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 Lindsay Neimiec, Global Events & Field Marketing at Pendo.
Lindsay is a revenue-oriented marketing leader focused on scaling high growth pre- and post- IPO SaaS organizations. She has expertise in developing and implementing proven strategic marketing initiatives that drive full funnel pipeline growth through an in-person and digital experiential lense, while increasing brand affinity and customer loyalty.
Explore Lindsay’s top takeaways below, and be sure to catch all of her insight in the full episode.
Here are the Top 3 Takeaways from this episode ⤵️
Lindsay recounted the hardest part about Pendo's user conferences in the past was building internal buy-in and getting their people excited.
A crucial element in addressing this and getting everyone on the same page is ensuring every stakeholder sees the value of driving the pipeline through registrations and tickets.
One way to get the buy-in is to display some “hype” around your event plan. The Pendo team, for instance, set up raffles related to the conference’s themes and keynote speakers and gave away “meet-and-greets” to employees.
The result: palpable excitement across teams over the conference. This translated to a 4x rise in ticket revenue.
Additionally, Pendo’s employees are now really excited to get involved in volunteering and be on site for conferences.
For every event, take the opportunity to run through the event’s purpose with the different teams and show them its value and how exciting it is for the entire company. Highlight that it's not an event that is just run by the event marketing team, but instead a key milestone to bring the community together.
Getting the buy-in for the first of any summit, conference, or other event may always be a bit harder, as you wouldn't have any data or material to back up your vision. You would then have to imagine for yourself the potential success and amplify that vision internally.
In terms of specific tactics for getting the sales teams excited about events, event marketers must learn to lean on other teams for data. This might include deals influenced by your earlier programs that have accelerated the pipeline and the different ways that this happened.
You can also fly in your key executives and host them for the first year, provided you have the budget. Such executive programs will help them see the event’s value first-hand and their contribution to getting the attendees in.
Another thing you can try is to create a SKU that your salespeople can bundle into a contract. This can help with ticket sales.
Such simple surprises and moments of delight can be as powerful as external promotions to get people excited about what you're doing.
Try these recommendations of Lindsay to help drum up hype around an event and convince employees why it's exciting and why they would want to be a part of it.
It helps to shake things up with different event formats every now and then. Sometimes, it might be dictated by circumstances.
During last summer, when the COVID second variant held its sway on our lives and events, the Pendo team was trying to figure out how to do a user conference that was in-person and could still provide a guarantee on safety.
They realized they couldn't possibly cram hundreds of people into a convention center. But the idea of virtual, even at that time, was feeling kind of stale to them. They knew they wanted to bring their community of engaged and active customers together IRL.
Enter “Pendomonium,” a B2B conference-meets-Coachella (as Lindsay puts it), from the incredible ideation to execution. The team decided to put together a one-day sunup-to-sundown event in an amphitheater in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was all outdoors, so there was social distancing.
The best part was accomplishing their vision of an in-person community event. Their all-out experimenting definitely gave people a reason to get on a plane and come to a conference when they probably hadn't done one in over a year and a half.
For Pendominium 2021, with several performers roped in, Pendo leaned into the idea of a festival. They even had a merch tent by the stage that people could pass through and get their event swag.
There were a number of other distinct, quirky elements, including breakout sessions with their own stages. For example, take a leaf out of their book and experiment with a virtual “silent disco" at your next event. In this experience, people can go on to various stages and listen to different content on headsets.
So, it helps to break the shackles of the done-and-dusted variations in expo centers and try something fun and different for a conference.
There is a lot of learning in planning outdoor events, including accounting for the weather and the other unknowns that can happen. But you can learn to have fun with it with some bold ideas and still see encouraging feedback and success.
One thing that is apparent to everyone is how field marketing for B2B companies has evolved in recent years.
Field marketing professionals, as Lindsay sees it, have certainly come into their own, with many amazing events churned out every year. We can acknowledge that the level of detail for every field event gets better and better every year.
Now, an event mimics a dinner with a theme and signature cocktails. Everyone at a B2C gala gets to enjoy amazing vibes that are more often associated with weddings!
Among other things, technology has made its mark on how the industry functions, enhancing our social responsibility. Then, there's the level of thought that goes into things like dietary restrictions and mother's rooms. These are long-awaited elements of inclusivity that currently go into event marketing.
As intrinsic nurturers and entertainers, event marketers are in a self-accelerated race for creativity. You must find yourself asking, "How can my team and I outdo ourselves in what we did last year? How can we create those experiences within experiences that drive the pipeline?"
Ultimately, this rush for creating those moments as part of the job and celebrating each other is what keeps us coming to our desks every day.
Thanks so much for joining us, Lindsay! That’s all for now, but we’ll see you soon for another episode of Event Marketers Live.