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View from the Booth: Marketo Summit 2016

So we did it, Marketing Nation!

We planned, we purchased, we designed, we tweeted, we marketed, and after all that preparation and all that anticipation, we finally made it!

Viva Las Marketing Nation Summit 2016!

As a first time attendee of this event, I’d have to say it was certainly much more fast paced, hustle-bustle then I expected. Well at least our humble booth certainly was!

Many of the attendees had the options to attend great keynotes and sessions (when they weren’t full), which I’m sure were fantastic and exceptionally knowledgable, chock full of all of the tech goodness you expect out of a killer MarTech conference.

But my view wasn’t from the second or third floor where all that was going on. No my friend, it was from the booth, the ground level. And the view can be pretty spectacular if you play your cards right, which this year I think we certainly did.

Organizations spend a lot on these events, for obvious reasons like general promotion in the industry and lead generation and prospecting. For us, our entire TAM (total addressable market) was at this event, so we had to go big or go home, right?

You can learn all you want to about the sessions at Summit this year. But this is my view from ground central station, the expo hall and how to kill it year after year at large events like these.

Do something FUN that no one else is doing

This year we did two awesome expo activities a Partner Poker Run and on-demand custom t-shirt printing. Both were a flipping hit!

We gave away 400 custom printed t-shirts and played played poker with over 100 people in our Partner Poker Run.

IMG_3671

We and our friends at Vidyard, EverString, LeanData, Kapost & Captora each gave away $500 worth of prizes. The grand prize, a brand-spankin’ new MacBook Air to went to Gary Kamikawa from Microsoft.

The takeaway: As B2B marketing becomes ever more creative, get your team together and dream up ideas that no one has done. We started months before Summit, so we had time to iterate and plan the execution.

Get your name on any and everything you can

And we did just that. From our logo, Partner Poker Run and custom being advertised on Aisle signage in every row of the expo hall, to app push notifications and so on and so forth.

Who got lucky?

The takeaway: Don’t limit your name to swag and throwaway items like sunglasses. Start brainstorming way before the event to see how you can get your name our there to maximize exposure.

Represent the organization

We didn’t have a bunch of BDRs bees buzzin’ about, or event managers present. Instead, we represented in the best way we could by making sure each department/team had a rep present and could speak to any and all of our services. Also, we made sure to make a little time to meet (and party) with current clients as well as some potential new ones.

Incoming!

The takeaway: Don’t just have your sales team holding down the fort. Make your booth accessible, and feature people that can speak to any part of your organization and service offerings.

Throw the agenda away and make your own

While we attended all of the the sessions that we could, our focus was more on taking advantage of who was there. As a result, our team had dozens of meetings. Our BDR team worked before the event to book times with prospects and current customers to meet with our Solution Consulting Directors and Customer Success Directors.

Pa-pa-poker face

We even hosted an invite-only Marketing Maturity workshop, focused on understanding the performance benchmarks that attendees should be measuring themselves against. We also provided actionable steps to improve.

The takeaway: Don’t just rely on sessions, maximize your time there and work to provide maximum value to existing and prospective customers.

Dress nice, but definitely wear comfortable shoes

This is just for fun, but really in the expo hall or events that span an entire casino, look fierce but take care of those feet because they will hate you tomorrow. I know Marketing Nation hears me on this one!

Can’t wait to kill it next year!

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