Dreamforce 2018 is a little more than a month away. Are you ready for it?
While some locals complain about the 160,000+ people who descend in downtown San Francisco for the annual conference, I look forward to it each year – BRING.IT.ON!
Dreamforce is magical and an amazing opportunity to grow your business through relationships.
Once you register for the event, you will be inundated with invites to private events throughout the city – all vying for your attention and future business. If you are a customer of a vendor sponsoring Salesforce, you will likely also be invited to ‘customer only events’.
I have been attending and working at the event for the past several years, representing companies. With so many events happening in such a limited time, how do you ensure you will get the right prospects and customers to your event? After all, when it comes to social selling, where prospects and customers come together, there lies a key opportunity to grow your brand and revenue opportunity.
Last year, I had the opportunity to create and head up one of the biggest parties at Dreamforce, with over nearly 11, 000 people registered and over 3,000 who managed to get past the entrance. The number of registrants and attendees more than doubled in less than one year!!
How did I pull this off? Here are three secrets to a successful event that will not only build your customer loyalty but also expand your prospecting opportunities:
The Operations team who made this possible – Juan, Nicole, Ryan, Samyutha & Me…
1. Start Early!
It may be too late with less than six weeks to go but you can still sponsor other events to gain access to the attendee list and enjoy a great networking opportunity! Also, these lessons will prove valuable next year.
Define the Vision of the event no later than February before Dreamforce. Ask yourself and your team, why should anyone select our event over another one?
Select a Venue and date right away but make sure it isn’t the same night as the annual Dreamforce party or you may be left standing in an empty room.
You also want to hire a team that understands the vision and is able to manage project details meticulously. The venue you select may also have an event manager who you should partner with on each detail.
2. Customers First:
I kicked off the event by hosting 50 of WalkMe’s most strategic customers for a private white-tablecloth dinner. The guests were whisked away into a private bar room as the rest of the invitees were welcomed into the dinner-turned-nightclub venue. With three DJs, multiple bars, overflowing food, and themed rooms we made a memorable experience for all. While the event cost close to six figures, I, along with my team, am proud to say we generated enough sponsorships to actually make a generous profit on the event.
You read this correctly – we made money while attracting over 11,000 people to register for this annual event!
Emails with personal connections and a broader next step – The latest stats show less than 38% of people open their emails so make yours count. If your team created a personal relationship with a customer or prospect, have a strategy to follow-up. Make it easy for your employees to send an email or make a call with some suggested messaging.
If you haven’t started thinking about your impact on Dreamforce yet, don’t fret. There is still time to define a vision, find a venue or co-partner, and create a lasting experience for nurturing your prospects, customers, and employees.
If you need a strategic customer experience partner, contact me at CGAAdvisor@Outlook.com.
Kumud Kokal, Head of Business Operations, Airbnb, & Me!
Here is to your Dreamforce 2018 & beyond!