say. 5
  6. 6. The Dos And Don’ts Of Conference Hashtags Most conferences these days feature a hashtag for both attendees and followers from afar to “meet” each other and share highlights from the event. For both marketers and enterprising individuals looking to accelerate their own networking ROI, conference hashtags also represent a significant opportunity to catalyze your objectives. But like a lot of things, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Below are a handful of best and worst practices for your next event. Do Retweet and reply to others. Especially during an event, Twitter is about the community. It’s not enough to just share your own tweets, ideas and contributions with others. The more you interact with fellow attendees— reply to their ideas, retweet their content, etc.—the more likely others will follow you, click on your content, and otherwise engage with you during and after the event. Give attribution where it’s due. If you’re sharing a comment from the stage, give credit to the presenter. Use their own Twitter handle whenever possible. Not a bad way to get the speaker’s attention (and have him/her both follow you and retweet your quote). If you make it look like the idea or quote is yours, everyone else at the event will know it didn’t come from you. And that’s not a good way to build credibility. Share statistics. The fastest way to get your hashtagged tweets to go viral is to quote statistics shared throughout the event. Without fail, statistics tend to drive greater passalong especially among those both following the event from afar, as well as from their secondary followers. Start watching and posting early. Don’t wait until the conference starts to follow and participate in the hashtag. Start watching at least 1–2 weeks beforehand. Volume will be light, but your own posts are most likely to be noticed, and you’re more likely to find people you want to meet once you get there. Consider writing a specific pre-event blog post and posting it in the hashtag feed a couple days before the event. Great tactic to drive immediate retweets and visibility. Find and meet the high-volume tweeters. Pay attention to those who are most active on the feed, and ask to meet them while you’re both in the same place. High-volume hashtag tweeters are also often among the more influential tweeters in that particular industry, association or community. Exactly the kind of people you want to know you and your business. Don’t Do Share only links. It’s OK to share a link to a blog post you’ve written that relates to something just covered at the event. Just don’t do this exclusively. Others following a conference hashtag, especially those at the event live, don’t have time to click on and read your blog post. If you want to get noticed and retweeted, limit your message to 140 characters for easy and fast reading. Pitch your product. Not the time or place. It’s blatant and looks a little desperate too. Enough said. Make up a fake persona. You laugh, but I’ve seen it done more than once. At a Sales 2.0 conference, for example, a services company decided to use a fake persona to contribute to the hashtag feed impersonating a “sales 1.0” professional. It was annoying, interruptive, and completely backfired on the business. Be yourself. Tweet or post pictures from parties. There’s a thin line between the good party pictures, funny party pictures, and dang-I-wish-I-hadn’t-posted-that pictures. Save yourself from having to differentiate by leaving Twitter behind once the cocktail parties begin. Over promote your upcoming session. I know you’re excited to be on the panel. And proud that your CEO is going to be on stage. But the eighth tweet reminding us isn’t helping. 6
  7. 7. Marketing Automation For Vertical Industries: Q&A With Marilyn Cox We are honored to share this interview with Marilyn Cox, Industry Marketing Principal with Oracle Eloqua. Marilyn has developed a fantastic series of content for Eloqua Experience 2013, focused on helping marketers in specialized industries such as Life Sciences, Non Profits, Sports Marketing, Manufacturing and Financial Services. Oh, and she’s also a college football fanatic and loyal follower of The Ohio State University. Q: What Is Your Role At Eloqua Now? A: After spending six years as an Eloqua customer, I now have the opportunity to “pay it forward” as a Marketing Principal with Oracle Eloqua focused on Industry Marketing solutions. Oracle Eloqua recognizes that the best way to empower the customer is to develop a solution and a series of best practices that directly address the unique challenges and needs of that customer’s industry. We are continuing to invest in the customer by developing an industry solutions team consisting of product managers and industry specialists. Acting as the voice of the customer I bring marketing best practice insight to the development of the Oracle Eloqua industry products, campaign blue prints, analytics and reporting, and enablement tools. Q: What Challenges Do Marketers Face In Industries Such As Life Sciences, Healthcare, Sports Entertainment, Non Profits Or Manufacturing? A: Each industry has marketing objectives unique to their business and Oracle Eloqua wants to provide the tools that