You’ve known us for a while now. Regardless of the topic we are dealing with, the most common factor is always them: people. There’s no product, sale or promotion without people, whether it’s your colleagues, your partners, or your customers. In fact, marketing is all about the people, and since they are the thing we love most, we dedicate a particular space to events in our marketing strategy.
That’s why events have many faces.
Let’s start from the end: B2B events are goldmines for sales teams.
The possibility to build many relationships in such a short time is hard to achieve through other channels, and equally hard is answering the need for personal connections and interactions.
Among the many potential benefits of participation in events are:
engaging our partners;
share and gain knowledge from peers;
motivate the team;
growing your database and leads;
connect with prospects;
get the products in front of the right people.
That’s why we sponsor tons of events per year(so many that sometimes it’s hard keeping track!). Each one, though, has specific importance for the global strategy of the company.
Now, the very first thing to consider when implementing an events strategy can be acquiring new leads: this is obviously one of the main goals, but it’s not the only thing you should focus on.
Stand out from the crowd: brand awareness.
Depending on the size of the event you’re sponsoring, you’ll have different visibility and you’ll be able to organize the space to play your drum and make sure people recognize and memorize your brand(that’s why it’s so important to participate in as many events as possible over the year).
We have a historical subscription for all the Cisco Live events around the world. I’d say that the most important for our business are the Cisco Live EMEAand the Cisco Live US held in June, where we showcased important news in the Collaboration Village (read more here).
Of course, as we said, each event has its specific function in the global strategy. In fact, if big events are excellent opportunities to show off, the small ones can be fundamental to establish human relationships, have time to dwell on conversations with people we usually meet only by virtual means and stay in close contact with the people who gravitate around the vast Cisco ecosystem.
A continuous coverage it’s fundamental to establish trust and loyalty. It’s easier to rely on someone you often have the opportunity to see, with whom you can talk and that you always know where to find. Attending the events year over year it’s one of the best way to tell your people that you’re there for them, always working to provide them with the finest tools to make happiness a little easier to achieve!
Just to give you an example, last August we attended the first-ever Cisco IMPACT, formerly known as GSX, in Las Vegas, as the only Italian company among over 98 countries represented. That’s the yearly occasion for Cisco executive leadership to deliver messages on company strategy, industry updates and competitive insights, and, for us, to get inspired for the new fiscal year to come.
Last week my colleague Yury, Sales Manager Europe, reported some insights after coming back from Las Vegas. Check this out.
Saying“Hello” to a friend.
Of course, during such events, you’ll likely meet some partner or friend popping over your booth to say hi and have a look at the latest news you’ve released.
That’s how you strengthen relationships, can spend some time talking about a project or just greet someone you haven’t seen for a long time. And this is a determining success factor for each event(and to generate actual leads!).
Nowadays, a good communication plan before the event has an essential role. Let your contacts know in advance that you will be attending the event; invite them to the happy hour you’re organizing, give them something that makes them feel important, because they are important, and you take care about them: maybe a gadget, something that reminds them of you and the happy time spent together(no matter if speaking about job). We often receive pictures from our partners with the gadget taken during the events, and there’s nothing that makes us happier and prouder!
Managing more than 60 events a year gives you a headache? Not at all.
Believe me. It’s easy to go crazy when you have to manage more than 60 events around the world every year(and, in the meantime, you have to carry out all the other marketing activities): that is why organization and attention to details are the ABCs when you start managing the task of an event.
It can happen to everyone to neglect a deadline or forget to order the right thing to set up the exhibition area.
A solid organization, timing, and adherence to the calendar can make the difference between successful participation in an event and completely useless experience.
Agile: the painkiller of the managing of the event.
Agile Scrum can be incredibly useful in the everyday rush, to help you prioritize the tasks and allow the team to work on the right priorities.
In our experience, it allows us to save lots of time and manage up to 10 events at the same time(at this very moment, for example, we’re managing 2 events in Italy, 5 in the USA and 1 in Dubai: all running out by the end of next month!).
Where we are today and where we’ll be tomorrow: save the date!
Earlier this year we started scheduling all the events we wanted to participate in(in addition to the canonical appointments we’d never miss, like[…]!). Well, by the end of the year we will have attended more than 60 events.
Look at the map below to find out where we’ve been and where you can find us over the next month:
8 events in the next 30 days:
Sept. 18th: Cisco East Partner Organisation, Herndon, United States
Sept. 26th: Infraday South, Houston, United States
Oct. 3/4th: BITS Connect Live, New Jersey, United States
Oct. 6/10th: GITEX, Dubai
Oct. 8th: Cisco ConnectWashington DC, United States
Oct. 10th: Cisco Connect, New Jersey, United States
Oct. 11th: VEMFWD 2020, Parma, Italy
At Imagicle, we go crazy about innovation!
As from last year, we decided to launch a new formula: the lunch&learn event taken at Cisco offices. We started in the Middle East theatre, and we replied soon in the United States. It consists of an informal lunch introduced by a quick, interactive presentation of our products, and it’s an invaluable opportunity to socialize, learn from peers’ opinions and answer questions in real-time. Plus, we share a good meal, which, as is well known, is a great recipe for a good disposition!
Are you curious to see what happens during the events, and why are they so important for our marketing strategy?