Welcome to Event Marketers Live, a fast-paced series where we shake off the jargon and get real with the humans behind the scenes of our favorite B2B events and experiences.
In this episode, Kelly chatted with Katie Wengenroth, Director of Field Marketing and Events at Outreach.
Outreach is a leading Sales Execution Platform that helps teams prospect more efficiently, improve sales execution, proactively fix deal risks, and win more predictably. With the most B2B buyer-seller interaction data in the world and significant investments in proprietary AI technologies, Outreach helps revenue organizations automate sales engagement and act on revenue intelligence to improve their efficiency, predictability, and growth.
Katie joined us to chat about how she transitioned from working agency-side into tech, what she learned as an early INBOUND Event Manager, how Outreach is approaching both in-person and virtual events this year, and much more. Check it out!
I started my career at Nth Degree, an event marketing and management agency. I built a really great foundation there and learned how to manage speakers, how to organize sponsors, etc.
I made a few moves there but ended up landing at HubSpot, which was my first internal events role and tech experience. In 2013, HubSpot was THE tech company to work for, and INBOUND was just getting off the ground.
I was very lucky to have landed there, especially on the INBOUND Conference team. It was a very small team at the time; we had two core employees and two interns. It really took a huge investment from the entire marketing organization to execute the event.
While the event was small when we launched, I’m not surprised it’s become an industry staple. That was always the goal.
The founders were very invested and supportive of the conference. They wanted INBOUND to be an industry event where thousands of people would come and gather, and they kept this goal front and center. They also wanted the event to cover a wide range and hit a broad marketing audience without sacrificing quality. Given this strategy, it’s not surprising that it's grown to 20,000+ people.
At Hubspot, I was focused on one conference. I put all of my time, energy, and effort into this one giant event.
My role at LogMeIn was a mix of field marketing, corporate events, and customer events. I was able to learn about things outside of just running large conferences.
Focusing on trade shows is important. If you’re in Field Marketing, those tend to be your bread and butter. You need to be able to create these unique experiences, track the results, and work hand-in-hand with the field teams.
I also got to focus more on internal events, which I really enjoyed. Things like sales kickoffs, incentive trips, etc.
Finally, I got to work on customer events, which was a really awesome transition to be able to build out customer advisory boards. These events were critical to understanding what our customers needed.
The biggest difference for me was learning about a different type of business. LogMeIn focused on selling to C-Level executives whereas HubSpot which was much more (at the time) focused on SMBs. The role and company felt a bit more mature with a focus on customers and prospects.
At Outreach, we have a Field Marketing team, which sits under me in my role, and we have an Event Marketing team.
Our Field Marketing team supports three field segments: enterprise, commercial, and SMB. We currently have two Field Marketing Managers supporting these three sales teams. We also have a Program Marketing Manager that supports Field Marketing operations, including the follow-up, ABM efforts, building campaigns, reporting on KPIs, etc. It’s been very helpful. If you haven’t thought about that role, I definitely recommend adding it to your team.
On the Event Marketing side, we have historically hosted two large flagship events a year. This team has one Senior Event Marketing Manager and a supporting Event Marketing Manager.
The size and structure of your events team really depends on your needs. There are also a lot of great agencies you can leverage. If you want to do it in-house and you have the headcount, that works too. I’ve done it both ways.
It’s interesting because before joining Outreach, one of the things we always struggled with was post-event follow-up. You go to the event, you put the leads into Salesforce, and then cross your fingers and hope your emails are being read.
With Outreach, all of the event outreach and follow-up is fully automated and tracked. We can use outreach as marketers to ensure follow-up is happening, that the right messaging is being shared, that relevant content is going out, etc.
This also works with the event invitations. We can track who is inviting whom and how many touchpoints they’ve had. We can really hold sales accountable for their input.
2022 is a mixed bag for us.
We’re attending some events that are coming back in-person. We are going to SXSW in a few weeks, which is very exciting. We are doing a pedicab sponsorship where folks can scan a QR code for more info. We’ll have a booth at the event, and we’re hosting a dinner.
For in-person events, we’re still trying to figure out the right level of engagement. We’re trying out smaller targeted dinners at these events to give folks a chance to meet in a more intimate setting.
When we get back to doing our own in-person events, we’re not doing anything large right away. We have been focusing on more regional events like box seats at sporting events, VIP tickets to concerts, etc.
Virtual conferences are also still important for us. We are sponsoring a few analyst events, like Forrester B2B Summit, which is in-person, and Gartner sales summit, which is virtual.
When it comes to third-party events, we’re following the leads of the shows that have our target audience and the shows that we want to partner with.
Thanks so much for joining us, Katie! That’s all for now, but we’ll see you soon for another episode of Event Marketers Live.