In many circles, a key indicator of an organization’s success is its ability to support a user conference. The user conference is a highly-visible event that reflects on your organization’s brand and reputation while providing a basis for engaging customers and prospects through unique opportunities that allow for firsthand product insight and understanding.
When executed correctly, your conference will create relationships with your partners, customers, and prospects to move them more quickly along the buying cycle. Now, despite the clear advantages, the user conference presents weighty challenges for marketers and organizers because it is a complex machine with a diverse group of stakeholders and attendees that each have unique event goals.
An opportunity exists to maximize the value of your event by transforming your logistics-focused, one-size-fits-all event into an experience which delivers tailored content and provides meaningful connections to meet each participant’s individual goals. Additionally, you will be building your brand, increasing customer loyalty, solidifying your market position, and procuring new leads and sales.
Beyond the basics #1: Personalization
A user conference’s success is measured by each individual participant’s satisfaction level. However, judgment is usually based on different measures. One attendee’s successful event may or may not equate to another participant’s successful event. In order to achieve higher overall ratings, give participants the tools to create a personalized experience.
Personalization starts at the beginning with a registration process that asks the right questions to obtain an in-depth profile on each attendee. These profiles can be used to instantaneously personalize the event offering through recommended sessions and appointment matches that will successfully build an individual’s professional network. Event organizers can ensure the right messages are being delivered to the right attendees at the right time, while presenting targeted, relevant information throughout the entire event.
Supplemental activities, specific social network invites, and travel and accommodation information can easily be added to the experience for added attendee convenience.
Beyond the basics #2: Automation
Technology can be used to automate several user conference processes to create a more streamlined and effective experience for organizers and attendees. Again, starting at the beginning, provide web-based, user-friendly registration that facilitates payments and provides essential event details.
Continue to make a great impression by enabling mobile event check-in that eliminates long lines while allowing organizers to track the flow of attendees, receive automatic notices on participants and manage attendee questions and needs quickly. Lead retrieval becomes much easier with the ability to track attendees through their sessions, booth visits and appointments through a process that does not disrupt the natural flow of interactions between people.
Finally, email marketing is one of the primary methods of engaging the event audience before, during and after the event. By integrating your marketing automation system with event management technology you’ll efficiently leverage attendee profiles and activities to further personalize the attendee experience. Additionally, with integration attendee interactions are turned into measurable data for sales and marketing follow ups.
Beyond the basics #3: Enhancing the “after-conference experience”
The follow-up process needs to be meaningful to attendees and organizers. Remember that the event’s value lies in the ability to move an attendee through the stages of the buying cycle. Use the data collected in your integrated event management and marketing automation platforms to create a relevant follow up process. Generate value for your customers that cannot be ignored by meeting their immediate needs in their current buying cycle position.
Taking your user conference beyond the basics allows your organization to deliver a quality conference that is user-friendly and tailored to each of your individual participants while setting your organization up to achieve your revenue and customer loyalty objectives.