Jennifer Cummings was born to rock the event scene.
Whether it’s an in-person tradeshow or a branded virtual conference — with over a decade’s event experience in her back pocket, it’s a safe bet she’ll ace the brief.
In her current role as Director of Global Event Marketing at leading sales engagement platform Salesloft, Jennifer was charged with recreating the success of the team’s in-person events virtually.
(Oh, and did we mention she even supported an entire rebrand using an experience-driven virtual event as the cherry on top.)
We sat down with the event marketing superhero to find out more about the challenges she faced over the past two years and how she’s planning a pivot-proof event strategy for the future.
As a fresh new marketing graduate, Jennifer started at the ground floor in a generalist role covering trade shows, customer webinars, social media, direct mail and everything in between.
Though Jennifer’s tasks ran the gamut, events were what really sparked her passion.
“The bulk of my work ended up being events and I realized very quickly that was what I enjoyed the most. Connecting with people through experiences — I love that.”
Slowly but surely, Jennifer started to gravitate toward her passion. Her role became more and more event-focused, with 50 trade shows every year and deep involvement with the sales operation.
Since then, Jennifer’s primary responsibilities have been managing events of all shapes and sizes - from intimate executive roundtables, to large-scale tradeshow booths, to joining Salesloft in 2018 to produce their in-person annual conference.
Until Covid hit. And everything Jennifer knew about events blew up.
Like so many other event marketers, Jennifer’s biggest event of the year became an instant Covid casualty in March 2020. 🤦
It quickly became obvious that getting to grips with virtual was going to be priority number one.
That meant learning the virtual event marketing ropes…and fast.
“I spent most of March and April 2020 researching — attending as many virtual events as I could to see what they were doing and what platforms they were using. Trying to get as much exposure as I could to what different virtual events we could be doing and figure out what the technology was like.”
For her, the first few events were all about testing the waters. Jennifer is the first to admit that she and the team at Salesloft were building the plane as they were flying it, using new and unknown technology to make the early transition to virtual.
But as the pandemic waged on, Jennifer started to realize that if she really wanted to replicate Salesloft’s legendary in-person events on a virtual scale—she’d need better tools to work with.
They say a referral is the highest honor a business can receive from a customer. And for Jennifer, that’s exactly how she found Goldcast.
“I had started to see people posting about Goldcast on LinkedIn. And when your peers are talking about their experience using a platform, that's definitely when you listen. You immediately think, ‘Okay, I should probably investigate this and learn more about it’. And that's really where it started.”
But when it came down to it, Goldcast’s next-level branding capabilities were what really sealed the deal for Jennifer. “I had started attending partner events hosted by Goldcast, and what caught my eye initially was the branding—it was just very clear whose event it was.”
In fact, Jennifer loved the branding features so much, she and the team decided to use their first event with Goldcast to unveil their own new rebrand. Luckily for Salesloft, Goldcast loves a challenge.
“Once we’d onboarded, we used our first ever Goldcast event to help launch our entire rebrand. We publicly announced the new brand at 9:00am and went live with the event at 11:00am on Goldcast. For most people, that was their first time experiencing it.”
Every inch of the platform was branded to the team’s specifications and according to Jennifer, “People just loved how the event came to life.”
And the rest of the results? Well, that’s a longggg list.
For Jennifer, switching to Goldcast was all about refining her already successful event offering. The opportunity to host a rebrand straight off the bat?
That just happened to be “the cherry on top” that gave Salesloft’s audience an opportunity to experience their new brand firsthand.
But if you ask Jennifer, Goldcast provided results above and beyond anything she was expecting, starting with:
“Instead of having a virtual event platform and a webinar platform, we consolidated our stack and now we use Goldcast for everything.”
For Jennifer, Goldcast had it all covered.
She could scale the team’s virtual customer conferences, all while launching new products and tracking important metrics like the # of target accounts and ARR in attendance, and attendees’ roles.
Not only that, she could also run Salesloft’s branded webinars, providing practical content to prospects while seamlessly tracking pipeline influence and net new leads.
“Goldcast always makes data actionable, so it can be used in follow-ups to really elevate the experience. It’s about putting attendees into targeted cadences, giving CSMs the opportunity to dive into what the customer needs.”
Tracking conference and webinar data turned out to be another huge win for Jennifer and her team.
Armed with deep account-level insights, she and the team now have more ammunition to drive relevant sales conversations and increased revenue for Salesloft.
The team at Salesloft needed a partner who’d listen to their input, iterate and innovate.
So when they met Goldcast, it was love at first feedback.
“I had heard how quickly Goldcast responded to customer feedback and we've already seen our input being put into the product. That was a challenge with previous platforms.”
Any experienced event pro knows that success is all in the customer experience. “Users have high expectations of how straightforward the experience should be, from login to navigating through the platform.”
Of course, it didn't hurt that with Goldcast, the speaker and event host journey was also a total breeze.
“For me, as an organizer, using Goldcast is very simple — I don't have to create new events from scratch, I can recreate the structure and know the experience will be consistent.”
The team at Salesloft was pretty jazzed to see that even their speakers loved the new platform, with one of them posting on Twitter: “Amazing platform, Salesloft! Loved using it as a speaker.”
Achieving awesome event results is all in a day’s work for Jennifer.
As we venture deeper into the world of events post-2020 and 2021, she’s gearing up for the next adventure, namely: hybrid events.
How is Jennifer approaching the task? The same way she did for virtual: research. “Everyone is figuring this out and making it up as they go right now, just like with virtual in early 2020. People are defining what hybrid means for them based on how their audience wants to consume content.”
Luckily for Jennifer, she’s already found an event management platform partner to help support those efforts.
“Part of the reason we chose Goldcast was we felt it was an adaptable platform for hybrid. We can give our virtual viewers an experience that isn’t the same as the in-person event, but is still as valuable and still as great.”
With everything she’s learned so far, and a little help from Goldcast to execute on those learnings, she’ll be ready for whatever comes next.
Only the bravest marketing pros risk an entire rebrand on their first event with a new virtual platform.
But with Goldcast, Jennifer knew she had nothing to worry about.
“As far as the Goldcast experience, people loved how the brand came to life. We got great feedback.”
Looking to the future, this fearless event marketer isn’t kicking back anytime soon.
Because if she knows one thing about the world of events, it's that “You can't do anything the way you used to do it.”
We can’t wait to see what Jennifer and the team at Salesloft set out to do next. Whatever it is, we’ll be here to help make it happen.
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