empower the customer to achieve those goals. When speaking with customers and prospects in different industries, Oracle Eloqua learned that while their horizontal solution can certainly scale across all vertical spaces and various company sizes, there was potential to do more for the customer. Manufacturers market differently than a traditional software company because they often rely on channel partner engagement. Non Profits are not concerned about lead scoring, rather membership growth and loyalty. Financial services has a strong focus on advisors and agent enablement. With volatile changes in the healthcare space, marketers for healthcare and insurance are now tasked with communicating to the patients and members as well as providers. The heart of sports entertainment is its fan base, and converting a guest to a fan is a primary focus. Q: How Does Eloqua Approach Supporting Customers In Specialized Industries? A: The first thing we do, is listen to the customer. No one can better communicate the challenges and needs of an industry, than the customers that actually work in that space. The industry solutions team has invested time and resources in listening to, and understanding, the customer. We’re defining what modern marketing means to each vertical space. With insight into these industries, and extensive experience working with Eloqua, the team is working to build a solution that will deliver the most value to the customer. Leveraging digital body language to deliver personalized 1:1 communication will continue to be a focus. Developing data models, reporting, integration with other 3rd party industry software, and campaign blue prints for each industry product is certainly important. We’re also heavily focused on developing training, content, and other tools that will enable each industry customer. Delivering value to the customer does not stop once the solution is implemented. Addressing the industry objectives throughout the entire customer journey is also a priority. I’m looking forward to the industry roundtable discussions at this year’s Eloqua Experience. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the customers and validate many of the things the Industry Solutions team has been working on. Q: How Does Marketing Automation Help Specialized Industries Connect And Engage With Customers? A: Many of these industries are at an advantage when using marketing automation because it’s a competitive advantage. Adoption of marketing automation technology is not as widespread in these industries like you see in the tech sector. And while adoption is relatively new, it’s certainly needed. Whether communicating with partner channels, members, fans, agents, advisors or payors, personalized 1:1 communication is necessary. The ownership of an organizations brand belongs to these audiences. They must develop a relationship with these individuals, and they can do that by capturing that digital body language, customizing messaging, and delivering relevant content at the right time. 7
  8. 8. Understanding the behavior and interests of their audience can also aid an organization in making smarter business decisions. Marketing automation can provide financial service firms with insight into advisor and agent revenue potential. Non Profits and sports entertainment organizations can identify and leverage member and fan advocates. Manufacturers can determine which channel partners are engaged and using the tools provided, as well as make decisions on channel resource allocation. Q: How Does Ohio State Football Compare To Eloqua? Industry Marketing Sessions At Eloqua Experience 2013 If you’re already registered for Eloqua Experience 2013 and would like to attend any of our industry sessions, contact me at and I’ll get you registered. Wednesday October 23rd 8:30–10:00 Modern Financial Services Marketing Best Practices A: Ha! You mean “The” Ohio State Football... Well, aside from the scarlet and gray color wheel, both have a very passionate following. I can travel anywhere and run into fellow Buckeyes and Eloquans. It extends beyond brand recognition. Wednesday October 23rd 10:15–11:45 Modern Financial Services Roundtable Discussion Eloquans and Buckeyes share sentimental ties to the organizations. They both have incredible leadership. It’s that leadership that develops strong unified strategies and recruits amazing talent. Both win, and they create the most amazing experiences for their fans. Wednesday October 23rd 2:45–4:15 Modern Manufacturing Marketing Roundtable Discussion About Marilyn Cox Thursday October 24th 12:00–1:30 Sports Entertainment and Non-Profit Marketing Q&A Lunch You can follow and contact Marilyn on Twitter @marilynECox. Marilyn Cox is the Marketing Principal, focused on Industry Practices, at Oracle, Eloqua. She researches, strategizes, provides guidance and delivers marketing expertise to Eloqua customers by way of embedding industry-specific best practices as an integral part of marketing automation and revenue performance management solutions. Wednesday October 23rd 1:00–2:30 Modern Manufacturing Marketing Best Practices Thursday October 24th 12:00–1:30 Life Sciences/Health Care Marketing Q&A Lunch Friday October 25th 12:00–1:30 Manufacturing Marketing Lunch Friday October 25th 12:00–1:30: Financial Services Marketing Lunch Marilyn received her degree in Political Science from The Ohio State University and is the author of She classifies herself as a left brain mind living in a right brain world. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she enjoys Ironman training in solitude and Ironmom conditioning with her two children. 8
