If you help them, they will come: overcoming obstacles to build event attendance


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  • The Kelly & Julie story – six seasons of fighting crime and driving business results.
  • TechEd is Microsoft’s premier technical education event for tech professionals in North America. Five-day event Largest tech training of the year Targeting IT pros and devs
  • 6,000+ of attendees Served 11,000 pounds of potatoes 42,000 Hershey kisses 350,000 peanuts 33,000 pieces of whole fruit 75,000 fresh local eggs 45,000 cans of soda 56,000 jelly beans 30,000 bagels 48,800 fresh baked rolls 25,000 tootsie rolls 34,000 baked cookies 12,500 pounds of vegetables 27,000 tweets We also: - Transferred 14.89 terabytes of data through our combined firewalls in the first two days - Used an average wireless bandwidth of 250 Mbps from the available 400 Mbps - Measured 9,187 unique devices on the wireless network (in just 24 hours)
  • Everything TechEd entails – pre, onsite, and post event. Value proposition for attendees: Education Training Networking Opportunity to meet real experts Value of the event to Microsoft: Face-to-face evangelism Data derived from attendee engagement Biz-dev for our partners Attendees tell Microsoft via scanners in rooms what they find valuable People organize and self-identify according to their interest areas
  • So, the brief we gave Wunderman was pretty much a Mission: Impossible scenario. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Create a demand-gen strategy and plan to drive 6,000 paid attendees to an event that costs $2K just to get in at a time when IT departments are cutting budgets left and right.
  • Cost: not a free event. Permission from the boss harder to get than ever. Challenging economy—and that might be the “new normal” so we need to figure this out.
  • IT professionals Technical decision makers (TDMs) Developers
  • Attendees were stuck, not sure how to persuade bosses regarding value Not a demand problem, but a funding problem Alumni always want to go again
  • #1 motivator, but needed more – and it needed to last beyond the event itself Nurturing the community via the community managers and social websites has increased the overall event satisfaction
  • Attendees needed help packaging the event and capturing their content to take it back to their teams Out of an IT department of 10, only one might be sent to the event One attendee carries the responsibility to share what he/she has learned
  • Insight: Continued engagement was needed through social and mobile channels to keep the community alive and make the event live beyond a date in time – and not just in person.
  • We created artificial deadlines to create a sense of urgency. Attendees were heavily incentivized to register early.
  • Will create more demand to go to the event YoY because we give them a taste, but the value is demonstrated to the audience. (Yes, that’s what you think it is---attendees brought their own devices. In fact, 6,000 attendees connected over 9000 devices to the wireless network at TechEd.) We provided content that worked with the ways our attendees wanted to consume it, even if they wanted to consume it on an iPad.
  • Three great things: Alumni lounge, a special spot just for them to get away from it all Better snacks, more comfortable seating, ensuring it was always well utilized My TechEd networking site 74% used it and allowed the community feel to extend to the experience at the event Sharing of content, which we facilitated and promoted
  • Beat attendee target by three people to hit 6003 Satisfaction score wen from 150 to 163 Met at least 80% of our reach, or new member/follower goals, in all channels Increased Klout score from 45 to 63 Made money!
  • Syndicating the content online to those who couldn’t make it was key Community manager – experienced and dedicated person Alumni lounge on site My TechEd for mobile Little things matter – hot breakfast was added, but we got rid of party due to touh economic times and budget constraints
  • If you help them, they will come: overcoming obstacles to build event attendance

    1. 2. If you help them, they will come <ul><li>Overcoming obstacles to build event attendance </li></ul>Kelly Soligon @ksoligon Julie Rezek @JulieRezek
    2. 4. The Brief: What is TechEd?
    3. 5. Fast Facts
    4. 6. Partners The TechEd Ecosystem Content syndication my Portal Transaction Demand generation Events Community Customers/ Partner Learn Share Connect
    5. 8. Potential Challenges <ul><li>Cost </li></ul><ul><li>Permission from the boss </li></ul><ul><li>Time out of office </li></ul><ul><li>Economy </li></ul><ul><li>For Microsoft: self-funding event </li></ul>
    6. 9. The Audience
    7. 10. In Their Own Words “ All the experts are here in one place—I go from room to room to room and get my questions answered—all in one place” IT Pro Telco--Egypt “ With 14 offices globally trying to share the RIGHT piece of information fast is critical—SharePoint 2010 is the answer and that is why I am here” IT Pro—Manufacturing Milwaukee . “It’s the networking—the people I meet. Having great partners in the Microsoft ecosystem is key. Second, we generate a ton of business by coming to Tech·Ed” Partner ” . “I am here to learn more about what I use today and about what I could use tomorrow” Web developer—Financial Services ” “ Being at Tech·Ed gives us access to the complete community of our users. At Tech·Ed we learn inside information that helps us plan how to advance our products for the next releases” Partner ” . “I came to learn about the Cloud. We are switching to Office 365 and I need to learn about it” IT Pro—Emory University ” “ Microsoft really knows how to engage with the partner community both informing about product roadmaps as well as helping you go to market ” CEO—Infragistics
    8. 11. Goals <ul><li>6,137 paid attendees </li></ul><ul><li>Customer satisfaction score of 150 </li></ul><ul><li>Break even </li></ul>
    9. 12. Insights
    10. 13. Permission
    11. 14. Networking
    12. 15. Taking It Home
    13. 16. Engagement
    14. 17. Strategies <ul><li>Data </li></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>Experience </li></ul>
    15. 18. Data <ul><li>Three great things we did using data: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Geo-targeting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement Index Model helped to get the right people there </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leveraged alumni </li></ul></ul>
    16. 19. Contact Strategy Map
    17. 20. Content <ul><li>Three great things we did using content: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Convince your boss messaging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content broadcast in real time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared content through influencers </li></ul></ul>
    18. 21. Experience <ul><li>Three great things to enhance the experience: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni lounge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>myTechEd networking site and app </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing of content </li></ul></ul>
    19. 22. Results <ul><li>Beat target by three </li></ul><ul><li>Sat score went up </li></ul><ul><li>Positive channel penetration </li></ul><ul><li>Social: key driver </li></ul>
    20. 23. <ul><li>Lessons learned </li></ul>
    21. 24. Questions?