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 Niemiec, Vice President of Enterprise and Event Marketing at Pendo.
Pendo is on a mission to elevate the world's experiences with software. From Fortune 500 enterprises to B2B tech startups to educational institutions and healthcare systems, organizations around the world use Pendo to achieve a common goal—to accelerate and deepen software product adoption.
Lindsay spoke about her unique event experience running Pendomonium, enterprise event marketing strategies, working with the sales team for events, and much more! Enjoy this quick recap, and watch the full interview for the full scoop.
Enterprise event marketing is really about creating experiences and moments that matter to customers and prospects in a way that drives deeper relationships, builds trust, and accelerates deal cycles.
A lot of these enterprise sales cycles are lengthy, and it could take 20-30 different touches before you secure a deal. Sometimes it may take six to eight months, a year, or two years. So, creating such moments and tangible relationships is really important to continue that sales cycle.
It has, and I would suggest putting things in play like outreach sequences. These emails remind people about the event and let them know how excited you are to see them!
Don’t forget to get dietary restrictions and preferences and other details beforehand so that you can customize the menu accordingly, set up mother's rooms, etc. This way, the attendees don’t have to inquire about this separately when they are on-site.
We used to do customized agendas for our event attendees. That was quite a manual lift, and not all salespeople have the time to do that. Now, there are all of these super handy tools that allow customized agenda building and post-event surveys that help create great virtual experiences. I think the industry has come a long way, and I’m excited to see what we all will be able to do with it as we get back to in-person and hybrid events.
Field Marketing for B2B software companies didn’t really exist earlier as it does today. It was kind of like an experiment, and it has grown over time and has become fun to see field marketing professionals doing these amazing events. The level of detail keeps getting better every year. A cocktail reception today is as elaborate as a wedding!
Events have become more socially responsible as well! We didn’t really think about dietary restrictions and mothers’ room as much as we should have. But people now expect these things at events.
You have to be a nurturer and an entertainer if you want to be in events. It’s also about creativity and thinking about how my team and I can outdo ourselves.
“I never want to put up a sign at events that says 'VIP.' Every customer should feel like they all are VIPs. You never want them not to feel that way. Even for a conference with 5,000, 10,000, or 20,000 people, think about how you can make every individual feel special. We can’t do everything ourselves, but being able to arm the customer success managers, sales teams, and executives with all the information and tools that they can use for that purpose is the key to success.”
The events team at Pendo is new, and we are finally coming out of virtual into in-person, so we’re excited! For us, it’s really thinking about how do we continue to work in the enterprise space and partner with the sales team to create programs that are going to engage executives to come on board, learn about being product-led, and be synonymous with being product-led in the industry.
The team consists of three different pillars.
Our corporate events team does all of our third-party sponsorships, user conferences like Pendomonium and Guide, and other curated events that are one to many.
We then have our field marketing team, which is focused on our regional experiences and aligning with our sales team to create account-based marketing (ABM) programs. These ABM programs create moments that matter throughout the sales cycle to continue to deepen those relationships.
And finally, we have our communities. Our communities are virtual and in-person user groups and different types of brand ambassador programs that celebrate our customers and invest back in them and their careers.
When we were planning the event, the Delta variant of COVID had just come out. So, we were trying to figure out how to do a user conference that is in-person but also keeps people safe.
We really wanted to do an in-person conference because we wanted to bring the community together. Our customers are engaged and active, so we decided to do a one-day, sun-up to sundown event at an amphitheater in Raleigh, NC. This allowed us to be outdoors, have some social distancing, and accomplish the idea of doing a community event.
We completely leaned into the idea of a festival. We had a merch tent that was right by the stage where people could go to buy some swag. We built stages to host virtual discos. People could go to different stages and don headsets to listen to different content.
So, it was really like a B2B user conference meets Coachella lite!
Remember that every segment is different. So, the deal cycles are different, and the way we market to them is different.
When you think about larger field marketing events like cocktail receptions, keep them open to everyone. It’s not just about celebration but brand awareness too! You never know what the young associate freshly out of school will do 2-3 years down the line will do. They just might become your customers! So, it’s always great to bring in the whole community.
With smaller, bespoke events with limited seats, focus on enterprise customers and prospects with larger deal cycles. Curate the attendee list with salespeople. The deal cycles are long, and it's really important that you continue to evangelize for your own KPIs, your own goals, and measurement tactics.
Keep a tab on your dashboard to see the impact of your events on the deals closed. Don’t just measure quarterly results. Track the impact of events on the deals closed because the event you hosted in the first quarter may reflect a deal closed in the fourth quarter.
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.