  9. 9. How To Make The Most Of The Parties And Networking Events Networking events are a great opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of fellow attendees, but they’re also an important opportunity to meet new people, add to your network, and create new business opportunities. Here are six tips for better engaging and leveraging these parties in your favor (while at the same time enjoying yourself and having fun!) 1. Take Plenty Of Business Cards (But Don’t Lead With Them) After-hours parties and networking events aren’t meant to be all business, but you also don’t want to be caught without the means of sharing your basic contact information with someone you meet. Don’t lead with your card, unless the event is explicitly a card-exchange or business networking event. But after sharing conversation, if you’re interested in following up afterward, make it easy for the other party to do so. 2. Dress Down (A Little) But Remain Professional If the networking event is right after the formal meeting and in the same location, you can assume the same business or business casual attire is fine. But if the party is at a separate time or location, feel free to dress down a bit. If you were wearing slacks with jacket or suit, for example, jeans are probably OK. But don’t go crazy. Jeans with your shirt and jacket (no tie), for example, says dressed-down but still professional. And you can always lose the jacket if you need to look even more casual, depending on the event and surroundings. 3. Be Polite But Proactive As you work the room, make eye contact and say hello to those you pass. Introduce yourself proactively and offer a handshake. If you approach a circle of folks already engaged in conversation, wait until a lull in the conversation or until you’ve been invited to introduce yourself. Respect the room and existing relationships and conversations, but be proactive about getting in there and meeting new people. That’s why you’re there! 4. Remember To Write Down Names, Contexts and Deliverables Over the course of the night, you’ll likely meet a lot of interesting people. But it’s important to remember who they are, where they’re from, and any context about the conversation (or things you offered to share with or send them later) for your follow-up. If you get a business card, write the context or deliverable on the back. As a back-up, carry a piece of paper or notebook to write down their name, email and what you promised to send their way later (offering to send something also gives you the “cover” necessary to write this down without looking too geeky). 5. Focus On Them And Ask Good Questions The easiest way to get people talking is to ask questions. What they do, why they’re at the conference, what have they learned so far, etc. Have a few standard, starter questions ready and keep watch, in their answers, for things they’re particularly passionate about. The more they talk about themselves, the more memorable you will be for asking (and the most likely you’ll find something based on those interests you can follow up with afterward). 6. Don’t Overdo It Nobody makes a good impression at parties by getting drunk. It’s difficult to impossible to execute the above opportunities when you can’t think or speak straight. Have a drink. Or two. Enjoy yourself. Just know your limits, and don’t let yourself get in a position you might be regret the next day. 9
  10. 10. San Francisco—One Of The Best Cities To Host Events. Here’s Where To Eat And Drink I’m in San Francisco at least once a month these days for clients and conferences, and invariably these trips have me staying in and around Union Square. It’s close to Moscone Center and some of the larger hotels that host conferences, so I’ve gotten to know the surrounding area quite well. This includes where to eat and drink, off the beaten path and the tourist spots that are everywhere down there. Over the next several weeks, B2B sales and marketing professionals will descend on the Union Square area of San Francisco, specifically for event such as this week’s Sales 2.0 Conference, next week’s Eloqua Experience and November’s Dreamforce. This isn’t a definitive guide by any means, but if you’ll be joining one of these shows and are either hungry or adultthirsty, here are a few recommendations. Maybe I’ll see you there! For A Classic Greasy-Spoon Breakfast You can’t beat Pinecrest Diner, just a block up from the Hilton. Perfect greasy spoon from the menu, booths, counter, and surly staff. It’s open 24 hours, so great for an early power breakfast or hangover cure before heading back to conference sessions. For A Hof Brau Experience Check out Lefty O’Doul’s. The bar there is underrated, and great for a quick beer and a couple innings of a ballgame. But you’re mainly going there for the platter meals—corned beef, prime rib, sammiches and more. It’s