Harnessing the Power of Digital Events: Meet Mandy Darnell from Starburst

September 20, 2022
Kelly Cheng
Kelly Cheng
Head of Marketing at Goldcast

Maximize Your Marketing ROI

Join 10,000 other marketers already getting the best tips on running engaging events that boost pipeline and create raving fans.

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 Mandy Darnell, Director of Event Marketing at Starburst.

Mandy started her career in the non-profit sector working at the Christopher Reeve Foundation in special events, then to academia at Emerson College, and finally transitioned to the tech world at Rapid7 running events for North America. She is now the Director of Event Marketing at Starburst!

Explore Mandy’s top takeaways below, and be sure to catch all of her insight in the full episode.

Want to join the conversation? Register for the next Event Marketers Live event!

Here are the Top 3 Takeaways from this episode ⤵️

Takeaway 1: Know your ideal customer profile (ICP) to deliver the best messaging

Most folks have heard the phrase “content is king”—but if this rings true, context is most certainly queen.

The best event marketers have a crystal clear understanding of their ideal customer profile (ICP) and what type of content is going to be most impactful for this niche. If your event content doesn’t resonate, you’re going to lose folks pretty quickly. This can result in low quality or a low quantity of leads, disappointed sales teams—it’s an entire trickle down effect.

Additionally, events are so much more than a “one and done” moment in time. The savviest marketers understand this and treat events as part of a larger integrated campaign and have consistent messaging and branding across all touch points.

Takeaway 2: Choosing the right platform is critical for digital event programs

For DataNova, Starburst’s signature event, the team wanted more than just a standard webinar experience.

Instead, they wanted to mimic as much of the in-person magic as possible. Specifically, the team wanted sponsor booths, breakout and networking rooms, the ability to use both live and pre-recorded content, lots of engagement levers to pull in the audience, and an overall seamless and elevated experience for attendees. These were mission-critical, non-negotiable items to execute a high-quality experience.

We just talked about how important event content is. The overall virtual event experience is just as important for delivering value.

If there are any—and we mean ANY—issues, from technical glitches to lost links, you’re going to lose people and it’s going to leave a bad taste in their mouths about your brand. Consider these elements as you’re thinking about the experience you want to provide and what platforms and partners have to offer.

Takeaway 3: Examine post-event analytics to understand how to drive an increase in attendance

Keeping a pulse on post-event metrics is key to not only measuring success but also for improving performance.

Mandy pays special attention to individual session engagement. This includes things like poll responses, chat conversations, questions submitted, and more. All of these interactions are captured and available for post-event analysis.

This allows Starburst to see what sessions and content resonated most, what conversations were driving the most engagement, what questions people have, and then feed this information into future events and marketing programs.

This flywheel approach of using event data to refine event programming has led the team to see higher event attendance and engagement rates over time.

Thanks so much for joining us, Mandy! That’s all for now, but we’ll see you soon for another episode of Event Marketers Live.

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