a San Francisco institution, and fun for a quick lunch with fellow attendees. For Fast, Fun, Boat-Delivered Sushi Check out Sushi Boat. It can be easy to miss, as it’s basically just a door heading down to a basement restaurant. The restaurant centers around a sushi bar surrounded by a moat, in which wooden boats float a variety of small plates. They make great teriyaki and other Japanese dishes too, plus it’s only a couple blocks from the Union Square Hilton and Moscone Center. For All The Garlic You Can Stand Check out The Stinking Rose. It’s a cab ride away from Union Square but worth it, especially if you like garlic. Just confirm that your meal mates like garlic too, or plan on jogging back to your hotel to get it out of your system. Most restaurants start you off with bread and butter. At The Stinking Rose, it’s bread with warm roasted garlic paste. Amazing. For Great Steak And Frites Across from the Marriott Marquis and just two blocks from Union Square is Annabelle’s, a small and intimate but casual French place with a nice menu and experience bartenders. They can make anything you want, and I recommend the steak and frites if you’re hungry. For A Great Meal AND Great Cocktail Check out Absinthe, a short cab ride west and behind the symphony hall. It’s packed all the time so get reservations. The first time I went there I was by myself in town for the evening, started three back of the bar with a cocktail, and left four hours later having finally found a seat at the bar for a couple more cocktails, a great meal, and two new friends on either side of me. Good drink, food and conversation on both sides of the bar. Best Burger And Manhattan Combo In Town The Four Seasons bar doesn’t have a TV, so if you want to watch a game you’ll need to go somewhere else. But if you want an amazing burger and great cocktail, plus a chance to run into someone famous, check out the Four Seasons. They have happy hour specials pairing burgers and cocktails. Plus, I’m serious, I’ve run into actors, singers and sports stars there regularly. Good people watching if nothing else. For A Secret And Amazing, Prohibition-Era Cocktail My favorite bar by far in San Francisco is Bourbon & Branch. It’s less than two blocks from the Union Square Hilton, but you’ll have a hard time finding it. The front door is painted black—no signage, no indication of what’s behind it. You will need reservations, even to sit at the bar. You will also need the daily-changing password to get in. But once you’re in, it’s Disneyland for old-school cocktail fans. Dimly lit, a phone book for a cocktail and spirits menu, plus a secret library bar in the back that’s only accessible by pulling out a single book from the secret library wall door. Seriously cool. Make your reservations now (and take me with you!). For A Great Cocktail And Cigar Another short cab ride but worth it to Cigar Bar & Grill. Good food and drinks, but outside in the patio you can 10
  11. 11. also enjoy one of a great selection of cigars. Nothing better than hanging out with old or new friends, sipping on Single Malt and puffing a stogie. If you like that kind of thing. For A Great Italian Meal Without Going To North Beach If you have time and a reservation, there are some amazing Italian restaurants all over San Francisco. But just a half block from Union Square in the Sir Francis Drake hotel is Scala’s Bistro. Small, good food, great ambiance. Good for a quick lunch between sessions or a nice dinner with partners, prospects or customers too. For A Good Dive Bar This is the glaring hole in my personal recommendations, so I went to Oracle Eloqua social community manager and San Francisco resident Lauren Harper for a recommendation. She recommends Burritt Room and Mikkeller Bar in the Union Square area for “safe” dives, but also Local Edition, Rickhouse and Jones Bar.   For The Best Chinese Food In Town That’s saying something for a city like San Francisco, and although I haven’t been everywhere, nothing beats House of Nanking. Another cab ride into Chinatown, and it’s a tiny place that doesn’t take reservations, but every dish is amazing. 11
  12. 12. Getting The Most Out Of An Awesome Conference (Once You’re Back At The Office) You’ve just returning home from an awesome conference. It was two-plus days of amazing speakers, great networking, and tons of ideas. You have 21 pages of type-written notes, full of ideas. And that doesn’t include hand-written notes on the back of business cards, other ideas embedded in presentation decks received from speakers, etc. list(s), bigger projects worth considering on their own list, etc. Sorting your notes into something more actionable is the only way to ensure you’ll take action, and doing that now (when you’re not yet in the midst of your “usual” work) ensures it gets done while those notes and ideas are most fresh in your mind. The flow of inspiration and ideas at a conference like this can be overwhelming while still away, but it gets worse when you’re back in the office. Unfortunately, those 21 pages of notes often get relegated to a pile on the side of our desks, or forgotten altogether once we dig into the backlog of emails, re-engage in the daily fire drills, and otherwise get overwhelmed by trying those great new ideas in the midst of the everyday madness that surrounds us. Triage: You will only be able to handle a fraction of those great ideas right away. And if the rest have to wait a couple weeks to tackle again, you really won’t have lost much. Be disciplined about what you (and/or your team) can tackle now vs. waiting for later. Keep a specific list of “someday” projects and plan to review them regularly. Doing this ensures the ideas are part of your regular review without feeling like you have to tackle them all right away. The last thing you want to do when you return from a great conference like this is act like a “crazy maker” and change everything you and your team is doing. It’s best to give yourself time to adjust back to the office pace, perhaps put some of those ideas in perspective, then have a system for review of those ideas to pick the right ones up as appropriate. To get the most out of the conference, and maximize your productivity and execution on all those great ideas, you need a little preparation, a little discipline, some organizational best practices and two short sharing exercises. Here’s what I’m thinking: Take better notes: 21 pages of notes can be intimidating as you review them later. Next time, as you take notes during a conference, create a system for yourself that identifies the key ideas you want to review later. Put checkboxes, for example, next to things you specifically want to add to your to-do list later. Put a different symbol next to ideas you think are great, but know will take additional thinking/planning. In essence, organize your notes as you take them to make next step capture faster and easier later on. On the plane home: You likely want to tackle the backlog of work from the office as soon as the conference is over, and on the plane home. Instead, give yourself time to do a few things on that plane ride (the lack of connectivity and phone access works in your favor to keep you focused). First, go back through your notes come up with a few highlights or “headlines” you want to share with your team (or even just for yourself). Think about the 3-6 primary takeaways or themes, and write a short email with these bullets to your colleagues. This quickly and immediately share the most important learnings, and invites your colleagues to inquire to learn more (making it more likely those ideas will live on after you land). Second, start going through the rest of your notes in more detail to capture specific, immediate to-do’s into your usual to-do Publish your notes: This doesn’t have to be fancy, but take the time (still on the airplane if you can) to type up, lightly organize and publish your notes. Organize them by the “themes” you identified above if possible, and don’t overdo it. Don’t worry about editing, complete sentences, or anything like that. The goal here is to make your notes more complete and readable, but also something your colleagues can review and get their own ideas/inspiration from as well. Share these notes with others on your team for review, schedule a meeting to review together if you’re so inclined, and consider setting up a repository for notes from additional conferences, seminars, webinars, etc. Imagine having one place for you and others to read, remember and gain further inspiration from the past. Execute: If you’ve identified things to do right away (from small tasks to bigger projects), give yourself a deadline and hold yourself accountable to getting them done. There’s nothing worse than attending a great conference with tons of ideas, then letting most of them slip once you’re back to the regular routine. You invested time and money to challenge the way you think, the way you do things, and what’s needed to accelerate your success. Make sure you do something about it. 12
  13. 13. More Information About Us About Matt Heinz Matt Heinz is the Founder and President of Heinz Marketing Inc. Matt brings more than 12 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations, vertical industries and company sizes. His career has focused on delivering measurable results for his employers and clients in the way of greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty. About Brian Hansford Brian Hansford manages our marketing automation practice and specializes in developing demand generation and marketing automation strategies for our clients. Brian is a 20 year veteran of the technology industry Brian is an Eloqua Product Master and frequently speaks on and publishes original content on B2B marketing, database health, content marketing and marketing automation. About Heinz Marketing Heinz Marketing is a Seattle marketing agency focused on sales acceleration. Heinz Marketing helps clients achieve sustained sales success by growing revenue from existing customers and cost effectively identifying and winning new customers. Contact Heinz Marketing Heinz Marketing Inc. 8201 164th Ave NE, Suite 200 Redmond, WA 98052 877.291.0006 Learn More About Heinz Marketing Interested in learning more creative ways to make the most of your marketing?: Request your FREE 10-minute brainstorm at Join our newsletter: Check out our blog: Follow Matt on Twitter: 8201 164th Ave. NE, Suite 200 Redmond WA 98052 Ph. 877.291.0006